Once upon a time, we went arm-in-arm with Chesterfield into League One. The Spireites dazzled all before them on their way the 2010-1 League Two title. Us, as mere mortals, could only honour them by following humbly in the playoffs. Luckily, though, we then unlinked our arms and let go; watching the Spireites not once, but twice, tumbling out of sight. Football League stalwarts back in years gone by, the club were still scrambling to return from the National League as of summer 2022.
Chesterfield: The Facts
The Proact Stadium
1866 Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 8NZ
And, as such, we won’t dwell on anything before 1919.
In their first season, the Spireites won the Midland League title – in some parts credited as their second crown, but see above. More importantly, they canned the Municipal name in December 1920 and became founder members of the Football League’s new Division Three North in 1921. After that point, they were set up for the duration; taking up residence in the League and a stay that would last almost an entire century. If you want exact numbers, we’re talking 97 years.
Why do we know the Spireites?
The late 1930s are arguably as good as it got for them; the Spireites reaching the second tier in the years running up to World War Two. They held out for a few seasons afterwards too; ending the 1946-7 campaign in fourth – ahead of Newcastle United and Spurs. But it was the third and fourth tiers that you’d ordinarily find them. And their habit of yo-yoing between the two meant that, for every title they secured, there was a relegation at some point too.
We feel as if we should point out their epic FA Cup run in 1997 that took them all the way to the semi-finals. And, to be honest, they probably earned a place in the final after going 2-0 up over Premier League oppo Middlesbrough. But they couldn’t see it out. And it’s not relevant to Boro’ (us, that is). So, we’re not going to say any more about it.
This was more or less the case as the 20th century gave way to the 21st. During the first half of the 2010s, they rode their luck as Division Two became League One. Twice in two seasons, one win made all the difference to keeping them up there. But that luck caught up with them at the end of the 2006-7 campaign; relegated to League Two. And an instant return was beyond them, which is why they were still in League Two in 2010 when little ol’ us arrived on the scene.
How to get to Chesterfield – Travel Information – Distance: 140 miles
From Stevenage, the process involves a trip straight up the M1 with little deviation. After a 100-odd-mile journey northbound on the M1, exit at Junction 29 for the Chesterfield-bound A617. At the end of the dual carriageway, turn right onto the northbound A61 for Sheffield. The stadium will be located on the right after taking a left at the first roundabout.
The club car park is for permit holders only, while Tesco is patrolled on a regular basis. So your safest option for parking your motor will be to find a space on local side streets where available. There’s a list of roads to avoid here.
Services to: GRANTHAM (for STEVENAGE, LONDON KINGS CROSS)
The walk from the railway station isn’t a particularly short one. Leave the station towards the town centre on Crow Lane, before turning right onto Malkin Lane. At the roundabout, head straight onto the B6543 Brewery Street over the A61 and follow it around to the left.
Turn right onto Holywell Street and continue along the right hand side of the road in a straight-ish direction for Newbold Rd (B6057). Head onto Sheffield Road (B6057) for the longest stretch of the journey; passing the Panthers Rugby Club on the left.
As you approach the roundabout outside Gordon Lamb Toyota, the ground may well be visible but head straight ahead onto Sheffield Road if not.
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