Programme of the Week – York City vs Chester City 1986
The latest in a series about football programmes from my collection that relate to a game being played in the next few days.
York City vs Chester FC 2019 / 2020
This weekend football teams from two of our ancient cities clash in a non-league fixture in the sixth tier of English Football. Recent times have been hard for both York City and Chester City who fell out of the fourth tier 2016 and 2009 respectively. However, today things look more positive and the sides meet at Bootham Crescent in the Vanarama National League North.
York City are second in the table, with 56 points from 28 games. They are 4 points behind leaders Kings Lynn Town, but the leaders have 2 games in hand. Chester FC are third. They have 48 points and a game in hand on York City. A win for Chester and success in their game in hand would close the gap to two points.
As importantly it might put some distance between Chester and the teams in fourth and fifth place (Brackley Town and Boston United). At the end of the season only the champions are promoted. Fourth to seventh play off for the right to meet second and third in a semi final. The winners of the final will join the National League.
So far, Chester have only lost 3 away games and York City have only lost 2 home games. Current form is similar; 4 wins and a defeat for York City; 3 wins 1 draw and a defeat for Chester. Earlier in the season, York City won 1-0 at the Deva Stadium in the reverse fixture.
York City are managed by Steve Watson; an uncompromising defender / midfielder for (predominantly) Newcastle United and Everton. Chester FC are jointly managed by Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson who first came to the attention of a wider audience at Salford City FC, during Sky TV’s documentaries about the takeover and rise of the club.
York City vs Chester City 21st October 1986
In October 1986, the teams met in the Today League Division 3. The season is eleven games old and York City are 10th having gained 16 points from their first 11 games. Chester City are 20th in the 24 team division with only 10 points from their opening 11 games, having drawn 7.
It’s a Tuesday and kick off is 7.30pm.
York City produced a 20 page programme for this, the 6th home match of the season. Called ‘City Scene’ the programme cost 50p. The cover has colour photos of the recent game against Mansfield Town and tells us that there is a ‘Junior Reds Soccer Special’ inside.
Just over 10 pages are devoted to advertisements. Congratulations to the commercial department – but they tell us little about the occasion.
On page three is ‘Team Talk’; the Managers notes. Denis Smith, former Stoke City defensive legend is the Manager, assisted by the equally legendary Viv Busby of Luton Town fame. Smith points out that the team is currently hampered by the absence of Kenford Keith Ian Walwyn (to give him his full name) who was born in St Kitts and Nevis and played circa 250 games for the club. Already in this 86/87 season he has scored 9 goals in 13 games. He is the divisions second highest scorer, one goal behind Andy Jones of Port Vale – a Welsh International from Wrexham.
Page 5 gives some club notices on travel and the Junior Reds, as well as listing the players sponsors. Page 7 details the fixtures and results for the reserves in the Central League and the Juniors in the Northern Intermediate League.
The centre pages provide ‘City Matchfacts’ – team lists; scorers; attendances and the league table.
Page 14 has the details of the Junior Red Soccer Specials and page 16 profiles City number 8 Marco Gabbiadini (see below). Page 18 welcomes Chester City with brief pen portraits and the teams are listed on the back cover.
York City vs Chester City 21st October 1986 – The Teams
In a moment we’ll select our Main Men from the match, but one or two other names need mentioning.
In the York City side are Dale Banton, who briefly appeared for West Ham United at the start of his career. Also, Alan Whitehead, who amassed over 350 games at centre half in the lower leagues, with Scunthorpe United and Brentford amongst others.
In the Chester City side is Graham Abel, who made circa 300 appearances for Chester, as well As appearing in 3 FA Trophy Finals for Northwich Victoria. Alongside Abel is Graham Barrow who’s 16 year career was shared between Altrincham; Wigan Athletic and Chester. Having managed Chester twice, and briefly managed Wrexham (not a sensible move!) Graham is now assistant to Sam Ricketts at Shrewsbury Town.
York City vs Chester City 21st October 1986 – The Main Men
Sadly, Keith Walwyn is not on the team sheet or he would have been the obvious choice for York City. So instead we take a look at a young Marco Gabbiadini. 18-year old Gabbiadini is just starting out on his career, but at this point is already approaching 50 games for the Minstermen. His younger brother Ricardo is also at the club at this time.
This would be Marco’s last season at York until he returned for 7 games in 1998. At the end of the 86/87 season, Manager Denis Smith left for Sunderland and paid £80,000 to take Gabbiadini to Roker Park. It was money well spent. He scored 21 goals in 35 league games and fired Sunderland back into Division Two in that first season.
In the opposing number 9 shirt is Stuart Rimmer. After just 3 appearances for Everton, Rimmer joined Chester City in 1985 and played over 110 games for them in his first spell of three years. He scored circa 70 goals and was transferred to struggling Division One side Watford, where it just didn’t happen. Between 1988 and 1991 he moved between 3 other clubs before arriving back at Chester, who were in exile at Macclesfield’s Moss Rose.
In the next seven years, Rimmer made over 250 appearances for Chester City scoring over 70 goals.
Stuart Rimmer was inducted into the Chester Football Club Hall of Fame in 2011.
York City vs Chester City 21st October 1986 – The Outcome
We should have guessed! The draw experts did it again and the match finished 1-1 in front of 3,322 fans.
Stuart Rimmer scored a penalty for Chester and Dale Banton netted for York.
At the end of the season, York City, following a dreadful run of results, escaped relegation by just four points! On the other hand, Chester City managed to find a way to win and finished 15th, a further 7 points ahead.
Best of luck to both teams on Saturday; does this one have a draw written all over it as well?