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Memories & Thoughts: Bob Spangler
Memories & Thoughts:  Bob Spangler

Some Of Our Favorite Pictures Of Bob

I have very fond memories of Bob and thought some family or friends might

like to know that I have remembered Bob for 50 years and regale his baseball

recreate skills to people every once in a while.

 

I was at KORE in Eugene the summer of 1964.  I was 18 and just out of high

school.  I did the weekend afternoons and evenings announcing and board work

which included the Eugene Emerald ball games from time to time.  I remember

like it was yesterday the first recreate I saw Bob do.  I had no preparation

or understanding what a recreate was.  I just knew somebody was coming in to

do something at 8 and I'd get instructions when he arrived.  I was at the

board looking though the glass at Bob in the empty studio with his little

continuous loop tape of crowd noise.

 

I:  An now it's time for Eugene Emerald baseball in Wenatchee Washington.

Hello, Bob.

 

Bob: Thank you.  This is Bob Spangler bringing you the Eugene Emerald's game

in Wenatchee.  It's a beautiful night here in Wenatchee.  There's a light

breeze coming in over center field.  The flags are fluttering just bit.  A

great night for baseball …….

 

I used to tell people you could close you eyes and see the game.  In fact I

could almost see the game through that glass with my eyes open.

 

Watching Bob do those recreates was the highlight of my summer job at KORE.

 

Thanks for posting the notice and the picture of Bob.

 

Karl Boekelheide

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     I worked with Bob at KORE in Eugene in the early 60's when he would re-create games in a studio with sound effects, and a toy bat that he would get his 'foul' balls from.
     One memory that is never to be forgotten was when the line score didn't come thru for over 45 minutes.. It was a marvel as Bob created a game that was stalled, complete with foul balls, tuffs on the field, broken bats, arguments and squables came out of his fertile mind and a heart that loved the game.. finally the teletype began to move again. Bob never lost a beat... A fine man, a joy to have worked with him.
--R. Bessonette
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I had the pleasure of working with Bob Spangler for many years. Whenever we would meet in the hallways, or anywhere else, after speaking with him, I always had a smile on my face. Even when he was angry. I will never forget the day that Rich Mack played a song that Bob didn't care for. Rich quoted that it hit number one. Bob said he didn't care how high it was on the charts, he never wanted to hear it on KNPT again! I had the pleasure of being the board operator for many of the games he called too. He would always "Talk" to me back at the studio. Especially if I had drifted and missed my que to play a commercial. "HOWARD! Wake UP" "GO" he would say. And he had great advice for me as I was growing too. I complained that I had been out too late one night and he reminded me that I was still young and could do that stuff. Live while you can was his advice to me. I will be forever grateful that he touched my life. I will miss my friend.
Howard Wright, Announcer 1984-2004


My name is Jerry Williams Exalted Ruler of the Newport Elks.  I am sadden by the passing of Bob whom l always considered a friend.  I met him thru his wife Jan.  He was always somewhat of a hero in my eyes and l loved listening to him every morning.  Jan, if you are reading this, l am so sorry for your loss.  If there is ANYTHING that l can do for you please let me know.
 

Jerry Williams

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The word "legend" is overused these days, but I am confident it's appropriate when I say Newport and Lincoln County lost a legend with the passing of Bob Spangler.

I had the privlige of working alongside Bob on the KNPT morning program for 14 years, from 1991 to 2004. I was his longest-running partner in a career that will never be matched and never be forgotten.

In this era of corporate, satellite programmed radio, the Internet, 24-hour cable, cell phones, text messages, instant messaging, bringing us a steady flood of information and entertainment, it may be difficult to appreciate what Bob and KNPT once meant to this community. Although KNPT and its sister stations are still a vital information source, and Bob was behind the mike right up until the end, there was a time in the 50s, 60s and early 70s when he was truly the hub of the community.

