No new signings please! Fan aims to draw all Spireites players since 1921 '“ badly

One Chesterfield fan is desperately hoping his club makes no new signings.

Thursday, 8th September 2016, 7:58 pm
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 5:25 pm
Badly drawn Spires - top from left: David Pugh, Phil Tingay, Marc Richards, Kevin Davies. Bottom from left: Danny Wilson, Ernie Moss, Andy Morris, Jamie Hewitt

Richard Cotterill has embarked on a remarkable quest, to draw every single Spireites player he can get a photo of – badly.

The 39-year-old, originally from Hasland, has been going to Chesterfield games since the mid 80s.

Being a Spireite is very much a family thing.

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He said: “My first game was 30th November 1985, a match abandoned at half time due to fog.

“Mick Henderson scored, but no one saw it.

“My brother was going a few years before me and my dad since the early 50s.

“All three of us now have season tickets, along with my daughter. Soon I’ll be taking my four-year-old son and we have a four month old boy.”

Richard doesn’t remember much of the club’s record goalscorer Ernie Moss in his playing days, but has always known how much the striker means to Town fans.

And at a charity match in hour of Ernie, who has a rare form of dementia, Richard was struck by a unique idea.

“I couldn’t help but notice fans of all different ages having their photos taken with him,” he said, of Moss.

“He’s special to Town fans.

“At the charity match for Ernie and the Once Upon A Smile charity, I looked at the players and had this idea.

“I told my brother I could draw these players badly and my brother agreed, I could draw them badly.

“So I decided to do it, for charity.”

Richard, who says his brother and dad have always been better at drawing faces than him, started off by picking a few of his favourites and drawing them, playing card style.

But this soon developed into a much bigger commitment.

“I decided to draw them all,” he said.

“Instead of setting a time limit I decided I would attempt to draw all players from 1921 before the end of the season, this being our 150th anniversary.

“But the plan is to eventually do beyond that.”

He’s already drawn 400 current and former Chesterfield stars, but has a list of over 1,100 players to try and get through.

“I’m in touch with club photographer Tina Jenner, historian Stuart Basson and also Peter Whitely, they’ve all been amazing with their help.

“My wife and family have been brilliant, as have the club and Nikki Trueman, Ernie’s daughter, has given me her full support.

“But players keep making first team debuts, and the list is at 1,100 and something.

“I’m the only Town fan who doesn’t want us to make any more signings, I think.”

Richard’s bizarre campaign has caught the attention of the club’s fanbase, and players of the past and present, some of whom appear quite keen to be drawn.

He’s received a lot of support on social media and fans are keen to see their favourite Spireites given the ‘badly drawn Spires’ treatment.

“The fans’ reaction has been brilliant.

“I’m quite a nervous person and was really nervous, but they have been great.

“Some are asking if I’ve done certain players, but I have a certain order I need to stick to.

“I can’t post all the bigger names straight away, otherwise the interest may fade.

“The players have been great, too. Tommy Lee has been retweeting, as has Charlie Raglan – I’m sure some of his retweets were a hint.

“Chris Marples uses his as his profile picture and Peter Leven and Tom Curtis asked where they could buy them.

“Andy Morris’ godson sent his to Bruno who loved it and Andy Sears, Gerry Sears’ son has been a great supporter.”

Richard hopes that people will donate generously to Dementia UK to show their appreciation for his efforts.

And eventually he will turn his drawings into memorabilia to raise further funds.

“I set up JustGiving where they can donate as a bit of a boost for me but at the end I’m hoping to make the pictures into a poster, mugs and t-shirts,” he said.

“I want people to have fun with this, too.

“I want to give the fans something as well as them giving for me.

“At the moment, though, followers and retweets on Twitter or likes and shares on Facebook are great, because if one in 20 people donate and I have 100 followers, that’s five donations.

“If I have 1,000 followers, that’s 50 donations.”

To donate to Dementia UK and support Richard’s campaign click HERE

You can also follow him on twitter @badlydrawnspire, find him on Facebook or read his blog HERE