Chesterfield: Spireites don’t fluff their lines on big day

Tommy Lee and Ritchie Humphries celebrate League One Football next season
Tommy Lee and Ritchie Humphries celebrate League One Football next season

There’s something about turning up on the big day.

It’s so easy not to. You’re late setting off, there’s a shirt button missing, you leave your speech at home.

Well, this from Chesterfield FC was truly how to turn up on the big day.

You need to win for promotion so you produce arguably your best performance of a great season.

You want your fans behind you and more than 2,000 sell out the away end at Burton to salute a sublime 2-0 victory.

All manner of trip-up lines have to be negotiated at the Pirelli Stadium. There’s the thought of “the wheels coming off” beyond the more obvious “Gone for a Burton” and “Brewers droop.”

But this was word perfect down to Father Christmas popping up in the fancy-dress crowd. Last time I saw him he was broken down on the M1 en route to the JP Trophy final with Peterborough and awaiting rescue. Chesterfield bravely lost at Wembley last month but this time Santa’s sleigh ride saw his club soar into League One.

How fitting, too, that Chesterfield’s oldest player should keep emerging as a fairytale figure towards the end of his long career.

Unlike at Wembley, 37 year old Ritchie Humphreys was only on the bench for this one.

But a first half injury to Liam Cooper brought the ex-Sheffield Wednesday player into the action and he duly set up the first of Jay O’Shea’s two goals.

Fittingly, Ritchie savoured the moment and was one of the last men off the pitch as a fans’ invasion cleared to allow Paul Cook’s men to take their bow.

Links with the Owls were everywhere. Drew Talbot was also on the bench and in the stand sat Dave Allen and Ashley Carson, members of a former Wednesday board, plus chief executive Chris Turner.

Cook, celebrating promotion in his first season after “the biggest game of my life”, repeatedly referred to rewarding Allen’s multi-million pound investment.

It’s the second time Allen has won promotion as Spireites backer. The first, under John Sheridan, crumbled into relegation the following season.

Cook’s pledge “not to be a yo-yo club” this time resonated on Sunday night.

You see, it’s all about turning up. Chesterfield’s determination to do that can surely secure more big days.