At least half of Newport knew Bob personally, but those who didn't would sometimes ask me what he was like. I always told them, "What you hear is what you get." The man behind the mike was the same man off-mike, upbeat, warm and optimistic. Of course, a big part of the Spang legend was his identifcation with his beloved Newport Cubs. He covered three-plus generations of Newport High athletes, and I think that had a lot to do with keeping him forever young in spirit.

When I left KNPT to take my present job, I told Bob that sharing the morning program with him had made it worthwhile to get up so early for so long. He thanked me and told me to "be good to my kid." (In case you didn't know, Bob's son Matt has been director of the county's Planning Department since 1986.)

Godspeed Bob, and thanks for the memories.--Bill Hall, former news director
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Bob was a true ambassador for the Newport community. I’m sure he never met anyone he did not treat as a friend first and a client second. During my nine years in the community Bob always greeted me with kind words and a genuine desire to know how I was doing. I came to regard Bob as a friend and he will be greatly missed. My condolences are extended to his family.
 
Dave Paustian

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I played sports at Newport High School, and graduated in 1974. Bob Spangler was such an inspiration to me, he was honest, fun and a true Booster of Newport High. I thought the world of Bob, when my sister called and told me the sad news I teared up, and I realized that one of the last true icons of Newport High Sports has passed. Dick Mason, Gene Morrow and now Bob Spangler. We who played sports and grew up in Newport will always remember those three.

Bob I will miss you, and you meant an awful lot to me.

Richmond Dennis
Class of 1974
Newport High School

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Thank you for the tribute site for my brother, Bob Spangler.  I have read what others have said about him;  they touch me deeply.
 
The words "my big brother" have always been a comfort and refuge for me.  I saw him a week in June everyday for a few moments or a few hours.  A dream came true when one daughter was able to see Bob and my grandson was able to meet Uncle Bob, the uncle he has heard about all of his life. Although I knew it then, how much better I know it now:  that these were treasured times.
 
Someone mentioned that Bob was a hero for him.  He was my hero too, my big brother.  A big guy in every way, size, heart, smile.  Oh, the family stories he and the older ones could tell !  And no amount of retelling made them anyless fun!  He had the story-teller touch.  He told a few on the Newport folks too!  Good stories.  Funny stories.  Great stories.  And NEVER a mean story. 
His work, his town, his "teams" brought joy to his life.
 
I thank all Newport for the love and support and fun you gave him.
 
I will miss my big brother, Bob, terribly.
 
Karen Spangler Clarke
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We are so saddened by Bob's passing, It's like a part of Newport died. 

Gordon and Sharon Jamtgaard
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My deepest, sincere condolences to the Spangler family. In the few years I had the pleasure to work with Bob, he was always super nice to me and very
complimentary, not to mention a true professional. I am very saddened to hear of his passing. I will miss him, as will many others but we will never forget him.
                                                                                   God Bless,
                                                                                   Mark Scott
                                                                                   Paducah, Kentucky
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In a profession filled with people who liked to listen to themselves talk..Spang had a great quality-that of being able to listen.  When Bob asked you how you were doing he listened to the answer..he cared deeply about those around him.  There are numerous people in our profession who have huge egos...Spang was the direct opposite of all this. 

Bob was as down to earth as they come.  Oregon State sports is on the radio in this county because of him, and they are still on the air also because of him.  During my days as Director of OSU's Radio Network I saw numerous stations "go south" because of the futility of the football teams of the 70's,  80's, and part of the 90's.   Bob wouldn't even consider it...he was as loyal as anyone could be. OSU owes Bob and KNPT a debt of gratitude.   

Following each visit with Bob I would leave with a smile on my face.  He was extremely supportive and fun to be around.  His number one love of course was his family and freinds but the High Schools teams were close behind.  His devotion and love for the Cubs and all of their athletic teams was tremendous.  Because of Bob, I knew more about Newport High School than any other school in the state. 

