Camper van leads way to Wembley

Spirerite fan Richard Markham and his vintage campervan pimped in Chesterfield colours ready for the JP Trophy Final at Wembley
Spirerite fan Richard Markham and his vintage campervan pimped in Chesterfield colours ready for the JP Trophy Final at Wembley
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COME on you Spireites!

That’s the message this restored VW camper van will be driving forward for Chesterfield FC before the club’s Wembley clash with Swindon Town on Sunday.

The camper has been crafted thanks to £6,000 of work, and hours of care, by supporter and businessman Richard Markham.

And the vintage vehicle is set to lead thousands of excited fans down the M1 this weekend.

Dad-of-two Richard, of Newbold Road, Chesterfield, said: “They’re not very fast vehicles, so we are going to set off an hour early so everyone can see the van as they drive past.

“It will be a big day - how often do you get to go to Wembley?”

The van was a wreck bought from eBay for £1,800, as Richard’s family fancied one of the vehicles to go camping in.

Son Rhys, 17, helped strip it down and a panel beater worked on replacing every panel before granddad Alan put it together.

But the only colours the family liked just happened to be club colours blue and white - a happy coincidence when the Spireites got through to the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Richard, aged 41, said: “The van should have been scrap really.

“We never thought of using it for this but we couldn’t find a colour for it that we liked.

“It was just coincidence that it matched the Chesterfield colours.

“I’m pleased with how it has turned out and I wanted to show my support for the club at Wembley so added some graphics.”

The van proudly bears the slogans Come On You Spireites and CFC 2012 as well as a picture of the team and the trophy.

Fans have even been consulted through online forums on what pictures should be used.

Richard, who owns UPVC window and conservatory manufacturing company Frametech, was there the last time Chesterfield went to Wembley 17 years ago to play Bury.

And he has another connection through son Conor, 15, who played on the hallowed turf for a school tournament.

Richard added: “I’ve thought about setting up a little sweet shop in the van and going to the games - we could sell ice creams!”