Former Spireites legend Gerry Sears has passed away, aged 79, after a long illness.
Sears made 412 league appearances for Chesterfield and scored four goals in his 15 years at the club.
Born in Arkwright Town in January 1935, Sears came through the junior ranks at Chesterfield and returned after completing national service to a place in the reserves.
His first few senior games were at outside-left, from where he scored on his league debut against Wrexham in April 1953. Sears would have to wait 11 years and 256 days for his next goal, the longest spell on record between two consecutive goals for the Spireites.
Between his debut in April 1953 and August 1958, Sears played only 13 times, kept out of the side by the fine form of Freddie Capel.
It was simply a question of biding his time, since the club knew they had a good player in Sears, continuing to retain him long after other players of a similar age were tried and discarded.
Having been made to wait, Sears came into the side at full back for the second game of the 1958-9 season for the oddest of reasons, when Ray DeGruchy, who had started the previous week’s game, was ruled out by a bee sting.
Marvellously consistent, Sears was ever-present for three seasons in an era when the side was often chopped and changed, and he currently stands eighth in the list of Chesterfield's highest appearance-makers.
Sears' career came to a sudden end after he suffered a back injury against Exeter in February, 1968. He never recovered fully from the injury.
Upon retirement from football, Sears ran his own milk round for six years before working for the Tube Works in Chesterfield.
The club will be recognising Sears before tomorrow's match with Scunthorpe United with a minute of applause.