One hundred years before a Brazilian named Emerson played against Chesterfield in an FA Cup semi-final, another Emerson was impressing local football supporters. Emerson Marples gave years of excellent service to Chesterfield Town, through the good and bad times of their Football League career.
Eckington-born, he joined the Lucky Whites from Dronfield Town in 1901. His talent was nurtured cautiously, at first, and he did not become a regular first-teamer until 1904. Strong and quick, he developed an appreciation of full-back play that led him to become prized by other clubs and, as the Town side deteriorated around him, Sunderland came in with a substantial £350 offer.
He joined Sunderland in February 1908. His time at Roker Park was cut short by cartilage injury, though; he played only ten times for the Wearsiders and he returned to Chesterfield in 1910 to become landlord of the Miner's Arms, on Saltergate (roughly where the BT building is, now.) He was persuaded to turn out for Town in the Midland League, but the injury flared up after a few matches, and any thoughts of a comeback were forgotten.
For Chesterfield Town: 146 League appearances, 10 goals.