Stadium: Deva Stadium
On Being A Chester Fan
By Jason Walker
When I was asked to write this I really didn’t know where to start, 125 years of history in 300 words and boy have we got some a story, especially if you like horror and crime novels!!
The utter despair at being a Chester fan for the last 20 or so years can be described somewhat in comparison with an empty shell marriage, you know you love her but it can only go on so long and if you don’t leave soon your going to end up in an early grave, grey hair, a heart problem and most probably manically depressed. Starting with selling our beloved Sealand road ground and moving to the Moss Rose to ground share with Macclesfield was more than likely the beginning of the end for CCFC, returning 2 years later to a fully Taylor Reported lego-land stadium just down the road from the newly constructed Toys ‘R’ Us, however Graham Barrow secured us promotion in 92 with the smallest squad in the division and things were looking up, until we were the first club the following season in the whole football league to know we were relegated. Its hazy from there with chairman not paying the bills, tax scandals and even an assaulted referee until our saviour, so we thought, Terry Smith (see Terry Nutkins of ‘The really wild show’), rescued us from the clutches of bankruptcy. With revolutionary ideas about captains of the defence, midfield and attack and talk of international players, maybe things were looking up….until he sacked Radcliffe only to install himself as manager. Mission improbable became mission impossible and Ian Atkins was installed with 13 or so games to go the great escape began until utter despair returned on the final day when defeat to Peterborough and a Carlisle win meant for the first time in 100 years Chester City were non-league.
The rollercoaster continued with our next saviour, promotion back to the league under Mark Wright after he rescued the club from the relegation zone of the conference only to walk out hours before we took to the field against Notts County back in the league after 4 years away. Relegation was an inevitable outcome for most and further stories abound about 20k cleaning bills and funding from laundered money, players not being payed and talk of buying hotels abounded, put into the mix Bobby Williamson, Ian Rush, Keith Curle, Graham Barrow and finally Mark wright again along with two of the chairman’s sons and surely we have a recipe for complete collapse. Vaughan continued to blame the fans and all seemed lost until a small group of ‘fools’ meet in a bingo hall to discuss the future for our once proud club, the answer: force the club into extinction, press the reset button and start again, standing together to form a community owned club just like AFC Wimbledon before us….surely madness, any club is better than no club! But the heroes prevailed and Chester City Football club was wound up and shut down only to rise like a phoenix in the Unibond division 1 North as Chester FC under new owners, US! Neil Young, freshly poached from Colwyn Bay’s promotion was installed as manager and given the funds to start building a team from scratch, with backing from all corners thus far not experienced by the old CCFC including large scale media, old players and local celebrities, now not shackled by the supposed corruption of the old regime, things are looking up in a big way, the curse may well have been purged, real football has returned to our great city and to the tune of Anarchy in the UK we sing……
I am a Chester fan,
I am a Cestrian,
Youngies barmy blue and white army,
Chester FC, top of the league.
Cos I’m, proud to be Chester FC