This day in Spireite History: December 26th

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Given its status as a “traditional” football day it shouldn’t come as much surprise to learn that we’ve played more on December 26 than any other day. Our 63 games to date have seen 27 wins, 16 draws and 20 defeats, with 93 goals being scored and 78 conceded. The game against York City is only our second Boxing Day home game in the last seven years – of the 63 games we’ve played on this day, 29 have been home matches.

Is this a traditional day for local “derbies?” the facts would appear to say not, with only 12 of our 63 games on this day being against local-ish sides in Mansfield Town, Notts County and Rotherham United.

The highest crowd ever to watch us play in the Football League – 61,879 – came to see us edged out 1-0 at White Hart Lane on this day in 1949.

We’ve met York City once before on this day, and it ended in a calamitous 1-7 defeat at Bootham Crescent in 1964.

Chesterfield took part in a real football rarity on this day in 1972 – the only Football League game that was played to a finish but subsequently re-played. We travelled to Blackburn Rovers for a fixture between two mid-table, third division sides, and gave a debut to new signing Jim Brown in the nets. We ran out 1-0 winners with a Frank Large goal to become only the second visiting side to win in the league at Ewood Park that season. Unfortunately, these were thedays when a dodgy fax machine was a mere figment of a crooked chairman’s imagination and Jim’s registration papers were geunuinely lost in the post. When thepapers arrived at League Mansions with a pre-matchday postmark it was clear that we’d acted properly, but rules were rules, and the game was ordered to be re-played, much to the delight of a Blackburn side that had been unbeaten in all but one of their games since losing to us. Justice was done when a Jackie Sinclair goal saw the Spireites to another 1-0 win, later that season.

Elsewhere in football, Ghana’s first football club – Excelsior – was formed on this day in1903. Football took quite a hold in the British colony of Gold Coast, as it was known, and Excelsior soon found themselves up against teams like Hearts of Oak, Venomous Vipers and my own personal favourite, the Mysterious Dwarves. (Hat tip to

This day in1935 saw Tranmere Rovers beat Oldham 13-4, with the Rovers forward “Bunny” Bell setting a new record (later eclipsed by Brimington’s Joe Payne) by scoring nine goals in a Football League game.


Categories: Milestones, Debuts, Attendances