Chesterfield Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. The team competes in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system.

Full nameChesterfield Football Club
Nickname(s)The Spireites
Founded19 October 1867; 155 years ago (1867-10-19) (original)
24 April 1919; 104 years ago (1919-04-24) (current)[1][2]
GroundSMH Group Stadium
OwnerChesterfield Football Club Community Trust[3]
ChairmanMike Goodwin
ManagerPaul Cook
LeagueNational League
2022–23National League, 3rd of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Chesterfield play their home games at the 10,500 capacity SMH Group Stadium, having moved from their historic home of Saltergate during the summer of 2010. Notable former players include record appearance holder Dave Blakey, who played in 617 of Chesterfield's league games, and 162 league goal club record holder Ernie Moss. The club contests numerous local rivalries, most notably with Nottinghamshire club Mansfield Town.

Chesterfield FC was officially established in 1866, though it would be the third incarnation of that name that turned professional in 1891 and changed its name to Chesterfield Town. Town entered the FA Cup for the first time the following year, and competed in the Sheffield & District League and Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup, before joining the Midland League in 1896–97. A third-place finish in 1898–99 resulted in a successful application to the Football League Second Division for the following season. After ten seasons in the Second Division they failed to gain re-election to the League and returned to the Midland League in 1909. They were champions of that league in 1909–10. The club entered liquidation in 1915, and were reformed as Chesterfield Municipal in April 1919. They again rejoined the Midland League and finished as champions in 1919–20.

The club was renamed Chesterfield in December 1920, and became founder members of the Third Division North in 1921–22. They marked their tenth season in the division, 1930–31, by winning the title, though they only managed two seasons in the Second Division before suffering relegation. They again won the Third Division North title in 1935–36, and after World War II recorded their best ever league finish of fourth in the Second Division in 1946–47. However they were relegated again in 1950–51, and were relegated out of the Third Division in 1960–61. Chesterfield won the Fourth Division in 1969–70, and then won the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1980. After relegation in 1982–83, they again won the Fourth Division title in 1984–85, though would again be relegated after five seasons in the third tier. They secured their return to the third tier with a 2–0 win over Bury in the 1995 play-off final at Wembley.

Chesterfield reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1997, but were relegated back to the basement division in 1999–2000. They made an immediate return to the third tier after securing a Third Division automatic promotion place in 2000–01. Relegated in 2006–07, they secured the League Two title in 2010–11, but were relegated from League One the following season. In 2011, Dave Allen took full ownership of the club and oversaw progress to two League Trophy finals; Chesterfield won the trophy with a 2–0 victory over Swindon Town in 2012, and finished as runners-up after losing 3–1 to Peterborough United in 2014. Chesterfield were crowned champions of League Two for a record fourth time in 2013–14, but remained in League One for just three seasons. Two consecutive relegations saw the club relegated out of the English Football League at the end of the 2017–18 season.

History Edit

A former Chesterfield FC crest giving an 1866 foundation date of Chesterfield FC. The design was first used in 1997 and replaced in 2009
Chart of historic table positions of Chesterfield in the Football League

Potentially five or more teams have been called Chesterfield Football Club at different times. A Derbyshire Times newspaper report from 2 January 1864 noted a scheduled game between "Chesterfield and Norton football clubs", suggesting that a Chesterfield FC, whether loosely or formally organised, was active from at least 1863.[4]

A second Chesterfield FC was formally created as an offshoot of Chesterfield Cricket Club in October 1867.[1] The cricket and football clubs moved to the Recreation Ground at Saltergate in 1871, the same year that they became separate entities. However, a souring of the relationship between the two led to the closure of the football club in 1881, when it found itself homeless.[5] Many players joined other local sides, notably Chesterfield Livingstone, a club that took up using the Saltergate site, and Chesterfield Spital, a team which competed in the early years of the FA Cup.[6]

Three years later, in 1884, a third entity called Chesterfield Football Club was formed, again making its home at Saltergate.[1] It drew in players from the preceding club and both Chesterfield Livingstone and Chesterfield Spital, though records show Spital continued as a separate club.[6] After changing its name to Chesterfield Town, the club turned professional in 1891 and won several local trophies in the following two seasons, entering the FA Cup for the first time in 1892. For the 1892–93 season, the club wore an extraordinary playing strip of all dark blue with the Union Jack emblazoned across the front of the shirt.[7] Chesterfield joined the Midland League in 1896, and successfully applied for a place in the Second Division of the Football League at the start of the 1899–1900 season, finishing seventh. After finishing bottom of the League three years in a row, the club failed to gain re-election to the League in 1909, returning to the Midland League.[8]

