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The story behind Lincoln's success

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Lincoln City defeated a lacklustre Ipswich Town last night to get through to the 4th round of the FA Cup. They are also top of the Vanarama National League with real hopes of a return to the Football League after an absence that will run to six years by the summer.

The prime minister congratulated the Imps on their success in prime minister's questions, responding to a question from the MP for Lincoln.

Part of the backcloth to this success is the revival of Lincoln as a city.  It does, of course, have a long history as the sight of the illuminated cathedral in the distance behind one of the stands reminded us last night.

The traditional industrial base of the city has largely disappeared.   However, the service sector has grown stimulated by the growing success of Lincoln University with which the club has links.   There is a second and older university, Bishop Grossteste, which appears on the team's shirts.

Credit must also go to the Cowley brothers who manage the team and have won a lot of respect from the national media over the last couple of weeks.  They have made a big effort to network in the city.

Danny Cowley told The Times yesterday, 'we go into schools, universities, we've been to Lincoln Cathedral and met the people there.  I want the players to understand the DNA of the city, to know the DNA of the club.  This is a hard-working place, working class.  They're the values.  I want the players to know how lucky they are.'

Just how big an impact a FA Cup run can have on a club is shown by the fact that Plymouth Argyle expect to make £1 million from their ties against Liverpool, 20 per cent of their annual turnover.