Monday, 24 May 2010

A long but winding week for Chester FC!

Well what a week this has been!

It started off with the news that Chester FC had been placed into the North West Counties League at the recommendation of the Football Association, despite the fact that City Fans United had worked alongside the FA through their business plan, which was suited to the Unibond League just above the one they had been placed in.

This was of course a blow, and one that the supporters felt that had been unjust. and also one that questioned whether the fans would stick by them. That fear was completely injusticied though, as 500 fans crammed into the Guild Hall in Chester to give their support to the future of Chester FC!

It was ahot day and subsequent hot evening too, but that didn't put off the Blues fans who attended, and saw Blues legends Daryl Clare and Grenville Millington - indeed both made speeches that tore at the hearts of all Blues fans, and rang true that the future of Chester FC was a bright one.

Daryl Clare - who was inducted into the City Fans United Hall of Fame on the evening said that he cherished all of his memories of that fantastic season that saw Chester go up as Champions of the Conference back in 2004, but remained convinced that Chester had a bright future, and even later said in a radio interview that he would never say never to making a return to Chester, letting everyone know that he would be a free agent in the season after next - so could we see Daryl Clare back in a Chester shirt? It's entirely possible.

Daryl had travelled over from Lincolnshire on the day of the meeting, and revealed to myself that it was actually his daughter's birthday the following day but yet here he was staying over for the night in Chester to be with the fans who adored him for 2 years running - and I would like to personally thank him for his commitment to making the night a special one - it's not that often you usher one of your favourite players around, and get to have a beer with him late into the night - a great experience, and hopefully Daryl will be able to make it back for the 125th Anniversary of Chester Football Club that takes place on the 12th June.

Grenville meanhwile, gave a stirring speeach on how he trusted all of the CFU committee to put any money in back into the club, safe in the knowledge that it would be spent how he wanted it to be spent and he also stated how the history books woulc not take away his 345 appearances for Chester even though the club had reformed.

There were presentations by the CFU Chairman, Chris Pilsbury, who asked for the fans financial support to make Chester as successful as we wanted it to. Then Steve Ashton, the new CEO for Chester FC spoke up about how other local businesses should follow MBNA's example by getting behind the club. the new MP for Chester, Stephen Moseley was also in attendance, and later praised the professionalism behind City Fans United in their efforts in bringing the club together.

Also, a fine speech from FC United of Manchester's Andy Walsh, who basically rammed home the message that this was our club, and it was now up to us how we take it forward, but encouraged everyone to "enjoy the ride" as this was all down to us, and the fact that we had now 1700 members who up to now were basically just "backing an idea" without a ball being kicked was simply 'amazing'.

Mark Howell, also spoke about how the club would get out into the Community, whilst Membership Secretary Richard Wightman delivered a rousing speech which advocated the need for the Junior Blues to receive more members.

The meeting also revealed the new club crest, and it was a total privilege of mine to be able to invite Daryl Clare & Grenville Millington to be part of that ceremony, and the utter pride of that badge was there for all to see, which resulted in choruses of "Chester Are Back!" and "Oh Chester We Love You", which will live very very long in the memory.

Jim Green then went on to explain how the badge was formed, and how important it was to keep hold of the history that preceeded it, but to give the badge a modern look - which was created by a City Fans United member - and we are pleased to say the badge has gone down tremendously well amongst the fans.

So, a historic night in one of the most historic venues in Chester, and more was to follow, just 24 hours later, as the new Management team was revealed, as Neil Young & Gary Jones were both brought in from Colwyn Bay FC to try and guide Chester through the leagues, and they will be presented to the press on Tuesday afternoon, who I'm sure will have lots of questions!

Then on saturday - yes there's more - the new club website was launched, and all can vist and see the first life of the new club's site, which will develop further in time.

It's all good news in the last few days, and to think the week started off on a downer, but since that news came through, Chester FC have formally appealed against the decision to recommend Chester start in the Vodkat League, so you never know, there could be better news just around the corner!

Chester Forever!!

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