In 1915 Chesterfield Town was put into voluntary liquidation and a new club with the same name was formed by a local restaurateur to play wartime football using locally based "guests" from Football League clubs. It lasted only two years before its management and players were suspended by the FA for illegal payments and the club shut down.[1][9]

The current Chesterfield FC was formed on 24 April 1919 by Chesterfield Borough Council, seeing it as a way to spearhead improvements in local recreational provision. Initially called "Chesterfield Municipal", the club made great strides on the pitch in its first season, lifting the Midland League title – and did so despite three changes of management. However, The Football Association and the Football League had already made clear their vehement opposition to a council-run club and ultimately forced it to cut its ties and become independent, reflected in a name change to Chesterfield FC in December 1920.[1][9][10][11]

In 1921–22, Chesterfield became a founder member of the new Football League Third Division North. Following the arrival of new manager Ted Davison in 1926 and chairman Harold Shentall in 1928, the club won the Third Division North title in the 1930–31 season with an 8–1 victory over Gateshead on the final day, and were promoted to the Second Division. Relegation followed in 1933, but the Third Division North title was again won in 1936.[8]

After the war the club achieved their best League position, finishing fourth in the Second Division in 1946–47. However, the sale of several players at the end of the season reduced their overall quality, and Chesterfield were relegated at the end of the 1950–51 season. They were placed in the Third Division on its formation at the start of the 1958–59 season; future England international goalkeeper Gordon Banks made his professional debut in a Third Division game in November 1958, but was sold to Leicester City for a then-club record £7,000 fee at the end of the season. In 1961 Chesterfield were relegated to the Fourth Division for the first time.[8]

Chesterfield spent eight seasons in the Fourth Division, earning promotion as champions in 1969–70 under manager Jimmy McGuigan. The Anglo-Scottish Cup was won in 1981. The club was relegated in 1983–84, and won the Fourth Division title the following season. Financial difficulties forced Chesterfield Borough Council to bail out the club in 1985 and the club's training ground to be sold. Relegation followed in 1988–89; Chesterfield reached the play-off competition a year later, but were beaten by Cambridge United in the play-off final. The arrival of John Duncan as manager in 1993 was followed in the 1994–95 season by play-off victories over local rivals Mansfield Town and Bury to earn promotion to the redesignated Second Division.[8] The 1996–97 season saw Chesterfield beat six clubs including Premier League side Nottingham Forest to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time. The semi-final match against Middlesbrough was contentiously drawn 3–3 after extra time; Chesterfield lost the replay 3–0.[12]

The club were relegated to the Third Division in 2000 following a run of 21 games without a win, and chairman Norton Lea was replaced by Darren Brown. The following year, Chesterfield were deducted nine points for financial irregularities after Brown attempted to avoid paying Chester City the fee agreed by the FA for Luke Beckett. Amid mounting evidence of fraud, he relinquished control of the club in March 2001 and ownership passed to a hastily organised fans' group, the Chesterfield Football Supporters Society. Massive debts run up by Brown forced the club into administration, but the team still secured the division's final automatic promotion place. Brown was later sentenced to four years in prison following a Serious Fraud Office investigation that led to charges including false accounting, furnishing false information and theft.[13]

Chesterfield were relegated to League Two at the end of the 2006–07 season, although they did reach the regional semi-final of the League Trophy and the fourth round of the League Cup in the same year.[14] The club departed its historic home at Saltergate at the end of the 2009–10 season, and moved to newly built B2net Stadium. Chesterfield were promoted to League One after winning the League Two title in 2010–11 season.[15] Later that year, Dave Allen took a majority shareholding of the football club from the Supporters Society. They went on to win the Football League Trophy for the first time in March 2012, defeating Swindon Town 2–0 in the Final.[16] However, they were relegated from League One the following month,[17] with Allen taking over as Chairman from Barrie Hubbard in the off-season. The club again returned to the third tier as League Two champions at the end of the 2013–14 season under the guidance of manager Paul Cook.

