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COLUMN: Morsy could join a short but distinguished list and add to the rich Spireite history

Chesterfield vs Burton Albion - Sam Morsy battles with John Mousinho - Pic By James Williamson
Chesterfield vs Burton Albion - Sam Morsy battles with John Mousinho - Pic By James Williamson

Before the week is out Sam Morsy could have joined a distinguished and short list of ex Spireites.

The midfielder, whose popularity with Town fans has waned little since his January 2016 move to Wigan Athletic, could make his World Cup debut for Egypt on Friday against Uruguay.

Whether it’s in the opening game of Group A or in the fixtures against Russia or Saudi Arabia, even just a minute of action will give Morsy special Chesterfield status.

Up to now, only one serving Spireite has featured in a World Cup – namely Gerry Armstrong.

Two others have gone on to play in the World Cup having been Spireites earlier in their career.

Thomas Hitzlsperger’s six games for Town came five years before appearing at the World Cup for Germany.

More famously, Gordon Banks OBE went on to become a World Cup winner having begun his career at Saltergate.

The 73-times capped keeper made 23 appearances as a Spireite in the 1958/59 campaign, after making the breakthrough from the Chesterfield youth team.

He was England’s number one for their triumphant 1966 World Cup and played in Mexico four years later.

Illness prevented him from playing in the quarter-final defeat by West Germany, but Banks had already made his own impact on the tournament with a save from a Pelé header that went down as one of the greatest moments in the sport’s history.

It would be some feat for Morsy to do anything akin to that in the 2018 tournament in Russia, but just by taking part he’ll ensure his name can rank alongside Banks’ in a special Spireites list.

How incredible it would be for the 26-year-old as a personal milestone to recover from rejection by Wolves as a teenager to go on and play at the very highest level of international football.

Even just stepping onto the pitch alongside the worldclass Mo Salah in such a significant game would be a memory to cherish, something to tell the grandkids.

A fierce competitor like Morsy obviously won’t be entertaining the thought of just going to take part or enjoy the surroundings and the occasion, he’ll be out to leave his mark.

It was that steely determination and will to win that endeared him to Town fans, who still yearn for the Morsy-Jimmy Ryan midfield combination that simply hasn’t been bettered or even matched in the years since their departure.

His participation would also be a nice moment for Town fans, who could take no small measure of pride from seeing a player who won the League Two title in Spireite blue and captained the side to the League One play-off semi-finals plying his trade in the sport’s finest knockout tournament.

It would be another addition to the club’s rich history, which already contains some incredible characters and stories.

Chesterfield FC is fortunate to have men like Stuart Basson and Pete Whiteley curating and recording that history, so the club’s association with legends like Banks and Armstrong will live on.

Once the World Cup is done and dusted we’ll be moving on to a brand new chapter in the club’s history, during which new records will be set and names will be noted down for posterity.

The first Town player to score in the National League, or the FA Trophy, the first man to bag a hat-trick in the club’s non-league era – there are vacancies to be filled.

To young men focused solely on playing football it may not figure too highly on their list of priorities, but when they’ve hung up the boots they’ll come to appreciate just how much there is to be said for being remembered.