GROUND-HOPPING fan Pete Tomlins has seen it all in almost 40 years watching the Blues.
The 50-year-old from Handbridge responded to our recent plea for nostalgia stories and has no shortage of tales to tell.
Pete started watching Chester in the 1971-72 season and has clocked up thousands of miles following his beloved Blues.
A trip to watch Chester take on Torquay United in May 1983 saw him become a member of the elite ‘92 Club’ for fans who have visited all of the 92 grounds in the Football League. He was presented with a specially engraved trophy by Chester boss John Sainty before the long trip south.
To cap off Pete’s day, Chester won 1-0 courtesy of a John Thomas goal and a heroic goalkeeping display from centre-half Noel Bradley, who took over between the sticks when Phil Harrington was injured.
Pete even wrote a book about the Torquay game and his other ground-hopping adventures, called Magic Moments on Tour.
In it, he recalls how the fans joined the players for celebratory drinks after the Torquay match.
He added: “We arrived back home in Chester shortly after 3am on the Sunday morning. My head was spinning as I trudged home through deserted streets. Still clutching my trophy, I reassured myself that the whole event DID take place!”
Pete rates the Debenhams Cup final victory over Port Vale in the 76-/77 campaign as his most memorable match.
The short-lived competition, for the two clubs from outside the top two divisions who advanced furthest in the FA Cup, was played over two legs at the end of the season.
After losing the first leg at Vale Park 2-0, Chester were staring defeat in the face when the Valiants made it to half time in the Sealand Road return match with the score at 0-0. But, amazingly, Chester blasted home four goals in the second half to win 4-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
With a photographic memory for facts and stats, Pete can even reel off a list of all the postponed and abandoned fixtures he has seen – including the League Cup tie against Plymouth in 1981 when keeper Grenville Millington crashed into the goalpost making a save. With the post snapped at its base and no replacement available, the game was abandoned.
Our picture, taken in the aftermath of the bizarre incident, shows a dazed Millington walking across his goal line while an amused Peter Sutcliffe watches Trevor Storton prop up the post.