Their creepy crest is one of these things
Non-league Lincoln City, who play in the fifth tier of English football, beat Premier League side Burnley 1–0 to become the first club outside of the top four division to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals since 1914. Defender Sean Raggett scored an 89th-minute winner to achieve the unlikely feat with their Lincoln’s first and only shot on target in the match. And though Sutton United will have a chance to match them on Monday if they can beat Arsenal, it’s Lincoln City who have gotten there first, so they get the glory of being the subject of this prestigious post.
Here’s what you need to know about The Imps:
- The what? Yes, their nickname is The Imps and they have arguably the creepiest badge in English football. An imp is a mythical creature and The Lincoln Imp is a local legend that goes beyond football. From the city’s tourism website:
Legend has it that one day the Devil was in a frolicsome mood, and let out all his young demons to play.
After having allegedly stopping at Chesterfield, twisting the spire of St Mary and All Saints Church, a group of imps went to Lincoln and planned to wreak havoc in the city’s stunning Cathedral.
Mischievous activities in Lincoln included knocking over the Dean, smashing the stained glass windows and destroying the lights. To put a stop to any further chaos, an angel appeared from the Bible left on the altar and commanded “Wicked Imp, be turned to stone!”
Some imps managed to escape but one imp remained, hurling insults and stones at the angel. The angel responded in kind, turning the imp to stone where it sat and it can still be seen there today! It is said that the angel caught up with one of the escapees at St James’ Church, Grimsby, turning that imp to stone also.
- Lincoln City last played in the Football League in 2011. They won League Two in 1976 (then called Division 4) and their best ever finish was fifth in Football League Division Two in 1902. They currently lead the National League with two games in hand over second-place Dagenham & Redbridge.
- Manager Danny Cowley and assistant Nicky Cowley are brothers. They quit jobs as PE teachers to take their full-time positions with The Imps just last summer.
- Their mascot is Poacher the Imp, named after the folk song “The Poacher of Lincolnshire.” This should’ve been Pippo Inzaghi’s nickname.
- In 2012, Lincoln goal hero Sean Raggett expressed his dream to one day play against Joey Barton. Hopefully this was a joke and not the saddest life goal ever committed to social media, but, either way, it came true as Barton started for Burnley (and earned a yellow card for his usual assholery).
- Their fans didn’t let life obligations—like attending a wedding—get in the way of watching club history in the making.
- Their shirt sponsor is a van leasing company (that also sponsors the league in which they play—the Vanarama National League).
- Lincoln City beat sixth-tier Altrincham in the first round of the FA Cup and third-tier Oldham Athletic in the second round. They needed a replay to beat second-tier Ipswich Town in the third round and beat another second-tier side in Brighton & Hove Albion in the fourth round.
- And finally, Lincoln is home to a glory hole that has been pleasing boaters for generations.