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MAY 2004
30 May 2004
Chester City have scooped six awards in the first Non-League Paper National Game Awards. The full list of awards featured in today’s 16-page pull-out are:
Manager of the Year Award [sponsored by Sportskit Pro Soccer] – Mark Wright (Chester City)
Player of the Year award [sponsored by Talksport] – Daryl Clare (Chester City)
Conference Player of the Year award – Daryl Clare (Chester City)
Conference Golden Boot Award [sponsored by KELME] – Daryl Clare (Chester City) with 29 goals
Conference Team of the Year [sponsored by Carlsberg] – Steve Perrin, (Forest Green Rovers, Ian Hendon (Barnet, Tony James (Hereford United), Chris Moore (Gravesend & Northfleet), Danny Collins (Chester City), Rob Purdie (Hereford United, Jon Challinor (Aldershot Town), Jamie Tolley (Shrewsbury Town), Alam Miller (Aldershot Town), Daryl Clare (Chester City), David McNiven (Leigh RMI).
Conference Goal of the Season Award [sponsored by Sky Sports] – Michael Twiss (Chester City (now Morecambe)), winning goal at Woking
Young Player of the Year – Adam Miller (Aldershot Town)
Ryman Player of the Year – Lee Boylan (Canvey Island)
Dr Martens of the Year – Charlie Macdonald (Crawley Town)
Welsh Premier Player of the Year – Andy Moran (Rhyl)
Fan of the Year [sponsored by William Hill] – Simon Lacey (Aylesbury United)
Club Website of the Year –
Grass Roots Award [sponsored by GLS Football] – Adam Miller (Aldershot Town)
Merit Award [sponsored by GLS Football] – Andy Forbes (Winchester)
Lifetime Achievement Award [sponsored by GLS Football] – Ivor Powell (Team Bath)
Fair Play Award [sponsored by GLS Football] – Andrew Adie (Barnet)
Most Improved Ground [sponsored by ZAUN] – Rugby United
So a tremendous collection of awards, that also includes goal of the season by ex-City striker Michael Twiss for the unforgettable winner at Kingfield, and an award for this website as well – thanks to all who voted for it.

David Emery – The Non-League Paper Editor in Chief said: “We have long felt the Non-League game deserves its own awards to honour the players, officials and fans who help make the national game great. Our readers have voted in their 1000’s over the last few weeks truly making these the fan’s awards.”

27 May 2004
Sad to report that Telford United have gone into liquidation and, as a result, have lost their place in the Nationwide Conference. The Bucks Head side have been in financial difficulty ever since former chairman Andy Shaw’s business collapsed back in March. No buyer came forward and lst week all players at the club were sacked in a desperate effort to cut costs. All efforts are being made to ensure that football continues in Telford and it is hoped to form a new club (that would presumably start further down the pyramid) in the coming weeks.

The news comes a week after it was revelaed that fellow Conference side Margate had been demoted to the Conference South after failing to finish their new Hartsdown Park ground in time for next season. As a result none of this season’s bottom three clubs Northwich Victoria, Farnborough Town and Leigh RMI will be relegated.

Former Macclesfield Town manager David Moss has been appointed assistant manager at Chester. Moss has also performed a similar role at Oxford United, Manchester City, Huddersfield Town and Stockport County prior to his role at Moss Rose.
26 May 2004
Manager Mark Wright has taken his summer signings to three with the capture of goalkeeper Chris MacKenzie from Telford United.

32-year-old Northampton-born MacKenzie began his career in 1993 at local side Corby Town before moving for £15,000 12 months later to Hereford United. He made 73+1 appearances at Edgar Street and even scored a goal with a wind-assisted kick against Barnet in 1995! His time at Hereford included, in 1994, a loan spell at Rushden & Diamonds. He joined Leyton Orient in 1998 where he made 35+0 appearances for the Brisbane Road club. In 1999 he moved to Nuneaton Borough where he clocked up 159+0 appearances before moving to Telford United last summer where he made 49+0 appearances for the Bucks Head side.

