Fundraising is underway to raise £35,000 to build a Memorial Garden at the Proact Stadium.Designed to provide an area to remember Spireites players and officials killed in the two World Wars, as well as commemorating the lives of supporters, the garden will be opposite The Hub at the back of the Spencers Solicitors Community Stand.
A meeting last week was attended by the likes of club chaplain Jim McGlade, chairman of the Derbyshire Royal British Legion Bernard Page MBE and Chesterfield FC Community Trust director John Croot. Landscaper John Pople and garden designer James Needham also attended, along with former player Bob Newton, whose father and grandfather fought in the two wars.
When completed, the garden is expected to be the finest such area at any Football League club. It will provide a link back to the club's former Saltergate home as it will feature a turnstile and crowd barrier from the now demolished stadium.
Fundraiser Phil Tooley said: "We had a terrific turnout at the meeting to kick off what is a mammoth fundraising task. The audience included descendants of former player Gerald Graham, who was killed in action in 1918. They were previously unaware that their great-great-grandfather played for Chesterfield before the war.
"We had members of the Staveley Armed Forces Veterans' Association, as well as many interested supporters. Listening to the response we had from those attending, the overriding view was what a fantastic task we are undertaking."
Individuals who wish to contribute can text 70070 and send a message: GARD02 £1, GARD02 £5 or GARD02 £10, depending on the amount they want to donate.
The next task faced by the fundraising group will be to attract business sponsors to help boost the fund. Any interested parties should contact Phil via firstname.lastname@example.org or via a special Facebook page called Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden.