Super Spireite passes away

How the DT marked Dave Blakey's 600th game for Chesterfield FC.
How the DT marked Dave Blakey's 600th game for Chesterfield FC.

Tributes have been paid to a “legendary” Chesterfield FC player who has died.

Long-serving centre-half Dave Blakey – the Spireites’ record appearance-maker – sadly passed away at the start of April aged 84.

Between 1947 and 1966, Dave made an incredible 658 appearances, 617 of them in the league.

In addition, the one-club man scored 20 goals.

Nick Johnson, head of media and communications at Chesterfield FC, said: “Dave provided the club with outstanding service over many years and he will be forever remembered as a Chesterfield legend.

“Everyone at the club sends their sincere condolences to Dave’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Chesterfield FC historian Stuart Basson added: “We live in an era when words like ‘icon’ and ‘legend’ are bandied about far too freely, but it is only proper that such terms are used to describe the man who holds the record of having made most first-class appearances for the club.”

Speaking to the Derbyshire Times last year, long-time Spireites’ supporter Alan Inns said: “Dave was the best player I have seen turn out for Chesterfield.

“From the stands you could hear him shouting to the other players, he cajoled some and encouraged others.

“He always looked after the youngsters and he carried the team for a few years.

“Bill Shankley wanted him at Liverpool but it would not have been worth his while to move as he would only have been £2 a week better off while Dave’s wife ran a successful beer-off at Tibshelf.”

After retiring as a player, Dave – who was born in Northumberland in 1929 – worked as a football scout at a number of clubs.

• What are your memories of Dave Blakey? Email, have your say on Facebook and Twitter or write to Derbyshire Times, Spire Walk, Chesterfield, S40 2WG.