Lifelong Imps fans Julian Burley and Andy Helgesen were “fed up with the lack of fundraising,” but didn’t want to sit around and do nothing for their club.
In December 2009 they set up The Imps 12th Man, a group of like-minded Lincoln City fans who want to raise money for the club they care so much about.
Their aim was to support the football club through fundraising schemes and events that are “non-intrusive”, which don’t require direct participation or a location.
One of the first ideas the Imps 12th Man organised was to buy shares in the football club. They managed to buy in total over £1,000 worth of shares in Lincoln City FC.
Imps 12th Man co-founder Andy Helgesen (pictured left, with wife Samantha) said buying shares “gives the fans that love the club a direct influence over it.”
The founders have immense passion for the club, and a desire for the team to succeed, so much that they will give up their own time to aid the club.
It’s a kind of dedication you just don’t see at premiership grounds.
While the Manchester City and United can rely on multi million pound investors every few years to keep the club ticking, lower league clubs like Lincoln need all the support they can muster.
Imps 12th Man latest fundraising idea was a band evening that was affected by the adverse weather of late, meaning that the event was only attended by 25 people.
Co-Founder Julian Burley (pictured right) said: “It’s a real shame but it was expected that the weather would cause people not to come.”
Another fundraising event that the Imps 12th Man had a hand in was a sponsored bike ride to one of the club’s away games at Don Valley earlier this year.
This managed to raise £300, and was the effort of just one man.
In the future the Imps 12th Man is looking at new and non-intrusive ways of raising funds, such as creating and distributing wristbands supporting the Imps 12th Man.