Spireites v Boro 20th anniversary: Dyche isn’t too emotional about ex clubs but ‘Chesterfield is different’

Chesterfield v Middlesborough 1997 FA cup semi final.
Chesterfield v Middlesborough 1997 FA cup semi final.
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Sean Dyche might not get misty eyed when he talks about his playing days but the gruff Premier League boss does admit to a soft spot for Chesterfield FC.

Burnley’s manager is very much about the here and now and prefers to learn and move on than ‘overthink’ and dwell on the past.

He did, however, indulge in a little Chesterfield nostalgia the last time he got a chance.

And his fondness for the Spireites stems from them making him a man.

“I‘m not too emotional about my ex clubs because I worked hard at all of them and then moved forward,” said the 45-year-old.

“But I must say, Chesterfield is slightly different because I went there as a boy and I left as a man.

“Literally in years and also in football experience.”

It’s 20 years since Dyche captained Town to an FA Cup semi-final, in which he scored from the spot as the boys in blue famously drew 3-3 with Premier League Middlesbrough.

That remarkable achievement is just part of his story however.

“I met my now-wife and we lived in Chesterfield for a couple of years,” he said.

“I had a real tough time with injuries but people had always stood by me.

“Although I don’t overthink my past there is a connection there because it meant so much.

“I was really pleased, I’ve now got children and when we played them in pre-season last year I actually stayed up and took my kids, we stayed in a hotel and drove round to our old house, gave them a little look around the town.

“Even though they’re looking around quite bemused, it was like going down memory lane for me.

“Lots of fond memories of my time on off the pitch, still a bit of a soft spot.”

Dyche was part of a tight-knit Spireites outfit and despite leaving the club two decades ago, he’s still close to those he worked for and those he captained.

“I had a real connection with the management team,” he said.

“I’m still connected to them this day, myself and John Duncan, Kev Randall still does some scouting for me now.

“Dave Rushbury was such a character as a physio, Jamie Hewitt, Lee Rogers, Tony Lormer, I could name them all.

“Tommy Curtis I saw just the other week, Darren Carr is still a friend of mine, Nicky Law is now one of our scouts at Burnley, still good connections from a fantastic time.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Dyche and his gaffer, after a rocky start.

But the relationship that blossomed continues to bear fruit for the man who led Burnley to a Championship title last season.

“Funnily enough my first season under John we didn’t really get on, we didn’t see eye to eye on what he wanted from me, his and Kev’s thoughts on the team,” said Dyche.

“Not in an undermining way, we just didn’t see eye to eye.

“I remember getting injured and he really stood by me and helped me out with a contract situation because Norton Lea wasn’t always the easiest person to deal with let’s say.

“I remember thinking he’s done right by me. I started that pre-season, got fit and played well and things started to turn for myself, the team and my connect to John and Kev.

“Now John is someone I still bounce ideas off, I’ve learned a heck of a lot from the pair of them.

“I didn’t know it so much at the time but as my career has gone on I’ve learned some real strong lessons from the two of them and helped form some of the opinions I’ve got about the game today.”