From Bobby Robson handing over his coaching badges to scouting under Keith Alexander, Doug Robinson has made a wide contribution to the Imps over more than 30 years - with the club thanking him for his efforts at a recent first-team fixture.
Doug, a lifelong supporter of the Imps, began working for the club as a coach during the 90s as well as conducting invaluable administration work which secured the Academy vital funding.
Doug, who turned 70 this year, was invited to enjoy hospitality at a recent first-team game and surprised by City defender Joe Walsh who handed over a personalised Imps shirt. He said: “The Academy now is out of all recognition from 30 odd years ago in terms of the funding and the quality of it.
“It’s the best it’s ever been, so for them to still want me to be a part of the set-up and to recognise my role was a nice touch.
"It was around 1990 when I started. I had qualified as a coach the year before which was quite a big thing in those days because there wasn’t many around and my first coaching badge it was presented by Bobby Robson who was the England manager at the time.
“Around that time, I also did a lot of administration work, so I did the first business plan in 1992/93 when academies were first set up to receive funding."
Doug helped to keep the Academy afloat during some difficult times such as the club entering administration and dropping out of the Football League.
He added: “If I think back on the first administration, they recommended the club did away with the youth side and saved some significant money, but the board stuck by it during Rob Bradley’s time.
“And then, when we were out of the Football League for those six years, we had to raise £80,000 a year just to keep the set-up going. Although they’re not highlights, they show the commitment from the club over that time and there aren’t many clubs like that.
“I did some scouting for Keith Alexander and that was fun, it was always enjoyable seeing players develop and the returns you get on that.
“Some of the best moments relate to finding players, such as Jack Hobbs and Lee Frecklington. I saw Lee play when he was an U11 in the local leagues and he came to Lincoln at a young age, so seeing somebody like him work through the system, go on to have the career he has done and then come back, that was a real highlight.”
Everyone at the club would like to extend their gratitude to Doug once again for his service to the Imps over three decades.