The hero's hero - Drew Talbot in the words of the men who shared a Chesterfield dressing room with him
Drew Talbot’s consistency made him a reassuring presence on and off the pitch for his Chesterfield team-mates.
The 32-year-old retired last week due to a knee problem, but there’s no doubt he left his mark on on the game – particularly during his time as a Spireite,
Six of the men who shared the Chesterfield dressing room with him explained to the Derbyshire Times what they appreciated about Mr Versatile.
“A pleasure to play with and share a dressing room with.
“Fully commited day in day out, always led by example.
“Talented, the type of character that is slowly becoming less and less in today’s game.
“Good luck to Drew on whatever life holds next, he will be successful due to his mentality and work ethic.”
“I haven’t played with many players in my career who were as consistently good as Drew.
“He turned in performance after performance, all over the pitch and I always felt that little bit more confident when he was in the team.
“There’s no question he played a massive part in success that I and the club enjoyed over the last 10 years or so and the biggest compliment I can pay him is that he did it without fuss or fanfare.
“He was a proper player who gave his all every time he stepped on the pitch.”
“Drew was an outstanding professional who gave his all for Chesterfield.
“He was so consistent, you knew what you were getting week in week out.”
“Not that I hold it against him, but Drew made me look bad. His conversion to right-back was a master-stroke but his lung-bursting runs up and down our right flank made this left-back (with a metal pin in his leg and a stitched-up achilles tendon) look pretty unadventurous or productive in comparison.
“What a weapon he was though, particularly during our 2010/11 League Two title-winning campaign, and in three-and-a-half seasons playing with Drew I would say he was the most consistent and reliable performer at the football club.
“When I slotted into centre-half towards the end of my time at the Spireites, I came to appreciate the defensive acumen Drew possessed, too. Not many wingers got the better of him and the sight of Drew sliding into a tackle, then, after a blurry tumble of arms and legs, emerging upright on his feet, became both familiar and reassuring.
“His scowl and the sound of him moaning became pretty familiar too! But he was a fierce competitor every time he pulled on a Chesterfield strip and a player you always trusted alongside you.
“Off the pitch, he was always a consummate pro who looked after himself, and did everything right, which is why his retirement through injury at the age of 32 is so cruel.”
Jamie Hewitt“Drew was a honest pro who always gave 100 per cent in which ever position he was asked to play.“He trained as he played, always at 100 per cent, which was great for the management as it rubbed off on the rest of the team. “Drew was unlucky with injuries, when he had one it always seemed to be a serious one, but he showed great mental strength and determination to come back as strong as before. “He was a genuine nice guy and a top bloke.”
“Retiring through injury is not how any footballer would wish to finish playing professionally.
“Congratulations to Drew on what has been a fantastic playing career.
“I was playing in the game when Drew made his mark as a young player at Sheffield Wednesday, in the playoff final at Cardiff vs Hartlepool – I’m sure an amazing memory for Drew and his family.
“During our time together at Chesterfield, Drew was an integral part of the Championship winning team in 13/14, we looked to him as an experienced player as he had already had fortune to win it previously in 10/11. To have such experience like that in the changing room is invaluable.
“He has played hundreds of professional games, lifted some trophies and has a few winners medals in his trophy cabinet.
“I know his family, friends, ex teammates and supporters will be immensely proud of everything he’s achieved.”