The longest serving club in the Chester Sunday League.
Dee Rangers has several common threads running through its long history. The Blue and White Hooped kit is has been a constant sight on the field of Chester since the mid eighties. The ‘real ale’ drinking theme is not as strong as it has been but at the very least, homage is paid during nights out. 2 kick offs? as often as possible, the practice of securing kick off in both halves is delicacy particular to the Rangers. Most importantly Dee Rangers is about a good bunch of lads playing the game in the right way….long may that continue.
Dee Rangers roots lay at the start of the Seventies with Handbridge Athletic in the Chester & District Saturday League. A quartet of players (Paul Spruce, Phil Thacker, Kerry Driver and Pete Chaloner) hankered though to form their own Sunday League side. In 1980-81 season they became aware that Sunday League side New Inn had slid into irreconciliable financial difficulties. Staging a takeover putsch that Pete Winkleman of the MK Dons would have been proud of, they bought out New Inn’s place in Section ‘D’. The notorious gang of four agreed to share the debt (rumoured to be a modest £80) between them though one suspects Messrs Thacker and Spruce, both renown for their scrooge like tendancies, got a handsome return for their investment. Following a further meeting at the sadly missed Clavertons bar on Lower Brdige Street (now an estate agents but surely deserving a blue plaque outside) the name Dee Rangers was conceived. The inaugural season for the club was 1981-82 when they joined swathes of other teams in having their home base on the lush green fields of the Roodee.
The rest is history.
One of Wainers’ superb newsletters – Jan 1996 -(2)
Post script….The Sunday League recent “50 Years” article in the Chronicle sheds further light on our distant history: