Lincoln City FC

A 39-year-old man from Gillingham has been charged with two counts of assault after an altercation with Lincoln City players during a match earlier this season.

The incident took place during Lincoln City’s opening game of the League One season, a 1-1 draw away against Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium on August 7, 2021.

Ross Mitchell, 39, of Arden Street, Gillingham, has been charged with two counts of assault by beating following his arrest at the game, and he has been bailed to appear at Medway Magistrates’ Court on September 30.

Mitchell was alleged to have shoved Imps players Tayo Edun and Cohen Bramall after the former opened the scoring for Lincoln City against the Gills. He was then escorted out the stadium and arrested.

There were reports of alleged racial abuse against Lincoln City defender Cohen Bramall, but Kent Police have said the charges against Mitchell are not racially aggravated.

A group of Lincoln City fans have created a collective fundraiser for fans to donate towards the development of the Stacey West Stand at the football stadium.

Organised by Vital Lincoln City and The Stacey West Blog, the development fund allows for supporters to collectively raise enough funds to become investors in the project to expand the Stacey West Stand at the LNER Stadium.

The expansion project is aiming to raise up to £500,000 as part of a £2 million development which will add a second tier to the Stacey West Stand and increase stadium capacity by around 1,500.

A look at how the expanded Stacey West Stand will look. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

The minimum investment to help with the fundraising effort is £500, and with many fans being unable to donate that alone, the supporters have joined forces to raise funds as a collective.

At the time of reporting, the fan-based fundraiser sits at £1,070 after just five days (you can donate here), proving how connected the supporters are to their beloved football club.

Julian Burley from Vital Lincoln City explained the decision to launch a fan fund, saying: “We are aware that there are a lot of people out there that would like to contribute towards this, but are unable to support it via the bond because the minimum is £500.00, so we have started what is a “donate what you can” fundraiser for it.”

Lincoln City’s project to expand the Stacey West Stand has been supported by TV presenter Gabby Logan, who was in the crowd for the game against Bradford in 1985.

A disastrous fire at the match claimed the lives of 56 people, including two Imps who the stand is named after.

On the final day of the 1984/85 season, May 11, 1985, Bradford City and Lincoln City faced each other in a Third Division match that quickly became one of the most tragic stories in sporting history.

Wreaths were laid in tribute of the incident before Lincoln’s game with Bradford on Tuesday. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

A fan had attempted to extinguish a lit cigarette at Bradford’s Valley Parade stadium, but it slipped through the floorboards and ignited rubbish below, prompting the stand to catch fire.

Some 56 people lost their lives that day, with at least 265 people injured, as the game was stopped at 3.43pm.

Two Lincoln City fans, Bill Stacey and Jim West, died at the game and have since been honoured by the club with a stand at Sincil Bank to honour their names; the Stacey West Stand.

A look at how the expanded Stacey West Stand will look. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City have launched a crowdfunding operation to expand the Stacey West Stand at the LNER Stadium, increasing capacity by around 1,500, and TV presenter Gabby Logan, who was at Valley Parade on that fabled day, has lent her support to the project.

Logan, 48, was just 12-years-old when she attended the game at Valley Parade, along with all her family to support her dad Terry, who was assistant manager at Bradford City at the time.

Imps captain Liam Bridcutt carrying the wreath ahead of the club’s Papa John’s Trophy match with Bradford City. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

In a video posted on The Red Imps Community Trust’s social media, the group that are collaborating with Lincoln City on the expansion plans, Gabby recalls the devastating incident and says it is something she will never forget,

Gabby said: “56 football fans went to that match and never came home. I will never, ever forget the Bradford fire, it is etched on my memory. The smells, the sounds and the sights of that day.

“It is fantastic to hear that you have a new project up and running to commemorate the lives of the two Lincoln City fans who were lost that day, and to renovate the Stacey West Stand and to do do honour to those fans.

“It’s really important that Bradford isn’t forgotten, so thank you for that and keep doing your great work.”

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