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REG MATTHEWSON 1939-2016

Former Chester centre half, Reg Matthewson, has died at the age of 77 while on holiday in Spain. Reg was captain of the legendary 1974/75 team that won promotion from Division Four and reached the semi-final of the League Cup. He made 87 league appearances for the club scoring one goal. Although the Yorkshireman was coming to the end of his playing career when he joined Chester his calm presence and organisational ability proved to be a great asset to one of the most successful teams in the club's history.

Reg was born in Sheffield on August 6th 1939 and started his career in local football in the Sheffield area. After training regularly with Sheffield United he was offered terms by manager Joe Mercer at the age of 18 and made a goalscoring Football League debut at Fulham in March 1962. He remained at Bramall Lane until 1968 making 149 league appearances and scoring three goals.

In February 1968 Reg moved to Fulham for £30,000 and over the next six seasons chalked up 158 league appearances as he became a fixture at centre half. In 1970/71 he was a member of the Fulham side that won promotion to the Second Division and kept his place in the side until the start of the 1972/73 season.

With first team prospects limited at Craven Cottage Reg took the opportunity of joining Chester on loan in January 1973 and made his debut in a 1-1 draw at Aldershot. Although he initially had no intention of making the loan move permanent the Yorkshireman ended up signing for Ken Roberts' team the following month and was ever present at centre half until the end of the campaign. The following season Reg took over as captain when Bob Wallace was transferred to Aldershot but appearances were limited as he had an operation for the removal of a disc.

The start of the 1974/75 season saw Reg back as a first team regular, wearing the number six shirt, alongside Chris Dunleavy and Trevor Storton. When Dunleavy broke his leg against Torquay in September Reg returned to the centre of defence where he established a formidable partnership alongside Storton. Together with full backs Tony Loska and Nigel Edwards this solid unit remained virtually unchanged in front of Grenville Millington as Chester won promotion to Division Three for the first time in their history. He also featured in all the League Cup games including the famous victories over Leeds United and Newcastle United and the narrow semi-final defeat to Aston Villa.

When Brian Green left Sealand Road following promotion Reg took over as player-coach but on the playing side his career was effectively ended by the signing of Bob Delgado in October 1975. His final league appearance came in a 3-1 home defeat to Wrexham in April 1976.

During the following season Reg temporarily left football but returned as player coach at Bangor City in 1978 where former teammate Stuart Mason was the manager. In January 1979 he was a member of the Bangor team that faced Chester in a Welsh Cup 4th Round match. Reg left Bangor later that year but was briefly tempted back into football as assistant to Graham Turner at Shrewsbury Town for a couple of years in the early eighties.

After leaving football Reg worked as for a chemical fertiliser company in Ellesmere Port and lived in Tarvin. Chester Football Club send out their condolences to his family and friends.

Chas Sumner [31/8/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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