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Archive for March, 2010

When Paul Comstive joined the Clarets from Wrexham in the summer of 1987, in the aftermath of the Orient game, he had already notched around 150 league appearances for his four clubs.

He’d started his career as a youngster with Blackburn Rovers and made his league debut for them in a game against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in October 1980. It wasn’t the start of a fruitful first team career at Ewood Park though and he went on to make just two more appearances for them before signing for Rochdale on loan in 1982.

At Spotland he scored his first goals but returned to Blackburn after playing nine games for them. That was in September 1982, but in the following summer he made the move to Wigan Athletic where, for just over a year, he was a regular in the side.

That was at left back and it was in that position he played against Burnley for the first time, during the John Bond season at Turf Moor he was at left back in the side we beat 3-0 at Turf Moor with goals from Brian Flynn, Tommy Hutchison and Kevin Reeves.

In November 1984 Wrexham paid £3,000 for him and he spent three years there before making the move to Turf Moor alongside the Wrexham goalkeeper Chris Pearce. Both were out of contract at Wrexham and both were subject to tribunal fees. Burnley had to pay £8,000 for his services.

He soon settled into a midfield role at Burnley, alongside another new signing in Andy Farrell. Burnley had a much better season, holding the top position for a period, and although league wise it ended in disappointment there was the Sherpa Van Trophy Final to look forward to at Wembley.

Comstive had proved to be a big success. Offering height, and no little skill, in the midfield his style was likened to that of Glenn Hoddle by some and he certainly offered goals from that position. He scored eight times in the league and added four more in cup competitions including the clincher against Preston at Deepdale as we reached Wembley.

No one came closer than Comstive to scoring in that Wembley final either; he twice hit the woodwork as we lost 2-0 to a Wolves side who had won the Fourth Division.

The next season was one of change at Turf Moor with Frank Casper replacing Brian Miller as manager and that was thought to be a factor in it being Comstive’s last season as a Burnley player.

Again he reached double figures in goals, beating his previous season total by one, and for much of the season was a regular. He didn’t miss a single game in the first half of the season with Miller in charge but under Casper his position wasn’t quite so secure.

He was still at Burnley at the start of the following season but by now he was no longer involved with the first team and so in September 1989, after two years, he left to sign for Bolton Wanderers who were a division higher than us.

We’d certainly done more than alright from Comstive. We paid £8,000 for him, got two good years from him, and sold him to Bolton for £37,000. After just over two years at Burnden Park he signed for Chester City and spent a further two years there before ending his playing career in the league at the end of the 1992/93 season.

He was in the Chester side for both games against Burnley in that final season, scoring in their 3-0 win against us in what was the first ever league game played at the Deva Stadium.

Comstive played non-league football for a further four years for Southport, Morecambe and Chorley before hanging up his boots at the age of 35.

Away from the playing side he was reserve team coach at Burscough for a while and is now first team coach with Fleetwood Hesketh who are based in his home town of Southport. They play in the West Lancashire League.

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The Chester City Exiles are planning to help City Fans United with a fund-raising bucket collection on Tuesday night at Kingsmeadow, when AFC Wimbledon take on Wrexham in the Blue Square Premier League. A statement released by the Chester City Exiles read: Exiled Chester fans will be staging a fund-raising bucket collection, to help build a new club in their home city, at the AFC Wimbledon v Wrexham match on Tuesday March 30. Funds will be donated to the City Fans United group, which is aiming to have a ‘phoenix’ club playing football in Chester by the start of next season. This follows the expulsion of Chester City FC from the Football Conference and the club’s subsequent winding-up in the High Court. City Fans United (CFU), a Supporters’ Trust body with more than 1,000 members, needs to build up its war-chest to allow football to be played in Chester again. Members of the Chester City Exiles, a fans’ club now in its 25th season, will be at Kingsmeadow with their buckets asking for donations on behalf of CFU. They hope for some friendly banter and generosity from local rivals Wrexham. Exiles chair, Pauline Meakins, said: “The support shown by other football clubs, particularly AFC Wimbledon for generously allowing us to stage this collection and the messages of support from many of the fans of our old enemy Wrexham, has meant so much to us over the past few terrible months. It has given us a lot of strength and a real hope for the future of football in Chester. We thank everyone very much.” City Fans United would like to thank the Chester City Exiles for their continued support, and the bucket collection further demonstrates the excellent relationship held between the two groups. It would also like to thank AFC Wimbledon & Wrexham FC for their support in this initiative to raise funds.

