As we continue our look at the 2017/18 season opposition we put Chesterfield under the spotlight.
Nickname: The Spireites
Club Colours: Blue & White
Who are they?
Chesterfield FC were originally formed in 1867, although the current incarnation of the club didn’t start their life until 1919 when they were reformed. The Spireites were founding members of the Third Division North only two years later.
Their early years were spent in the third tier, with the odd promotion to Division Two. But in 1961, they were relegated to the Fourth Division where they spent eight years before swiftly climbing back up.
Indeed the club’s recent history has also seen them yo-yo between League One and League Two, with a success in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy a high during the 21st century.
Did You Know?
+ The Spireites were awarded the FA Cup Giantkillers Trophy in 1996/97 after they reached the semi-final of the competition where they were knocked out by Middlesborough after a replay.
+ Recent research suggests that as many as five teams may have been called Chesterfield FC before the current club came to fruition.
+ The club have only ever reached the second tier twice in their history, both during the 1930s.
How did they get on last season?
Chesterfield suffered relegation from League One last season after finishing bottom of the pile. Danny Wilson was sacked in January, with new manager Gary Caldwell unable to guide the Spireites to safety. The side eventually finished 13 points adrift of safety.
Who’s in charge?
Ex-Celtic and Wigan centre back Gary Caldwell remains in charge at the Proact Stadium after being tasked with gaining an instant return to League One. His playing career spanned 15 years before he stepped into management with Wigan in 2015.
In his first season in the dugout at the DW Stadium he was unable to prevent the side being relegated from the Championship, but he guided the Latics to the League One title the following year. After a disappointing start to the 2016/17 season, he was relieved of his duties by Wigan before taking over at Chesterfield.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Some key players have departed the Proact Stadium since relegation, including attacking duo Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and Ched Evans, as well as talented midfielders Dan Gardener and Jay O’Shea.
But Caldwell has managed to attract some excellent additions, most notably striker Chris O’Grady who joined from Brighton. Scunthorpe duo Joe Anyon and Scott Wiseman offer vital experience, while lively attacker Gozie Ugwu has stepped into the Football League after a promising spell at Woking. Brad Barry, Jak McCourt, Louis Reed, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Delial Brewster and Jordan Sinnott complete the new additions.
They’ve Played For Both
Popular centre back Kevin Gray moved to the Spireites after his time at Brunton Park came to an end. The no-nonsense defender moved to Carlisle from Tranmere in 2003 and became a vital part of the side that won back-to-back promotions. He was quickly handed the captain’s armband and went on to make 130 appearances for the Cumbrians, scoring 11. After his release in 2007 he signed for Chesterfield and played 15 times during one season at Saltergate.
Current Blues Jamie Devitt and Gary Liddle have both spent time at Chesterfield during their careers.
Memorable Meeting - Chesterfield 1-3 Carlisle (10 November 2009)
En route to our first appearance at the new Wembley, United defeated the Spireites in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Darren Currie’s penalty handed Chesterfield the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Matty Robson, Peter Murphy and Adam Clayton netted after the break to seal progression to the area semi-final.
When Did We Last Meet?
Our last meeting came in the first round of the 2015 League Cup, with United running out 3-1 winners. Jabo Ibehre handed the Blues the lead before Mani Dieseruvwe equalised to force extra time. Strikes from Ibehre and Kevin Osei saw the Cumbrians claim progression in the extra half-hour.
When Do We Meet Next?
We make the trip to the Proact Stadium on 28 October before Chesterfield visit Brunton Park on 17 February.