Chester F.C.

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Chester F.C.
Chester-fc.svg
Chester FC's Logo With Lupus (Wolf).
Full nameChester Football Club
Nickname(s)The Blues, The Seals, City.
Founded2010
GroundDeva Stadium, Chester
(capacity: 5,376 (4,500 seated))
OwnerCity Fans United
ChairmanChris Pilsbury
ManagerNeil Young
LeagueConference North
2011–12Northern Premier League Premier Division, 1st
(promoted)
WebsiteClub home page
Home colours
Away colours
 
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Chester F.C.
Chester-fc.svg
Chester FC's Logo With Lupus (Wolf).
Full nameChester Football Club
Nickname(s)The Blues, The Seals, City.
Founded2010
GroundDeva Stadium, Chester
(capacity: 5,376 (4,500 seated))
OwnerCity Fans United
ChairmanChris Pilsbury
ManagerNeil Young
LeagueConference North
2011–12Northern Premier League Premier Division, 1st
(promoted)
WebsiteClub home page
Home colours
Away colours

Chester Football Club is a supporter-owned English football club based in Chester. The club was founded in 2010 following the winding-up of Chester City F.C..[1] The club plays its home games at the Deva Stadium, and for its inaugural season played in the Northern Premier League Division One North following a successful appeal to the FA against their initial placement in the Northwest Counties League. They won the NPL Division One North in their first season and gained promotion to the NPL Premier Division. The following season they gained their second successive promotion, earning their place in the Conference North, by winning the 2011–12 Northern Premier League

Contents

History

Background

The original Chester FC was founded in 1885 and joined the Football League in 1931. They changed their name to Chester City in 1983. They were members of the Football League, predominantly in its fourth tier but occasionally in its third tier, until 2000 when the club was relegated to the Football Conference. They returned to the Football League after winning the Conference title in 2004.[2] Following relegation back to the Conference in 2009, the club hit financial difficulties, attributed to the then-chairman Stephen Vaughan.[1][3] These financial difficulties led to the season starting with a 25 point deduction, due to the failure of the club to agree an adequate CVA prior to the start of the season.[4] Following a difficult season, in which the club struggled through a variety of financial and playing difficulties, Chester City were finally wound up on 10 March 2010.[5]

City Fans United (CFU) had been formed in October 2009, following growing disquiet amongst fans with the running of Chester City, who at that point were already in deep financial trouble.[6] Only a month after the official formation of CFU, fans staged an on-pitch protest about Chester City's ownership, leading to the abandonment of the game against Eastbourne Borough at a point when Chester were leading 3-2.[7] Following a vote of its membership, CFU in January 2010 called for a boycott of Chester City,[8] after the dismissal of the then manager Jim Harvey, which led to CFU expressing its "disappointment, shock, and anger" at the decision.[9] The group then began preparations in February 2010 to form a "phoenix club" for the following season just weeks before Chester City FC was wound up.[10]

Following the official winding up of Chester City in March 2010, a ballot was held to choose the name for the new club. Over 1,000 people participated in the ballot and 70% voted for the name Chester FC, which had been the old club's name for its first 98 years.[11] The club received the support of Cheshire West and Chester Council, which granted the lease of the Deva Stadium (subsequently renamed the Exacta Stadium as part of a sponsorship arrangement), Chester City's former ground, to Chester FC in May 2010.[12]

Establishment

Chester FC started competing in the 2010–11 season. The FA initially recommended that they should be placed in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division,[13] a decision that the club appealed against.[14] On 18 June 2010, the FA made a statement[15] saying that Chester would instead be placed a step higher and would play in the Northern Premier League Division One North, the 8th tier of the English football league system. The club was formally relaunched on May 20, 2010, when Neil Young and Gary Jones were announced as the first manager and assistant of the club.[16] A preseason friendly played at Colwyn Bay on 10 July 2010 was the first fixture for the new club, the match resulting in a 2–0 victory for Colwyn Bay. The team's first home friendly was played against Aberystwyth Town which the Blues won 3–0.[17]

