The fundraising initiative to raise £35,000 to build a Memorial Garden at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium has begun.
Designed to provide an area to remember former Spireites players and officials killed in the two World Wars as well as commemorating the lives of family and friends of supporters, the garden will be adjacent to the Community Stand on the East side of the ground.
A well-attended meeting heard from Club Chaplain Jim McGlade, the Chairman of the Derbyshire Royal British Legion Bernard Page MBE, Chesterfield FC Community Trust Director John Croot, Club Historian Stuart Basson, Landscaper John Pople, garden designer James Needham and former player Bob Newton, whose father and grandfather fought in the two wars.
The garden which, when complete, is expected to be the finest such area at any Football League club, will also provide a link back to Chesterfield FC’s former Saltergate home as it will feature a turnstile and crowd barrier from the now demolished stadium.
Fundraiser Phil Tooley said: “We had a terrific turnout at the meeting to kick-off what’s a mammoth fundraising task. The audience included descendants of former player Gerald Graham who was killed in action in 1918; they were previously unaware their great-great-grandfather played for Chesterfield before the war.
“We had members of the Staveley Armed Forces Veterans’ Association as well as many interested supporters.
“The speakers addressed the audience with passion about the project and listening to the response we had from those attending, the overriding view was what a fantastic and worthwhile task we’re undertaking.”
Individuals who wish to contribute can text 70070 and send a message GARD02 £1, GARD02 £5 or GARD02 £10 depending on the amount they want to donate.
The next task of the fundraising group will be to attract potential business sponsors to help the fund along. Any interested parties should contact Phil via firstname.lastname@example.org or via a special Facebook Page called Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden.