Football is back! The Blues’ busy pre-season schedule gets underway with a trip to Manchester League side Elton Vale.
The match at Elton Vale Sports Club is the first of what is now 11 friendlies, following the Sheffield Wednesday friendly announcement on Friday.
For Blues fans, the game could represent the first opportunity to see new signings Darren Stephenson, Jude Oyibo, James Hardy, Dan Cowan, Matty Williams and Zack Clarke in action.
Following this game, Bern and Jonno’s squad will head off to Bangor for a training camp at the University – before returning to host thw Owls on the 10th.
ELTON VALE: HISTORY
Elton Vale FC were formed in 1957 and originally called Elton Fold FC as they were based at Elton Fold Workingmens Club in Bury.
They initially played in the local Bury Amateur League and their first trophy success came in 1961 winning the Kenyon Cup at Gigg Lane. The club progressed forming a reserve side and joining the more competitive Manchester League in 1964.
Difficulties on and off the field resulted in club re-joining the Bury Amateur League in 1973, this proved to be a good move and over the next five years success came with the club winning the league once, runners up twice as well as reaching six cup finals to be successful in three.
In 1983 the club again progressed upwards into the Bolton Combination League and enjoyed a steady move up the divisions eventually winning the Premier division in 1993 as well as several cups along the way.
The club decided to continue up the football pyramid and were accepted back into the Manchester League in the 1995/96 season and have remained there since. Building on their success, they immediately won promotion to the top division as well as winning the coveted Lancashire Amateur Shield beating Burscough Richmond at the County Ground in Leyland. Vale are still the only club from Bury ever to reach the final of this competition.
In the year 2000, Elton Fold amalgamated with Bolton Road Sports Club after the football and sports club ground were compulsory purchased by the council. A purpose built facility was built at Elton Vale Road and from 2002 Elton Fold FC changed it’s name to Elton Vale FC.
Over recent years the club has continued to enjoy success not only at First Team level but also Reserves, Junior and Veteran sides have all won trophies.
In 2019, Vale again won county honours – this time the prestigious Lancashire Amateur Cup and were hoping to capitalise on this success by further progression up the football pyramid!
Unfortunately like a lot of teams, the outbreak of Covid has curtailed this and despite being top of the first division for the last two years the Manchester League was forced to abandon its programme before completion and chose to suspend all promotion and relegation. Vale are now hoping that it is third time lucky and can achieve promotion this season.
With thanks to Bill Mundy.
You can buy your tickets online for the game, which is a 2pm kick off. However, you can also pay on the gate for the match now as well.
Card and cash payments will both be accepted on the gate. Refreshments will also be available in the ground.
Chester FC will have updates on our Twitter page throughout the match, as well as post match reaction – and also a full match report on chesterfc.com.