Chesterfield title winning legend saddened by non-league status but says winning side will bring fans back

Former Chesterfield great Albert Holmes
Former Chesterfield great Albert Holmes
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Almost 50 years after winning a league title as a Spireite, Albert Holmes wants the men currently wearing the blue shirts to follow in his footsteps.

The full-back is one of the club’s all-time greats, thanks to a 470 Football League appearances.

Holmes, now 76, remains incredibly fond of the club and is disappointment about their drop into non-league.

“I had some lovely times here, I’m very grateful for all I had out of the club,” he said.

“It stood me in good stead, being here. I met some great blokes and played with some great players.

“The club itself looked after us. It was brilliant, to say that they were a Fourth Division club.

“Some of the things they did for us were fantastic, the club has had some great supporters and I’m really sad they’ve gone down. It’s terrible.”

Holmes was an ever-present part of the 1969/70 Spireites who lifted the Fourth Division title, something he looks back on as a highlight of his many years at Saltergate.

“The greatest thing was getting promotion in 69/70 and I managed to play in every single game, it was fantastic.

“The atmosphere at Saltergate, because it was packed, was fantastic.

“Winning promotion, playing with some good players, we trained hard and worked hard and I think we deserved what we got that year.

“It’s unfortunate now, I’m a dying breed, there’s not many of us left.

“The manager got us through, we had some great times.”

The man sitting fourth in the club’s all-time appearance list enjoys regular trips to the Proact to see his former club.

But he warns that the simpressive facilities will motivate opposition teams.

“I would have loved to have played here, it would have been great.

“It’s a beautiful ground.

“The opposition who come here, some of them will have decent grounds, but it’ll make them play better. It always does when you have a stadium like this, they’ll want to perform.”

From experience, he knows how the locals can come out in force to see a winning Town side and his hope is that current manager Martin Allen builds one.

“All being well, they’ve got a good manager, hopefully they get a good team together and go back up again,” he said.

“If they can get a good side together, get winning, it’ll be good for the town, I think the supporters will come back.

“Chesterfield appreciated it, the supporters did, when we won the title for them.”