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TOMMY SINGLETON 1940-2005

Former Chester defender Tommy Singleton sadly passed away at the end of December 2005 at the age of 65. Tommy has the distinction of being the first ever Chester substitute when he came on for his debut against Stockport County in the opening game of the 1965/66 season.

Tommy was born in Blackpool and signed as an amateur for his local Football League side in 1957. After appearing regularly for the Blackpool A and Central League sides he signed as a full time professional in 1960. In October of the same year he finally made his first team debut, in a League Cup tie against Leeds United, as a replacement for full back Jimmy Armfield who was on England international duty.

This proved to be his only game for the Tangerines and with first team opportunities limited he was transferred to Peterborough United for £2,500 in June 1962. He went on to play 85 League games and score one goal for the Posh before Peter Hauser brought him to Sealand Road for a “substantial fee” in June 1965.

Tommy was signed as a full back and slotted into that position on his groundbreaking first appearance when he replaced the injured Malcolm Starkey. He continued in that position until Bryn Jones took over the duties in mid-September. At the start of 1966 both full backs, Bryn and Ray Jones, suffered broken legs against Aldershot and Tommy regained his place in the team at right back.

The following season proved to be the 6ft defenders most successful period at Sealand Road as he started 40 games, initially at right back, before deposing John Butler at centre half. In the1967/68 season it was evident that the Chester side under Hauser had lost its sparkle and as the team unsuccessfully struggled to avoid re-election Tommy was restricted to 20 appearances.

During the 1968 pre-season he departed for Bradford Park Avenue as Ken Roberts continued to rebuild the Chester team following the dismissal of Hauser. In total Tommy played 88 league games for the Blues and scored one goal. Bradford proved to be Tommy’s final Football League side and after leaving the game he returned to Blackpool where he worked for TVR cars and continued to watch his local team.

Chas Sumner [5/1/06]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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