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JULY 2005

30 July 2005
Chester lost their latest pre-season match heavily at League One side Blackpool 6-0, it’s the first time City have failed to score in their pre-season build-up. Two of the goals came from ex-City striker John Murphy. The Blues, two down at the break, were reduced to ten men two minutes later as Abdou El Kholti was dismissed for a professional foul.

City fielded a strong side and also gave a trial to goalkeeper Clint Davies and he saved a second half penalty when the score was 3-0, however the defence conceded three goals in the final six minutes to leave manager Keith Curle plenty to think about before next Saturday’s opening League Two fixture at Peterborough United.

Chester’s final pre-season match takes place on Tuesday when they travel the short distance for a game at Airbus UK, kick-off time is 19:30hrs.

Pre-season friendlies

City’s youth team showed no signs of being phased by their Premiership counterparts as they were narrowly beaten 1-0 in today’s friendly at Everton.
28 July 2005

Chester City have been given permission to open their doors to fans once again following a meeting of the Ground Safety Advisory Group

Members of the Group, which also includes representatives of the emergency services, and Chester City FC, heard that Cheshire County Council – the licensing authority – were satisfied with safety works completed and have lifted the Prohibition Order.

The capacity of the stadium has been increased to 6,099. The current revised limit of 5,489 has come about because the ‘S’ factor has been set at 0.9 (maximum is 1), therefore, the club can effectively admit nine tenths of the capacity. The ground has both a ‘P’ (physical) and ‘S’ (Safety) factor assigned to it. If things go to plan over the next couple of months then both the P and S factors can hopefully return to 1 and the full capacity may then be used.

Ian Luxton, Head of the authority’s Regulatory Services said: “We have had a good meeting with Mr Vaughan and the chairman has signed an undertaking that spectator safety will be given priority attention in the future Also communications between the management of Chester City Football Club and Cheshire County Council will improve. Hopefully when that becomes evident the safety group will be able to recommend that the ground safety factor is returned to full capacity.”

Chairman Steve Vaughan added: “I’d like to thank the council for the patience they’ve shown. Now we’ve got a working relationship between all parties where myself and the club’s safety officer will liaise with the county council. There’s been a lot of breakdowns in communication but it’s no-one’s fault in particular.”
David Artell had a run out with the youth team, that also contained several YTS players, tonight who lost 4-0 at Porthmadog.
27 July 2005

Two goals from Ryan Lowe (left) and a third from Ben Davies gave City a 3-1 win at TNS in their latest pre-season friendly last night. Once again there was a chance to have a look at his squad with no fewer than 18 players taking some part in the game, this included appearances off the bench from two of last season’s youth/reserve side, Paul Rutherford and James Scales.

Four of the squad however missed the game through injury. Phil Bolland has had stitches following a clash at Droylsden on Saturday. Michael Branch has a groin strain, David Artell has a knee injury and Marcus Richardson is showing signs of flu.

City have two more friendly games scheduled before the League Two curtain-raiser at Peterborough United on 6 August. This Saturday they travel to Bloomfield Road to play League One side Blackpool, kick-off 15:00hrs and the following Tuesday 2 August they travel the short distance for a friendly at Airbus UK, kick-off time is 19:30hrs.
24 July 2005

The official Hereford United website confirms that Wayne Brown has moved on a 12 month loan deal to the Edgar Street club. The loan arrangement has been agreed between chairman Steve Vaughan and Hereford boss Graham Turner.

2005/06 transfer activity
The Blues are in action on Tuesday night when they travel to play TNS Llansantffraid, kick-off 19:30hrs. Manager Keith Curle may be without the services of Dave Artell, Craig Dove, Michael Branch and Avun Jephcott, the quartet are all carrying knocks.
25 July 2005

The Exiles AGM will take place at 19:30hrs tonight at The Knights Templar, 95 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1DT. (Map here). Members and prospective members are encouraged to attend and help us plan our activities for the 2005/06 season.


1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of the 18th Annual General Meeting
3. Matters arising
4. Chairman’s report
5. Treasurer’s report
6. Secretary / membership report
7. Committee reports: Publicity, Darts, Social
8. Election of officers
9. Any other business

24 July 2005

Marcus Richardson took his pre-season goal tally to six with a hat-trick at the Butchers Arms on Saturday. Ben Davies also got on the score sheet as City extended their unbeaten pre-season build-up with a 4-1 win at Nationwide Conference North side Droylsden. Former City player Kevin Rapley added the consolation goal for The Bloods.

