Tributes paid to Lincoln City legend Andy Graver

Andy Graver Image copyright Lincoln City FC
Image caption Lincoln City fans recently voted Andy Graver top of a poll of club legends

Tributes have been paid at the funeral of Lincoln City's most prolific goal scorer, Andy Graver.

The former miner, who scored 143 goals in 274 games for the Imps, died last month, aged 86.

He had three spells with the club between 1950 and 1961 and topped a recent fan's poll of City legends.

His wife and daughter, Moira and Lynne, said it was wonderful to see so many people at the service and for him to be so fondly remembered.

'Immediate success

They said: "Andy would have been in his element, chatting to everyone and meeting all his friends - it's just a shame he's not here.

"He hasn't played football for 50 years - it's incredible really."

His wife added: "But you never know he might be watching from somewhere."

One fan described him as "simply brilliant".

Graver, who was born in County Durham, first signed as a professional footballer with Newcastle Utd a few weeks before his 20th birthday.

He joined Lincoln in 1950 and was an immediate success - scoring on his debut against Halifax.

Other clubs were quick to notice him and within a matter of months Norwich City offered £12,500 for his services.

He continued to be a regular transfer target of bigger clubs and in December 1954 he was sold to Leicester City for a record fee of £27,500 plus Eric Littler - who was valued at £600.

The following season he returned to Sincil Bank for £14,000 but stayed only a couple of months before moving on to Stoke City for another large fee.

In the latter days of his career he also played for Boston United and Skegness Town.

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