A Lincoln City supporter used his passion for the football club to make the most of his lockdown boredom by creating miniature models of LNER Stadium.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time financially for football clubs, including the Imps, and fans have had to watch matches at home instead of at the stadium.
IT engineer Ben Ward, 35, has been an avid Lincoln City supporter since he was a little boy and wanted to try and raise some money for the club.
After watching some YouTube videos about 3D printing and a few trial creations, Ben made a limited run of 100 models of the stadium, which were available in red, white and grey.
He initially used Google Sketchup, but then moved onto using other programs such as Fusion 360. Printing was done using a resin-based 3D printer, which allows for a much more detailed object to be made.
The models were sold for £15 (plus postage and packaging) via eBay and it took Ben around 80-100 hours to complete the initial limited run.
They sold out in less than a week after Ben appeared on Matchday Live with Sam Ashoo and Gary Hutchinson earlier this month.
Ben told The Lincolnite: “I’ve been a Lincoln fan since I was four or five and whenever I can I try and give back to the club.
“I wanted to see primarily whether I could make something and sell it then give all the profits back to the club.
“I have seen what happens when the club struggles as I was there when we had the Save the Imps campaign back in 2002.
“I was one of the people in the march around the city centre with buckets collecting money to help save the club, so if I can ever give something back to the club I do.
“I’d like to say a big thanks to Liam Scully (Lincoln City’s Chief Executive) and to everyone at the club for allowing me to sell them and to anyone who bought them.”
Ben, who also does The Stacey West podcast with Gary Hutchinson, is looking forward to whenever fans are allowed back in stadiums again. The government is currently planning the return of fans in mid-May, after Lincoln’s season has finished, unless the Imps reach the play-offs of course.
He added: “It’s been frustrating because the biggest thing for me is the highlight of the week of going out to the football and seeing friends.
“We have been able to watch via a stream service and I’ve been able to see every minute of every game, something I am not usually able to do, but nothing beats the community feel and the atmosphere of being in the stadium.
“Hopefully we’ll be playing Championship football next season. We are playing really nice football and it is good to watch, so I’m really keen to get back into the stadium. Even if we don’t go up this season, it’s been an incredible season to be part of.”
Lincoln City said they would like to thank Ben and everyone who purchased a model LNER Stadium.