Lincoln City’s legacy in the FA Cup has been recognised as part of a national campaign to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the oldest national football tournament in the world, offering a nostalgia trip to 2017, when the Imps shook the sporting world.
The FA Challenge Cup was established 150 years ago, with the first matches taking place on November 11, 1871 following a vision from Charles W. Alcock to bring hope and equality to football.
To mark the anniversary of the competition, a number of large-scale image projections have gone up around the country in some of the venues which birthed the competition’s most iconic moments.
One of the five landmarks selected for the projections was the LNER Stadium, the home of Lincoln City, who became the first non-league club in over a century to reach the quarter finals of the FA Cup during their famous run in 2017.
Along the way, the Imps beat Guiseley in a qualifier, Altrincham in round one, Oldham Athletic in round two, Ipswich Town after a replay in round three, Brighton & Hove Albion in round four and, incredibly, Premier League side Burnley away at Turf Moor in the fifth round.
This culminated in a famous meeting with Premier League giants Arsenal, who have won the competition a record 14 times, in the 1/4 finals at the Emirates Stadium.
The Imps lost 5-0, but that day in March 2017 is a day that will truly never be forgotten by thousands of Lincoln City supporters and many football lovers across the country; and can be seen as the catalyst for the club’s rise to the top half of League One, first under Danny Cowley and now under Michael Appleton.
The projection on the side of the Co-op Stand at the LNER Stadium took a still from that very game, showing then Imps winger Nathan Arnold jostling with world superstar and former Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez.
On the image is a line which reads “an idea built on a level playing field” which is part of a film made by the FA to showcase the importance of the cup on its 150th anniversary.
Elsewhere in the country, there were projections at Marine A.F.C in Crosby, Merseyside, a Sheffield factory where Leicester City striker and FA Cup winner Jamie Vardy used to work, The Oval cricket ground where the first FA Cup match was played, and Coventry Transport Museum to mark Coventry City’s trophy win in 1987.
The campaign will last throughout the season as the FA looks to commemorate its flagship competition, and celebrate the level playing field it presents for all clubs taking part.
Lincoln City’s FA Cup journey for 2021/22 begins on Saturday, November 6, with a first round home tie against the lowest ranked side left in the competition, Bowers & Pitsea of the Isthmian League Premier Division.