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League Two leaders Rochdale have signed former Manchester United youth defender Michael Lea.

The 21-year-old has joined Keith Hill’s side on non-contract terms until the end of the season.

He was released after one year as a professional at Manchester United and went on to have spells with Scunthorpe and Chester City.

Lea was left without a club after Chester were wound up in the high court earlier this month.

He told the official Rochdale FC website: “I’m hopeful this move will be the one that takes me forward.

“You could say my moves so far haven’t been good ones in terms of progressing my career but I’m determined.”

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Stephen Vaughan Jnr, the former named owner of defunct Blue Square Premier club Chester City, is one of three new players to be signed by Marine.

Vaughan, whose father Stephen controversially transferred his stake in the troubled club to the now-25-year-old in the midst of the chaos surrounding the team’s financial issues, made 58 Football League appearances from 2005-2007 for Chester City before moving on to Rochdale and Boston United. He returned to Chester City in 2008.

Marine have also announced the signings of ex-Chester striker Lloyd Ellams and goalkeeper Kyle Clancy from Burscough, the UniBond League’s website is reporting.

Clancy, 20, has been signed as cover for the injured Tim Dittmer who has a lung injury.

Ellams, 20, is a young striker who was with Chester City from 2008 to 2010, including a loan spell at Droylsden during that time.

Midfielder Vaughan, meanwhile, started his career at Liverpool making 70 appearances for the Reserves and represented England at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 level.

Marine Chairman Paul Leary said: “Tim Dittmer has had a reaction from an old lung injury he had some time ago and Kyle will provide that quality of cover that is needed as we push on.

“The signing of Lloyd and Steven will assist greatly with Kevin’s objectives in the final part of the season. It is hoped that all three will be eligible for tonight’s home game against Kendal Town.”

Marine Manager Kevin Lynch said: “The signing of the three players could not be better timed as the transfer deadline looms near. I am pleased that the three players have joined Marine and each will provide me with additional benefits and options as I try to continue to improve the overall quality of the squad.”

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AFTER recovering the lease on the Deva Stadium, Cheshire West and Chester Council last night gave groups interested in using it to run a football club 25 days to come forward.

Council leader Mike Jones is warning all parties planning to preserve football in the city that they must notify the authority of their intentions by Monday, April 19.

Cllr Jones tells the Chester Chronicle: “We will obviously have to examine the business case of anyone interested in running a club at the Deva Stadium before making a decision on a new tenant, and we are running out of time to undertake this process.”

The council, which owns the Deva, set the date in order to satisfy their own demands and those of the FA.

Cllr Jones added: “This authority is willing to talk to anyone with the best interests of Chester and football at heart, and a good business case to support their aspirations.”

City Fans United, the Supporters’ Trust body with more than 1,000 members, has submitted their proposals to the council and has also informed the FA that they want to reform the now-defunct Chester City FC.

An FA spokesperson last night said they have received “several expressions of interest” in reforming the club.

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Ipswich Town supporters show their support for Chester City after the club was wound up…

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Football supporters in Chester have voted overwhelmingly in favour of christening the city’s new football club ‘Chester FC’, The Chronicle can reveal.

The name will be used by the phoenix club City Fans United (CFU) hope to establish from the ashes of the now-defunct Chester City FC.

Supporters, who have been voting since last Wednesday from a shortlist of four options, were 70% in favour of Chester FC.

The simple title is a return to the name the club used for most of its 125-year history, before adding the ‘City’ suffix in 1983.

CFU press officer Jeff Banks said: “It’s been great to see so many fans having the chance to rename the club, and as the voting shows, the fans want to go back to the name Chester Football Club.

“Now we can well and truly prepare our club for the future, but carrying an important piece of history with us.”

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