Chesterfield F.C.

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Chesterfield FC crest.svg
Full name Chesterfield Football Club
Nickname(s) The Spireites
Founded 1866; 150 years ago (1866)
Ground Proact Stadium
Ground Capacity 10,504
Owner Dave Allen[1]
Chairman Dave Allen
Manager Danny Wilson
League League One
2014–15 League One, 6th
Website Club home page
Current season

Chesterfield Football Club /ˈɛstərfld/ is an English association football club based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, which plays in League One, the third tier in the English football league system. The club were founder members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921–22 and have remained in the Football League since that time. While they have never played in the top flight, they rose to the second tier twice in the 1930s.

Chesterfield play their home games at the 10,504 capacity Proact Stadium, having moved from their historic home of Saltergate during the summer of 2010. Chesterfield's most notable recent successes came in the 1990s, when they won the Division Three playoff final at Wembley in 1995 and reached the FA Cup semi-finals two years later (they were the first club from outside the top two divisions to reach this stage of the competition since Plymouth Argyle in 1984). In May 2011 Chesterfield secured the League Two title, but held onto their place in League One for a single season.

In 2011, Dave Allen was given full ownership of the club and Chris Turner was appointed as the club's new Chief Executive. The 2011/12 season saw Chesterfield secure the Football League Trophy with a 2–0 victory over Swindon Town. A return to Wembley for the final of the Football League trophy was secured in 2014, with Chesterfield finishing runners-up after losing 3–1 to Peterborough United.

On 3 May 2014, Chesterfield were crowned champions of League Two for a record fourth time.


A former Chesterfield F.C. crest giving the questionable 1866 foundation date of the first Chesterfield F.C. The design was first used in 1997 and replaced in 2009.

The date on which the first Chesterfield Football Club was formed is uncertain, with new evidence discovered by the club's historian Stuart Basson in 2012 indicating the need for a reappraisal. A Derbyshire Times newspaper report from 2 January 1864 noted a scheduled game between "Chesterfield and Norton football clubs." This suggests that a Chesterfield F.C., whether loosely or formally organised, was active from at least 1863.[2] By contrast, Basson's earlier research had placed a formally constituted Chesterfield F.C. as being established as an offshoot of Chesterfield Cricket Club in October 1867.[3]

Whatever the precise origins in the 1860s, the cricket and football clubs moved to the Recreation Ground at Saltergate in 1871, the same year that they became separate entities. However, a souring of the relationship between the two led to the closure of the football club a decade later, in 1881, when it found itself homeless.[4] Many players joined other local sides, notably Chesterfield Livingstone, a club that took up using the Saltergate site, and Chesterfield Spital, a team which competed in the early years of the FA Cup.[5]

Three years later, in 1884, a new entity called Chesterfield Football Club was formed, again making its home at Saltergate.[3] It drew in players from the preceding club and both Chesterfield Livingstone and Chesterfield Spital, though records show Spital continued as a separate club.[5] After changing its name to Chesterfield Town, the club turned professional in 1891 and won several local trophies in the following two seasons, entering the FA Cup for the first time in 1892. For the 1892–93 season, the club wore an extraordinary playing strip of all dark blue with the Union Jack emblazoned across the front of the shirt.[6] Chesterfield joined the Midland League in 1896, and successfully applied for a place in the Second Division of the Football League at the start of the 1899–1900 season, finishing seventh. After finishing bottom of the League three years in a row, the club failed to gain re-election to the League in 1909, returning to the Midland League.[7]

In 1915 Chesterfield Town was put into voluntary liquidation and a new club with the same name was formed by a local restaurateur to play wartime football using locally based "guests" from Football League clubs. It lasted only two years before its management and players were suspended by the FA for illegal payments and the club shut down.[3][8]

To fill the footballing gap left in the town, Chesterfield Borough Councilre-formed the club on 24 April 1919, seeing it as a way to spearhead improvements in local recreational provision. Initially called Chesterfield Municipal F.C., the club made great strides on the pitch in its first season, lifting the Midland League title – and did so despite three changes of management. However, The Football Association and Football League had already made clear their vehement opposition to a council-run club and ultimately forced it to cut its ties and become independent, reflected in a name change to Chesterfield F.C. in December 1920.[3][8][9][10]

In 1921–22, Chesterfield F.C. became a founder member of the new Football League Third Division North. Following the arrival of new manager Ted Davison in 1926 and chairman Harold Shentall in 1928, the club won the Third Division North title in the 1930–31 season with an 8–1 victory over Gateshead on the final day, and were promoted to the Second Division. Relegation followed in 1933, but the Third Division North title was again won in 1936.[7]

Chart of historic table positions of Chesterfield in the Football League.

