MOTORBIKE STARS SPONSOR FORMER PLAYERS
Two of Chester’s biggest
stars from the world of motorbike racing have linked
up to support Chester City Former Players Association.
Charlie Williams and Bill Smith,
both former Grand Prix competitors and winners at
the Isle of Man TT races, are to sponsor the Association’s
newsletter for the next 12 months.
The two now run successful motorbike
businesses in the city. Charlie owns the bike kit
and parts suppliers Everything But Bikes in Trafford
Street and Bill’s motorbike showroom Bill Smith
Motors is a well-known landmark on Tarvin Road.
The move reflects the affection
both men have for their hometown football team.
Charlie Williams said: “I
was never a big football fan but my father was passionate
about Chester. Our house in Kelsall was painted blue
and white because those were Chester’s colours.
My dad used to take me down to Sealand Road in the
1960s when I would watch Gary Talbot play. We went
every Saturday without fail – first team and
reserves, often riding in on his motorbike with me
on the back.
“So for me this sponsorship
is partly about nostalgia, and also about putting
something back into the football club. The resurrection
of the club recently has been great to see and in
fact I took my two grandsons Charlie and Louis down
to a game last season and was delighted to see the
enthusiasm there, especially from the youngsters.”
Bill Smith said: “I’ve
lived in Chester all my life and I’m a Chester
fan through and through, as was my father and his
father before him. I used to go in the 1950s when
my brother-in-law Keith Griffiths played in goal for
Chester. I can remember Billy Foulkes and Tommy Astbury,
Trevor Walters and Dave McNeil. They were real characters
and we used to get gates of eight to ten thousand
at Sealand Road. And the way things are going now,
I can see big gates coming back.”
Gary Talbot, president of the Former
Players Association, said: “It is wonderful
that these two big names from another sport have such
warm memories of watching Chester in their younger
days. Their support will enable us to print our newsletter
in colour which will maximise its impact with our
members and supporters of the club generally.”
Copies of the latest newsletter
are on sale at the club shop at the Exacta Stadium.
Bill Smith, Gary Talbot
and Charlie Williams.
8 June 2011
Several players took part in
the Former Players Association’s first golf
event at Eaton Golf club today. Pictured are Graham
Abel, Derek Draper, Ken Roberts, Alan Tarbuck, Gary
Talbot, Grenville Millington and Bob Delgado.
16 May 2011
SURPRISE FOR VETERAN FAN DOMINIC LALLY
FC fan 90 year old Dominic Lally from Mynydd
Isa was delighted to receive a signed Chester
shirt from Association members Grenville Millington
and Alan Tarbuck.
Dominic saw his first game
in 1929 at the age of eight and has been a fan
ever since. His favourite player was 1930’s
legend Fred Bennett and his favourite game was
the 3-0 cup victory over the League champions
Leeds United in 1974, he says “it was
an amazing game because Chester won it so easily.”
Other memorable games were Chester’s 2-1
defeat at Manchester United in 1965 and the
draw with Chelsea in 1952.
Dominic played himself as
a goalkeeper for Cestrian Alex and later became
a referee and trained with Chester FC in the
1960’s who “welcomed me with open
arms.” He also had trials for the armed
forces team in Italy in 1943.
Grenville and Alan are planning
to invite Dominic as a VIP guest at the club
in the new season.
© Evening Leader
4 May 2011
LATEST COMMITTEE MEETING
The committee met at the Cheshire
View on Wednesday May 4th. In attendance were Gary Talbot,
Grenville Millington, Alan Tarbuck, Bob Delgado, John
Evans, Chas Sumner and Charlie Lambert, with apologies
from Graham Abel. It was the first meeting since Chester
FC clinched the Evostick North Championship. Grenville
Millington put on record the Association's delight at
the outcome of the new club's first season. We will
be writing to the club formally to pass on our congratulations.
Great news reported by Chas Sumner was that membership
currently stands at 105, with others waiting to have
their membership confirmed. Plans to hold a Christmas
event open to the public were reviewed in the light
of the football club also deciding to hold a major event
around Christmas time.
The opinion was that having two such events at around
the same time would not be constructive and we will
therefore look to rearrange our event for a date in
the autumn. Our first Golf Day will take place at Eaton
GC on Friday July 8th. This is open to members only.
