THE story of the Blues is retold in fascinating detail across the 320 pages of a book which gets its long-awaited re-release next week.
On the Borderline, Chas Sumner’s definitive account of Chester’s senior football team, published in 1997, has been fully updated by its author.
Lifelong fan Chas, 52, of Kelsall, decided to begin work on a revised edition last year, shortly after the demise of the old Chester City FC.
He said: “As soon as the old club died, I had it in my mind to do the book. I realised that this was the ideal time so I got to work.”
A newly-penned final chapter – complete with happy ending – was made possible last year when the Blues were reborn as a fan-owned phoenix club, emerging from the ashes of Chester City FC.
Chas, who continues to follow the Blues home and away, said: “The book draws a line under the old club.
“I do touch on the new club, which is a subject worthy of tackling in its own right, but this book is about the old club. It brings closure.”
The original On the Borderline has long been out of print, leading to copies changing hands on eBay for large sums of money in recent years.
The 2011 reissue contains everything which was in the original version, plus new chapters dealing with the period in the club’s history from 1997 to 2010.
The book also contains pages and pages of painstakingly-researched statistics and records, all of which have been updated.
Chas welcomed the opportunity to ‘fill in some of the gaps’ and update information which he did not have to hand at the time of the book’s original release.
The toughest part, he said, was trying to pen a full account of the final years of the old Chester City FC.
It was an era dominated by off-the-field problems which ultimately led to financial meltdown and the death of the club.
“When you look back at what we had to go through, it was just season after season of bad news, with only a couple of exceptions,” said Chas, one of the driving forces behind the Chester City Former Players Association.
“There were the Terry Smith years and the Stephen Vaughan years.
“They are worthy of books in their own right.”
Thankfully, those eras have been consigned to history – and the Blues are now looking forward to a brighter future.
The story of the team’s triumphant rebirth is one waiting to be written.
Chas Sumner’s 125 Years on the Borderline: The Complete History of Chester City Football Club, 1885-2010 is a 320-page hardback published by Yore Publications.
It will be available from the club shop at the Exacta Stadium from next Wednesday (November 9), priced £25.95.
Copies should also be available from Waterstones in Chester city centre.