On the eve of the football season, a service of remembrance was held at the Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden adjacent to the East Stand.A year after the first memorials were unveiled in the £35,000 garden, around 200 people attended the outdoor event to celebrate the lives of fans and players who’ve passed away in the last year.
Many of the attendees were family members of those commemorated in the Memorial Garden including Gill Turner who donated the flower displays and Maggie Heath, who travelled over from Norwich to be at the event to remember her husband and two sons whose ashes are buried in the Garden having previously being interred at Saltergate.
Poetry was read by Derbyshire Laureate Helen Mort, music was provided by Sarah from the Lifehouse Church whose minister Paul Hollingworth also spoke words of wisdom.
The names of fans no longer with us were read out by Peter Whiteley and Howard Borrell whilst player Ritchie Humphreys read out the names of ex-Spireite players who’ve passed away since the Memorial Garden was opened.
Ritchie, in his role of Chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, was also on hand to unveil what’s believed to be a world first, a 499 name memorialbBoard commemorating every player and manager no longer with us to have represented the club in the Football League. The Board was funded by the Bridge Inn Blues Away Travel Club.
Several former Chesterfield players also attended the event, which is set to become an annual gathering.