Since the end of last season two former City players have sadly passed away.
14/02/1935 – 30/05/2014
Born in Lancaster Mike Tracey had played for Oxford University and Corinthian Casuals and represented England three times as an amateur before joining Third Division North side Accrington Stanley, although he never appeared in their Football League side.
A move to Crook Town for the 1958/59 season however brought great success as he scored twice in their 3-2 Amateur Cup win over Barnet at Wembley.
The following season he joined First Division Luton Town making his debut in a 1-0 home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in February 1960 eventually making six appearances as the Hatters finished bottom of the table. He scored three times in 17 appearances in the Second Division in 1960/61 before being released on a free transfer at the end of the season when he joined the Imps.
It wasn't a successful season at Sincil Bank as City suffered a second successive relegation and his debut, in the opening game, ended in 2-0 home defeat to Bournemouth. He scored his first goal in a 1-0 Football League Cup victory over his former club Accrington but never held down a permanent position in the side despite playing in all five forward positions during his 12 League appearances. He scored five League goals for us including two on his final appearance, a 2-2 home draw with Portsmouth, making him one the last (and one of only four players after John Frettingham, Bob Whalley and John Robinson) to score more than once on their final Football League appearance for us.
After being released he joined Midland League side Worksop Town where he won the title in 1965/66 and later played for Matlock Town in the same competition before setting up as a solicitor in Worksop, a company that still operates today in the town. He later moved to Donegal in the Irish Republic to run a farm but was still giving legal advice in later years despite ill health.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Kitty, and 10 children (three further children pre deceased him)
Sources: Northern Echo 2nd June; Worksop Guardian 11th June
26/03/1937 - 06/07/2014
Wellingborough born Peter Kearns was an inside forward who began his career with his local side Wellingborough Town before joining Plymouth Argyle in April 1956 for a fee of £600 eventually scoring eight times in 64 Football League appearances for the Pilgrims. He left Argyle to join Corby Town in 1961 and prolific scoring record (42 goals in 83 games) saw a return to the Football League when he joined Aldershot in December 1962.
A scorer on his debut in a 2-0 win at Chester he went on to score 64 times (including four in games against the Imps) in 184+1 League appearances for the Shots becoming their sixth highest goalscorer in the Football League before joining City just before the transfer deadline in March 1968.
City at the time were 20th in the Division Four table, winless in seven games and just out of the re-election zone on goal average but seven wins in the final 12 games, all of which Kearns appeared in, saw a final finish of 13th and eight points clear of the bottom four. Kearns scored five goals but only scored six in 33+1 League apps the following season and was released at the end of it on a free transfer.
He moved south to Weymouth where he played for two seasons and later had a spell as a director of the club. After retiring from playing he worked in the advertising department of the Dorset Evening Echo and he died in the town’s Queen Charlotte Residential Care Home after suffering from dementia.
Sources: Dorset Echo, Aldershot Town FC, Plymouth Argyle FC, Northamptonshire Telegraph