of Chester’s stars from the 1950s, Phil Whitlock,
died recently. Our condolences go out to his family
Phil was born in Llanhilleth, South
Wales on 1st May 1930 and made 142 league appearances
for Chester between 1951 and 1958. He made his league
debut in a goalless draw at Rotherham in April 1951.
Despite wearing the number eight shirt that day he mainly
featured as a wing half. His pace and fitness, coupled
with the ability to play on either the left or right,
meant that he was normally given the role of man to
man marking the oppositions fastest inside forward.
In those days, before the advent of midfield players,
the role of wing half was mainly a defensive duty and
Phil only scored three league goals for Chester.
Phil started his career playing local
football before joining Cardiff City as a part time
player while working down the mines. Despite making
a number of appearances in the Welsh League and London
Combination side he never broke into the first team
at Ninian Park and was unfortunate to suffer a mining
accident which put him out of football for eight months.
After recovering from the injury he was released by
Cardiff and Frank Brown brought him to Sealand Road
in August 1950.
Phil was a member of the Chester side
that drew with Chelsea in the FA Cup Third Round at
Stamford Bridge in 1952 and also featured in the replay
when a record attendance of more than 20,000 spectators
saw the Blues narrowly defeated by the odd goal in five.
While with Chester Phil also played in two Welsh Cup
Finals but finished on the losing side on both occasions.
However he picked up one winners medal in 1957 when
he was a member of the team that beat Burnley 1-0 in
the Lancashire Cup Final.
Phil was always a pleasure to speak
to about his time at Sealand Road which he always remembered
with great affection. The Chelsea tie was a game that
particularly stuck in his memory but he also liked to
reminisce about the hard fought derby games with Wrexham,
Tranmere and Crewe which he remembers were always played
with extra bite.
In the mid 1950s Phil was a first
team regular and was granted a testimonial in 1957 along
with Ronnie Hughes and Sam Morris when Chester beat
an Everton team 4-2. His last game for the club came
in a remarkable 5-1 victory over runners up Accrington
Stanley on April 30th 1958 in what was Chester’s
last ever game in the Third Division North.
During the 1958 season Phil
left Chester for Caernarvon where he remained for two
years before ending his career at Dolgellau in 1962.
After leaving football he spent six years with an engineering
company and then took on a window cleaning round. In
his retirement Phil, who lived in Boughton, liked to
spend his spare time playing golf at Vicars Cross.