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Dennis Houlston: 1936 - 2023

19 January 2023

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Everyone at the club is saddened by the loss of former City chairman Dennis Houlston who has recently passed away at the age of 86.

Born in August 1936, Houlston is one of only four men to have had two separate spells as chairman of Lincoln City, serving between December 1980 and May 1982, and again between March 1983 and March 1985.

Born in North Yorkshire in 1936, he moved to the Lincoln area in the 1950s when he purchased his first farm. He went on to own a number of farms in the district and in the late 1970s, he was farming over 2,000 acres in the county, mostly growing potatoes.

Like many of the directors of that era, his first involvement with the Imps was as a member of the Vice-Presidents’ Club, progressing to a place on the board in July 1975. He succeeded Heneage Dove as chairman and remained in place until resigning just 15 minutes after the draw at Fulham in May 1982, as City narrowly missed out on promotion to English football’s second tier. 

In his resignation letter, he cited dissatisfaction with the support he had received from most of his fellow directors and chose to resign in April, opting not to announce his decision whilst the club were still in contention for promotion “so as not to create an unsettling atmosphere at such a critical time.”

Remaining a major shareholder in the club, he returned as chairman in March 1983. This came after the resignation of his successor Gilbert Blades and his fellow directors following fan protests, forming a new board with John Reames, Michael Pryor and Derek Overton before resigning a second time in March 1985.

His period on the board included both the record-breaking 1975-76 season and promotion to the third tier in 1980-81.

14 August 1936 - 6 January 2023

Rest in peace, Dennis.

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