KRS TUESDAY NIGHT DEVA JINX
Kevin Ratcliffe will be remembered
fondly by City fans for years to come mainly for his
keeping the show on the road last season 1998/9. Not
only did he stay loyal to the cause long after absentee
chairman Mark Guterman had abandoned ship, he also
persuaded the players to stay on despite the temptation
to go to clubs that would at least pay them a weekly
One thing Kevin may wish to forget
however is his Tuesday night record at the Deva. The
number of times City won under his charge at the Deva
on Tuesday nights can be counted on the fingers and
thumb of one hand: Wigan (Coca Cola Cup 95/96), Northampton
(95/96), Swansea (96/97), Northampton (96/97), Preston
In Kevin’s first season at the Deva
we played seven Tuesday night games and lost one of
them – to Rotherham in the Auto Windscreens Shield.
Not too many tears were shed over that one. But the
four draws in League games counted against us in our
charge for promotion.
In 1996/97 of eight games played
at home on Tuesday’s there were two wins, two defeats
and four draws. The defeats came against Carlisle (A
team ten million times better than the one now down
at the wrong end of Division Three) and Cardiff City.
Between December and April we won all except six home
games – four of which came on Tuesday nights.
1997/98 was another season which
promised a great deal but failed to deliver. Kicked
off with the aforementioned Preston victory, it was
followed by another Coca Cola Cup defeat to Carlisle.
We played four more games after this on a Tuesday and
collected just three points from them. Torquay clinched
a sell deserved win in this sequence thanks to a superb
display of pace from Rodney Jack. Was Crewe really
the best he could do? Another disappointing season
of Tuesday results. It was clear this increasingly
weird phenomenon was confined to Tuesday games as we
defeated Hull at home on a Friday and Swansea on a
Last season, even more than ever – Tuesday
night has been disaster night as far as Chester are
concerned. Defeats were inflicted by Cambridge United,
Sunderland (Worthington Cup), Hartlepool (Auto Windscreens),
Scarborough and Brentford. Just two other competitive
defeats have been suffered at home all season. So one
really does wonder why we seemed to struggle on Tuesday
evenings. The only other games both ended in draws
against Port Vale (Worthington Cup) and Hartlepool.
Did Kevin Ratcliffe turn into a werewolf
on Tuesday nights? Is there a clause in players contracts
which said that win bonuses are void on Tuesdays? Are
they scared of our floodlights? Are they affected by
smaller than average crowds?
Perhaps the jinx has been exorcised
this season. Our only home wins have been on Tuesdays – Port
Vale in the Worthington Cup and Cheltenham in the League.
We await Kevin’s memoirs with interest.