Without question, Spang was my favorite of all those I came in contact with at network stations around the State.  I really looked forward to our OSU visits and my personal visits to Newport--they were always great fun thanks to Spang.  I think the lesson we can take from Bob is to care about others,  support others, help those in need, and yes, root for those Cubs and those Beavers. 

The State of Oregon, and the city of Newport has lost a giant in the broadcasting industry.  I feel very fortunate to have had such a long freindship with one of the greats in our profession, and truly one tremendous person.    

Darrell Aune, Radio Sportscaster. 
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Our condolences go out to your radio family from ours as we learn of the passing of Bob Spangler.

 
I had the pleasure of working with Bob on some broadcasts, and he’s fed us others.  I know he was a much bigger part of the Newport community than just the sportscaster. 
 
Please pass on our sympathies to your company from ours.  We are in the midst of a struggle with our founder, Floyd Wynne, who has been retired from radio but still very active here and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer earlier this year.  Much like Bob, Floyd never really left the airwaves, as he does a local commentary to this day twice a week on our AM news/talk station.
 
Bob was "Mr. Newport"  He will be missed.
 
Randy Adams
Wynne Broadcasting
Klamath Falls, OR
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My name is Tom Becker, and I would love to be at Bob Spanglers Memorial but I will be in the OHSUHospital for my 3rd back operation.

Bob passed away without a serious illness and worked until the day he passed away. This must be Gods answer to a person that gave his whole life to everyone else.
 
I hired Bob Spangler over 50 years ago.  We were the greatest of friends, and he was an outstanding employee that gave broadcasting its all.  He loved sports of all kinds, and constantly supported all the schools and their athletic activities.  He was a friend of almost every  graduating student at Newport Hi School and enthusiastically encouraged all of them to do good in sports as well as grades, and stay off of drugs. He was an avid supporter of Oregon State University and the Beavers.
 
Besides his great support for the schools,;he gave his all to almost every other community project that came up, especially the Hospital and all its drives for new equipment.
 
Bob Spangler was a very active person in France in World War two.  I was always bound to secrecy about Bobs military career, but one of his buddies visited Newport after he came to work and told me about the
time Bob put a hand grenade down the barrel of a German Tank at night and blew it up.  This is one of the reasons he has the bronze medal, and shows how humble he was to never talk about it.
 
Newport may never find another person so dedicated to kids as Bob was, and so dedicated to the community.
 
I could go on and on about all the civic programs Bob helped to promote, but I am sure others on the program will do that.
 
I wish Bobs family well, with the understanding of how great a father they had.
 
Tom Becker
Former Owner of KNPT
Aumsville, Oregon
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It has been almost two weeks since Bob has passed and I am still feeling his loss. When I first started as news director here at the station one of the things i was looking forward to the most was working with the legendary Bob Spanger. He reminded me a lot of my father, who I lost at an early age. He always had a smile and a compliment. I loved to hear his stories and miss getting his coffee for him every morning. It has been a privlege to have worked with Bob and that my family got to know him too. He told me multiple times how much he liked my son Nick, who ran to board for the games he broadcast and always gave him compliments as well. Though deeply saddened by his passing, Bob did what he loved to the very end and I admire that. I loved that he knew almost all of the listeners who called in for the news quiz by name and had stories to share about them. I consider myself blessed to be able to work for such a wonderful company and having such great memories of being able to work with the legendary "Spang".
Kiera Morgan
News Director


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From The Newport News-Times:

Dave Miller, owner of Yaquina Bay Communications and KNPT radio, paid tribute to Bob Spangler during a memorial service held Saturday, September 6th 2008  in Spangler Court at Newport High School. Spangler, 84, died Aug. 25. (Photo by SteveCard)



Young and old alike gathered at the Newport High School gymnasium Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to longtime "Voice of the Cubs" Bob Spangler.

Spangler, who for more than half a century broadcast Newport sporting events over radio station KNPT, died at his home on Aug. 25. He was 84.

