CHESTER legend Trevor Storton has sent out an eve-of-season message to the fans who once used to chant his name from the Sealand Road terraces: “Supporter-owned clubs CAN work.”
The former defender is convinced Chester FC will be successful this term – and he is well qualified to deliver an assessment of the reborn club’s chances.
Storton is assistant manager of fellow ‘phoenix club’ FC Halifax Town, who swept to last season’s UniBond Division One North title just two years after rising from the ashes of Halifax Town AFC.
He is eager for Chester to follow suit and reckons the Shaymen are a good example of how a reformed club can work effectively.
Storton, who made 396 league appearances for Chester from 1974-84, told The Chronicle: “We showed that as long as the people running the club have common sense, you can be successful.
“We gained some momentum and we got 3,000 fans for some games last season. It was a nice environment for the players to play in.
“If Chester can do something similar they will be well on their way.”
Keighley-born Storton thinks that supporters reforming clubs like Chester and Halifax can play a big role in the future of non-league football.
“There will be pitfalls along the way and it is hard to predict if it will work from one club to the next,” said the 60-year-old, who was a hero of Chester’s run to the League Cup semi-finals in 1975. “But if the people involved with the clubs are football people then it definitely could be the way forward.”
While Storton believes Chester can get to grips with their new level, he warns that the standard of football in Evo-Stik Division One North may surprise a few people.
However, he does think Chester can have a real go at promotion.
“The league is filled with players that have been let go by bigger sides and have now dropped down a few divisions. It is tough,” said Storton.
“But depending on the signings and the start they make to the season I think Chester will do well. If they have a good team spirit and good players they will have a good chance.”
He may be a Yorkshireman, but Storton speaks passionately about Chester and hopes the new club can go on the create a fruitful new history.
“I spent a lot of successful years there and I had a good relationship with the fans,” he said. “I was disappointed to see them drop this far down, but I would like to wish them all the best.”