After the war the club achieved their best League position, finishing fourth in the Second Division in 1946–47. However, the sale of several players at the end of the season reduced their overall quality, and Chesterfield were relegated at the end of the 1950–51 season. They were placed in the Third Division on its formation at the start of the 1958–59 season; future England international goalkeeper Gordon Banks made his professional debut in a Third Division game in November 1958, but was sold to Leicester City for a then-club record £7,000 fee at the end of the season. In 1961 Chesterfield were relegated to the Fourth Division for the first time.[7]

Chesterfield spent eight seasons in the Fourth Division, earning promotion as champions in 1969–70 under manager Jimmy McGuigan. The Anglo-Scottish Cup was won in 1981. The club was relegated in 1983–84, and won the Fourth Division title the following season. Financial difficulties forced Chesterfield Borough Council to bail out the club in 1985 and the club's training ground to be sold. Relegation followed in 1988–89; Chesterfield reached the play-off competition a year later, but were beaten by Cambridge United in the play-off final. The arrival of John Duncan as manager in 1993 was followed in the 1994–95 season by play-off victories over local rivals Mansfield Town and Bury to earn promotion to the redesignated Second Division.[7]

The 1996–97 season saw Chesterfield beat six clubs including Premier League side Nottingham Forest to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time. The semi-final match against Middlesbrough was drawn 3–3 after extra time; Chesterfield lost the replay 3–0.[11]

The club were relegated to the Third Division in 2000 following a run of 21 games without a win, and chairman Norton Lea was replaced by Darren Brown. The following year, Chesterfield were deducted nine points for financial irregularities after Brown attempted to avoid paying Chester City the fee agreed by the FA for Luke Beckett. Amid mounting evidence of fraud, he relinquished control of the club in March 2001 and ownership passed to a hastily organised fans' group, the Chesterfield Football Supporters Society. Massive debts run up by Brown forced the club into administration, but the team still secured the division's final automatic promotion place. (Brown was later sentenced to four years in prison following a Serious Fraud Office investigation that led to charges including false accounting, furnishing false information and theft).[12]

The Second Division was renamed to Football League One for the 2004–05 season. Two years later Chesterfield were relegated to Football League Two, although they did reach the regional semi-final of the Football League Trophy and the fourth round of the Football League Cup in the same year. The following three seasons saw no change in their League status.[13] In June 2009, the club appointed a new management team in John Sheridan and assistant Tommy Wright.

The club departed its historic home at Saltergate at the end of the 2009–10 season. The emotional final game was against already promoted A.F.C. Bournemouth on Saturday 8 May 2010. The teams were level at 1–1 going into injury time but a goal for the home team by Derek Niven in the sixth added minute led to an impromptu celebratory pitch invasion. At the final whistle, the capacity crowd streamed onto the pitch for a second time to say a fond goodbye to Saltergate ahead of the club's switch to the new B2net Stadium.

On 22 April 2011 Chesterfield were promoted to League One after a 0–0 draw between Wycombe Wanderers and Torquay United confirmed that the former could not catch Chesterfield, who had been top of League Two since 16 October 2010.[14] On 7 May 2011 Chesterfield were crowned League Two champions following a 3–1 victory against Gillingham.[15]

In January 2012 Chesterfield secured a trip to Wembley in the Football League trophy by winning 1–0 at Boundary Park to beat Oldham Athletic 3–1 on aggregate in the Northern Final. This was particularly welcome for supporters following a dreadful run of form which had seen the Spireites fail to win a League game in 17 attempts, slump to the bottom of the League 1 table and lose at home in the FA Cup to Torquay United. While poor league form continued, Chesterfield won the trophy in March 2012, defeating Swindon Town 2–0 in the final.[16]

On 28 April 2012, the club was relegated back to League Two following a 3–2 loss to Yeovil Town, after just one season in League One. Manager John Sheridan held onto his job for the start of the 2012–13 campaign but survived just three league games,[17] after which Tommy Wright and Mark Crossley were installed as the caretaker management team. On 25 October 2012, it was announced that Paul Cook was to become the new boss, retaining Wright and Crossley as his assistant and coach. Upon the conclusion of the 2012/13 season, Wright and Crossley parted ways with the club and it was announced that Accrington Stanley manager Leam Richardson would again be working alongside Paul Cook, in an assistant manager capacity at Chesterfield.