Cost is £35 - any member wanting to play should
send a cheque payable to Chester City Former Players
Association to Chas Sumner or Alan Tarbuck to secure
their place. Numnbers are limited to 20, first come
27 March 2011
The committee met at the Cheshire View on Wednesday
March 16th. Alan Tarbuck reported that he and chairman
Grenville had been to see Trevor Storton who was suffering
from cancer and described how delighted Trevor was to
see them. This has since been put into a different perspective
by the recent tragic news that Trevor has died. Grenville
paid a warm tribute to his ex-team-mate in an interview
with the Chester Chronicle.
The FPA was represented by John
Evans and Dennis Reeves at the funeral of another
Chester defensive stalwart John Butler, in Nottingham.
On a happier note the committee
approved plans for the various sporting and social
events which we’ve been organising for 2011.
Several dates are now on the calendar including our
Spring Sociao on March 31st at Chester Boughton Hall
Cricket Club, Golf Day at Eaton GC on July 8th, and
an Autumn Social at Chester Boughton Hall on September
15th. Bolton Wanderers have accepted our challenge
to a bowls match on a date to be agreed and we hope
to have another bowls event with the supporters. Any
former player who would like to play in the golf or
the bowls, please contact Chas Sumner email@example.com
Former players are also invited
to attend Chester FC’s home game on April 9th
v Cammell Laird. The club is making this a special
occasion to honour past players and hope as many as
possible will go along. Please let Chas know if you’d
like to be there.
Chairman Gren announced that
he wanted us to recruit 10 new members in the next ten
days as we continue our push towards 100 members. These
notes are being written 10 days after the meeting and
in the meantime 11 new members have signed up! Great
10 February 2011
The committee met on January
19th. Bob Delgado and Graham Abel were formally co-opted
onto the committee. Plans for a series of social and
sporting activities were discussed. It is hoped to finalise
dates in the near future. Alan Tarbuck said that plans
were under way at Chester FC to invite a lot of former
players to the home game versus Harrogate Railway Athletic
on March 26th.
The FPA's second newsletter has been published. The
chairman, Grenville Millington, asked that the committee's
appreciation be recorded of the work of Charlie Lambert
and Steve Mansley in putting it together. Both Grenville
and Gary Talbot are present in the boardroom and Legends
Lounge on most home matchdays, assisting Alan Tarbuck
in meeting and entertaining match sponsors. Chas Sumner
reported that he had assisted a Bristol-based journalist
to contact Jimmy Humes and Hugh Ryden for a series of
articles about former players at Bristol Rovers where
they both played before joining Chester. The articles
had been published in the Sunday Independent with a
complimentary reference to the FPA.
Next committee meeting will be in March.
27 November 2010
We have also lost John Butler,
one of the stalwarts of the Chester team of the 1960s.
John was 73. He played 220 times at centre-half for
the club between 1962 and 1968, scoring twice. John
was a member of the Former Players Association. We send
our condolences to his family.
PAUL RAYNOR and JOHN BUTLER
The Association was
deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul Raynor
from cancer at the age of 53. A Chester fan as a boy
Paul achieved his dream by making his debut for the
club at the age of 17, going on to play 230 times
in two spells at Sealand Road. After retiring he moved
to Nantwich and joined Cheshire Constabulary. The
FPA sends its condolences to Paul’s wife Sue
and their two children.
25 November 2010
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The first AGM of the CCFC Former Players Association
was held on Wednesday November 24th 2010 at the Cheshire
Present were: Gary Talbot (president), Grenville Millington
(chairman), Alan Tarbuck (treasurer), Chas Sumner
(secretary), Charlie Lambert (media officer), Bob
Delgado, John Evans, Dennis Reeves, and Mickey Fields.
Apologies were received from: Bobby Hunt, Peter Greenwood,
Eddie Rampling, Terry Owen, Reg Barton and John Butcher.
Grenville opened the meeting by making everyone welcome
and reflecting on how far the FPA had come in its
first 12 months. To have recruited 64 members and
organised three events was an excellent start. He
compared it with the simultaneous progress made by
the football club itself and emphasised what a fine
job the board and staff at Chester FC are doing. The
matchday experience these days is a delight, he said.
