It’s 25 years since Chester FC's Deva Stadium was officially opened.
On August 24, 1992, the chairman of the Football Trust, The Rt Hon Lord Aberdare KBE, was present to open the Blues’ new home, ending their two-year exile in Macclesfield.
Owners of the club at the time, Morrison Construction Group, handed over the ground and the following day the Blues played their first competitive game at their new home, a 2-1 loss to Stockport County in the Coca-Cola Cup in front of a crowd of 4,033.
The return to Chester was a momentous occasion.
Their home since 1906, Chester left Sealand Road for a the final time in 1990, the stadium and its land sold to Scottish property developers Morrison Shand, who also purchased a majority shareholding in the football club.
The sale of the stadium had been coming down the tracks for some time for Chester, with debts piled up in the 1980s under the chairmanship of Eric Barnes culminating in the club putting its greatest asset, the stadium itself, up for sale with vacant possession at the end of the 1989/1990 season.
With ground shares at Port Vale, Stoke City and even Wrexham mooted, Chester, thanks to former chairman Ray Crofts, eventually secured an 11th-hour agreement with Macclesfield to share their Moss Rose home for two seasons while the club began the search for a new home.
Plans for a 12,000-seater stadium were submitted to Chester City Council and revised plans for a 10,600-capacity home were eventually accepted in principle.
But with an agreement yet to be reached on the development of Sealand Road - capital needed to fund the new stadium - little progress was made.
A dispute between Morrisons and the council over the planning application would see the capacity reduced to 6,000 owing to a tight deadline. Morrisons had wanted to reduce the size of the car park to allow for two training pitches.
Spades were eventually in the ground on January 28, 1992, where Crofts and then Blues boss, the legendary Harry McNally were in attendance.
Against the odds the construction was completed in time for the Coca-Cola Cup clash with Stockport, so beginning Chester’s new life at their new home.