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Thacker Legend Returns to Chesterfield

23 December 2014

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Mike Thacker, the great-grandson of former Chesterfield player Frank Thacker, paid a visit to the club this week to learn more about his ancestor.

The elder Thacker, who made 228 league appearances for the club and scored 23 goals, first played for Chesterfield on their ascension to the Football League in 1898, playing for the Spireites until 1907.

Born in Sheepbridge, Thacker played for a few local sides before moving to Sheffield United but after being unable to break into the first team he moved on to Chesterfield where he truly made a name for himself.

Frank had a reputation of being a bit of a character, while on the pitch he constantly demonstrated that he was a no-nonsense type of player who wasn’t afraid to put in a few robust and meaty challenges.

“I’m just sort of learning about it now,” said Mike. “Dad mentioned it and I’ve known about it for a while and I’m only just looking it all up now. 

"It’s good to be here and obviously with the new ground. I went to Saltergate, but to see the new ground is good.”

Mike himself grew up in Chesterfield, before emigrating to Perth in Australia with his parents as an eight year-old. 

Despite being so far away from his North Derbyshire roots, Mike remains a committed Spireite and travelled down to the match at Gillingham on Saturday.

Over a century since his great-grandfather played for Chesterfield, and Mike has still heard the stories of his ancestor's infamy. 

He said: “I’ve heard that on the pitch he was a bit aggressive, a bit rough. He was the kind of guy that you went to to protect your skilful players. 

"Even off the pitch I think he had a bit going on. I’m not 100 percent sure what that involved but he was definitely one of those larger-than-life sort of characters.”

Away from football Frank was probably best known for a incident in which he was pulled in front of the courts for stealing three pig trotters, half a pound of tripe and a bottle of vinegar from a cart outside of a working men’s club. 

After conducting his own defence and reducing the court to hysterical laughter he was acquitted of the charges.

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