FC are sorry to learn of the passing of former player
Jerry Ireland who died recently after a long illness.
A local man, Jerry remained a part-time player throughout
his Chester career and made 40 Football League appearances
for the club, scoring 8 goals, between 1957 and 1962.
Jerry attended Chester City Grammar
School and after signing terms at Sealand Road made
his debut for the Cheshire County League side at the
end of the 1956/57 season. At the time he was a college
student and went on to become a lecturer in building
and construction at university in Liverpool.
It was John Harris who gave Jerry
his first team debut, in a 1-1 draw with Southport in
September 1957 with a longer run at inside right commencing
the following February which included a sequence of
four goals in six games. Despite this successful spell
he started the following season in the reserves and
it was only when Stan Pearson succeeded Harris as manager,
in April 1959, that he returned to the first team. With
Pearson looking to promote youngsters, the likes of
Jimmy Cooper, John Pimlott and future Welsh international
Ron Davies, were all given opportunities and Jerry had
another good spell in the team in December 1959 when
he managed another sequence of four goals in six games.
The 1960/61 season saw Jerry back
in the reserves and he only appeared eight more times
in the Football League over the following two campaigns.
However he remained a regular presence in the Cheshire
County League side for whom he amassed more than 100
appearances in total before signing for Altrincham in
summer 1962 and later went on to play for Chester Nomads.
Jerry acted as best man at the wedding
of former full-back John Evans who remembers him as
a very academic and thoughtful man: “On the field
of play he was a very technical performer and never
wasted a pass. He was very fit and had tremendous stamina
so as a full back, playing behind him, I knew I could
always rely on him to help out. He is a great loss and
will be sorely missed.”
The club send out their condolences
to his family and friends.