He added that it was wonderful for ex-players to be
made so welcome at the football ground, instead of
being shunned as at certain times in the past.
The re-election of officers was proposed by Bob Delgado,
seconded by John Evans and carried unanimously.
Grenville reported that membership stood at 64 and
he wanted to build on that in the coming year. The
meeting agreed to aim for a figure of 100 members
by the next AGM.
Members expressed the desire to build up the association’s
funds so that financial help could be offered to former
players who need a helping hand. At the moment we
are not in a position to make the sort of grants that
the likes of Everton's former players association
do. Grenville pointed out that there are other ways
in which we can give ex-players a boost. Simply letting
them know they are not forgotten can work wonders.
The association will be sending ‘get well’
cards to members Bobby Hunt and Hugh Ryden who are
recovering from operations.
The meeting recorded its deep sadness at the untimely
death of Paul Raynor. Most of those present knew Paul
personally. The association sends its deep condolences
to Paul’s family.
There was discussion about events which might take
place in 2011. It was agreed to draw up a schedule
for the year in the next few weeks, and this would
form the basis of an annual series of events.
Alan Tarbuck submitted his treasurer’s report
which recorded a surplus at the bank of £510.60.
In closing the meeting the chairman thanked everyone
for coming and speculated as to where both the FPA
and the football club might be in another 12 months’
3 August 2010
EX-PLAYERS TAKE UP BOWLS
It’s a whole new bowl
game for Chester City’s ex-players!
The Former Players Association has
called up a team with a difference to take on a supporters’
team at bowls on Sunday. (August 8th).
The match will take place at the
Cheshire View, Plough Lane, Christleton, CH3 7PT,
starting at 2pm.
The footballers will be captained
by former striker Alan Tarbuck who said: “It
doesn’t matter whether the sport is bowls or
football, there is still a competitive buzz. The lads
are all looking forward to this.”
Tarby’s line-up includes some
of the most popular players to wear the Chester colours
including Dai Draper and Grenville Millington from
the legendary 1974-75 promotion and League Cup semi-final
team, flying winger Ian Moir who starred in the late
1960s, and winger Elfed Morris and goalkeeper Dennis
Reeves of the much-loved team from the mid-sixties.
Other ex-players who will be demonstrating
their skill on the bowling green include Ray Carter,
Bob Delgado and Bobby Hunt.
Alan said: “There will be
a fair amount of nostalgia and reminiscences about
past football memories and I’m hoping members
of the public will come along and meet the players
who played for Chester at different times.
“There’s also a lot
to talk about in the present day. We are all delighted
by the terrific progress being made by the new Chester
All spectators are welcome –
27 July 2010
TARBY ON BOARD
FPA committee member Alan
Tarbuck has taken on another responsibilty. Alan has
been elected to the board of the new Chester FC and
attended his first meeting last night.
The ex-Chester striker will ensure
that the club’s former players have a high profile
as the supporter-owned set-up continues its welcome
process of building bridges with all parts of the
The FPA is delighted that two
other committee members contributed significantly to
the fund-raising event held by City Fans United at Chester
Racecourse. Gary Talbot’s photo of the Famous
Five, signed by all five members of the celebrated 1964-65
forward line, raised £1,050. And Chas Sumner’s
club history ‘On the Borderline’, signed
by Chas and many ex-players, raised £260.
19 July 2010
Our most senior
member Billy Windle has reached a notable milestone
– his 90th birthday!
Billy played for Chester from
season 1951-52 to 1954-55, making 127 League
appearances and scoring 20 goals.
“Wee Willie” Windle
played on the left wing and featured in both
our famous FA Cup matches against Chelsea in
1952, setting up the first goal in the 2-2 draw
at Stamford Bridge.
Billy still lives in Chester
and FPA treasurer Alan Tarbuck dropped in to
congratulate him on his big day.
Many happy returns Bill from
all the Former Players.
by Rick Matthews
6 May 2010
EX-PLAYERS WELCOME DEVA
Chester City Former Players
Association welcomes the decision by Cheshire West and
Chester Council to award tenancy of the Deva Stadium
to City Fans United. We believe this is the correct
We support the fans' ambition to create a progressive,
community-orientated club. We look forward to forming
a positive relationship with the new club.