23 July 2005

Goals from Adam Wade and Paul Rutherford
earned City’s youth team a 2-2 draw in their pre-season friendly at Stockport County on Saturday.
22 July 2005
Chester chairman Steve Vaughan will be reeling after receiving a double setback yesterday.

Firstly after conducting an inspection of Deva Stadium, the County Council refused to lift the Prohibition Order on the ground. All the work on the turnstiles, CCTV cameras, exit gates and crush barriers has all been completed, but there is now a query regarding stewarding and therefore the Stadium Licence has not been awarded. Another inspection is planned for next week. Tomorrow’s game against Droylsden will go ahead at the Butchers Arms ground, City had been hopeful of staging it at home.

As if this wasn’t enough, Dave Burford, the City’s general manager resigned from his position. Burford is the brother-in-law of Vaughan and has been at the club for three years. He told the Chronicle: “I’ve resigned due to personal reasons. I’ve had three enjoyable years at Chester and I wish Stephen Vaughan and the club all the best for the future.”

Vaughan added: “It’s times like this when you feel like forgetting it all. I’ll kick off the season and see how I feel after that. The job is getting to me. It’s taking its toll.”
21 July 2005
Gregg Blundell opened his Chester account as the Blues won their second tour game 5-2 at St Blazey last night. City took the lead through a second minute penalty after Ben Davies had been upended in the box. Ryan Lowe converted the spot kick.

Lowe added a second on 17 minutes following good work from Scott McNiven. The Blues doubled their lead after the break thanks to goals from Gregg Blundell and Justin Walker.

City then conceded two quick goals from the home side before substitute, University College of Chester Sports Scientist Dr. Stuart Bruce Low added the fifth, and best goal, ten minutes from time.

County Council officials will be at Deva Stadium today to check that all remedial work on the ground has been carried out as requested and that the relevent Safety Licence can be granted.

Should City receive the go-ahead from the Council, then Saturday’s scheduled friendly at Droylsden will be switched to Deva Stadium.

Chairman Steve Vaughan told the Evening Leader: “All the safety work that we were requested to do by Cheshire County Council has now been carried out. And Droylsden have agreed to switch the match to Chester if we get permission to stage the game. Everybody at the club has been working their socks off to ensure the work complies to all the requests issued by the county council.”

20 July 2005
The Blues recorded a 9-0 victory at Tavistock AFC last night. First half goals from trialist Avun Jephcott, Stewart Drummond, Carl Regan and two from Tom Curtis gave City a five goal advantage over The Lambs at the break. The Blues carried on where they left off in the second half with Curtis completing his hat-trick, Marcus Richardson getting in the goals with a brace, and substitute Ben Davies completing the rout.

City travel tonight to play St Blazey in the second and final match of their west country tour, they are expected to field a completely different starting X1 from last night. St Blazey are situated in mid Cornwall, five miles from St. Austell and two miles from The Eden Project. Kick-off at Blaise Park is 19:15hrs.
No army camp and pre-season tour of Devon and Cornwall for the players of Chester FC circa the 1940s and 50s! A skipping rope and medicine ball were the order of the day as the team warmed-up in roll-neck jumpers on the Sealand Road pitch and on the Annexe (bottom right).

Droylsden have been given permission to play both Wayne Brown and Richard Hope in their friendly match against the Blues on Saturday. Both players were released by Keith Curle in the summer and chairman Steve Vaughan has accepted an offer of £20,000 for each player by the Unibond Premier side, whether Brown and Hope want to drop down to that level remains to be seen though.

Last season The Bloods include a number of ex-City players in their squad including Steve Halford, Steve Brodie, Peter Dogun and Dave Cameron and may also include Kevin Rapley in their line-up. The match at the Butchers Arms will kick-off at 15:00hrs.

17 July 2005
A second pre-season goal from trialist Avun Jephcott was just enough to give the Blues a win at Burton Albion on Saturday. Over 1,300 fans turned out for the first-ever match at the Brewers new impressive, though not quite finished, Pirelli Stadium. The majority will have left disappointed though after Jephcott’s second-half close range strike from a Michael Branch cross gave City the honours.