The memorial service honoring Spang's life began in a most appropriate way - with the Oregon State fight song playing over the gym's public address system as the crowd clapped along. It was also a very appropriate setting because the NHS gymnasium, in tribute to Spangler's many contributions to local sports programs, had been named Spangler Court in 1999.

"That was one of the greatest honors Bob ever received," said Dave Miller, owner of KNPT. The naming of Spangler Court was announced during halftime of a Newport basketball game. Spangler, who was broadcasting the game, noticed a tarp covering part of the wall that night, and when he asked about it, he was told the building had a leak. He would later recall how seeing the new sign when that tarp was removed had brought tears to his eyes.

Miller said KNPT and Bob Spangler are synonymous, and the radio station recently built a new studio that has been named "Bob Spangler Studio."

Unfortunately, added Miller, they hadn't yet moved into the new studio before Spangler passed away. A plaque remembering Spangler will be installed there, and "it will always be the Bob Spangler Studio of KNPT radio, at least as long as I'm around," said Miller.

Miller also talked about the huge shift in radio station technology between the time Spangler first went on the air and today. "I made Bob learn three computer systems," he said. "There were remarkable changes in his life from where he started to where it is now."

And although Spangler was more than willing to take up the challenge, he did struggle at times with the new technology. Bill Hall, who worked with Spangler at the radio station for many years before being elected county commissioner, was the emcee at Saturday's memorial service. Hall recalled times when Miller would rush into Spangler's studio because of a moment of silence, when Spangler and the new technology weren't getting along. "He

(Spang) would always say, ‘Now, now, David, don't get excited. This isn't New York or Los Angeles. This is Newport.' "

Darrell Aune, longtime sports director for KEX radio in Portland and play-by-play broadcaster for the Oregon State Beavers, shared a common bond with Spangler, and the two were friends for many years. In a taped message played during the memorial service, Aune said, "Our state and this city have lost a giant in broadcasting."

Newport High School Principal Jon Zagel was a former NHS athlete himself and recalled Spangler broadcasting games back then. "He called more than 3,000 games in his 56 years of service," Zagel said, and the number of miles put on by Spangler while driving to "away" games equaled the distance to the moon. Nobody has done more for Newport High School or this community, he said, "and what made Bob special was his natural ability to relate with people. He made many of our Newport High athletes feel like there were on ESPN."

Former NHS baseball coach John Voorhies said that even after a Newport loss, Spangler "would talk about the positives and remind people there were more games coming up." And although Spangler occasionally talked about retiring, "you always knew he would go right down to the wire, and he did."

Miller said Spangler was at work at the radio station just a few days before he died. Depoe Bay resident Gracie Strom, a long-time friend of Spangler, summed it up this way. "He died the way he wanted to. He died with his boots on."

Marcus Luther, a 2008 NHS grad, described himself as a "third generation broadcastee," with his father and grandfather playing NHS sports before him and being the subjects of Spangler broadcasts. "He was just so positive. He was just so emotionally invested in this community, especially the kids. Bob spoke with a passion for his kids, for the community, and for his love of the game."

Luther was a member of the Newport High baseball team that won the state championship this past spring. As it turned out, that state championship game would Spangler's final play-by-play broadcast, a fitting way to end a career that had such an impact on so many people.

In concluding his remarks at Saturday's memorial service, Bill Hall said of Spangler, "When we lost him, he was not 84 years old. He was 84 years young."
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Dear KNPT,

My name is Jon Weiss, I was born in Newport, in 1957, and attended 1st Grade at Yaquina Bay Elementary, we moved to Newport from Seal Rock in 1960.  My parents, Jack and Donna Weiss operated the weather and advisory station at the Newport Municipal Airport (back when the terminal was on the north end of the main runway).   
 
I happened to see the memorial page for Bob Spangler while looking around the internet. 
 
