RETRO: A young Scot inherits a paper-thin squad amid off-field disarray...and succeeds
This week's Chesterfield FC retro hints that maybe history is repeating itself for the Spireites.
Our photo, unearthed by club historian Stuart Basson, shows Chesterfield players, in an unfamiliar all-white kit, parading the Canon League Division Four championship trophy on May 11th 1985.
It represented quite a turn-around in the club’s fortunes.
John Duncan, a young Scottish manager, inherited a paper-thin squad at a club in some disarray off the field.
But he shaped a team that would combine skill and determination in equal measure to climb back into the third tier, just two seasons after a catastrophic relegation.
The players are, from left to right, John Seasman, Phill Walker, Brian Scrimgeour, Jim Brown, Steve Kendal, Mick Henderson and Ernie Moss.
Neither Seasman nor Brown started the game, but they changed with the rest of the first-team squad to parade the trophy, which had been secured at Peterborough five days previously, before the kick-off.
‘Killer’ Kendal holds the trophy, but looks as if he’s spotted someone in the crowd he wants to throw it at.
For every fan, the edge was taken off the joy by coming home to see dreadful television footage of the fire that engulfed the main stand at Valley Parade on the same day, killing 56 football fans.
The Chesterfield team went on to struggle in the division above against a background of boardroom unrest, but for 90 minutes in May all was right with the world, and it was good to be a Spireite.
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