With the arrival of MacKenzie City have now released Andy Woods. On MacKenzie chairman Steve Vaughan said: “He will be providing competition for Wayne Brown for the goalkeeper’s jersey which is good for the club. The signing was made because Andy Woods was only part-time at Chester and we needed a full-time keeper”.

24 May 2004
Ben Davies picked up his fifth and sixth caps for Wales in the Four Nations Tournament in the last few days. Wales beat England 2-0 and Davies captained the side that beat the Republic of Ireland 4-1 on Saturday, which, combined with the 0-0 draw with Scotland last week was enough to lift the Four Nations Trophy. With City back in the Football League next season their players will in future be ineligible for selection for their national sides at this level.

19 May: England 2 Republic of Ireland 3, Scotland 0 Wales 0
20 May: England 0 Wales 2, Scotland 2 Republic of Ireland 0
22 May: Scotland 1 England 3, Wales 4 Republic of Ireland 1
Final Table
  P W D L F A GD Pts
Wales 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 7
Scotland 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
England 3 1 0 2 5 6 -1 3
Republic of Ireland 3 1 0 2 4 8 -4 3

Full list of City’s internationals.
21 May 2004
Chas Sumner had updated the Players Whos-Who 2001/02 details and also now completed the 2003/04 details. You can download a copy here.
Supporters are being asked to cast their votes in the National Game – Non-League Paper End of Season Awards.
There are nine categories that can be voted on and they are:

Category One – Player of the Year
Category Two – Young Player of the Year
Category Three – Manager of the Year
Category Four – Conference Player of the Year
Category Five – Unibond Player of the Year
Category Six – Dr Martens Player of the Year
Category Seven – Ryman Player of the Year
Category Eight – Welsh Premier Player of the Year
Category Nine – Non League Club Website of the Year

You can vote once for as many categories as you like by simply sending an email to stating the category name and your nomination.
20 May 2004
City have signed the chairman’s son Stephen Vaughan from Liverpool. Vaughan jnr, aged 19, play’s at right-back and has been capped at under-15, under-17 and under-19 level for England. It’s reported that he’d down offers from KV Mechelen, and Norwegian club, Viking Stavanger to play for Chester. He’s no stranger to Deva Stadium having played 33 games for Liverpool Reserves last season.

Meanwhile it appears that City and Scarborough have come to an agreement over the transfer of Keith Gilroy. Gilroy has only started 11 games in the last two season and has been dogged with injury so City will be taking no chances and a stringent medical test will be undertaken before any deal can be completed.

19 May 2004
Alan Lewer has returned to Deva Stadium as Reserve Team Manager and Chief Scout. Lewer left Chester in February 2003 to become assistant manager to Steve Burr at Nuneaton Borough and was later made manager at Manor Park but stepped down by mutual agreement in February this year.
Midfielder Ben Davies picked up his fourth international cap last night as Wales drew 0-0 with hosts Scotland at Keith Football Club in the opening fixture of the Four Nations Tournament. In the other match defending champions England lost 3-2 to the Republic of Ireland.

Lee Elam, on loan at City for the last month of the season has signed for Conference South side Hornchurch.
18 May 2004
The club have reported that over 200 season tickets have so far been sold for next season, this figure is an increase on numbers from the corresponding time last year. Existing season ticket holders have up to and including Monday 31 May 2004 to renew their current season tickets. Tickets will then go on general sale at the above price up to and including Wednesday 30 June 2004. Note – The above discounted prices are equivalent to four league games free of charge. Tickets can be bought at the club from Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 16:00hrs. Details of 2004/05 season ticket prices can be found here.
As City look to build their squad for next season there are conflicting reports regarding Scarborough winger Keith Gilroy. City thought they had agreed a deal last week only for Seadogs boss Russell Slade to reject the offer, however Scarobrough chairman Malcolm Reynolds told the BBC. “They seem to be very keen on taking him and I'm sure a compromise on monies will be reached.”
The Exiles promotion social takes place in London on Thursday 20 May.

