As another incident-packed year at the Deva Stadium draws to a close, sports editor DAVID TRIGGS begins his two-part review of 2007 – in the words of those who made the headlines.
“Will we miss him? Yeah, he’ll leave a void... I don’t understand the mentality of the minority who kept having a go at him.”
– Blues boss Mark Wright laments the departure of club skipper Stephen Vaughan, the chairman’s son who quit the Deva due to criticism he received from fans.
“Those involved are very aware I expect better from them in future.”
– Ipswich boss Jim Magilton comes down hard on the five players who made an unauthorised trip to Amsterdam prior to the Tractor Boys’ FA Cup tie at Chester. After a 0-0 draw, Ipswich won the replay 1-0.
“You want to see some of the heads in the dressing room. They’re really, really down and despondent.”
– Wright sums up the mood after City’s FA Cup exit at Portman Road.
“It’s a blow to us for both of them to be away from the football club, but we move on.”
– Wright reflects on the sale of leading scorers Jon Walters and Gregg Blundell, who were shipped out for cash deals and replaced by Simon Yeo and Alex Meechan.
“Chester are a very, very negative team. They only came for a draw and they’ve won the pools by winning and getting three points.”
– Sour grapes from Accrington assistant boss Jimmy Bell after the Blues claimed a fully-deserved 1-0 win at the Fraser Eagle Stadium.
“All Wrexham’s derbies seem very bitter. It seems they’ve made a lot of enemies.”
– Paul Linwood spices up Chester’s trip to the Racecourse. The teams battled out an uninspiring 0-0 draw.
“He’s one of those people who you would want to marry your daughter because he’s so damn nice.”
– Wright does his best to sweet-talk Roberto Martinez into staying at the Deva, but the Spanish midfielder could not resist an offer to return to his old club Swansea City as manager.
“Any move to change the well-established name of Chester City FC would be met with profound scepticism.”
– Chester City ISA chairman Charlie Lambert fails to see any merit in Stephen Vaughan’s plan to change the club’s name to Chester-Halton. He wasn’t the only one, and the suggestion was promptly dropped.
“The football we are playing at the moment is garbage.”
– ‘Northender’ from Chester has his say on City’s poor form via our online fans’ message board.
“We need to make sure we are all rowing in the same direction – the fans, the people on websites, everybody.”
– A defiant Wright issues a plea for unity as Chester slip down the League Two table.
“It’s a legal dispute that’s now been satisfied. It was blown way out of proportion.”
– Chairman Vaughan plays down supporters’ concerns after narrowly avoiding a winding-up order. Leeds-based solicitors Brooke North were paid before the matter came to court.
“I’ve fallen out of love with the club.”
– Blues director and lifelong fan Paul Baker reluctantly resigns from the board following a ‘difference of opinion’ with Wright.
“There were certain people in that crowd who were waiting to have a moan. Well, we spoilt it for them, didn’t we?”
– Taking on the fans one last time, Wright bites back after a battling 0-0 home draw with promotion-chasing Shrewsbury.
“Mark and Graham worked extremely hard, but unfortunately we have only recorded three wins in our last 20 matches and that is a disappointing return.”
– The inevitable happens… Vaughan axes Wright and assistant boss Graham Barrow, with poor results and uninspiring performances squarely to blame.
“As a manager, all you want is a bag of balls, bibs, and a set of goals and players to work with. Chester have given me that opportunity and I don’t plan to let anybody down.”
– Vaughan surprised everyone by replacing Wright with Bobby Williamson – and the straight-talking Scotsman wasted little time in introducing himself to the Deva faithful.
“Things will probably work out for the better but it’s sad to be leaving.”
– Fans’ favourite Dave Artell was the first major casualty of the ruthless Williamson’s reign.
“Since Bobby Williamson has arrived, there has been a buzz about the place.”
– Club secretary Tony Allan pinpoints the reason for City’s record season ticket sales.
“If there’s anybody who comes back overweight or not in the shape they should be, they’ll find out the hard way.”
– Williamson cracks the whip, warning his players to keep fit during the close-season.
“Hopefully I can follow in my father-in-law’s footsteps.”
– Winger Richie Partridge joins the Blues – and aims to be just as good as his wife Lesley’s dad, Sealand Road hero Terry Owen.
Next week: July-December.