Former Imp and Irish International Arthur Fitzsimons sadly passed away on Wednesday at the age 88.
Born in Dublin he joined local side Shelbourne, from schoolboy football with Johnville FC after the war, and was part of the team that finished runners up in both the Irish League and Irish Cup as well as winning the Leinster Senior Cup and the League of Ireland Shield in 1948/49 impressing as a quick inside forward before moving to Middlesbrough, for a fee of £18000, in May 1949.
He remained at Ayresome Park for ten seasons amassing 223 FL appearances, scoring 49 times, along with two goals in eight FA Cup appearances before joining a City side battling relegation in March 1959 for £5000, manager Bill Anderson driving to Middlesbrough for talks with him as soon as he heard that the forward had rejected a move to Scunthorpe United.
His stay at Sincil Bank though was brief totalling just seven appearances with his debut coming at Brighton in a 2-1 defeat where it was reported that “he took some time to settle down but once he did he sprayed useful passes in all directions” City gained five points from those seven games and escaped relegation by just one point at the end of the season.
Whilst at City he gained his 26th and final International cap for the Republic of Ireland when he played in a 4-0 European Cup Qualifier defeat against Czechoslovakia in Bratislava. He scored seven goals for his country and at the time his 26 appearances was the fourth highest total by any Irish player.
Everyone at Lincoln City extend their condolences to everyone connected with Arthur at this difficult time.