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PHIL WHITLOCK 1930-2009

One of Chester’s stars from the 1950s, Phil Whitlock, died recently. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

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.

Chas Sumner [16/1/10]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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