Gary Simpson (1959-2023)

    The club are sorry to hear of the passing of former centre forward Gary Simpson at the age of 64.

    Gary joined Chester in summer 1981 and made 63 league appearances over the following two seasons scoring 18 goals.

    Born in Chesterfield, Gary joined his local club as a schoolboy and after signing professional in 1977 made his Football League debut for the Spireites, at Plymouth Argyle, in November of the same year. Over the next four seasons he made 43 appearances for the Saltergate club without truly establishing himself as a first team regular. In 1981 Alan Oakes brought Gary to Sealand Road for £6,000 in an attempt to invigorate a team that had struggled to find goals since the departure of Ian Edwards and Ian Rush.

    Gary was unfortunate to sign for the club as financial problems began to bite and with a small squad Chester were out of their depth in Division 3 finishing bottom of the table winning just six games and managing only 36 goals. Gary himself finished leading scorer with 12 of these goals including two at his former club Chesterfield in an unexpected 5-3 win.

    The signing of John Thomas, following relegation to Division 4, saw some of the goalscoring pressure taken off Gary and he added another six goals as the club stabilised in mid-table. Nevertheless the financial situation was worsening and at the end of the 1982/83 season Gary was one of eight players released by the club as manager John Sainty was tasked with halving the wage bill.

    After leaving Sealand Road Gary joined a host of former Chester players at Oswestry Town and also played for Bangor City and Connah’s Quay Nomads.

    The club send out their condolences to his family and friends.