Posted: 5/6/2018


           Chesterfield is known world wide for its crooked spire. the Church of St. Mary & All Saints from 14th Century in the town centre which is both crooked and leaning. In 2010 Chesterfield FC The Spireites, moved from their ancient home Saltergate, since 1871 to brand new Proact Stadium, all seater 10,500  2 miles from downtown at a cost of £13 million and built on the site of an old glassworks.

        They never got the finances right and last week were relegated from The Football League after 100 years.  Saltergate was used in the movie The Damned United about the Clough and Revie saga.

          After not winning anything since 1966 England in the shape of The young Three Lions scored a brace of titles less than a year ago. The u20s beat Venezuala 1-0 in South Korea while Steve Cooper's u17s beat Spain in India after a cruel pk loss a few weeks earlier to the Spaniards in the EURO's in Croatia which I attended.They had led until a corner in the last seconds of the final in regulation time had tied the score for Spain.

         This year the annual UEFA u17s is in England in the Midlands, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. The heavily promoted opening match  for Steve Copper's new Young Lions was against Israel and 6,100 fans showed up at cheap prices. Earlier in the day Italy beat Switzerland 2-0, the other teams in the group of four. 

          Let me first of all say that the Young Lions that I watched last May in Croatia were THE BEST ENGLAND TEAM THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN AT ANY LEVEL..and I have been watching England since the 1950's.!!!

        They play a smooth Tiki-Taki brand, definitely THE BEAUTIFIUL GAME..and passed the ball around with skill and confidence. It took some time to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 25th minute right in front of me in the crowded press box. Tommy Doyle made no mistake, 1-0. A surprise in store on the stroke of half time as Israel equalized, again from the spot  from Dan Lugassy.

        Outside the stadium were about 30 or more pro Palastine protesters wanting to hand out flyes suggesting that Israel be kicked out of FIFA. I told them where to stick their flyers. I suggested that instead of encouraging their young men to throw stiones at Israelis and reward suicide murderers with free sweets and pensions, they should be getting them into football and others sports,.

         They were not allowed inside or on the stadium concourse were Israeli fans were showing their flags.

          Matty Daly made in 2-1 and three points when Vontae Daley- Campbell of Arsenal passed to Daly of Huddersfield Town who beat Shareef Keouf. There were 4 Arsenal starters and two more on the bench, with two from Man Utd and two from Man City in the starting line up.

         England take on Italy in Walsall on Monday afternoon before meeting the Swiss in Rotherham on Thursday evening. Unusual for senior international matches where all the officials are from the same country and have worked many times together, there was a mixture here.  Halil  Umut  Meier from Turkey was in the middle with assistants  from Hungary and  Greece   and the fourth official from Wales.

       I was at Loughborough university stadium for a double header on Saturday afternoon, while other matches are at St. Georges park, Burton Albion as well as at Walsall, Chesterfield and Rotherham United where the final will be held on May 20th at The New York Stadium.