Lincoln City director Roger Bates has thanked Arsenal for the way they conducted themselves before, during and after Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at the Emirates and revealed that Arsene Wenger gifted the Imps a silver cannon as a memento of the occasion.
The Imps sold out their 8,942 allocation of seats in the Clock End and their impressive support was acknowledged by both the home fans and several Gunners players at full-time.
“We are just immensely proud of the management and the players for what they have achieved in this FA Cup run,” Bates told LincolnshireLive.com.
“It has been fantastic and I think we saw the reaction of so many Arsenal fans who stayed behind. That wasn’t simply for the fight we put up on Saturday, but in recognition for a non-league club who had reached the quarter-final of the FA Cup.
“It was great to see Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin who came over to the Lincoln City supporters, which was superb to see. It was very, very moving and the reaction of our supporters to our players was incredible.
“The day delivered everything I expected it to. Obviously, you hope you can sneak a result but you recognise the quality of the opposition. But in terms of the weekend, training at West Ham, staying in a lovely hotel in London and the trip in on the coach, it has all been wonderful.”
He added: “The way Arsenal looked after us was fantastic. Arsene Wenger came up to the Lincoln directors before the game and presented us with a silver cannon. It was a fantastic way to treat Lincoln City.”
Yesterday it was revealed that Arsene Wenger spent nearly an hour and a half talking to Lincoln coaches Dan and Nicky Cowley after the game; a meeting the duo admitted they will ‘cherish forever’.
Arsenal will find out who they face in their Wembley semi-final at 9.30pm this evening.