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14.WHAT HAPPENED TO...

Continuing our look at the whereabouts of last seasons players:

Martyn LancasterMartyn Lancaster was one of Chester’s longest serving players who ended a six year association with the club when he joined Leigh RMI midway through last season. Wigan born Martyn first represented the youth team in 1997 and was given his debut, by Kevin Ratcliffe, against Brentford in November 1998 alongside fellow debutantes Darren Moss and Danny Carson. A promising start in the first team marked him down as a player for the future and after the League Cup tie against Aston Villa in 1999 he joined the Premiership side for a weeks trial. Despite playing for Villa in a reserve team fixture against Blackburn Rovers nothing further developed and when he returned to Chester he failed to regain his position as City dropped out of the Football League. The arrival of Graham Barrow prompted a return to first team action and over the next two seasons he was a virtual regular in the team, either at centre half or full back. Although Martyn was made available for transfer at the end of the 2001/02 season he made a brief return to the side in October, against Margate and Woking, following an injury to Scott Guyett. His final appearance for City came in the FA Trophy, against Worksop Town, in January. After 96+ 9 league appearances and two goals he joined Leigh RMI. Martyn played a key role as the Railwaymen avoided relegation last season and was rewarded with a new contract during the summer.

Stuart WhittakerAnother player to join Leigh RMI was Stuart Whittaker (pictured right) who initially signed for City, from Southport, in January 2002 having previously played league football for Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Macclesfield Town. A quick and tricky player Stuart made his debut in the same game as Phil Bolland, a 1-0 win over Barnet, and went on to make 6+1 appearances for the club. Without doubt, the high point of his brief Chester career was the hat-trick he scored against Stevenage Borough in the last home game of the 2001/02 season. This proved to be his final appearance at the Deva Stadium and although he was named as a substitute, ironically against Leigh, the only start he made last season was against Stockport County in the Cheshire Senior Cup. Prior to this game he had spent one month on loan with the Railwaymen and signed for them on a permanent basis in November. After only 11+1 appearances for Leigh he joined the growing Chester contingent at Nuneaton Borough where he played 2+2 games as Borough were relegated from the Conference. Perhaps inevitably one of those games was against Chester at Manor Park. At the time of writing Stuart is still with Nuneaton Borough.

On the subject of Leigh RMI another former City player, striker David McNiven, joined the Lancashire side during the summer having spent last season with Northwich Victoria and Kidsgrove Athletic. David made 3 appearances for City in the 2001/02 season. David started the season in fine form with two goals in last Saturday’s opener against Dagenham and Redbridge.
Chas Sumner [Published 16/08/03]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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