Lincoln City FC

Tributes have flooded in for a 19-year-old Lincoln City fan who sadly lost his life after a six-year battle with cancer, leaving the community devastated.

Jack Nottingham, otherwise known as Jack Notty, was a lifelong Lincoln fan diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer in November 2015, at the age of just 13.

As well as this, it was discovered he had inoperable secondary cancer in both of his lungs, which later spread to the bones in his legs and shoulder.

Despite the unbelievable trials and tribulations that faced Jack, he stayed dedicated and positive in his support for the Imps, even seeing them win the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley Stadium in 2018.

Jack Notty never let his health bring him down, always staying positive during the darkest moments. | Photo: Bridgette Nottingham

Jack’s father Paul tragically confirmed the news of his passing on Monday, November 29, calling it sudden and saying it is with the “deepest sadness”.

Paul said in the Lincoln City Banter Facebook page: “We would like to thank Lincoln City FC for their support and fantastic memories, especially his experience at Wembley.”

Lincoln City Football Club said it was “sad to learn of the sudden passing” and passed on their best wishes on social media: “The thoughts of everybody at the club are with Jack’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Jack was a popular figure among the fans, with many regularly chanting “there’s only one Jack Notty” when he was at Lincoln City games cheering on his beloved club.

Former Imps manager Danny Cowley shared a heartfelt tribute on Twitter, saying: “I am so, so sorry to hear this news. Jack was such an inspiration.

“He had so much go against him in his short life, yet he made the most of every single day, always with a smile. Rest easy my friend.”

Danny Cowley’s return to Sincil Bank saw the former Lincoln City boss haunt his old team with a 3-0 win for current club Portsmouth, on a day where his previous efforts in charge of the Imps were celebrated by fans in the stadium.

The former Lincoln City manager brought his Portsmouth side to the LNER Stadium on Tuesday night, running out comfortable 3-0 winners against his old side.

Goals from Marcus Harness, George Hirst and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild condemned the Imps to a disappointing defeat, meaning Lincoln have won just one of their last six League One games.

It was the first time Cowley had come back to Lincoln as an opposition manager since he left for Huddersfield in 2019, and his players got the better of Michael Appleton’s men to take the three points back to the South coast.

Danny and his assistant and brother Nicky got the warm reception club legends like themselves deserve, as Danny did a lap of the pitch to applaud the supporters both before and after the match.

The game ended in disappointment for Lincoln, as Portsmouth ran out 3-0 winners. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite caught up with Danny after the game, which he described as a “fantastic result” for his team, who are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions.

He said: “Obviously it was a fantastic result for us last night, but I thought the Lincoln fans were different class. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life, for sure.”

The message was loud and clear in the 617 on Tuesday. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Before the game, a banner was unveiled by supporters group the 617 Squadron, showcasing their unwavering support for current manager Michael Appleton.

The Imps are dealing with huge injury problems, as they were again without striker Tom Hopper and defender Joe Walsh for the game on Tuesday, as well as top scorer Anthony Scully and club captain Liam Bridcutt.

Appleton didn’t hide his frustration after the game, saying there will be changes made to the team ahead of Saturday’s match at home to Accrington Stanley, as the Imps boss searches for a response from his players.

One positive that can be taken from the game is how 17-year-old Imps striker Freddie Draper conducted himself during his first start in professional football, proving himself to be a potential future star at the LNER Stadium.

Danny Cowley will be returning to the LNER Stadium this Tuesday, marking his first managerial appearance against Lincoln City since leaving the Imps in 2019.

The former Imps manager is a legendary figure in Lincoln, having guided the club from the National League up to League One, winning the EFL Trophy along the way.

He and assistant manager Nicky Cowley, Danny’s brother, left the Imps in September 2019 after being offered a three-year contract at Championship side Huddersfield Town and, despite guiding the Terriers to safety from relegation, he was sacked just over ten months after taking the job.

Danny and Nicky Cowley. | Photo: Huddersfield Town Football Club/Twitter

Cowley’s replacement at Lincoln was Michael Appleton, who was just 90 minutes away from famously taking the Imps to the Championship last season, narrowly missing out 2-1 in the play-off final against Blackpool at Wembley in May.

Appleton, perhaps missing the star-studded influence of Jorge Grant, who was sold to Peterborough United in the summer, and last season’s loan players Brennan Johnson and Morgan Rogers, has the Imps in 16th place in League One after 17 games this campaign.

Imps manager Michael Appleton. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Danny is now back in management at League One side Portsmouth, and his Pompey side will travel to familiar surroundings for Cowley on Tuesday night, in the form of an away match against Lincoln City.

Ahead of the game, Danny Cowley said during his pre-match press conference that Lincoln City will “always have a special place” in both his and brother Nicky’s hearts, referencing “great memories” and “great friendships” from his time at the Imps.

It will be Cowley’s first time in the opposition dugout at the LNER Stadium, and he will be hoping to maintain his team’s decent run of form.

Portsmouth are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions after a humbling 4-0 defeat at home to Ipswich Town on October 19.

The recent form of Danny Cowley’s side has seen them return to the top half of the League One table in 9th place, just five points outside the play-off places and five points clear of Lincoln City in 16th.

As well as this, Pompey have progressed to the second round of the FA Cup, where they will face Harrogate Town at Fratton Park on December 4, and the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy, setting up an away match with Exeter City ten days later.

As for Lincoln, they are unbeaten in five in all competitions, but have drawn three of their last four league games and only got their first league clean sheet of the season last weekend against struggling Doncaster Rovers.

Lincoln City beat non-league side Bowers & Pitsea 1-0 in the FA Cup 1st round thanks to Max Sanders’ goal. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City are still dealing with a number of first team injuries ahead of the game, with Joe Walsh and Tom Hopper expected to be out until the new year and club captain Liam Briductt ruled out of Tuesday’s match.

The likes of Lewis Fiorini, Dan Nlundulu, Adam Jackson, Lasse Sorensen and Anthony Scully are all 50/50 for the Portsmouth game according to Michael Appleton, as he looks to build on back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season in the Imps’ last two games.

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