Chester manager Derek Mann died recently at the age
of 63. Derek managed the club from January 1995 to
April 1995 and will perhaps best be remembered for
being in charge for the infamous St Valentine’s
fixture at Wrexham when nine man City held the Reds
to a 2-2 draw.
Like another former City manager, Harry McNally, Derek
never played league football and after sustaining an
injury as an apprentice at Shrewsbury Town he became
a fully qualified coach. As well as serving on the
staff at Shrewsbury, Watford, Wolves and Huddersfield
he also managed Telford United in the Conference and
the Shropshire county youth team.
In October 1994 he
was employed by Chester as physio and Youth Development
Officer before taking over the role as caretaker manager
when Mike Pejic was sacked in January. Derek inherited
a difficult situation at the Deva Stadium with the
club 10 points adrift from safety at the bottom of
Division Two and although performances improved City
struggled to pick up points. Following victory against
Plymouth in March Derek was given the job on a permanent
basis but when only three points were secured from
the subsequent nine games, and with the club relegated
to Division Three, he stepped back down to his old
role with the youth team.
After leaving Chester the likeable Derek worked with
both Shrewsbury and Telford and later held the job
of head football coach at Telford College of Arts and
Technology as well as youth team coach at AFC Telford.
He was also linked with Wolves where he was kit man
and part of the scouting team. A keen and enthusiastic
coach his promotion to manager at Chester may have
been a step to far but his passion for developing youth
talent in Shropshire made Derek a highly valued and
respected figure in the sporting arena. Our condolences
go out to his friends and family.