The first season

The club's first ever league match was on 24 August 2010, away at Warrington Town.[18] Rob Hopley scored the first ever goal for the club in the 6th minute, but the game ended in a 1–1 draw.[19] Chester played their first home game against Trafford and won 6–0, Michael Wilde scoring a hat-trick.[20] In September, Chester lost their first game after a 2–1 home defeat to Chorley.[21]

Chester went top of their division for the first time following a 2–1 win at Cammell Laird on in October,[22] before equalling their record win when they beat Ossett Albion, 6–0, in January 2011, and recording their ninth consecutive away win at Trafford in the same month.[23] After their win at promotion rivals Skelmersdale in March, the Blues went 12 points clear at the top of the league,[24] but a number of draws and defeats led to this margin being cut to just a single point by 16 April.[25]

Second placed Skelmersdale then dropped points, to leave Chester three points clear with one remaining game, and a goal difference eight ahead of their chasing rivals.[26] In a wild finale to the season, Chester were promoted by only a single point of goal difference, as the Blues went down to a shock 2-1 defeat at Garforth Town, while Skelmersdale thrashed Ossett Albion 7-2, with two goals from Ossett striker Danny Toronczak the difference between promotion and the playoffs for Chester.[27]

Unusually for a club at the eighth level of English football, Chester played in neither the FA Trophy nor the FA Cup in their inaugural season, as FA rules required a minimum of one season of prior football before playing in the Trophy, and two years before playing in the Cup.

===2011–12 Chester's promotion to the NPL Premier Division, form was initially variable, with two losses in their first six league fixtures. However, form, particularly defensively, improved greatly, with no goals conceded in September, and the 1–0 win against Chasetown was their seventh successive clean sheet in the league. This run ended after a 1–1 draw away at Buxton in the next match, but only after they established a new Chester City/Chester FC record of 781 minutes without conceding across eight games in all competitions.

Despite initially variable form in the league, Chester's form was strong through November and December, with a run of five consecutive victories, resulting in Chester going top of the table after the 1–0 win against Ashton United, a position the club held at the end of the year, finishing 2011 with a stormy 1–1 draw at second placed Northwich Victoria, a game which saw three dismissals. They were not to be caught again in the league during the season.

During the calendar year 2011, Chester were unbeaten in home league fixtures.

Chester's last loss of the season came in their 2-1 home defeat to Hednesford on January 21. After that point, the team went on a 16 match unbeaten run, including a period of eight consecutive victories encompassing the entirety of March.

On 9 April 2012, Chester gained their second successive promotion, after a late goal from Matty McGinn in the game against second placed Northwich gave the club a 1-1 draw and the point they needed to see off the challenge with three games remaining. The game was watched by a crowd of 5,009, which was not only a record for the reformed club, but also the highest gate ever recorded in the seventh tier of English football. At the conclusion of the season, Chester finished with 100 points, 17 clear of second-placed Northwich, having scored 102 goals along the way, and conceded only 29.

In the FA Trophy, Chester went on an extended run, winning through three qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper, where they recorded a 5–1 away victory against North Ferriby United. They bowed out of the competition in the second round in an away tie against Conference National side Ebbsfleet United, losing 3–2. As this was only the club's second season, they remained ineligible for the FA Cup.

2012-13 Season

Chester began the 2012-13 season as second favourites with bookmakers for the Conference North title. Their start to the season justified those predictions, winning each of their first seven matches, a club record for Chester FC and also surpassing Chester City's best start to the season. Included in that run were victories over pre-season favorites Halifax and a 4-0 drubbing of previously unbeaten Guiseley. Despite this, the club only sat in second place in the division, as Brackley Town also won each of their first seven games. The run came to an end with a 3-2 defeat at Boston United in Chester's eighth match.

In the FA Cup, Chester FC's first ever match was a 1-1 draw away at Gainsborough Trinity in the second qualifying round.

