Lincoln Red Imps: A Brief Overview

The Lincoln Red Imps are one of the most unique football teams in European history.

They played their first match on top of a quarry in 1976 and recently competed in the Conference League group stages in 2021-22, showcasing their remarkable journey as a football club over the past 48 years.

Early Years and Formation:

The Red Imps were formed by Elton Duarte in 1976. Duarte’s first words after creating the club were apparently, ‘A Gibraltan giant has been brought into existence’. He drafted a squad of young, aspiring policemen to play in the Gibraltar third youth tier called the Blue Batons.

Investment:

To play in the senior leagues, the team needed investment. They received their name, Lincoln Red Imps, after being sponsored and funded by Reg Brealey, the former Sheffield United chairman and Lincoln City fan. Brealey named them after Lincoln, who is nicknamed the “Imps” after the legend of the Lincoln Imp.

Making the Step Up:

When the Blue Batons team became old enough to play Senior Football, they were allocated to the GFA second tier. The team started to make their way up to the top and eventually won the league in the season 1981–82, gaining promotion to the GFA’s first division after only one season. In 1983–84, Lincoln won the first division and won promotion to the Gibraltar Premier Division.

Dominance:

The team went on to win seven league titles between 1984 and 1994. They won a record 14 Gibraltar Premier Division titles in a row from 2003 to 2016, as well as the national treble of League, Rock Cup and Senior Cup in several years.

European History:

After winning the domestic division again in 2013, Red Imps played their first qualifying round match of the 2014–15 Champions League, marking the first match played by a Gibraltarian club in UEFA competition. They have played a total of 44 games in European competitions. In the 2021-2022 season, they secured a place in the Group Stages of the Europa Conference League, where they faced strong competition but unfortunately finished at the bottom of the group. However, this doesn’t diminish the historic achievements of the Red Imps.

Looking ahead:

The Lincoln Red Imps will be facing off against Hamrun, a Maltese side, in the First Qualifying round of the Champions League next Tuesday. Let’s continue to support our team and keep an eye out for our buddies in future matches!

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