I am not positive, but I may have been interviewed by Mr. Spangler, in 1962 or 63. 
 
Anyway, my mother was very much a person of handcrafts and made a crocheted Afghan which she donated for some charity auction.  She took the Afghan to KNPT for donation and while we were there, I was interviewed, I seem to recall that most of the questions were about what I ate for breakfast or something like that. 
 
I currently live in Radcliff, Kentucky, just south of Fort Knox.  I settled here when I retired after twenty two years of Army service.
 
Just a note of historical trivia.
 
Jon O. Weiss
1SG, U.S. Army
Retired
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Bob Spangler memorial memories: 
 
Newport, Oregon and KNPT have truely lost a, "Legend In His Own Time"!  Thank you Dave Miller,for giving Bob the memorial service at Spangler Court that he so greatly deserved. Thank you for sharing the memories in video and in voice, it made all who attended feel that Bob was right there with us. I especially enjoyed getting to know him and his many accomplishment better, as Bob and I only recently became reacquainted after too many years. The service was truly memorable and one that I know Bob was watching from his, "Broadcasting Studio" in Heaven. My name is Debra Griffin and I worked with Bob when I was just a teenager at KNPT, when the station was located at the north end of Newport and Tom Becker was the owner in 1968 and early '69.  With my position as dispatcher for the West Oregon Forest Protection District in Toledo, part of my job was to daily measure the weather and call KNPT with a live on-air weather report. Tom Becker liked my voice and later hired me as receptionist/copy writer.  Part of my duties at KNPT were to record commercials for broadcast and Bob spent alot of time training me on how to say things much more effectively for radio. When Tom Becker was cutting back and I was loosing my job in 1969, I was very upset and Tom told me, "Debra your not fired, we are just cutting back."  I didn't understand the difference, bottom line, I wasn't going to have a job tomarrow.  Tom informed me, "They are looking for a supervisor at the Undersea Gardens, you should go down and apply."  To comfort me, Bob took me aside, gave me one of his famous BIG hugs, looked me straight in the eye as he always did and I asked him, in my naiveté,"How can I be supervisor of the Undersea Gardens, when I've never even been in there before?"  Bob said, "Debra, it's about time you learned, it's not what you know, but who you know!"  I interview for the job, got it and it lead to a long history of working with Tom Becker in promotions for many of his ventures during the next twenty years.  As publisher of Key Places we featured Bob in the "Living Legends " section, Spring '08 Edition.  Bob called me to obtain extra copies for family and friends, and when I delivered them to him during his morning radio show, he told me, "That article is the best article that has ever been written about me."  Thanks Dave Miller, for helping me to make the article even better and get the facts right!  Shortly after Bob's passing I told Tom Becker what Bob had said about the article and I told Tom he was probably just trying to make me feel good, Tom without hesitation, informed me, "Who Bob, he's on radio, you know he would never spin a yarn!"  He may have spinned a few yarns in his lifetime, as that, is the nature of the business he was in, but he also, always spoke from his heart and would never say anything that he didn't truely believe. Bob made everyone he met feel special and that is a true talent.  He had a "heart of gold", his heart, the love of his community, his family and the love he had for the ball players he announced, during, "KNPT Play by Play" for three generations will be as memorable as his voice, the "Voice of KNPT".
 
My prayers and thoughts are with KNPT, his family and his many, many friends during this time of our truely great loss!  Bob, as I signed your Key Places with, "You will always be my hero!"

Debra J. Griffin
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I just logged onto the YBC website only to discover that Bob Spangler passed away in August.  I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity of working with him in Newport.  He truly is and was a legend and the type of voice for the community that I admire and work to achieve with my own morning show here in Mid Utah.  I too loved to listen to his game broadcasts... no one called play by play like Bob did.  He really loved his Newport Cubs!  My heart goes out to his friends and fellow co-workers.  His shoes will be difficult to fill.
 