As players who wore the shirt with pride we were dismayed
by the problems over the last few years ending in the
sad day when the club was wound up.
We now want to congratulate CFU and Cheshire West and
Chester Council for the way they have worked constructively
to restore football to the city and wish City Fans United
and everyone involved every success.
Grenville Millington – Chairman
A BIG THANK YOU
Following the demise of Chester City FC the players
who wore the blue shirt with pride over decades of
footballing history want to thank the fans and the
public for their magnificent support. On behalf of
them all the club’s Former Players Association
issues this statement.
There are literally hundreds of
players who have represented Chester City FC over
many generations. At this sad time when the club has
disappeared we want to say a big thank-you to everyone
who supported us. Fans, the public of Chester, colleagues,
the staff at the club, the people who helped in a
voluntary capacity – you all helped us achieve
our dreams of playing professional football. Without
you, we wouldn’t have had our careers. Many
of us were encouraged to keep our careers going despite
setbacks with form and fitness. The way fans got behind
us when we were fighting back after injury is something
that still means a lot. The supporters who followed
us to away games have a special place in our memories.
We would see them at places like Torquay and Exeter
and their loyalty always inspired us.
Many of us are local lads, born
and bred in or close to Chester. We followed City
as fans when we were young. When we went on to wear
the shirt ourselves the support we got was unbelievable.
Many of us have fond memories of Sealand Road where
we seemed to be so close to the crowd and had a great
rapport. A lot of us don’t come from Chester
but moved here to join the club. In many cases this
changed our whole lives – we stayed, put down
roots and we still love it when people come up and
talk to us about the “old days.”
We are devastated by the way the
club ended but now we are all trying to be positive
about the future of football in Chester. The present-day
supporters are incredible, the way they are working.
We support the initiative of City Fans United to set
up a new club and wish them every success. There is
a horizon, and there are brighter days beyond it.
For now, we thought it was the right time to say thank
you, on behalf of all the past players of Chester
Chester City Former Players Association
Gary Talbot – President
Grenville Millington – Chairman
Alan Tarbuck – Treasurer
GREEN LIGHT FROM THE OTHER BLUES
Laurence Lee, chairman
of Everton FC’s Former Players Foundation, has
given the Chester City FPA his full backing.
Laurence attended this month’s
meeting of the Chester FPA committee and said: “I
think it is terrific that Chester’s ex-players
have set up an association. They have my full support
and if I can help in any way, I will.”
The Everton FPF is the leading club
organisation for former footballers in the UK. Laurence
passed on a lot of valuable advice and was impressed
by the progress made by his Chester counterparts in
the six months since we formed the FPA.
Meanwhile the committee is finalising
the written constitution of the FPA.
Coming up in 2010 will be the launch of a printed
newsletter, our second social evening for members,
and sports activities which are likely to include
a football match and a bowls event.
15 January 2010
NEWS ON RON DAVIES
Sky Sports commentator Martin
Tyler has recently been in touch with the Former Players
Association and sent this email:
You might remember that I am Chester
born, and in visiting my family in Tattenhall and
Christleton, saw a fair bit of my hometown team when
I was growing up.
It goes without saying that I have
been distraught at the recent history of the club.
I was very pleasantly surprised
to hear of your work with a former players association
and as a devotee of the 64-65 camapaign delighted
that Gary Talbot and Hughie Ryden were at your Xmas
bash. I have also noticed that Elfed Morris is winning
awards as a groundsman like he used to win those far
The main reason for writing is that
just before Christmas I had a long phone conversation
with Ron Davies – my all time hero. He is living
in New Mexico and has sadly just lost his wife. But
he sounded in good spirits nonetheless and the quality
of his life has been improved by hip replacements
paid for by Southampton fans. We talked about his
early times at Chester and he still pays tribute to
Bill Lambton making him train with army boots on so
that when he put his football boots on he felt so
light and was so good in the air.
He said he still has two sisters
living in North Wales, and his brother Paul who played
for Arsenal is still around. Southampton want him
to come over for a reunion but there are no definite
I intend to keep in touch with Ron,
and I will find out if he has an EMail address so
that you can make contact.
Meanwhile best wishes to you, Chas,