Sports editor DAVID TRIGGS concludes his Blues review of 2007 with a look back at what went on from July to December – in the words of those who made the headlines
“Few wingers got the better of Ray Jones. He even subdued the legendary George Best when given the task of marking him in an FA Cup tie.”
– Blues historian Chas Sumner pays tribute to former Chester full-back Ray Jones, who died at the age of 63. It was a sad month for the club as former Chester forward Eric Davis and kitman Alan Cotterell also passed away.
“Last time I was here I struggled with my weight, but as I’ve got older I’ve seemed to cope better.”
– Slimline striker John Murphy returns to the Deva and promises to stay in shape.
“I’m not here for one last payday, that is not me. I would rather walk away from the game if it came to that.”
– Vastly-experienced defender Paul Butler joins the Blues – and assures fans he is not in football for the money.
“It’s good competition. He’s been around a bit and hopefully we can push each other.”
– Keeper John Danby relishes having a rival for the number one jersey – veteran goalkeeping coach Gavin Ward, a summer recruit from Tranmere.
“I hate pre-season. It is the worst thing about football.”
– Striker Simon Yeo is glad to see the back of City’s gruelling summer training programme.
“It will be a rollercoaster ride!”
– Blues boss Bobby Williamson warns fans to brace themselves for an exciting season.
“If there are people out there like Mr Downes who want to show me the money instead of talking about it, I’ll do a deal with them.”
– Blues chairman Stephen Vaughan weighs up an investment offer from Alicante-based businessman Richard Downes and sports management company ISM.
“We need more people to come through the gates or times are going to be very hard.”
– Williamson fears for the future as Chester’s bright start to the new season fails to win over the Deva doubters.
“We’re ready to do the deal. It will all happen within the next seven to 10 days.”
– Vaughan prepares to sell to ISM – but the proposed takeover stalled.
“It was one of those days. A bad day at the office.”
– Simon Yeo reflects on City’s 2-0 home defeat to Brentford.
“I’m happy when Yeo hits the post and it rolls out to me for a tap-in!”
– Kevin Ellison speaks of his delight at grabbing the winning goal at Grimsby as City’s unbeaten away run in the league continues.
“I definitely think we can go for automatic promotion. Our form speaks volumes. We are second for a reason.”
– Confident talk from experienced midfielder Tony Dinning as the Blues march on up the table.
“Richie scores like that quite regularly. He is a pleasure to work with.”
– Richie Partridge gets a pat on the back from Williamson as his brace hands City a 2-1 victory at Stockport.
“I just jumped and closes my eyes! It was a nice goal for me.”
– John Murphy delivers a typically modest assessment of his goal in a 2-2 draw with Wycombe.
“We will take whatever fine they give us. The coach left in plenty of time but we’ll just have to suffer the consequences.”
– After City arrive 30 minutes late for their match at Lincoln, Vaughan braces himself for a Football League charge and fine. The Blues won 1-0.
“We’ve got to keep banging the drum and hope the fans will turn out, because even the chairman will get despondent after a while if he doesn’t see anybody appreciating what he is trying to do.”
– An ominous warning from Williamson as Chester’s home crowds remain disappointingly low.
“If any of our players get sent off, they will be fined two weeks’ wages.”
– Williamson lays down the law before City’s derby at Wrexham. The match ended 2-2 – and there were no red cards.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’ll do all right.”
– New assistant boss Jimmy Bone can’t wait to get started after replacing Malcolm Thomson, who left for Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
“Managers and players are expendable, but chairman like Stephen Vaughan are a rare breed.”
– Williamson speaks out after the shock resignation of a disillusioned Vaughan as chairman and director.
“You get even less time with your family when you’re injured. That’s the worst thing about it.”
– Crocked midfielder Tony Dinning faces up to spending Christmas in the treatment room.