Posts Tagged ‘Crewe Alexandra’

David Felgate

His professional career lasted 17 years from 1978 to 1995 where he made a total of 612 Football League appearances. Of those 198 came at the Lincoln City and 238 came with the Bolton Wanderers, though he also played for Rochdale, Crewe Alexandra, Grimsby Town, Cardiff City, Chester City, and Wigan Athletic.

David was initially loaned to the Imps from the Trotters when Colin Boulton was dealt a hefty lay off with a broken leg with a permanent move soon forthcoming. Indeed Bolton would let him slip twice before finally seeing him make nearly 400 games for them when Phil Neal finally managed to make a loan deal permanent from Grimsby who we of all teams had sold him too. David would keep 24 clean sheets that season with 23 of them coming in a Division Four promotion winning campaign (second two points behind Southend) that saw vital shut outs at all our rivals, namely Southend, Doncaster and Wimbledon.

Fe -Fi- Fo Ffestiniog-born green giant Felgate was the immovable object and the irresistible force the following season as we narrowly missed a return to the Hallowed second Division not seen since the early sixties. A 1-1 draw at Fulham on the last day of the season saw nearly 6,000 Imps fill the away end in a twenty thousand crowd. In those three seasons David would miss just 3 matches and rack up clean sheets of 18, 14 and 16 respectively, becoming one of the bravest and best shot stoppers in the bottom two Divisions. On the 12th October he would become the first Imp to represent his Country as Wales beat Rumania 5-0. He would have got this a season earlier but for Neville Southall and the small matter of the Bobby Sands hunger strike causing the postponement of a home International with Wales

David`s season by season stats breakdown can be found below illustrating his fantastic contribution including a memorable performance against Spurs when we beat them 2-1 at home in front of a partisan 12,239 in the league Cup. Twice named in the PFA Division Three ‘Team of the Season’ and once as the Imps’ ‘Player of the Season’ – Felgate was sold to Grimsby Town in the summer of 1985 for £27,500. Some suggested we needed the money as crowds had dropped though the tragedy at Bradford, his final game for us, on the final day of the 1984/85 season also had a bearing.

Grimsby Town had him for one season, though he fell from favour and was initially loaned to Bolton Wanderers before returning permanently for seven seasons. After an initial relegation he got amongst the silverware as they again returned to better times. A free to Chester City for two seasons saw yet another promotion winner`s medal before a final move to Wigan Athletic. The competitive career was far from over despite a move to semi pro with Leigh RMI for several seasons. This included an FA Cup run and a goalless draw against Kevin Keegan’s Fulham in November 1998, with Kevin rating his performance as one of the best he had ever seen. He would win two promotions with Leigh then another at Radford Borough who went up as champions. Fabulous Felgate retired at 45 after two final seasons at Bacup Borough. having played nearly 1000 competitive games

These days he coaches for East Lancashires just for Keepers and is involved with Manchester City and the first team keepers at Stockport County

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DARIO Gradi would not shed a tear if Cheshire neighbours Chester City went out of business.
Gradi guided Crewe to promotion from the old Division Three just behind Chester in 1993/94.
In fact, it was only a 2-1 win at the Deva Stadium on the final day of the season – with goals from Ashley Ward and Tony Naylor – that ensured Crewe went up.
At that time City looked the club with more potential.
But the sides have had vastly differing fortunes since.
The Alex spent eight seasons in the Championship while Chester desperately struggled. Now the Blues are on the brink of extinction.
Gradi said: “People ask me what the long term aim is at Crewe. I always tell them it is to stay in business. That has to be the main objective.”
Asked if clubs like Chester and Portsmouth will become extinct, he added: “I have to say in many ways I hope so.
“Clubs keep getting to the brink of disaster and then being saved.
“That doesn’t discourage people from overspending.
“It clearly can’t continue. Everyone has to start paying realistic wages.
“But I don’t really care. As long as we stay healthy and make sure we don’t get into financial trouble, that’s my main concern.”

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Craig Brown has praised in-form keeper John Ruddy and says he wants the Everton loanee to stay at Fir Park beyond the summer. Ruddy is currently at Motherwell until the end of the current season but has impressed with his recent performances.

