Dave Blakey: Muscular footballer at the heart of Chesterfield FC's defence for more than 650 games across three decades
Wednesday 21 May 2014
Dave Blakey consisted of flesh and blood like any other footballer, but that's not how it seemed to Chesterfield fans for some two decades after the Second World War. The towering, muscular north-easterner appeared like a wall of granite at the core of the Spireites' rearguard as he played more than 650 games for the Saltergate club, far more than anyone else in their history.
After making his debut as a 19-year-old inside-forward in a second-tier home clash with West Ham United in August 1948, he gravitated from attack to defence, cementing a regular niche at centre-half in 1952 then embarking on a remarkable unbroken run of 244 League outings, which was not interrupted until November 1957.
Blakey, who shared the trauma of Chesterfield's relegations to the Third Division North in 1951 and the Fourth Division 10 years later, became an uplifting captain, knowing which team-mates to cajole and which to excoriate. Arguably his prime was in the mid-1950s when the club finished sixth in the Third Division North on four successive occasions.
He was dropped for the first time in 1963-64, but soon recovered his place, which he yielded only gradually to Albert Phelan, 15 years his junior. He was a reported transfer target for the new Liverpool manager Bill Shankly in 1960 but, in the days of the iniquitous maximum wage rule, is said to have rejected the move as he would not have been appreciably better off financially.
Having retired as a player in 1967, he became a successful scout for Burnley, then Doncaster Rovers and Leeds United.
David Blakey, footballer: born Newburn, Northumberland 22 August 1929; played for Chesterfield 1947-67; died 4 April 2014.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
California teacher appears to have hanged herself in her classroom
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£20000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company is an established, ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Exciting new position available at an independ...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will h...