We have booked the Mezzanine floor level at the Famous Three Kings (F3K) for an end-of-season Championship Celebration Promotion Social on Thursday 20 May starting from 7.15pm. We hope to have a couple of videos to show as well, one of which will be ‘In The Net 2 – 40 great goals from Deva Stadium’ produced about three years ago.

The Famous Three Kings (F3K) will be familiar to many members (with good cask beer and food), and is situated at 171 North End Road, Fulham, W14 9NL, right next door to West Kensington tube station in west London. All City fans whether current, lapsed, or prospective Exiles members, are very welcome to share in the occasion with us.

16 May 2004
Play-Off Final Shrewsbury Town will join City in the Third Division next season after they beat part-time Aldershot Town in today’s play-off final on penalties 3-0. The Shots took the lead on 35 minutes through Aaron McLean only for Duane Darby to equalise on the stroke of half-time. There were no more goals in the second period, or thirty minutes of extra-time before spot-kick’s decided the tie with Shrews ‘keeper Scott Howie saving the first three Aldershot kicks in front of over 19,000 supporters at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium.

13 May 2004
City will be interviewing for a new assistant manager following the departure yesterday of Steve Bleasdale. Bleasdale, who was previously with manager Mark Wright at Southport and followed him to Oxford United as assistant manager, joined City in January 2002 in a role of first-team coach before being promoted to assistant manager six months later.

City chairman Steve Vaughan announced the news saying: “There was a difference of opinion over policy matters, and as such we considered that it was prudent that Mr Bleasdale left the club. There was also an internal incident that occurred, but I am not prepared to discuss that issue in the public arena. We would like to wish Steve all the best for the future and thank him for all his efforts whilst he was at the Deva Stadium.”

Bradford Park AvenueGoals from Tommy Leonard, Darren Byers and Matty Cook gave City a 3-1 win at Bradford Park Avenue Reserves in their final Lancashire League Division One game of the sesaon. The Blues finished the campaign in sixth place, 14 points behind winners Morecambe reserves. The club have confirmed that they have applied for membership of the Pontins League next season.

“Playing the likes of the reserve sides of Oldham Athletic, Blackpool, Wigan Athletic and Tranmere Rovers will be far more beneficial to us as a club. We have enjoyed our time in the Lancashire League and we shall be making a donation to them as a way of saying thankyou. But we think its time to move on as a club. We intend to build up the playing strength of our second team, as well as creating a stronger youth infrastructure. This is naturally the way forward for a club like Chester City.” said Steve Vaughan.

Final Lancashire League Table

12 May 2004
Good luck to Shaun Carey, released in the summer, who has signed a two-year contract at Conference South side Hornchurch who are managed by ex-Dagenham & Redbridge boss Gary Hill.
11 May 2004
The football club have announced that the open-top bus victory parade through the city centre on Friday evening, and the end of season Presentation Night at the Moat House Hotel have both been cancelled.

The Presentation Night has been shelved due to a lack of interest (the original plan was for a hefty £100.00 a head Awards Night and Boxing Show! – before it emerged it clashed with the Boxer’s holiday plans – and the event was relaunched at £50.00). Those who have already purchased tickets will receive a refund. The club statement regarding the cancellation of the victory parade on Friday is as follows:

“Due to the concerns of the police and the council (which doesn�t appear to have been a problem for other Champions and promoted teams in the Football League in any other city) we have been left with no other choice than to cancel the parade. In addition, the club only has 3 players available for the Open Top Bus tour of the City Centre on Friday and the manager has taken a holiday at short notice, as have his backroom staff. We can only apologise to all the loyal fans who were going to attend.”

The other City council’s referred to no doubt are Doncaster, Hull, Norwich and Plymouth who have all proudly staged victory parades shown on television in the past few days involving street processions and Town Hall presentations etc, something the loyal Chester fans, after the grief they’ve put up with over recent years, won’t now be treated to.