The 23-year old has only conceded one goal in seven SPL matches since Brown took over and his hot streak has coincided with Motherwell’s unbeaten run in the league. The manager said he had been looking at other options to replace Ruddy when his loan spell ends but hadn’t seen anyone who could match the 6’ 4” Englishman.

“We have looked at other keepers but they’re not as good as John,” Brown admitted.

“He enjoys playing for Motherwell, we have spoken to him and he loves it here.

“But he’s not our player, he is Everton’s. If we could keep him it would be great for the club.”

Ruddy joined the Lanarkshire club on loan at the beginning of the season along with fellow Everton youngster Lukas Jutkiewicz. Both players agreed to move north until January but following their success in the first half of the season the deals were extended until June.

The loan move has led to one of the most settled periods of Ruddy’s brief career so far. The goalkeeper made his breakthrough at Cambridge United in the 2004-05 season and although the club were relegated Everton snapped him up for £250,000. Though fourth-choice at Goodison Park, Ruddy is regarded by David Moyes as a potential future England cap, a prediction backed up by the player’s inclusion in the England Under-19 squad in 2005.

Being far down the pecking order at Everton made the goalkeeper a popular loan signing for clubs facing an injury crisis and he had played for eight different clubs by the age of 21. Short-term loan deals saw him move from Everton to Walsall, Rushden and Diamonds, Chester City, Stockport County, Wrexham, Bristol City and Crewe Alexandra.

Motherwell may have to dig deep to sign the player on a permanent basis. If Everton were prepared to let the player move to gain regular football, his performances in the SPL would undoubtedly mean a number of clubs would vie for his signature.

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Macclesfield Town 4 Crewe Alexandra 1
With Chester City’s perilous position no longer of much interest to me (unless the football club ownership issues that cloud the Deva Stadium are addressed) , I was delighted to be a guest at the Macclesfield Town’s first ever competitive football league clash against their East Cheshire rivals, Crewe Alexandra, at the Moss Rose earlier today.
I must say, what a well run little football club Macclesfield Town is.  Visiting Moss Rose today was a welcome reminder of Chester City’s two year exile across the Cheshire Plain back in the early nineties and the countless double decker bus journeys back and too across the county.  Those days seems a distant memory given the current soap opera being played out at the Deva Stadium.
On the pitch I was equally delighted to see Crewe Alexandra on the end of a Macclesfield onslaught in an absorbing opening thirty minutes. Heavy conditions and a revamped side can’t be blamed for a desperate show at the back as Macclesfield dished out a festive thumping to Dario Gradi’s men.  He clearly has his work cut out if he want’s to achieve a play-off berth.  On today’s showing, they’ll be lucky to avert a relegation dogfight.
Big striker Ben Wright nudged the Silkmen ahead and Crewe were in serious trouble by the time Paul Bolland and Colin Daniel struck further first-half goals.  The latter a 35 yard stunner that could be a candidate for goal of the season.  What a screamer!
Calvin Zola, initially rested on the bench, cut Macc’s lead midway through the second half and Crewe looked dangerous in the final half-hour. But substitute Ricky Sappleton put a seal on Macc’s stellar show in stoppage time.
It was great to see former blue Sean Hessey doing well.  He bossed the Macclesfield back four with ease, although he visibly tired significantly as the second half wore on.  In the Crewe line up I felt for young Matt Toottle, another member of the world famous Crewe Alexandra Academy production line of talent.  The young lad, who had only made four previous appearances for the Alex was given the run around by an active Macclesfield right wing display.  He has a lot to learn, but we all have to start somewhere.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN: Brain, Reid, Tremarco (Bell, 83), Morgan, Brown, Draper, Bolland, Hessey, Wright (Sappleton, 71), Sinclair (Brisley, 65), Daniel. Subs not used: Veiga, Rooney, Wilson, Lowe.
CREWE ALEXANDRA: Phillips, Brayford, Tootle, O’Donnell, Worley, Murphy, Westwood, Schumacher, Shelley (Zola, 62), Moore (Miller, 77), Donaldson. Subs not used: Legzdins, Billy Jones, Ada, Mitchel-King, Walton.
Attendance: 3,449.

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Chester City travel to face York City  at Bootham Crescent on Tuesday night (kick off 7.45) just days after the conference side overcame our Cheshire rivals, Crewe Alexandra, last weekend in the FA Cup.

