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David Reeves

By Lauren Walton
August 12 2004

Here, I look at the highs and lows of one mans career; David Reeves and see why he became a firm favourite at the club and why I chose him out of all the ex spireites. DAVID REEVES

This was not any player; he was what made Chesterfield FC in the era, just passed, that this one man graced football pitches, ranging from the second to the third division. Reeves mania spread like wild fire, ranging from the really old, to the one’s still in nappies. The name ‘Reeves’ on the backs of Spireites who followed the team all over the country were constantly an accessory that every Spireite should have possessed at one point in time. They knew nothing more than, Reeves and Chesterfield FC. Whenever Chesterfield was mentioned, Reeves was never far behind and this is exactly how it remained until Reeves helped us out of the relegation battle of last season and against all odds, we survived. The last time he was to ever feature as a Spireite player. There would be the chants of ‘Reevsie’ from all the Kop regulars; this man received so much vocal support than any other player I can ever remember. He stood for much more than a striker, he stood for what many believed to be the ‘loyal’ player. He received standing ovations without kicking any balls and most of all he ate, drank and breathed to play football for Chesterfield.

A scouser, originally coming from Birkenhead in Liverpool (this place renowned for strikers and football reporters), thought he belonged, and many were ready to accept him as the legend he grew into at Chesterfield. He loved Saltergate; this was especially hard to see when in 2000 Chesterfield were thrown into the world of financial problems. This dramatically affected Reeves, then, the player earning the most money, however he was willing to take a pay cut. He did this but still, this wasn’t enough, eventually he had to make way. Chesterfield were confronted by Oldham offering to take Reeves, he had to go, we just couldn’t afford him. As much as we hated to see David make way, we knew it was for the best. In return for Reeves, we received Mark Allott and Mark Innes, who still remain Chesterfield players.

This is a player, whose career spans over 15 years and he still remains a striker, now playing for Ards FC, in Ireland. He first started his Chesterfield career in the year 1997, just after the FA Cup run and partnered Jon Howard. Roger Willis also an option to then John Duncan, manager, but struggled most of the season with a niggling back problem, flaring up once too many times. David became a favourite from the very start because of the way he handled himself on and off the pitch. He was always the joker, and the players would probably say the loudest too. He was a father figure, amongst the young, an inspiration to the fans and an asset to the manager. He gave 110% to the cause, there were times when you needed players to give everything they had, he was one of them sort of players, he would have died at some points. He worked effortlessly, he would fight until the very end, and you could see the disappointment and the joy depending on what result it ended.

He was very much the inspiration that Chesterfield demanded, especially when losing. A fresh pair of legs, fresh ideas and hopefully a fresh bit of creativity! He managed to inject some positivity into the camp and got the players to work for each other in a way that many managers would have been envious of. In his first season, Reeves only managed to feature 3 times, scoring in his league debut for the Spireites, against Grimsby.

He scored many spectacular goals and also helped others notch their tallies up. Reeves scored an amazing 46 goals for the Spireites, in the period of 97-02. He then went to Oldham as a swap deal, and scored 3 goals for their promotion campaign. They then went on to sign him on loan for 11 months before David came back to join us once more. However, he failed to find the back of the net for the Latics, so came back to his home - Saltergate.

In the 2000/2001 season, there was a new face that paired now old face David Reeves, in what turned out to be a spectacular season on field, but dreadful off it. This marked the introduction of Luke Beckett, Beckett and Reeves becoming the renowned Saltergate strike force, that, then the Third division, feared. These two, must have been telepathic, they seemed to be always in the right place at the right time and with the exceptional pace from Beckett, he left many defenders in his tracks as he beat the offside trap to play in Reeves and vice versa. The pair got 29 goals between them in this season Beckett with 16 and Reeves with 13. Not forgetting 5-cup goals between them.

The most memorable piece of action for me was the televised Sky Sports match, on a wintery Tuesday night, at home to Cheltenham Town. Where we stood in First place so we were the team that others wanted to beat, no matter what. Many turned up and quite possibly the reason, wasn’t because of the football on offer, but because of their chance to feature on TV and the obvious 5 seconds of fame. It was a dull game to say the least, except the 7 minutes in which we scored two goals, one from Reeves and the other from Rob Edwards (now at Huddersfield). It’s the piece of action when the Cheltenham defence are napping, Luke Beckett picks the ball up on the right wing, he manages to keep it onside, the commentator seems to have just hit the tempo speed on his mic at this point, screaming “And Beckett is onside, he lays it on a plate and Reeves accepts the invitation. He says thank you very much, I’ve got a tap in, I’m not going to miss that!” and Chesterfield go 1-0 up.

In this season, I met David, I even have the photo as evidence, and I know it’s from 00/01 season as Mike ‘Judas’ Pollitt is in the background. From that age though, I never knew Reeves amounted to as much. It was during the later stages of Reeves career that I realised how central he was to the players and the football club. He gave much more than any other could, and he was able to inject passion in whatever he did and by god there was times when we needed it!

In 2002, he was very much responsible for saving the Spireites from the drop again, this time taking the penalty against Blackpool which hit the post, but the rebound was struck in by Johnathan Douglas, on the last day of the season, the result ending 1-1. David Reeves granted the penalty taker in his days with the Spireites. Not forgetting the dramatic turn of events last season, when you couldn’t have predicted just what would have happened. The Spireites took on Grimsby, where Reeves got a hat-trick, 2 of which came from penalties, and 1 of which was coolly slotted home in extra time. It was literally a game of 2 halves, which saw Chesterfield take the lead at 1-0, Grimsby levelling it at 1 all, then taking the lead 2-1, after confusion from the lines man and ref. Reeves then put the spireites a goal up, 2-2, then 3 minutes later saw Reeves first penalty of the game. CFC 3 - Grimsby 2. A right charades unfolded before our very own eyes, the score line now 4-3 and us down to 10 men. Just as we thought it was all over, Reeves then went onto score us another penalty in the dying minutes, to get us a well-earned point!

Reeves’ career at Chesterfield hit some dramatic highs and lows; he witnessed promotion and relegation with the same team. In addition to this, he saw many changes that the squad has gone from since 1997 to 2003, playing under John Duncan, Nicky Law, Dave Rushbury and Roy McFarland. In this time, he played alongside strikers such as: Jon Howard, Roger Willis, Luke Beckett, Glyn Hurst, and Caleb Folan. Beckett now at Stockport, and Hurst now at Notts County. But like every legend, this time has ultimately got to come to end, and here it has! There will be the rants for David to come back when things aren’t going our way mid season and rumour has it that we haven’t seen the last of this man. He already has his coaching badge, so alls not gone, and David might yet come back to succeed as manager one day. That will be the day, Reevesy’s Barmy Army…has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Reeves, now at Ards FC in Ireland, playing lower league football, where I hope he will continue to score goals. I wish him the best in the rest of his football career and look forward to welcoming him back to Saltergate in the near future!!

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