Official supporters association chairman Barry Hipkiss told the Evening Leader: “We the fans feel we have been badly let down. It is like dangling a carrot in front of fans then taking it away. Not having the chance to celebrate the club’s achievement is a huge disappointment.”
The club have fixed up a friendly match away at Colwyn Bay on Thursday 22 July, kick-off 19:30hrs.
10 May 2004

A terrific crowd of just over 1,600 supporters turned up yesterday for Wayne Brown’s testimonial game at Deva Stadium. Tha game saw a team of former players, albeit with an extra man on the pitch!, defeat a current City squad (including Bob Delgado!) 5-4 – not that the scoreline mattered at all having some fun and raising money was what it was all about.

Many former players gave up their time to support the occasion with: Grenville Millington, Gary Bennett, Ross Davidson, Iain Jenkins, Nick Richardson, Shaun Reid, Nigel Edwards, Joe Hinnigan, Chris Priest, Kevin Ratcliffe, Neil Fisher, John Murphy and especially Graham Barrow, whose son played in the match, all receiving a terrific reception from the fans that filled the main stand and the home terrace.

Wayne himself made an appearance for the last 20 minutes, swapping shirts at one point with Jamie Heard, to take a free-kick and score past Joe Hinnigan’s brother Ted! Funniest moment of the day was probably Ben Davies execuitng a perfect rugby tackle on next years sponsor (and looking very much like a prop forward!), Stuart Murphy, who was making a guest appearance. He was promptly booked for getting his kit dirty. Andy Harris reinacted the tackle on Ben later in the lounge!

Wayne said afterwards: “I’d like to convey a massive thank you to all those fans who took time to turn up for my testimonial. I just didn’t know I was that well supported. I enjoyed scoring my goal, but the actual goal was rubbish – I kicked about two feet of turf before I kicked the ball, but it was my first goal! I’ll take a lot of memories away from the day, but walking onto the pitch with my daughter was lovely – that was the best thing, with everyone giving us a standing ovation. My mum and dad were also at the game, as well as all my mates from Southampton, and everybody who means a lot to me.”

Congratulations to Wayne’s testimonial committee for organising the event, and to those who gave up their time without charge to help out, a lot of hard work was put in to make the event the success it was.

The Exiles were delighted to present Wayne Brown an engraved clock to mark his testimonial. The clock inscribed ‘TO WAYNE BROWN, FOR GREAT SAVES AND TRUE LOYALTY, CHESTER CITY EXILES, MAY 2004’ was presented to Wayne at half-time.

Pauline Meakins presents Wayne with his clock on behalf of the Exiles, with Sue Choularton and Robert Evans.

 Report/pictures from the day | Top 20 goalkeeper’s appearances | Goalkeeper’s Clean Sheet records
City end their home reserve matches tonight at Deva Stadium with the visit of eigth placed Burscough Reserves, kick-off is 19:30. Meanwhile the club have hinted that the Reserve side may step up from the Lancashire League to the Pontins League next season.

7 May 2004

Following the signing last week of Stewart Drummond from Morecambe, City manager Mark Wright has two more names on his shopping list. Irish midfielder Keith Gilroy currently at Scarborough is attracting interest and it’s believed the club are prepared to offer a five figure sum for the 20-year-old. Gilroy began his career as a trainee at Middlesbrough before moving to the Seadogs in March 2003 where he made 11+6 appearances last season scoring 4 goals.

Wright is also believed to be interested in experienced defender Scott Green. Green (34), currently at Telford United, began his career at Derby County in 1988 before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 1990 where he made 221+65 appearances scoring 31 goals. He moved to Wigan Athletic for £300,000 in 1997 where he made a further 223+24 appearances scoring 11 goals. In 2003 he moved to Wrexham and played 12+3 times for the Dragons scoring 3 goals in the process before moving to Telford United in June 2003 where he appeared 20+4 times scoring 4 goals.

