'Gentle giant but made of granite' - Chesterfield captain edging closer to impressive landmark appearance achievement

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Chesterfield captain Jamie Grimes must be a machine.

Incredibly, the 32-year-old has made 84 consecutive league starts, going back to February 2022. Remarkably, he has completed 90 minutes in 83 of those, and only injury prevented him from having a 100% record. Such is the trust that Paul Cook has in him, the defender has started every league match since the manager returned to the club. If he stays fit and keeps being selected, he will reach 100 consecutive league starts towards the end of February or early March.

A gentle giant off the field, Grimes is made of granite on the pitch. In a previous interview, he said he wished he had come to the Spireites when he was 22 rather than 10 years later, but the skipper is still determined to improve his game.

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“I have my moments when I feel my form is better but I just try to recover, get my body right, train well and try to get better every week,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield. “That is my only goal, can I get better positionally, can I get better on the ball, that is my goal, to get better as the season goes on.”

Jamie Grimes. Picture: Tina Jenner.Jamie Grimes. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Jamie Grimes. Picture: Tina Jenner.

Grimes has made 400 senior appearances, but he has played for Town more than any other club, having reached a century earlier this season.

The centre-back has played in the Football League before with Cheltenham in the 2017/18 season. He would love to return there with the Blues, and Saturday’s win against title rivals Barnet was the next step towards achieving that.

He said: "Whoever won today it does not mean they are going to win the league. It is another game and each three points is vital. We have got two tough away games coming and all focus will be on them.

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"Credit to Barnet, they were fantastic in the first-half, they gave us plenty of problems, we were potentially fortunate to be 0-0 at half-time. That is the most we have been under pressure in a game. We made some blocks on the line and we did some scrappy things well, and then in the second-half we have managed to blow them away with our firepower. I am just buzzing that we have got the win.”

One thing the skipper was not ‘buzzing’ with, though, was the two late goals conceded, which denied them a sixth clean sheet in seven.

He added: "As mad it sounds because we won 4-2, I am very disappointed with the goals that we conceded. I was fuming on the pitch because I felt like we should have gone for the corners, we just lost our structure trying to score goals. As a defender you want the clean sheet so it is bitterly disappointing, but the front lads have won us the game in the second-half. The gaffer made a little tweak at half-time, that is why he is the manager, he has got fantastic tactical knowledge, and we have come out and managed to get on top and win the game.”