Rough guide to
About this rough guide
How our predictions went
Rough guide to...Chesterfield
15 July 2003
Relationship with Division Two
The League's fourth oldest club (see the rough guide to Notts County for my scepticism over such claims) mucked about no end in the nineties, going up and down between the second and third divisions at a fair pace. The club was last promoted to these dizzy heights at the beginning of the century, when Darren Brown nearly buggered it up for them by being a very naughty boy indeed, as the club were docked nine points, leaving them promoted in third place and not as champions.
Recent history has been kind to the Spireites, at least in the FA Cup, in which they reached the 1997 semi-final only to be denied by that dreadful Middlesbrough team that contained crybaby extraordinaire and all-round pillock Fabrizio Ravanelli. Days out don't come much bigger than this in Chesterfield, although they did win the play-offs in the '94-95 season, beating Bury and leaving Chesterfield a ghost town for the day. Wonder if any of their fans put up an hilarious sign saying something about the last person to leave town putting the lights out...let's hope not.
Mansfield Town are hated with a passion. The two teams have come across each other more times than a couple of porn stars, and this has led to intense hatred. I won't tread any further, for fear of putting anyone's nose out of joint.
David Reeves. These two words alone have been the reason many have returned time and time again to Saltergate over recent seasons. Reeves is Chesterfield's Joe Waters, their Dave Gilbert, their...Menno Willems. All right, so that last one wasn't true, but he's not bad in front of goal and is a big bugger too. They also have a central defender called Blatherwick. Now that's what I call a name. And, oh, Town's 1980s midfield 'dynamo' Phil Bonnyman is remembered spectacularly well in these parts. Other than that, the squad is very much made up of players that have done the rounds in the lower divisions. Y'know, much like the one Town are trying to put together.
Your correspondent holds Chesterfield in some regard as it was at their ground that Town escaped the third division in the early nineties and made it back to the rarefied heights of the second. OK, so we lost 2-0 that day and the little boys from the Pontoon thought it'd be a good idea to tip the soup shed over - with the poor old lady still inside - and then run onto the pitch. Town fans are crap at running onto the pitch, and I remember from my very comfortable seat in the stand adjacent that this was no exception. They sort of pour on like little Andrex puppies and then lose the plot big time...they go round in circles a bit, maybe take their top off. But you can bet your Smiths collection they'll get caught by a stray rozzer within the minute.
I digress, anyway. Like many clubs, Chesterfield have diced with death over the last five years, with Darren Brown, the fresh-faced philanderer, taking them to the brink by cooking da books and stuff, which led to a fine, which led to near-extinction. But the show must go on, and new manager Roy McFarland is making sure that it does, just...
Chesterfield was a bit of a posh bleeders' club when it was founded back in 1866. It cost 5p to see the team back then, and even the team was made up of magistrates, town councillors and future mayors of Chesterfield. Well, I never....don't worry, the proles took over eventually. You won't be seeing Brian Sewell down at Saltergate this season. Or any other, hopefully. And a friend from Chesterfield swears Jo Guest went to school with him in the town. Wishful thinking on his part maybe, but he insists it's true.
How will they do?
Phew....well, after Christmas last season the team went into nosedive mode, securing their second division status with only a couple of games to go. However, McFarland is looking to add names to the playing list, so let's say a nice mid-tabled 12th if things go well.
The Chesterfield Football Supporters Society is pretty rocking and shows how it should be done, with over 2,000 members signed up. Other than that, and as far as I can see past the Rivals and official sites, there's nowt much out there on the interweb about the Spireites. I demand you write in and prove me wrong.