The big Chichester City 'fixture' that's been postponed for two years

Not many football ‘fixtures’ are postponed for two years but that’s what happened to Chichester City’s 1979/80 County League champions’ reunion.

Denied a 40th anniversary celebration in 2020 by a last minute Covid-19 postponement, the team have been waiting for the re-arrangement.

More than 50 players, officials and fans from that era are expected at a celebratory dinner. As fate would have it, the event starts at 7.30pm on May 6, the very date and kick-off time of the match that sealed the championship on that momentous night 42 years ago.

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Part of the programme produced to mark the anniversary

City had to avoid defeat at fellow contenders Southwick on that night. They did so in dramatic fashion, securing a 0-0 draw in front of 1250 supporters, with the county’s top scorer hitting the City post from a late, disputed penalty.

There will be a strong team at the get-together with most of that night’s line-up appearing. City will start with a back four of Gary Ashton, Duncan Clough, Neil O’Boyle and Tony Grundy. The midfield will be Dave Egleton, Richie Reynolds. Greg Brown (captain) and Nick Sillence, while Gary Wheatcroft will accompany joint top scorer Terry Vick up front.

Neal Holder and Phil Ray will definitely make an appearance from the bench. Prolific striker Gary James is unavailable and sadly, the team lost keeper Alan Hunt last year.

Brown said: “It’s been a long time coming but it should be a wonderful occasion. It will be great to catch up with old teammates and recall an amazing period, when former Pompey player, our manager Richie Reynolds, transformed us from relegation candidates to champions. I still pinch myself when I think how Richie went from playing against Pele and Beckenbauer in the US to coaching us to the County League title.”