6 May 2004
City have already arranged three home pre-season friendly matches against Walsall, Cardiff City and Queen of the South, details here.
Details have been announced for the open-top bus parade that will take place at on Friday 14 May at 18:00hrs. The 15 minute victory procession will begin in Bridge Street, then the bus will move up to The Cross, turn up Northgate Street, turn right past the Cathedral down along St Werburgh Street, turn left under the Eastgate Clock and into Foregate Street, where the official celebration will end. Unfortunately the police have ruled-out a presentation on the Town Hall steps for safety reasons (unlike the famous occasion back in 1975). The team will however have a private reception at the Town Hall later in the evening.
Chester City fans are welcome to The Peacock in Christleton Road, Chester, on Saturday night when Wayne Brown’s Testimonial year will be launched with a party.
5 May 2004
Please note that for Sunday’ s game gates will open at 12:30hrs with the game kicking-off at 14:00 hrs. Bars open 11.30.

Admission prices are £7.00 for adults and £3.00 for concessions. Please note that the Main Stand and North Terrace will be open. Admission to the car park is free though space may be limited. There will be face painting and a bouncy castle. There will be cheer leaders at the game and a special prize at half-time so why not get along and support Wayne and take another look at, and have your picture taken with, the Conference Trophy.

There has been a terrific response from ex-City players wishing to take part in the testimonial. The game is between a current City X1 and a team comprising former players. So far the following players have confirmed they will be there on the day:

Graham Barrow, John Barnes, Gary Bennett, Brian Croft, Ross Davidson, Bob Delgado, Nigel Edwards, Neil Fisher, David Flitcroft, Joe Hinnigan, Peter Jackson, Iain Jenkins, Grenville Millington, Roger Preece, Chris Priest, Kevin Ratcliffe, Cyrille Regis, Stuart Rimmer, Shaun Reid, Billy Stewart and Steve Vaughan.

“I just want everyone to enjoy the occasion. We’ll have raffles, have your picture taken with the Championship Trophy, face painting, you name it.” said Wayne.

The game is the first of a number of events that will be held to mark Wayne’s testimonial year.

Match programme

The club are producing a limited edition special 16 page Wayne Brown testimonial programme for Sunday afternoon. This has a print run of just 500. They’ll be priced at £1.50 and include a special championship tribute.

So far included in the brochure, produced by Rob Ashcroft and Chas Sumner, will be:

Wayne’s view of the current squad (in detail!)
Championship tribute and reaction, including photographs from Fraser Bird
Memories from Wayne’s past at Bristol City etc
All Wayne Browns statistics
Top 20 Chester ‘keepers article
Top 10 games without conceding a goal

3 May 2004
Chester have started building for third division life next season by signing highly-rated midfielder Stewart Drummond from Morecambe on a two year deal. Manager Mark Wright has shown an interest in the 28-year-old Preston born midfielder for months now and has previously had three offers for the player rejected. Drummond, has scored 33 goals in 205+0 matches for the Lancashire club having joined them as a youth player in 1994. City midfielder Michael Twiss has joined Morecambe on a three year deal and Morecambe have also signed ex-City player Jimmy Kelly from Scarborough.

Mark Wright told the Daily Post: “It’s an exciting signing for us, Stewart is an inspirational midfield player, who will give us an extra dimension in that department. He is a leader, who can dictate play and also chip in with his fair share of goals as well. I am pleased that after a long period of chasing his signature, we have eventually got our man. He will be a revelation in Division Three.”

Aldershot Town will play Shrewsbury Town in this season’s Conference Play-Off final on Sunday 16 May. Both teams won through on a penalty shoot-out today. The Shots beat Hereford United, (despite finishing 21 points behind them at the end of the season), 4-2 after their second-leg had ended 0-0. Shrewsbury Town overcame Barnet 5-3 on spot-kick’s after winning the second-leg game 1-0 (with another penalty) to level the tie.
2 May 2004
There has been a change to the end of season presentation night. The boxing match originally advertised at £100.00 a head event has been dropped and the evening is now priced at £50.00 a head. The event takes place at the Chester Moat House Hotel on Friday 21 May starting at 19:30hrs and will include a three course meal, comedian, plus the Player-of-the-Season presentations as well as the appearance of the Conference trophy.
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