Manager Keith Curle gave a debut to recent signing Gregg Blundell (left) who played the first 45 minutes but didn’t appear on the pitch following the break after picking up a slight knock.

The Blues now embark on a short tour of Cornwall and Devon that will include matches at Tavistock AFC on Tuesday (19:00hrs) and St Blazey on Wednesday night (19:15hrs).

The squad will be staying at an army camp and undergoing three training sessions a day, including stamina sessions overlooked by specialist fitness instructors. There will be time to relax as well though, with a couple of rounds of golf lined up for the players. Only two trialists have been taken on tour, Avun Jephcott and Keith Curle’s son Tom.

Membership fees are the same for last season and are as follows: Adult £12.00. Under 18/oap/unemployed £9.00, Overseas (outside Europe) £15.00.

You can download a PDF membership form here.

Forms for the annual Exiles Prediction Competition are now also available and can be downloaded from here.

15 July 2005
City have the honour of being the opposition for the first match at Burton Albion’s new £6.4m Pirelli Stadium tomorrow. All four sides of the ground will be open for the occasion with City fans being housed in the East Stand. Admission prices are £10.00 for adults, £8.00 for pensioners and £3.00 for juniors.

The match, City’s third in pre-season, kick’s-off at 15:00hrs and Blues fans going are urged to arrive in plenty of time as a large crowd can be expected. It’s been a race against time to get the ground completed in time for the match but everything is now in place. Turnstiles will open at 13.30hrs, with access to the ground temporarily restricted to the new Princess Way entrance.

The Pirelli Stadium is only a short distance from the former ground at Eton Park and directions can be found here.

Goals from Stewart Drummond, Michael Branch and Marcus Richardson gave City a comfortable 3-0 victory at at Rainworth Miners’ Welfare last night. Once again manager Keith Curle used the occasion to field a different side in each half and also gave a trial to ex-Birmingham City player Davion Hamilton.
14 July 2005

Chester fans will get a chance to see Keith Curle’s new-look side tonight when the Blues travel to play at Rainworth Miners’ Welfare. The home side play in the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League and the match has been arranged through the friendship of Curle and Welfare manager Rudy Funk.

Tonight’s encounter is scheduled to be refereed by Premiership official Uriah Rennie, City fans last saw him at our game at Moss Rose in January. The game at Kirklington Road kick’s-off at 19.30hrs, with admission £3.00, concessions £1.00, and a matchday programme also at £1.00.

City follow this with a game at Burton Albion on Saturday, kick-off 15:00hrs. This occasion marks the opening of the Brewers new Pirelli Stadium and a large crowd is expected for the occasion.

13 July 2005
<press release>
UK Sameday Limited as part of their Official Sponsorship of Chester City Football Club would like to make this offer to the parents of all junior fans.

As a parent of three young children, I can understand that the cost to replace replica shirts season after season is far from cheap. New Sponsors or new kit Manufacturers now seem to be the norm, not just at Chester City but throughout the Football Industry.

We however would like to help!

UK Sameday Ltd are giving away FREE 200 replica shirts for the forthcoming season.

To claim your FREE UK Sameday sponsored Chester City replica shirt you need to be one of the first 200 Junior Season Ticket Holders.

When you receive your Season Ticket you will also receive a voucher that can be exchanged for a new replica shirt at the Club Shop (subject to availability).


Paul Baker (Managing Director, UK Sameday Limited)

12 July 2005
City launched their new kit for next season with a photo shoot on Monday as the club were delighted to announce UK Sameday Ltd as their official sponsor for the coming season.

<press release>

UK Sameday Limited are honoured to announce that they will be Chester City Football Club’s official club sponsors for the 2005/2006 season.

UK Sameday Limited are a local Express Courier Company who started trading 15 years ago from a back bedroom in Hawarden. Today they have their HQ in Sandycroft, Deeside with a further 127 Depots across the UK & Ireland through their Partnership in the APC Overnight Network.

The Company is owned by Paul Baker, who is a born and bred Cestrian, who has followed The Blues through thick and mostly thin from his youth, when he stood on the Sealand End with his mates from Handbridge. Today he is a North Terrace Season Ticket holder who still stands on the terracing with those same mates and will continue to do so despite the banter he will get from them because of this.

