Archive for July, 2009

The Football Association have given troubled Chester City special dispensation to play a pre-season friendly against Droylsden at the Butchers Arms.

With the club still awaiting affiliation to the FA, this Blues had been banned from playing football matches until a resolution was found. With a court case rouling against a CVA arrangement in mid-week the future of football looks bleak leaving fans to think this game could potentially be Chester’s last.

With just days until the start of the new Blue Square Premier campaign, Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan and former club chaiman is insisting that all outstanding paperwork requested by the FA and the Conference relating to City’s ownership had been submitted.

“Hopefully both ruling bodies will look at our position sympathetically,” Vaughan told the Liverpool Daily Post. “We were relegated last season because of sporting merit, we have subsequently since that relegation been deducted 10 points. Hopefully that penalty will be full and final.”

We’ll have more news on this story as and when it break.

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Norman Bullock in mid 50s Chester strip

Norman Bullock in mid 50s Chester strip


born 26.03.1932

Norman Bullock was a speedy winger who earned his spurs in the non-league game with Coton Villa and Nuneaton Borough before being captured by the mighty Aston Villa on January 9th 1949.  Unfortunately he never broke into the Villans first team squad.

In 1952 he moved to Chester where he spent nine seasons.   A big favourite at Sealand Road, he moved to Rhyl in early 1960 but failed to make an impact at Belle Vue.   He then had a stint at Bangor City before dropping into the Welsh League and seeing out his playing days with Prestatyn.

Do you remember Norman?  Please share your memories and comments below.

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Chester City Football Club’s demise seems to be nearing a disaster as long suffering Blues fans suffered another shocking piece of news.

The club, relegated from the football league at the end of 2008-2009 campaign soon entered administration and an immediate ten point deduction was imposed by the football conference.

Now, with less than two weeks before the start of the new season, Chester City could find themselves in a different league or without a football club at all.

In the latest twist, the HMRC have challenged Chester City’s refinancing agreement, and won the case in a court of law.

The press statement published on the club’s official website read “Chester City Football Club Ltd in administration press release On the 8th July 2009 in the High court of Justice, Chancellery Division in Manchester, HM revenue and Customs (HMRC) filed an application challenging the approval of the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which was originally approved at a meeting of creditors held on the 11th June, 2009.

At a hearing held in the Manchester High Court and concluded today His Honour Judge Pelling QC ruled in favour of the application by HMRC in respect of a debt owed by Chester City Football Club Ltd to a connected creditor and revoked the approval of the CVA.

Martin Shaw of Refresh Recovery Ltd, and the administrator in this matter stated that the decision by the Court, on the application of HMRC, is a setback to the new owners of the club.

However, we are actively talking with the Football Association in relation to the impact that this decision will have upon the transfer of the membership to the FA.

The new owners and I are working with the Football Association to ensure that the club can commence playing matches when the new season starts on the 8th August, 2009.

Further communications will follow when appropriate. For further information please contact Refresh Recovery Ltd, Martin Shaw/Bill Brandon on 01695711200 or Turner Parkinson Solicitors’ Will Jones on 016 1833 1212.”

What next for the soap opera that appears to be Chester City Football Club??

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Cheshire Senior Cup Medal belonging to Harry Lapping

Cheshire Senior Cup Medal belonging to Harry Lapping

A medal won by a Chester FC player 100 years ago has been discovered – in Australia! The Cheshire FA Senior Cup honour belonged to former Manchester United forward Hubert ‘Harry’ Lappin, who was the hero of Chester’s glorious cup campaign in 1908-09.

 Susan Deer, who lives in Newcastle, Australia, was given the medal almost 20 years ago as a gift and has cherished it ever since. She had it valued in 1995 at just under $2,500 (Australian), which works out at roughly £1,100. Susan, who was eager to share this piece of history with our readers, said: “Selling the medal is dependent on various issues, but also going back to the club of its origin is something that does mean a lot to me, more so than a Lappin descendent or private individual buying it.

“For now, knowing that the club will be aware of it, that it exists as part of their history, is all I was looking to do.” She added: “I did put it on ebay once but, luckily for me, Nigerian scammers tried to buy it. For that I was very grateful because the need to sell it passed.”

“I am attached to the medal as there are nice memories within it. Perhaps wherever it was before coming to me, whoever wore it instilled good karma.” The 9ct gold medal was made by Vaughton’s, a much-respected Birmingham company who were commissioned to make the second FA Cup after the first went missing. They still produce all Football League medals to this day.

Frontman Lappin was born in Manchester in 1878 and played for Chester during the 1908-09 campaign only. Along with the Cheshire Senior Cup success, the club also won the Combination League and reached the Welsh Cup final, where they lost 1-0 to Wrexham in front of 9,000 people at Merthyr Tydfil’s Penydarren Park. The glorious Cheshire Senior Cup campaign saw Chester dismiss Helsby 5-0 with Lappin netting twice.

He was also on target against Crewe. , Crewe fell victim in the next round 1-0, after a 1-1 home draw in which the hotshot scored again. The semi-finals, played at Gresty Road, provided another tough test and, again, at the second time of asking, Chester marched through 3-0, with our man again bagging a brace. The final was played against Northwich Vics at Crewe’s Gresty Road. Following a 1-1 draw, Chester needed a replay to seal cup success.

Vics eventually fell victim 3-0, and Lappin took his tournament tally to a magnificent seven as he grabbed a brace to help Chester retain their county crown.