Chesterfield secured sixth-place in League One at the end of the 2014–15 campaign, and went on to lose 4–0 on aggregate to Preston North End in the two-legged play-off semi-final.[18] Cook departed at the end of the season and was replaced as manager by Dean Saunders. Saunders was then sacked in November 2015 and replaced by Danny Wilson, with the club in danger of relegation from League One. On 14 November 2016, Dave Allen resigned from his roles as chairman and director of the club.[19] This signaled a crisis, and four days later a further four directors resigned from their roles.[20] It was announced that Chesterfield was openly up for sale, and desperately needed some kind of investment in order to avoid administration. Mike Warner was installed as chairman on 19 November.[21]

On 8 January 2017, manager Wilson was sacked, with Gary Caldwell being announced as his replacement nine days later.[22][23] On 16 September 2017, Caldwell was sacked after a poor start to the season, with his record of three wins in 29 competitive games being the worst win record of any Spireites manager. On 29 September 2017, club legend Jack Lester was appointed the club's new manager, but could not prevent a second consecutive relegation, leading to the club playing outside the English Football League for the first time since 1921. Lester resigned before the end of the season, with Martin Allen being installed as the Spireites manager for their first season in the National League.

On 6 August 2020, it was announced that Chesterfield FC Community Trust, a charity associated with the club, had bought the club from previous owner Dave Allen. The following day, the Trust announced that John Pemberton had been appointed full-time manager of the club following a spell as caretaker manager from January 2020 where he prevented relegation to the National League North.[24] Pemberton was sacked in late November 2020 following a poor start to the 2020–21 campaign, with the club in danger of relegation from the National League again. young manager James Rowe was appointed.

In January 2022, club faced defending UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup, who fielded a near full-strength squad, with Chesterfield managing to score a goal in a 5–1 defeat by the Premier League side.[25] Less than a month later, Rowe was suspended over allegations of misconduct. He left the club in February. He was subsequently charged with sexual assault in September 2022.[26] On 10 February 2022, the club announced that it had reappointed former manager Paul Cook for a second spell in charge of the club.[27]

Kit manufacturers and sponsors Edit

Table of kit suppliers and sponsors:[28]

Period Sportswear Sponsor
1976–1979 Bukta No shirt sponsor
1979–1982 Adidas
1982–1983 Latif
1983–1988 Coalite
1988–1990 Bukta
1990–1992 Matchwinner
1992–1994 North Derbyshire Health Authority/Gordon Lamb
1994–1996 North Derbyshire Health Authority/GK
Period Sportswear Sponsor
1996–1998 Super League North Derbyshire Health Authority
1998–2000 Kenning Autos
2000–2001 Aspire Gordon Lamb
2001–2002 TFG
2002–2003 Turf Sports Gordon Lamb/Vodka Kick
2003–2004 Uhlsport
2004–2005 Branded Autoworld/Vodka Kick
2005–2007 TFG
Period Sportswear Sponsor
2007–2008 Lotto Vodka Kick
2008–2010 Bukta
2010–2012 Respect
2012–2013 Puma Kick Energy
2013–2016 NAPIT
2016–2019 G F Tomlinson[29]
2019–2022 Technique Learning[30]
2022– Leengate Valves

Stadium Edit

Proact Stadium in February 2011

Chesterfield's historic ground was Saltergate, officially named the Recreation Ground, which was in use from 1872 to 2010. Saltergate's record attendance was 30,561, which was set when Chesterfield hosted Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup fifth round in February 1938.[31]

Since the 2010–11 season, Chesterfield have played their home games at the £13 million B2net Stadium. The first match was against Derby County in a pre-season friendly, which Derby won 5–4, Craig Davies becoming the first goalscorer at the stadium. The first competitive fixture was against Barnet, which ended in a 2–1 win after Dwayne Mattis scored the opening League goal at the ground in the first half. Chesterfield suffered their first home league defeat at the B2net Stadium after a 2–1 loss to Burton Albion on 13 November 2010. The highest attendance at the B2net Stadium was 10,089 at home to Rotherham United which Chesterfield won 5–0 with Jack Lester getting a hat-trick.[32]

On 13 August 2012, it was announced that, after the acquisition of b2net by Proact, the stadium would be renamed the Proact Stadium. On 15 May 2020, it was announced that, from August, the stadium would be renamed again, this time to the Technique Stadium, after local education provider Technique acquired the naming rights. In 2023 the stadium was renamed for the new sponsors, financial services company SMH group, for a minimum of 3 years.[33]

