Spireites: Jack Lester to lead Chesterfield out in farewell game

fp74713'Jack Lester v Notts county
fp74713'Jack Lester v Notts county

Jack Lester is expected to lead Chesterfield out for the last time on Saturday in the veteran striker’s farewell game for the club.

The 37-year-old is bringing the curtain down on a memorable six-year spell with the Spireites against Exeter at the Proact.

He has scored 92 goals for the club in 218 appearances but has struggled to tie down a regular place this season under manager Paul Cook.

An emotional Lester announced last month he would be leaving the club when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

The former Grimsby Town, Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest striker joined the club from the City Ground in 2007 and quickly became a favourite among supporters with 27 goals in his first season.

He found the back of the net 20 times the following year before playing a pivotal role in the promotion season of 2010/11.

“That season was fantastic,” said Lester. “It was a lot of fun being here and the dressing room was great.

“Everyone around the place had a smile on their face and it was a really exciting time.

“The following year was a low point but even then we won at Wembley, which was a day I’ll never forget.”

Although Chesterfield endured just one season in League One, Lester captained the side to victory over Swindon at Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

It was an achievement he remembers fondly, along with the first year at the new stadium and those first two seasons at the club, when he bagged over 50 goals.

Many supporters will remember his hat-tricks against Lincoln City, Stockport County and rivals Rotherham United.

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And he was quick to pay thanks in what he described as a ’special relationship’ with the fans.

He said: “I’ve had a great relationship with the fans and it’s been special.

“I never imagined my time here would go so well. When I retire it will be a part of my career I’ll look back very fondly on. Leaving will be emotional. A very sad day.

“I do hope to come back and take games in with the family, but it will be hard to say goodbye.

“I am very grateful to have had a special relationship with the supporters.

“Thank you for sticking with me through the good and the bad. Myself and my family are grateful for all your support.”

Lester’s future away from the Proact remains unclear, despite some tentative approaches.

He has hinted at a move into management when he finally decides to call time on his playing days, having already attained his UEFA B coaching badge and gained qualifications in psychology.

He has also had a taste of coaching at Forest’s Nigel Doughty Football Academy.

“I’ve spent a lot of time coaching and that’s definitely a route that excites me,” added Lester.

He will be commemorated by the club prior to kick-off (3pm) against Exeter at the Proact Stadium on Saturday.