Martin Foyle’s men will be looking to extend their season-long unbeaten home run as well as reduce the four point gap between themselves and the Play Off places. 

Struggling Chester are resurgent since the vastly experienced Jim Harvey took over as manager after the sacking of former Scarborough chief Mick Wadsworth little over a month ago.

In fact, the Blues’ only defeat on the road this season was a 4-0 thrashing at runaway leaders Oxford way back in August and Harvey has also led his new side to wins in each of their last three games.

Weighed down by a 25 point deduction, the Blues are still on minus four points even with their good run of form after a poor start to the campaign and remain a hefty nineteen points from safety.

Chester City will be without highly rated defender Johnny Flynn, who had been on loan from Blackburn Rovers, after he was called up to the Northern Ireland under 21s squad and recalled by the Premiership side.

Former Scarborough prospect Michael Coulson recently joined Chester on loan from Barnsley and is likely to start in an advanced role alongside seven-goal top scorer Nick Chadwick.

Mark Beesley should also be involved after extending his loan spell from Cambridge United which means midfielder Ben Wilkinson, released by the Minstermen last season, is expected to warm the bench for the Blues.


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jim harvey - Chester City's latest man at the helm

jim harvey - Chester City's latest man at the helm

Former Morecambe and Forest Green Rovers manager Jim Harvey has today been appointed as the latest manager of struggling Chester City Football Club.   Caretaker boss and club captain Tim Ryan will be Harvey’s Assistant as Chester prepare to claw back a 25 point deficit and attempt to perform a great escape and survive in the Blue Square Premier League.

Jim Harvey in profile

Born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Signed for Arsenal in 1974, sadly his 1st team opportunities were somewhat restricted with only making 3 league appearances. In 1980 Jim had a free transfer to Hereford United where he became a favourite with the fans with 278 leagues games.  

In 1987 Jim left Hereford on a £25,000 transfer to Bristol City but only made 2 league appearances before he went on loan to Wrexham making 6 appearances in league games. He was once again transferred for £25,000 to Tranmere Rovers in late 1987. He quickly made Captain, making 121 league appearances, 12 League Cup and 8 F.A. Cup appearances , scoring 15 goals. 

Upon leaving Tranmere Jim spent a season at Crew Alexandra, under Dario Gardi as a player and on the coaching staff. At the beginning of the 1993-94 Jim signed for Vauxhall Conference side Southport, in their 1st year in the Conference. He made 12 appearances for Southport before signing with Chester City as a non-contract player, Reserve Team Coach and Director of the School of Excellence.  

In early 1994 Jim was appointed by Morecambe Football Club as Assistant Player – Manager to Leighton James. He also has F.A. qualifications in management and injury treatment. On 7th June 1994, he became Manager after the sacking of the former manager. 

In his first season 1994-95, as manager, Jim gained Morecambe F.C promotion to the GM Vauxhall Conference as Runners-up in the Northern Premier League. Within the Conference League Jim has become well respected as a manager, winning Morecambe’s second national trophy in 1997/98 when the team won the Bob Lord (Spalding) Trophy, beating Woking in a exciting 2 leg final. He has also taken the club to several Lancashire (ATS) Junior Cup finals, winning in 1995/96 and 1998/99 and Runner-up in 1997/98.  

It can only be a short time before Jim Harvey once again brings back some silverware to Christie Park, home of Morecambe Football Club.  Already at the beginning of the 2001/02 season Jim was the longest serving manager of any team in the Nationwide Conference, as well as the longest ever serving Morecambe boss and furthermore, in November 2001, Jim signed a new contract tying him to Christie Park until at least 2004.  Season 2004/05 saw Jim and the team saddly missing a play-off place on the last game of the season.

Sadly before the Cambridge United game on November 12 2005, Jim suffered a heart attack before the game and was taken to the local hospital at Lancaster.  On doctor’ advice Jim took time off his duties  recover. Whislt recoving his personal friend Sammy McIlroy will be in charge for the first team.  However on 16 May 2006, the board announced they had released Jim Harvey from his contact as manager. With this announcement came the end of the longest era of a manager at the club. A manager that supporters’ will alway remember as the the man who changed the fortunes of the club by taking then into the Football Conference and raising the profile of the club both on and off the pitch.

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