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Remembering Saltergate: Zoe Edge's memories

4 May 2020

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All week we will be 'Remembering Saltergate' to mark Friday's tenth anniversary of the last match at our former home, against Bournemouth. The club's first Fan of the Year, Zoe Edge, gets us underway with her memories of Saltergate...

I remember when I was about five-years-old, my dad carrying me up to the ground and sitting on his knee in the family stand where I watched my first few games of football, that’s when I fell in love with the Spireites.

Ernie was the player who was scoring all the goals and he was the hero of most of the members of my family, so I think that’s why he became my first hero during my earliest memories of Saltergate.

I remember Ernie first taking me a tour of the ground when I was about 11. He was about to take me in to the home dressing room when he had to dive in front of me because the rest of the players thought I was a lad so Ernie had to make sure they were all covered up. I didn’t see anything but I remember they all had blue pants on.

Fast forward to the last game at Saltergate for the Spireites against Bournemouth. The ground hadn’t changed much, apart from a few health and safety adjustments.

I now sat in the wheelchair area under the family stand and the ground was even more battered than it was when I was a kid. To be honest, it was falling down, wasn’t it? Even though it was all battered and falling down it was still beautiful to us and we all loved it.

There was something special about the atmosphere at Saltergate, especially at the night matches. It was like you could feel the history of the club, it was almost like a vintage atmosphere and like going to old-fashioned football matches.

Of course, the Spireites wanted to say goodbye and make sure old Saltergate went out with a bang and the glory it deserved, so it was a great party carnival atmosphere and the town was a sea of blue and white.

It was a very emotional day as well and I think most Spireites had tears at some point. From getting up to going to bed, I cried on and off all day, but I always get very emotional about my Spireites.

No-one wanted the Spireites to lose their last game at Saltergate so when we were one down at half time, I think everyone was hoping and praying we would get at least a draw.

Everyone thought it was great when Jack Lester scored the equaliser, but when Derek Niven scored the winner, it was fantastic, Saltergate went mad and the pitch invasion happened.

The funniest thing about that day was when young Craig Gilthorpe invaded the pitch in his wheelchair - he became a true Spireites legend and he was just brilliant!

If you would like to submit a piece about your memories of Saltergate, please email media@chesterfield-fc.co.uk.


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