Rivalries Edit

Chesterfield's geographical position means that the club holds many local derbies. Their main rival is considered to be the Nottinghamshire club Mansfield Town, with the club contending a number of fiery encounters. This was intensified due to the Miners' Strike, with those in Derbyshire largely striking, while those in Nottinghamshire did not, leading to the latter being referred to as 'scabs'. The last fixture between the sides finished in a 1–0 win for Mansfield at the Proact Stadium in April 2018. Chesterfield also have strong rivalries with nearby South Yorkshire clubs Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. The fiercest of the three rivalries comes with Rotherham, with whom the Spireites have much animosity and mutual dislike. Chesterfield supporters' fondest memory of the fixture is a 5–0 victory over the Millers in March 2011. The rivalries with Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday both came to the fore with the two former Premier League clubs' descent into League One. The Spireites have encountered United much more in recent years, continuing to do battle in the third tier of English football until 2017.

A slight rivalry with Grimsby Town intensified with a number of feisty encounters over the years. Supporters of both clubs often used to cause disturbances at the fixture, leading to the fixture becoming a slight grudge match. Other smaller rivalries include Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Derby County, Notts County and Lincoln City.

Players Edit

Current squad Edit

As of 30 August 2023[34]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   ENG Harry Tyrer (on loan from Everton)
3 DF   ENG Branden Horton
4 MF   ENG Tom Naylor
5 DF   ENG Jamie Grimes (captain)
7 MF   ENG Liam Mandeville
8 MF   ENG Darren Oldaker
9 FW   NIR Will Grigg
10 MF   ENG Michael Jacobs
11 MF   ENG Ryan Colclough
12 DF   ENG Tyrone Williams
15 MF   ENG Bailey Hobson
16 DF   ENG Miguel Freckleton (on loan from Sheffield United)
17 MF   ALB Armando Dobra
18 FW   ENG James Berry
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF   ENG Jeff King
21 DF   ENG Ash Palmer
22 DF   ENG Ryheem Sheckleford
23 GK   ENG Ryan Boot
24 FW   ENG Harley Curtis
27 FW   IRL Joe Quigley
28 MF   ENG Ollie Banks
33 DF   ENG Bailey Clements
35 MF   ENG Mike Jones
36 GK   ENG Luke Chadwick
40 MF   ENG Connor Cook
- FW   NED Akwasi Asante
- FW   ENG Danny Rowe

Out on loan Edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
6 DF   ENG Laurence Maguire (on loan at Crawley Town until January 2024)
34 DF   ENG George Wilkinson (on loan at Matlock Town)
37 MF   ENG Sam Hooper (on loan at Matlock Town)
38 MF   ENG Archie White (on loan at Matlock Town)
39 MF   ENG Alexander Duhameau (on loan at Matlock Town)

Retired numbers Edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
14 FW   ENG Jack Lester (2007–2013 as a player; 2017–2018 as manager)[35]

Club staff Edit

Current coaching staff Edit

Position Staff
Manager   Paul Cook
Assistant Manager   Danny Webb
First Team Coach   Gary Roberts
First Team Coach   Kieron Dyer
Goalkeeping Coach   Dave O'Hare
Head of Recruitment   Neill Hornby
Kit Man   Jason Baker
First-Team Analyst   Jack Stephenson
Academy Manager   Neil Cluxton

Last updated: 7 December 2022
Source: [1]

Managerial history Edit

Honours and achievements Edit




  • Derbyshire Senior Cup
    • Winners (7): 1898–99, 1920–21, 1921–22, 1924–25, 1932–33, 1936–37, 2017–18
  • Derbyshire Senior Cup is competed for by all registered Derbyshire FA clubs. Until season 2010–11, Chesterfield and Derby County did not enter teams and in turn competed in their own competition called the Derbyshire FA Centenary Cup. Both Chesterfield and Derby County have fielded reserve sides in the Derbyshire Senior Cup since season 2010–11.

