Chesterfield Community Trust organised a number of events on May 8 to both commemorate and bid farewell to their 139-year-old Saltergate ground.
The Trust arranged a heritage project at The Pomegranate Theatre which presented match footage from 1923 to the present day as well as photos dating back to 1900, providing a visual history of the club's time at Saltergate. Former players including Albert Collins of the 1945 Football League War Cup semi-final side were also present providing a living link to the past.
The project proved very successful with all 545 tickets being sold and demonstrated how the power of football can be used as a vehicle for making history more accessible and uniting people of all ages through inter-generational initiatives.
After the theatre, a brass band joined by The Spirette cheerleaders and club mascot Chester the Field Mouse lead a parade along Chesterfield High Street and up to the match. From the initial 545 that left the theatre, the crowd grew to a police estimate of around 2,000 people.
Chesterfield Chief Executive, Carol Wilby, said: "This sort of event just shows how important it is to have a strong community element at the Club. The parade brought together the people of the town and helped to show what a positive force football can be in the area."
Fans turned out in their thousands with many holding banners and others sporting commemorative t-shirts. Programmes titled 'The Final League Match' were also on sale.
John Croot, Director of Chesterfield FC in the Community, added: "The final match at Saltergate was very emotional and to see thousands of people gathering like that was part of a perfect send-off. It is clear that the heritage of the club is a considerable draw both with young and old. I hope we can take the story of the club and town out into schools and community groups to build on what we have started."
All money raised from the day's events celebrating the past will help fund future community projects and initiatives in the local community.
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