Connections | Lincoln City

These three former Mariners also turned out in the red and white of Lincoln City? Can you remember their contributions in a black and white shirt?

michael-appleton

Michael Appleton

Former Manchester United youngster Michael Appleton is fondly remembered for his loan spell at Grimsby Town in 1997 but two seasons earlier he had made his Football League bow in a similar stint at Lincoln City.

Appleton made four appearances for the Red Imps in the league, with a further one in the Football League Trophy after joining City midway through the 1995/96 season.

On his return to Old Trafford, he was given his Red Devils’ debut in the League Cup against Swindon Town during the following campaign. Later that term came the switch to Blundell Park, where he found excellent form, scoring three times in just ten games.

But the Mariners could not afford the £500,000 asking fee for the player’s signature and he ended up joining Division Two Preston, where he stayed until 2001.

A £750,000 move to West Brom followed but his career was regrettably cut short by an injury (which he was subsequently wrongly operated on and eventually awarded £1.5-million in damages in 2007), with his last appearance coming in November 2001.

Appleton applied for the vacant Mariners’ job in October 2008 but was unsuccessful in his application. After serving as Roy Hodgson’s assistant at West Brom, Michael did eventually move into management but found success hard to come by in spells at Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn.

ian-baraclough2_2506904Ian Baraclough

Defender Ian Baraclough originally joined the Mariners on loan from Leicester City in 1990, impressing enough to earn a permanent deal the following season.

But the form of John McDermott and Kevin Jobling, coupled with the emergence of teenager Gary Croft as a viable defensive option, restricted Baraclough to just four appearances in his only full season at Blundell Park.

He subsequently joined Lincoln City, where he played a little more advanced role – scoring 10 times in his 73 league outings.

Ian’s playing career would thrive for the next ten years as he worked his way back up the leagues through spells at Mansfield, Notts County and QPR.

He joined Scunthorpe in 2004 and, despite his advancing years, made 134 league appearances for the Iron, helping them to promotion to the Championship in the process.

After serving on Nigel Adkins’ backroom staff at Glanford Park, Ian made the move into the managerial seat but was dismissed in March 2011 with the Iron struggling in the Championship. He has since found success with Sligo Rovers in Ireland.

batchNigel Batch

A firm Grimsby Town favourite of the 70s and 80s, goalkeeper Nigel Batch is one of the few players to have enjoyed success for both the Mariners and Lincoln.

Nigel spent 11 seasons with the Mariners between 1976 and 1987, making 348 league appearances, winning two promotions in 1979 and 1980 and two Player of the Year awards in 1981 and 1982.

An extremely reliable shotstopper, Nigel joined Lincoln in their Conference season of 1987/88 and starred as the club won promotion back to the Football League.

But he quickly left Sincil Bank to hook up with a large ex-Mariners’ contingent at Darlington, before seeing out his playing career with Stockport and Scunthorpe.

Nigel played his part in some of the Mariners’ greatest-ever performance; none more so than his man-of-the-match display in the League Cup win at Everton in 1984.

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