Club records Edit

Highest Football League finish 1946–47, 4th place in Football League Second Division (second tier)[37]
Best FA Cup finish 1996–97, semi-finalists[38]
Best League Trophy finish Winners: 2011–12
Highest home attendance 30,561: vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 12 February 1938[39]
Most league appearances Dave Blakey: 617, 1948–1967[40]
Most league goals Ernie Moss: 162, 1968–1975, 1979–1981, 1984–1986[41]
Youngest player Dennis Thompson: 16 years 159 days[42]
Oldest player Billy Kidd: 40 years 232 days[43]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Basson, Stuart (6 June 2010). "Four clubs for Chesterfield". Chesterfield F.C. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011. Although there is a widely-held belief that the first Chesterfield club was formed in 1866, no contemporary documentary evidence has been found to substantiate a claim for formation earlier than October 19th., 1867... The Chesterfield Town FC (1899) Ltd was put into voluntary liquidation in 1915... Chesterfield Borough Council formed of the Chesterfield Municipal FC on April 24th, 1919... That Chesterfield FC is the one that we watch today...
  2. ^ When Saturday Comes : A Half Decent Football Book. Penguin Books. 2005. ISBN 9780141927039.
  3. ^ "Chesterfield FC sold to Community Trust". 7 August 2020. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Formation cogitation 1". Sky is Blue. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  5. ^ Basson, Stuart (2010) "Saltergate Sunset: The Story of the Recreation Ground, Chesterfield", Chesterfield F.C., p27
  6. ^ a b Basson, Stuart. "Football in Chesterfield – a concise history". Chesterfield F.C. Retrieved 21 May 2012.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Strange Hues – Exotic Early Football Kits". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d Goldstein, Dan (1999). The Rough Guide to English Football: A fans' handbook 1999–2000. Rough Guides Ltd. pp. 154–158. ISBN 1-85828-455-4.
  9. ^ a b Basson, Stuart (13 June 2010). "Chesterfield FC: a potted history". Chesterfield F.C. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  10. ^ Basson, Stuart (1 May 2012). "Chesterfield History: The Basics". Chesterfield F.C. Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  11. ^ Basson, Stuart (8 June 2011). "Seasons of Plenty 3". Chesterfield F.C. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Chesterfield Football Club – The Spireites". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  13. ^ Conn, David (28 September 2005). "Prison finally catches up with Chesterfield's crooked Spireite". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Chesterfield at the Football Club History Database
  15. ^ "Chesterfield 3 – 1 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 2 May 2011.
  16. ^ "Chesterfield 2–0 Swindon". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  17. ^ "Yeovil Town 3-2 Chesterfield". BBC Sport. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  18. ^ Nathan Middleton (10 May 2015). "Preston North End 3-0 Chesterfield (4-0 agg.)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  19. ^ "Chesterfield chairman and director Dave Allen leaves roles". Sky Sports News. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Four Chesterfield directors resign as boardroom crisis deepends". Sky Sports News. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Ashley Carson – Director's interview". 19 November 2016. Archived from the original on 10 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2016 – via YouTube.
  22. ^ "Chesterfield: Boss Danny Wilson and assistant Chris Morgan sacked". BBC Sport. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Gary Caldwell: Chesterfield appoint former Wigan Athletic manager as new boss". BBC Sport. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  24. ^ ""Give us a chance" - New Spireites chairman on appointing Pemberton, more financial support and his message to fans". 8 August 2020.
  25. ^ "That time we took on the champions of Europe". Chesterfield FC. 9 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Jame Rowe charged with Sexual Assault".
  27. ^ "Paul Cook: Chesterfield re-appoint ex-Portsmouth & Wigan boss for second spell". BBC Sport. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  28. ^ "Chesterfield FC". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  29. ^ "New 150th Anniversary Kit revealed". Chesterfield F.C. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  30. ^ "Technique Learning named as new shirt sponsor". Chesterfield F.C. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  31. ^ Record attendances and receipts Archived 29 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Chairman's AGM New Stadium Statement". Chesterfield Football Club. 22 January 2009. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  33. ^ "Chesterfield stadium renamed following new sponsorship deal". 13 June 2023. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  34. ^ "First Team - Chesterfield FC". Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  35. ^ "Number 14 Shirt Retired". 2 August 2013.
  36. ^ "Chesterfield football club honours". 11v11. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  37. ^ "Chesterfield FC". European Football Statistics. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  38. ^ Chris Evans (20 April 2022). "When Chesterfield came within a whisker of an FA Cup final 25 years ago". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  39. ^ Record attendances and receipts Archived 29 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ Chesterfield players with 100+ Football League appearances Archived 29 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ "Ernie Moss". Chesterfield FC Official Site. 2 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  42. ^ Chesterfield youngest debutants Archived 29 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ Chesterfield oldest debutants and oldest players Archived 29 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links Edit