'A club I will always love' - from Everton interest to scoring against Mansfield Town, Joe Rowley departs Chesterfield after eight years

‘A club I will always love’, was Joe Rowley’s parting message after eight years at the Spireites.

By Liam Norcliffe
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 9:26 am

And what a turbulent eight years it has been, it must have taken its toll in the end.

Bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old, there was rumoured to be Premier League interest from Everton.

But with that came expectation, as well as the pressure of playing for a club he had been at since he was 14.

Joe Rowley leaves Chesterfield after eight years.

Playing in a struggling team did not help, confidence zapped, back-to-back relegations into non-league. It was a lot for such young shoulders.

In my time covering the Spireites, injury always seemed to strike at just the wrong time for him.

Boreham Wood away on a freezing Tuesday night in January 2021 during the pandemic, he was the best player on the pitch in the first 25 minutes before he suffered a big hamstring injury. His opportunity scuppered.

Not long after, he showed his commitment to the club by signing a new contract after taking a pay cut.

A similar situation arose this season when, during a successful loan spell at King’s Lynn Town, he was stretchered off with a nasty ankle problem in his last match after being recalled by the Spireites. He was set to come straight back into the first-team because of Chesterfield's own injury crisis. Another chance to shine was dashed.

We saw another glimpse of his ability off the bench against Notts County in March, helping to turn the game in the Blues’ favour.

But he only started once all season for the Spireites, a 1-0 defeat at Altrincham.

I don’t know what it was, but he never got a run in the side. Others got more chances than him. Only he will probably know why.

A fresh start is needed, he needs to put a consistent sequence of performances together and show everyone what he can do.

It is hard to believe that he is still only 22. So much talent. So much potential.

Rowley’s Chesterfield career never quite hit the heights that it promised at the start, but that does not mean he can’t achieve his dreams elsewhere.

Overall, more than 100 appearances and THAT goal against the Stags, it wasn’t all bad for our twinkletoes Joe.