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On Saturday 2nd March before the Stevenage fixture the Red Imps Community Trust were delighted to reveal their latest Imps iconic landmark plaque. On this occasion we acknowledged the Lincoln City first home ground on John O’Gaunts field at the rear of St Mary’s Guildhall on High Street, where we played from our formation in 1884 until moving to Sincil Bank in 1895. Property owners Lincoln Digs have played a massive part in this project allowing the plaque to be sited as shown, and by attending our ceremony. 

 Huge thanks go to Jason and Clive, of Lincoln Digs and all colleagues and families. Also there was Mayor Cllr Biff Bean, his Sherriff Cllr Neil Murray, Imps CEO Liam Scully, a group of John O’Gaunt’s Club members and their RICT board representative Mandi Slater, and other Lincoln City and Trust officials.

St Mary’s Guildhall was formerly John O’Gaunt’s home, and was built in 1157. A Grade I Listed Building it has also been a school and a maltings. It is now owned by Lincoln Civic Trust. Our first match there was against Sleaford Town which we won 9-1. Season tickets were 10p (two shillings) and kick off times were often dependant on the away team’s train being on time. Opposition clubs included Glasgow Clyde, London Strollers, and Derby Midland. The Imps joined the Football League in season 1892-93 season. We finished bottom and sought re-election. The first floodlight game was against Sheffield United when the pitch was lit by the use of paraffin flares on poles. In 1895 the land was sold and earmarked for housing, and we moved to a pitch to the east on Sincil Bank where we’ve remained ever since. Our last game at John O’Gaunts was watched by a crowd of over 7,500. Our plaque is fitted onto number 2 Sibthorpe Street immediately to the rear of the Guildhall, the street being named after John Sibthorpe Lincoln’s MP in the early 18th century.

The plaque is our second recording a significant Lincoln City location, with our first being found on upper High Street at the site of the original Monson Arms where the club was founded. Watch out for more in the future.

Rob Bradley, Chair of RICT.

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