In the 2013–14 season the Spireites had a successful campaign, winning Promotion as Champions back to League 1 with a 2–1 home win against Fleetwood Town on the final day of the season- although, a defeat would still have been enough to win the title due to the other results on the day.

They had a successful start to the 2014–15 campaign. Despite a 2–0 defeat at home to already crowned Champions Bristol City on 25 April 2015, Chesterfield secured 6th place in League One, cementing a play off spot in the third tier of English football for the first time. Chesterfield's play-off campaign was short-lived however, as 3rd placed Preston North End recorded a 4–0 aggregate victory over the two legs.

On 12 May 2015, manager Paul Cook left the club to take charge of League Two side Portsmouth.[18]

On 13 May 2015 it was announced that Dean Saunders had been appointed the manager of Chesterfield following his brief spell at Crawley Town.

On 28 November 2015, Dean Saunders was sacked as Chesterfield manager, after a poor run of results and a 4–0 home defeat to Swindon Town. Academy boss Mark Smith was appointed caretaker manager a few days later. On 24 December 2015, Danny Wilson was appointed as Saunders' successor.


The stadium in February 2011

Since the 2010–11 season, Chesterfield have played their home games at the £13 million B2net Stadium. The first match was against Derby County in a pre-season friendly which Derby won 5–4, Craig Davies becoming the first goalscorer at the stadium. The first competitive fixture was against Barnet, which ended in a 2–1 win after Dwayne Mattis scored the opening League goal at the ground in the first half. Chesterfield suffered their first home league defeat at the B2net Stadium after a 2–1 loss at Burton Albion on 13 November 2010. The highest attendance at the B2net Stadium was 10,089 at home to Rotherham United which they won 5–0 with Jack Lester getting a hat-trick.[19]

On 13 August 2012, it was announced that the Stadium was to be renamed the Proact Stadium. Proact are an IT company with offices in Chesterfield (UK Head office), London, Wakefield, Birmingham, Warwick, Aberdeen and Glasgow.


Minor honours[edit]

  • Bass Charity Vase Winners: 1900–01
  • Derbyshire Senior Cup winners: 1898–99, 1920–21, 1921–22, 1924–25, 1932–33, 1936–37
  • Derbyshire F.A. Centenary Cup winners: 1994–95, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2009–10
  • Autoworld Trophy winners: 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
  • Derbyshire Senior Cup is competed by all registered Derbyshire FA clubs. Until season 2010–11, Chesterfield and Derby County did not enter clubs and in turn competed in their own competition called the Derbyshire FA Centenary Cup. Both Chesterfield and Derby County have fielded reserve sides in the Derbyshire Senior Cup since season 2010–11.
  • The Derbyshire F.A. Centenary Cup was a game played between Chesterfield and Derby County usually in pre-season, however this stopped in 2009.
  • Autoworld Trophy is an annual pre-season friendly match versus fellow Derbyshire club Matlock Town

Youth honours[edit]

  • North & Midlands East Conference Winners: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11
  • FA Youth Cup Runners Up: 1955–56

Other awards[edit]

  • FA Cup Giantkillers Trophy: 1996–97

Player records[edit]

Kit Manufacturers and sponsors[edit]

Period Kit Supplier Kit Sponsor
1976–79 Bukta No shirt sponsor
1979–82 Adidas
1982–83 Latif
1983–88 Coalite
1988–90 Bukta
1990–92 Matchwinner
1992–94 North Derbyshire Health Authority/Gordon Lamb
1994–96 North Derbyshire Health Authority/GK
1996–98 Super League North Derbyshire Health Authority
1998–2000 Kenning Autos
2000–01 Aspire Gordon Lamb
2001–02 TFG
2002–03 Turf Sports Gordon Lamb/Vodka Kick
2003–04 Uhlsport
2004–05 Branded Autoworld/Vodka Kick
2005–07 TFG
2007–08 Lotto Vodka Kick
2008–10 Bukta
2010–12 Respect
2012–2013 Puma Kick Energy
2013– NAPIT

Club records[edit]

  • Best League position: 4th in Division 2 (level 2), 1946–47
  • Best FA Cup performance: Semi-final replay, 1996–97
  • Highest Attendance (Saltergate/Recreation Ground): 30,561 v Tottenham Hotspur 12 February 1938 (previously quoted record figure of 30,968 (against Newcastle United Division Two, 7 April 1939) is now recorded as only having been 28,636)[24]
  • Highest Attendance (B2Net Stadium): 10,089 v Rotherham United 18 March 2011


Current squad[edit]