Chester City has always been his number one passion even on occasions to the determent of his Family and Business. For Paul it does not get any better than this, the chance to help the Club he has always supported since a boy was just a pipe dream but without the help of so many it would still have remained one therefore Paul would like to thank the many people who have made it possible, all the Staff at UK Sameday Ltd for their dedication, all the Customers for their loyalty, Gary Owen at Queensferry Sports for talking him into buying the most expensive replica shirt……ever., his Friends, Family and especially his Partner, Louise and his children, Jack, Hannah and Harry for their patience and understanding. And finally he would like to thank Stephen Vaughan and Dave Burford for their continued support of our Club and to wish Keith Curle and all the squad every success for the forthcoming season.

Come on City!

12 July 2005
Doncaster Rovers striker Gregg Blundell will sign a two-year deal with Chester City, subject to a medical. City will be paying a club record transfer fee, believed to be £105,000 for the former Northwich Victoria forward.

Blundell, 29, began his career as a trainee at Tranmere Rovers before moving to Vauxhall Motors where a prolific scoring record saw a step-up to Northwich Victoria.

He moved to the Drillfield for £8,000 in January 2001 and went on to make 93+1 appearances for the Vics, scoring 40 goals. Blundell signed for Doncaster Rovers just over two years ago and has scored 32 goals in 96 appearances for the Belle Vue side.

The Blues drew their opening pre-season fixture at Deva Stadium this afternoon 1-1 with Championship side Stoke City. The Blues played a different side in each half with Chester’s second half equaliser coming from Avun Jephcott a trialist and former Nuneaton Borough player.

Chester City: (first half): Harrison, Vaughan, El Kholti, Dimech, Welch, Maxwell, Davies, Walker, Branch, Richardson, Milligan.

(second half): Neal, McNiven, Bolland, Hessey, Regan, Curle, Curtis, Smyth, Lowe, Jephcott, Drummond.
Chester’s 28-year-old defender Luke Dimech has been selected by Malta for their friendly international against Northern Ireland next month.

The game will be played in Valetta on Wednesday 17 August. Dimech will travel to meet up with the national team after the home match against Grimsby Town the previous Saturday.

Manager Keith Curle will watch over his new-look City side as the Blues kick-off their pre-season campaign with a home game against Stoke City today. Supporters won’t be able to take a look though, the match at Deva Stadium is being played behind closed doors as the ground has a Prohibition Notice placed on it by the County Council until urgent safety work has been completed. The game kick’s-off at 12:00.
11 July 2005
Local company UK Sameday Ltd will be unveiled this afternoon as the new club sponsor for the 2005/06 season. The company is owned by life long City fans Paul Baker. UK Sameday Ltd are a local Express Courier Company, set up by Paul, who started trading 15 years ago fom a back bedroom of a house in Hawarden. Today they have their HQ in Sandycroft, Deeside with a further 127 depots across the UK & Ireland through their Partnership in the APC Overnight Network.
The will-he won’t-he saga of defender David Artell is over. The former Mansfield Town defender will be lining up for City next season after the two clubs finally completed his transfer. Artell is the fourth Stags player to make the move to the Deva over the summer following on from Luke Dimech, Tom Curtis and Scott McNiven.
City’s first round match at Macclesfield Town will take place on Tuesday 13 September at Moss Rose, kick-off 19:45hrs. Admission is £5.00 adults, £3.00 concessions.
8 July 2005
Manager Keith Curle is four players away from completing his squad for next season, and two of those players could be Mansfield Town defender Dave Artell and Doncaster Rovers striker Gregg Blundell.

After the new-look Blues had completed their first week of pre-season training, Curle said: “I’m four players away from what I want. There’s been a massive turnaround in events since I walked into the football club. Now the jigsaw puzzle is being put back together and I’m a couple of pieces short. I’d like a striker, goalkeeper, a central defender, a midfield player and possibly one other.

City fans were under the impression that Artell had signed from Mansfield Town a couple of weeks ago after he was pictured with other new recruits in a Chester shirt. That was premature though as the Stags claimed City had made an illegal approach for the player, an acquisation strongly denied then by City general manager David Burford. However, it appears that the clubs have now reached agreement and the transfer may be completed soon.

