Reader's Letter: Spireites supporter shares memories of when Chelsea fans brought a 'coffin' to Chesterfield
“Mr L Norcliffe, I do enjoy your reports of Chesterfield in the Times and look forward to them RE Chelsea v Chesterfield.
“I was at Saltergate a few months before I started National Service in the RAF, in the 1949/1950 season, when they played Chelsea in the fifth round.
"Before the game some Chelsea fans walked round the outside of the pitch bearing a ‘coffin’ with the names of teams they had knocked out. I forget who they beat in the third round but the fourth round was Newcastle 3-0 and they also had ‘Chesterfield’ on it, which of course ended 1-1.
"Costello missed a sitter to put us in front near the end.
"It was all good fun with the ‘coffin’. No hooligans then.
"When I met Lucy, a pen friend in the RAF, on demob I went to Middlesex to live with her and spent 20 years on the London Underground and saw Chesterfield when duties allowed.
"We came up here to live five years ago. Sadly, my wife of 68 years died in May, but I am back to my roots.
"I do hope the players play to their full potential and don’t fear getting injured prior to the cup-tie.
“Enjoy your trip to Stamford Bridge, I have have been there several times and drove District Line trains to Fulham Broadway, their nearest station.
P.S...The first game I saw was just before the Football League re-started at the end of then war. It was vs Notts County. Joe (10 goal) Payne, who once scored 10 in a 13-4 win for Luton vs Bristol Rovers, was home on leave at the time, and played as a guest for Chesterfield which was allowed. Chesterfield won 8-0 with a hat-trick for Joe in the second-half. At half-time my dad said ‘if Joe goes to the toilet, that centre-half will go with him.’
Regards, Anthony Roy Goldsworthy