Kathy Farnsworth
Operations Manager
KSVC/KCYQ
Richfield, UT

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Spang always made you feel good when you say him. He had a presence that  was greater than most people associated with the CUBS. He was the CUBS. Sure Morrow and Voorhies were everything to their perspective sports, and I love them both, but Spang was the CUBS. He colored a picture for you with his voice that immediately made you listen. I remember sitting  in our kitchen with my mom and dad listening to games that were on the road that we weren't able to make...he was brilliant. I remember to the day when Margie Becker and the girls won the state championship while I  was screaming with the other Braxling's in their kitchen. Bob Spangler was brilliant. I remember one of the proudest moment of my life as a CUB was when someone played back a recording of Spang talking about me after a tackle against Marist to lock up a win as a Sophomore. My father was a good friend of Bob which also made me feel special. He was a star...a hero, to the CUBS and Newport.

Kevin Collson
Class of '83
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I just ran across the article on KNPT about Bob. My condolences to his family and many friends he had at the station.I started my radio career there in Newport and was lucky to work with Bob for a short time. Truly a professional broadcaster and warm hearted man. His bond with his listeners and the community in general was quite special.

Steve Wilson
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Uncle Bob had been a major part of my life growing up in Newport.  Even though he was not blood - he has been my Uncle Bob since I was 5 years old.  He loved to get on the floor after dinner and play Old Ben Gun with Matt, Mark and myself.  He would try and buck us off his back.  Then there where the 2:00 am or 3:00 am rides up and down Nye Beach in my dad's truck the Spangler's and the Ramberg's looking for glass floats after storms.  Those where the days!!  I think he was the biggest and best heckler of all times - with that big grin of his.    He would tell people on the air that my mom (Fern) was from Bellfoush (which she was not from there at all) and half the town believed him.  All those memories I will treasure forever. 

Lindsay (Ramberg) Clark
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When there is love, any life is too short. Uncle Bob had a way of making the joys of life contagious.

We visited Uncle Bob just a few short weeks ago.  Even in struggling health he made us and our grandson, Jonathon Strombeck, feel welcome.
 
It lessens the sorrow to know he had so many wonderful friends and colleagues.
 
Goodbye Uncle Bob, We love and miss you!
 
Dee Dee-Denise & Jon Paul Strombeck
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Bob was one of the greatest men that ever lived, and I  miss him dearly. Every morning he would talk to me when I was there and I broadcasted his games for 3 or more years and I just miss coming in and hearing his voice and I just hope he knows he will be missed
 -Nick Thomas 
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While I was growing up my dad used to tell me about this man named Bob Spangler. He would tell me what a great person Bob was and how dedicated he is to what he does. While Bob was announing for Toledo I finally had to opportunity to meet him in person. I introduced myself and he told me how he knew me when I was younger and then sports must of rub off my dad to me.
 
From that moment on Bob said we had a bond,and because of that bond Im so glad to say that Bob was my friend.
 
I have wondered if there was one word that would describe Bob and there is not, He was a man that was dedicated, loving and caring,  A main staple of Lincoln County sports and of course the voice of the "Cubs".
 
Bob will be missed greatly by everyone that knew him. I will not be at a game without looking up into the sky and smiling, because I know that Bob will be watching and cheering on the teams.
 
My prayers go out to the family.
Shelley Benefiel
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Bob is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet and I'm glad I had a chance to get to know him. I will always cherish the discussions we had about sports and life whether it was before we were about to broadcast another Taft/Newport game, at a staff meeting, or just crossing paths."Spang" is truly the best broadcaster and person to ever grace the airwaves in all of Lincoln County and I seriously mean that. In my opinion he was more than just the "Voice of the Cubs" he was the "Voice" of the Newport community for six decades and will truly be missed by any and all who ever had a chance to know him.
 
Best Wishes and condolences to all Family and Friends of the legendary Bob Spangler.

Davit Hitt - Former Sports Announcer, KBCH Lincoln City
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