The legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death…I can assure them it is much more serious than that". While Shankly was likely speaking in jest, it’s a question worth asking…
Before the lockdown in March I'm sure many Spireites - as well as other football fans across the land - would have agreed with that quote, many may still do. However, despite the magnitude and impact of COVID-19 on the entire world, life has to go on; and that includes football too.
With stadiums across England closed, clubs like ours had to get creative to satisfy the huge appetite for the the game that fans still have. It was nice to see that Chesterfield FC turned to technology and social media to keep the fans engaged with the beautiful game.
Every Saturday during lockdown, the Spireites replayed classic games for the fans; Jack Lester’s farewell vs Exeter, the 4-4 draw in 1994 against the mighty Liverpool at Anfield and, of course, the 1997 FA Cup semi-final to name just a few. The club also ran a weekly football quiz to keep the old grey matter working, all delivered online.
Not only have the club been delving into the archives, they've also been making some changes at the ground too as it prepares for the eventual return of football. We don't know yet when the fans will flock back to watch the Spireites but when they do, they will notice a few changes to the place; including the name of the ground for starters!
Say goodbye to the ‘The Proact’ and say hello to it's rebranding as the ‘Technique Stadium'.
Technique are the current club sponsors of the team’s kit and, as you can imagine, the change of name has had some mixed reactions from the faithful supporters. Never has Saltergate sounded so good!
Speaking of which, the tenth anniversary of the final game to be played at Saltergate has just passed. 8th May 2010 saw the Spireites take on AFC Bournemouth, which included an interesting match day fact. Jalal (the CFC keeper of this doomed season) was the opposition keeper for Bournemouth that day! Not only that, but there were a couple of anniversaries too, including;
- The 25th anniversary of Town winning promotion at Wembley with the help of Tony Lormor (see pic) against Bury in the play-off final
- The 23rd anniversary or the infamous 3-3 draw in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Middlesbrough. Who can forget Jamie Hewitt (see pic) and his spectacular late equaliser at Old Trafford to earn CFC a replay. We'll not mention Chesterfield's disallowed goal here...
Back to the present and, though the football season was brought to an abrupt end in March, CFC donated usage of the stadium to help the community fight back against COVID-19 as the location for key workers to be tested by the NHS.
Hopefully by the time this goes to print, the environment is a lot brighter, safer and a date has been announced for the footy to restart, as well as the impending takeover of the club moving that bit closer to fruition. I for one am ready to return to the live action of it all. But until then, stay safe and I'll catch you next month!
Looking for Sponsors:
Chesterfield FC Women
Chesterfield FC Women are looking for local sponsors for the senior and girls academy teams, which provide a pathway for local women and girls to the first team.
Sadie Henson says "We have around 120 girls and women playing for the club. We rely a heavily on local sponsorship, even though we are affiliated with the men’s team our finances are completely separate and we are self funded.
"We have a lot of new and exciting things planned for our players. I understand it has been a difficult year so far, but we are hoping that football will start again in the not too distant future and we want all our girls to have things in place."
If you own a business that is able to help, please contact Sadie as below to discuss the various sponsorship levels available.
Contact: Sadie Henson 07708 957563 or
Words & images: Michael South