Crest and colours

Crest

The crest was designed by Martin Huxley, a Chester-based graphic artist and Chester F.C. fan,[28] who described the symbols in the crest thus: The Wolf dates back to when William the Conqueror's nephew, Hugh d'Avranches was appointed the Earl of Chester. He had the nickname 'Lupus' which is the Latin translation for 'wolf'. The crown refers to Chester being a royalist City. Badge variations make it unclear whether the leaves are laurel, a recognised symbol of victory, or oak, a significant (and common) tree in Chester. Oak has long been used in the Cheshire Regiment’s logo, reference to saving King George II’s life beneath an oak tree at the Battle of Dettingen in 1749.[28]

In keeping with the club's crest, Chester's mascot is a friendly wolf called 'Big Lupus'.[29]

Colours

Chester play in blue and white stripes with black shorts and blue and white hooped socks, similar to their predecessors Chester City. For their first two seasons their shirts were made by sportswear company Joma, from the 2012-2013 season onwards the kit will be made by Puma.[30][31] The Blues' away shirt colour has changed on an annual basis, having been purple in their first season,[30] yellow in 2011-12,[32] and for 2012-13 will be all green.

Stadium

Chester's home ground is Deva Stadium

Chester FC play at the Deva Stadium, currently renamed the Exacta Stadium due to a sponsorship deal, the home of their predecessor. It has a capacity of 5,376 with 4,170 seated; it is currently the 119th largest stadium by capacity in England.

Current squad

As of 28 September 2012[33]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.PositionPlayer
EnglandGKMartin Fearon
EnglandGKJohn Danby
EnglandDFDominic Collins
EnglandDFPaul Linwood
EnglandDFGeorge Horan
ScotlandDFMatty McGinn
EnglandDFMichael Taylor (on loan to AFC Fylde)
EnglandMFSean Clancy
EnglandMFRobbie Booth
EnglandMFScott Brown
EnglandMFIain Howard
WalesMFAshley Williams
No.PositionPlayer
EnglandMFWes Baynes
WalesMFLevi Mackin
EnglandMFDave Hankin
EnglandMFAntoni Sarcevic
EnglandMFMichael Powell
EnglandFWNathan Jarman
EnglandFWMark Redshaw
WalesFWMarc Williams
EnglandFWTony Gray

Performance

League Standings

YearLeagueLevelPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPositionLeading ScorerGoals
2010–11Northern Premier League
Division One North
8442910510736+71971st of 23
Promoted
Michael Wilde36
2011-12Northern Premier League
Premier Division
742317410229+731001st of 22
Promoted
Matty McGinn15
2012-13Conference North69801259+16243rd of 22Ben Mills9

Honours

The list of honours in which Chester has achieved is as follows:

League

Other trophies

Records

References

  1. ^ a b Owen Gibson (2010-05-06). "Chester FC on the rise". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/may/06/john-amaechi-sports-administrators. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  2. ^ Chester City: A Brief History chester-city.co.uk. Retrieved 13-05-10.
  3. ^ Chester City: The Death, The Funeral & The Wake Twohundredpercent. 10-04-10. Retrieved 13-05-10.
  4. ^ Minus Twenty-Five For Chester? Twohundredpercent 6-08-09. Retrieved 19-04-12.
  5. ^ "Chester City wound up in High Court". BBC Sport. 10 March 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/chester/8559704.stm. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ An Open Letter To The Owners Of Chester City FC Twohundredpercent. 5-10-09. Retrieved 13-05-10.
  7. ^ Chester-Eastbourne game abandoned BBC Sport 28-11-09. Retrieved 30-04-11.
  8. ^ City Fans United: Official Boycott Decision reached by CFU Members Retrieved 30-04-12.
  9. ^ City Fans United: CFU respond to departure of Jim Harvey Retrieved 30-04-12.
  10. ^ Chester City FC: Blues legends throw their support behind CFU’s phoenix club plan Chester Chronicle 25-02-10. Retrieved 13-05-10.
  11. ^ "Chester City FC: Blues supporters name new City Fans United club ‘Chester FC’". Chester Chronicle. 25 March 2010. http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/chester-city-fc/2010/03/25/chester-city-fc-blues-supporters-name-new-city-fans-united-club-chester-fc-59067-26104302/. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Fans take over lease of Chester City's Deva Stadium". BBC News. 2010-05-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8664325.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  13. ^ Andy White (2010-05-18). "FA Recommend Chester To NW Counties". The Non-League Paper. http://www.thenonleaguefootballpaper.com/article.asp?aid=10575&iid=189&sud=1691. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  14. ^ "Chester FC lodge formal appeal with FA over placing". City Fans United. 2010-05-21. http://www.cityfansunited.com/the-news/124-chester-fc-lodge-formal-appeal-with-fa-over-placing.html. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  15. ^ "Chester Decision Upheld". http://www.thefa.com/Leagues/NewsAndFeatures/2010/chester-180610. 
  16. ^ Andy White (2010-05-24). "Young appointed Chester Manager". The Non-League Paper. http://www.thenonleaguefootballpaper.com/article.asp?aid=10609&iid=190&sud=1693. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Chester off to flyer at the Deva". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=0&fixture_id=330832. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Manager appointed at Chester FC". City Fans United. 2010-05-21. http://www.cityfansunited.com/component/content/article/125-manager-appointed-at-chester-fc.html. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  19. ^ Triggs, David (24 August). "Warrington Town 1 Chester FC 1". Chester Chronicle. http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/chester-fc/chester--fc-match-reports/2010/08/24/warrington-town-1-chester-fc-1-59067-27130245/. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  20. ^ Wall, Dennis. "CHESTER 6 TRAFFORD 0". The Leader. http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/92959/chester-6-trafford-0.aspx. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  21. ^ Banks, Jeff. "Penalty sinks Chester as Chorley extend lead". pitcherio.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=1&fixture_id=168207. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  22. ^ Banks, Jeff. "Chester FC go top after victory at Cammell Lairds". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=1&fixture_id=168287. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  23. ^ Banks, Jeff. "Goal blitz at the Exacta sees Blues go 8 points clear". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=1&fixture_id=168462. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  24. ^ Banks, Jeff. "Chester go 12 points clear of chasing pack after crucial win". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=1&fixture_id=168555. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  25. ^ Banks, Jeff. "Last gasp goal rescues point for Chester". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=1&fixture_id=168619. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Second half show puts the Blues on the verge of title win". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/s/results-reports-23021.html&official=1&fixture_id=168635. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  27. ^ Dowling, Mark (29 April 2011). "Garforth Town 2 Chester 1 - Blues clinch title after last-day drama". Chester Chronicle. http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/chester-news/featured-stories/2011/04/29/garforth-town-2-chester-1-blues-clinch-title-after-last-day-drama-59067-28609323/. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Story of the logo". Official Chester FC website. http://files.pitchero.com/clubs/6069/storyofthelogo.pdf. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  29. ^ "Speculation rife over the identity of Chester FC mascot Big Lupus". Fintshire Chronicle. http://www.flintshirechronicle.co.uk/flintshire-news/local-flintshire-news/2011/01/20/speculation-rife-over-the-identity-of-chester-fc-mascot-big-lupus-51352-28016171/. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b Banks, Jeff. "Chester FC launch branded merchandise". pichero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/news/chester-fc-launch-branded-merchandise-148529.html. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  31. ^ http://www.chesterfc.com/news/article/shirt-delay-266461.aspx
  32. ^ Banks, Jeff. "Chester FC launch new all yellow away kit". pitchero.com. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/news/club-ready-for-launch-of-new-y-322119.html. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Chester FC - Blues Profiles". Chester Football Club. http://www.chesterfc.com/page/ProfilesDetail. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Chester FC - Champions". Evo-Stick League. http://evostikleague.pitchero.com/chester-fc---champions-8589/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  35. ^ "The Evo-Stik League League Tables - First Division North". Evo-Stick. http://evostikleague.pitchero.com/tables.php. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 

External links

Coordinates: 53°11′21.05″N 2°55′25.73″W / 53.1891806°N 2.9238139°W / 53.1891806; -2.9238139