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050180 v Newcastle United

The Big Match Programme

When City came out second in the draw, the initial disappointment was soon forgotten. Chester fans remembered that in the great League Cup run of 1974-75 a well earned draw at St James’ Park brought Newcastle back to Sealand Road. Little did City fans know, packed in to a British Rail Special, that a replay would not be needed this time.

The excitement of travelling to a big Cup games away from home kept the train buzzing along up north to face a Newcastle side top of the Second Division and unbeaten at home for 25 matches. For those of us on that train, the engine did not quite “buzz” as much as the fans on it, and somewhere around York eventually came to a stop. By the time we got going again, it was then a race against time to get to the match before kick of. It soon became obvious that we were not, much to the frustration of everyone on board.

Those who had radios had the galling experience of listening to commentary on a game we should be watching City seemed to have started the game well and were certainly not overawed by their illustrious opponents. Newcastle nearly scored when ace hit man Alan Shoulder had a shot brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Grenville Millington, along with Trevor Storton, the only two survivors of the epic League Cup matches of five years previously. Storton and John Cottam had Peter Withe and Billy Rafferty well policed, and Peter Withe only managed to get away once, but his rasping shot went wide. Derek Jeffries back after a four match gap was brilliant, showing everyone why he was once a £100,000 player.

Without doubt one of the most complete footballers ever to pull on a Chester shirt, and deservedly winning a Player of the Season trophy. At the excitement going on in St James’ Park in front of 24,548 spectators was sheer hell for us listening in on the train. Meanwhile on the pitch after a move started by rampant Ronnie Phillips, Peter Anderson cashed in on a catalogue of mistakes in the Magpies defence to crash in a left foot drive into the far corner of the net. Newcastle United 0 Chester 1, the score reverberated around the football world, and to us on the train is was a mixture of elation and when are we going to get there?

We finally arrived at Newcastle and the local constabulary us very quickly up to the ground. What a welcome. As we passed the Kop end we were pelted by coins by the disgruntled Newcastle fans. But no time to pick up the coins, into the ground, half an hour late, but winning 1-0. We had hardly settled in our seats and sampled the atmosphere than the half time whistle went, and we had time to take our breath. The second half kicked off with City still in charge, in fact they were playing so well that it was hard to believe we were not watching a home match. Player manager Alan Oakes, alongside City favourite Brynley Jones, with Peter Sutcliffe, were running the game from midfield, and chances were falling thick and fast.

Peter Henderson, a Geordie himself, with all his local family watching, should have added a second goal but miskicked in front of a gaping goal. Even defender John Cottam moved up and shot just over the bar. Cassidy and Harwick both went close at the other end, but it only inspired Chester even more and fifteen minutes from the end Chester sealed the match.

The person to score the goal is quite well known to Chester fans, he had been scoring quite a few goals that season, but there wouldn’t be a more important one than this! Jim Walker took a throw in on the right and Peter Sutcliffe, playing with a thigh strain, bravely took the ball on and crossed the ball over where Phillips headed on to yes, you’ve guessed, eighteen year old Ian Rush slammed the ball all along the ground into the back of the net. Well, that was that, there was no coming back to Newcastle now. City fans were able to celebrate on the train coming home, no breakdowns this time! And the City team were rewarded with a fourth round draw at home to Millwall.

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Chester City begin their second spell in non-league football with a trip into the unknown.

Chester’s 2009/10 Blue Square Premier campaign opens with a trip to Grays Athletic on Saturday, August 8. A club Chester City have never faced before in their long and illustrious history.

The return of the mouthwater international derby comes on September 26, when the Blues travel to Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground with the return fixture at the Deva Stadium on February 13.

The Blues finish their campaign, providing they do not reach the playoffs, at home to Crawley Town, another team they’ve never played before.

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Harry McNally’s credentials for management of a Football league club are unique. From masonry to management is a step no other team boss has taken and for that matter, what other manager currently in charge of a league club has never kicked a ball in full time professional football?

In 1992, Harry was the longest serving boss in Division 2 and only Brian Clough, Joe Royle and Dario Gradi have sat in a Premier League hot seat longer. That in itself is a tribute to his managerial skills, but when it is considered that Harry has kept the club from being relegated in two seasons in exile at Macclesfield, his achievements become the more remarkable.

Borin in Wigan, but raised in Yorkshire, Harry returned to his roots as a teenager and kicked his first football in earnest as a part timer with Harry Catterick’s Rochdale in the old Third Division (North). ” I realised that I was not going to be good enough to make my living as a full time player, so I decided to play part time while I built up my building and masonry business,” he explained.

Harry went on to play with Chorley as a player coach in the Seventies and with Skelmersdale United, where he was the manager for four years before moving on to Southport as assistant manager. It was at Haig Avenue that his partnership with Graham Barrow was forged and when Southport folded in 1978 the pair moved to Altrincham, Harry as coach and Graham as a player. Wigan manager Larry Lloyd invited Harry to join him as assistant at Springfield Park and when Lloyd eventually left, Harry succeeded temporary manager Bobby Charlton, in charge of his first Football League club.

Harry was only out of work for a few months after parting company from Wigan before he was brought to Chester and his success was almost immediate. In his first full season in charge at Sealand Road, Chester were promoted from Division Four as runners-up to Swindon Town in 1985-86 and have since held their own in Division Three, albeit by the skin of their teeth during the two years at Moss Rose. Harry’s devotion to the Chester cause is unquestionable and he freely admitted, “I have no ambitions in football beyond wanting to put the club on a sound footing.”

Harry’s reign as manager at Chester City Football Club ended during the 1992/93 season following a sting of poor results. The club struggled to survive in the second division and ended the season relegated to the third division of the football league.

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