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Lincoln City bring back air raid sirens and Dam Busters March

Lincoln City will allow air raid sirens and the Dam Busters March to return on match days after a suspension linked to the war in Ukraine (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Lincoln City will allow air raid sirens and the Dam Busters March to return on match days after a suspension linked to the war in Ukraine (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Lincoln City will allow air raid sirens and the Dam Busters March to return on match days after a suspension linked to the war in Ukraine.

The Imps announced in March they would stop the use of the sirens and the song at the LNER Stadium for the remainder of the 2021/22 season and review the matter in the summer.

The decision came five weeks after Russia renewed its invasion of Ukraine, with City stating they wanted to “strike an appropriate balance” between its heritage and being “socially aware and generally good citizens”.

But the League One side has given the go-ahead for both to return for the 2022/23 season.

Lincoln host Exeter City on Saturday in the first round of the new season.

An air raid siren operated by supporters has been heard over the years at home games when the Imps are attacking at corners.

The Dam Busters March has also been played, usually as part of the pre-match build-up.

Lincolnshire became known as Bomber County for the role it played during the Second World War. RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, was the original home of 617 Squadron, known as the Dam Busters.

Young Lincoln City fans watch the game from the stands
The club has vowed to ‘continue to show our support for the people of Ukraine including those within our local community in many different ways’ (Steven Paston/PA)

They carried out a night of raids on German dams in 1943 in an effort to disable Adolf Hitler’s industrial heartland. Their actions were immortalised in the 1955 war film The Dam Busters, with its theme emerging as a popular song and one used by the Imps.

The latest minutes of Lincoln City’s supporters’ board meeting state: “Following discussion, it was agreed to remove the temporary pause on the use of the Dam Busters theme and to communicate with the siren operators that it is their choice as to if they bring back the siren for home games.”

The minutes also said: “The club will continue to show our support for the people of Ukraine including those within our local community in many different ways, such as via social media channels and LED perimeter advertising.”

In 2009, supporters voted to keep the Dam Busters March as the club’s anthem in a newspaper and website poll.

A supporters’ group for the club was formed in 2011 and named 617 Squadron, with their aim to boost the atmosphere at Lincoln games.

Lincoln City fan Jason Gill said he hopes the return of the siren, which he operates, will add to the atmosphere and help push the Imps on to three points.

Mr Gill said he initially decided not to bring the siren to games when Russia invaded Ukraine as it was the “sensitive and sensible thing to do”.

He ran polls for the fans on Twitter and Facebook after the club contacted him on Friday to say the decision was his on whether to bring it back.

Mr Gill told the PA news agency: “Both had very, very similar results, 85% to 95% return, so obviously it means a lot to the fans.”

He added: “It is part of our heritage and we have to look at, in my mind, incremental gains.

“It might just give us that little bit of atmosphere, that little bit of half a per cent that could push us to three points rather than one, for example.”

Mr Gill said the siren is 120 decibels when in action, also noting: “It’s been going for years.

“When I first visited the Imps in the late 70s/early 80s, it started to creep in in the early 80s so it’s not as if it’s a new phenomenon, it disappeared when it broke but it made a return under the Cowley regime (in 2016).

“It’s just part of Lincoln, it’s part of our heritage, it celebrates, again whether that’s right or wrong is open to debate, our heritage, and it’s to build up the atmosphere.”

Reflecting on the pause of its use and whether it was the right decision, Mr Gill replied: “Absolutely, it was 100% the correct decision at that time.”

He added: “Is it the right decision to bring it back?

“I think so and I think the demand is there, the appetite to have it back is there.”