As of 11 January 2015.[25]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Tommy Lee
2 Australia MF Chris Herd
3 England DF Daniel Jones
4 England DF Sam Hird
5 England MF Gary Liddle (vice-captain)
6 England DF Ian Evatt (captain)
7 England MF Dan Gardner
8 Spain MF Ángel Martínez
9 England FW Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
10 Republic of Ireland MF Jay O'Shea
11 England FW Lee Novak (on loan from Birmingham City)
12 England DF Liam O'Neil
15 England DF Ritchie Humphreys
16 England DF Charlie Raglan
No. Position Player
17 Republic of Ireland MF Connor Dimaio
19 Wales MF Dion Donohue
20 England GK Aaron Chapman
21 England MF Michael Onovwigun
22 Bermuda FW Rai Simons
23 England DF Tom Anderson (on loan from Burnley)
24 England MF Ollie Banks
25 England DF Drew Talbot
26 England FW Emmanuel Dieseruvwe
27 England DF Laurence Maguire
28 United States MF Gboly Ariyibi
29 England FW Jake Beesley
35 Republic of Ireland DF Derek Daly
New Zealand DF Liam Graham

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
18 England FW Byron Harrison (at Stevenage until 12 March 2016)
30 England FW Jake Orrell (at Matlock Town until 20 February 2016)

Retired numbers[edit]

14 – England Jack Lester, Forward (2007–13) .[26]

Notable former players[edit]

For a list of notable Chesterfield players in sortable-list format see List of Chesterfield F.C. players.


  • E. Timmeus (1891–1895)
  • Gilbert Gillies (1895–1901)
  • E. Hind (1901–1902)
  • Jack Hoskins (1902–1906)
  • W. Furness(1906–1907)
  • George Swift (1907–1910)
  • G. Jones (1911–1913)
  • R. Weston(1913–1917)
  • T. Callaghan (1919)
  • J. Caffrey (1920–1922)
  • Harry Hadley (1922)
  • Harry Parkes (1922–1927)


  1. ^ "Club Ownership". 
  2. ^ "Formation cogitation 1". Sky is Blue. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Basson, Stuart (6 June 2010). "Four clubs for Chesterfield". Chesterfield F.C. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2011. Although there is a widely-held belief that the first Chesterfield club was formed in 1866, no contemporary documentary evidence has been found to substantiate a claim for formation earlier than October 19th., 1867... The Chesterfield Town FC (1899) Ltd was put into voluntary liquidation in 1915... This left a vacuum that the Chesterfield Borough Council filled by the formation of the Chesterfield Municipal FC on April 24th, 1919... That Chesterfield FC is the one that we watch today... 
  4. ^ Basson, Stuart (2010) "Saltergate Sunset: The Story of the Recreation Ground, Chesterfield", Chesterfield F.C., p27
  5. ^ a b Basson, Stuart. "Football in Chesterfield – a concise history". Chesterfield F.C. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Strange Hues – Exotic Early Football Kits". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Goldstein, Dan (1999). The Rough Guide to English Football: A fans' handbook 1999–2000. Rough Guides Ltd. pp. 154–158. ISBN 1-85828-455-4. 
  8. ^ a b Basson, Stuart (13 June 2010). "Chesterfield FC: a potted history". Chesterfield F.C. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Basson, Stuart (1 May 2012). "Chesterfield History: The Basics". Chesterfield F.C. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Basson, Stuart (8 June 2011). "Seasons of Plenty 3". Chesterfield F.C. 
  11. ^ "Chesterfield Football Club – The Spireites". 
  12. ^ Conn, David (28 September 2005). "Prison finally catches up with Chesterfield's crooked Spireite". The Guardian. 
  13. ^ Chesterfield at the Football Club History Database
  14. ^ "Chesterfield promoted to League One after Wycombe draw". BBC Sport. 22 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Chesterfield 3 – 1 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 2 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Chesterfield 2–0 Swindon". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Chesterfield manager John Sheridan sacked". BBC Sport. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Paul Cook leaves Chesterfield". Chesterfield FC. 12 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Chairman's AGM New Stadium Statement". Chesterfield Football Club. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009. 
  20. ^ Chesterfield players with 100+ Football League appearances
  21. ^ "Ernie Moss". Chesterfield FC Official Site. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  22. ^ Chesterfield youngest debutants
  23. ^ Chesterfield oldest debutants and oldest players
  24. ^ Record attendances and receipts
  25. ^ Player Profile. "Player Profile". 
  26. ^ "Number 14 Shirt Retired". 2 August 2013. 

External links[edit]