IF ANYONE was going to feel the wrench of not being at the Deva Stadium on Saturday it was Richard Prince, arguably Chester City's most committed supporter.
The boycott meant that the 38-year-old Heswall-based Blues fan ended an amazing run of 870 successive competitive home and away matches, which started against Hartlepool United at Sealand Road on August 26, 1985.
Instead Prince, a former Deva Stadium steward and a close friend of banned Official Supporters' Club chairman Barrie Hipkiss and his family, did a spell on the picket line outside the ground and then went home.
He explained: 'The reason I didn't go to the match was because I owe loyalty to so many dear friends and the real Chester City FC.
'I have grown to know many fans and employees closely and too many have been treated unacceptably in recent times.'
And he added: 'I thought I would feel terrible about missing the game, but I didn't. It is not the club I know and love.'
Prince, who works with a Manchester-based insurance company, was back on the terraces on Tuesday, along with many other boycotters, watching City in action against Southport at Haig Avenue.
Jon Wainwright, for many years the editor of the Onion Bag Fanzine which is now online, isn't even going to away matches and is seriously considering pulling the plug on his website. 'I have totally lost interest,' he admitted.
He went on a trip to the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday and took in the Harrogate Railway Athletic v Arnold Town match in the Northern Counties East League.
The Droylsden-born computer programmer also plans to watch his home town team in action as often as possible. 'I didn't miss watching Chester one bit,' he said. 'I am sick of what is going on there.'
Chester City's historian Chas Sumner, who lives in Kelsall, rarely misses a game, but he, too, decided to stay away and went to see Vauxhall Motors' first game in the UniBond League Premier Division against Worksop.
'It was harder missing the Port Vale game, but having missed one it was easier to miss another,' he said.
'It was enjoyable to go to a club that made the fans feel welcome. I felt I had to make a point. It was not a case of denying the Chester City board my admission money, but to express my dissatisfaction at the way the club is being run.'
After holding a season ticket at Chester for about 13 years Graham Johnson, of Chester, has bought a season ticket for Everton.
The secretary of the Chester Sunday League, he spent Saturday afternoon catching up with some of his league paperwork and listening to commentary on Everton's match at Charlton and the Chester match against Woking.
'I missed being at the Deva, but there is no way I am going back under the present regime,' he said. 'I feel very sad about it, but my mind is made up.'