THE great Stanley Matthews endured a rare afternoon of frustration when he played at Sealand Road, according to one veteran Chester fan.

Lifelong supporter Alan Mawdsley, 78, of Overton-on-Dee, recalls seeing the ‘Wizard of the Dribble’ facing Chester for Stoke City in an FA Cup fourth-round tie on January 25, 1947.

More than 18,000 fans crammed into the stadium see a 0-0 draw, with Chester going down 3-2 in the replay at the Victoria Ground.

Alan, who was a teenager at the time, said: “I went to the players’ entrance and got all their autographs, including Matthews, Neil Franklin and Fred Steel.”

But Matthews was unable to work his usual magic and carve open the Chester defence.

“I remember Dave McNeil played well against Matthews and kept him quiet,” said Alan. “Apparently McNeil always played well against him. He was supposed to be one of the few full-backs who could keep him quiet.”

Alan has plenty of other memories from his days as Sealand Road regular.

He has the programme from a Wales v Scotland intermediate (under 23) match switched at short notice from Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground to Chester in 1966.

The match was played on a Wednesday night, November 30, and the squad list in the programme includes future Scotland stars Eddie Gray and Jim McCalliog.

But Alan would like to know if any Chronicle readers can remember why the match was switched to Sealand Road.

Alan also owns a programme from a football festival played at Chester Nomads’ ground in April 1950.

The teams involved were playing in the preliminary round of the McDermott Cup. Alan played in the competition for the Buddicom team, which included future Chester player Bobby Williams.

According to an editorial on the first page of the programme, a huge crowd of 7,520 spectators watched the previous year’s competition at Boughton Hall.

Alan wonders if any Chronicle readers went to the games or played in them.

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