City chairman Stephen Vaughan said: “The deal has been agreed with Mansfield and all the paperwork completed. We have deposited the fee with the Football League as we were requested to do. It’s been a drawn-out affair, but at last we have reached a conclusion to the transaction. Thankfully David will be able to join the squad early next week.”

The bid for the ex-Northwich striker Blundell is a six-figure club record one. Vaughan said: “We’ve spoken to the player again and we’ve spoken to the club and we’re just trying to see if we can finalise it. It’s down to him and his agent and if we can agree personal terms, we’ll have the most expensive signing this club has ever had.”
The reserve side will kick-off their 2005/06 Pontins Holiday League campaign with a home game against Blackpool on Wednesday 17 August.

Reserves fixtures

6 July 2005
The home pre-season game against Stoke City on Tuesday 12 July has been called off. The official Stoke City website says the match has been postponed for safety reasons as the Deva is not yet in possession of a safety certificate for the 2005/6 season. Work is currently taking place to upgrade the turnstiles, CCTV system alterations, as well as other public area improvements.

No new date will be arranged though the game will now take place behind closed doors.

City will now start their pre-season campaign with the match at Rainworth Miners’ Welfare on Thursday 14 July. The game at Kirklington Road, kick’s off at 19.30hrs with admission £3.00, concessions £1.00, and a matchday programme also at £1.00.

Pre-season friendlies

On North Wales Police insistance, City’s match at Wrexham has been put back a day and will now take place on Sunday 26 March with a 12:00 kick-off.
Blues fans will be pleased to hear that manager Keith Curle has aded former City favourite Grenville Millington to his coaching staff for next season. Millington, a goalkeeping hero with Chester in the mid 1970’s, has a wealth of experience in the game and is a regular visitor to Deva Stadium.
5 July 2005
It’s reported that Chester City are showing an interest in taking 20-year-old Preston North End goalkeeper Chris Neal on a long-term loan. The ‘keeper has made one substitute appearance for the Lillywhites and appeared six times for Tamworth on loan last season. Manager Keith Curle told the Daily Post: “We are close to reaching agreement with Preston, and hopefully the transaction can be completed in the next few days.”
The Exiles AGM will take place at 19:30hrs on Monday 25 July at The Knights Templar, 95 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1DT. Members are urged to try and attend and help us plan our activities for the 2005/06 season.
2 July 2005

The Pontins League has been reformatted for next season with its Premier League scrapped in favour of three regional leagues, Division One West, Central and East.

The Blues will compete in the Division One West league and will be joined by: Bury, Blackpool, Burnley, Carlisle United, Preston North End, Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and Wrexham.

1 July 2005
City have agreed to switch their home friendly match against Blackpool on Saturday 30 July from Deva Stadium to Bloomfield Road after the Lancashire clubs home pre-season match against Sheffield United was cancelled leaving them without a home friendly. The game will kick-off at 15:00hrs.

A club spokesman told the official Blackpool website: “We would like to thank Chester for agreeing to switch the game to Bloomfield Road at such short notice. They fully understood our reasons and we are very grateful.”

Chester’s pre-season campaign will kick-off on Tuesday 12 July with a home match against Stoke City (19:45hrs). With the switch of the Blackpool fixture this is now currently the only scheduled home match for City fans (there were four last year).

Pre-season friendlies
City’s colours for next season that appear on the Football League website are as follows:

Shirts Shorts Socks
1st. Blue and White stripes Blue Blue
2nd. Sky Blue White White
3rd. Black White White

Season Ticket prices after 1 July 2005 (equivalent to 2 free games) are as follows:
East (main) & West stands: adults �315.00, concession �210.00, under 16’s �126.00.
North Terrace:
adults �273.00, concession �168.00, under 16’s �105.00.
Executive Lounge: adults �588.00, senior citizen �529.00.
Car Park: £40.00

















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The squad building continues as Chester announce the signing of 25-year-old forward Dan Turner from Brackley Town.
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The season ends with a goalless draw as the Blues fail to score at home for a fifth successive match.
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Chester have a home friendly against Stockport County on Saturday 6 July, kick-off 13.00.
Friendly Fixtures
League table
Chester weather
Everything you need to know about the club’s history, honours, records and kits. Complete list of fixtures from 1885 and much more.
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The Exiles have set up a blog to provide away match information and articles for Blues fans living away from Chester. You can read it here
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