Classic Match | Chesterfield 1964

1964 marked the first promotion in our club’s history, when Jack Edward’s side finished 4th in the old Fourth Division.

The ‘team that Jack built’ was one of the most complete sides seen at St James Park, and contained no less than 4 current ECFC Hall of Famers in Alan Banks, Dermot Curtis, Graham Rees, and the captain Arnold Mitchell.

Players and fans arrived at the ground Tuesday 21st of April 1964 for the final home match of the season, knowing that a positive result would put them back in with a chance to reach the third tier of English football.

Following a poor performance in the previous match away at Bradford, many had been sceptical about the teams chances against the Spireites, but the return of Banks, and Mitchell who had been out since Easter, provided a timely boost ahead of the kick-off.

With the Cowshed creating a tremendous atmosphere from start to finish, the team produced some quality football under the SJP floodlights, and their efforts in a competitive opening spell were rewarded on 27 minutes when Banks laid on Rees to open the scoring with a neat finish.

From here on in the goals kept coming at regular intervals with Banks grabbing one of his own just before half time, before Curtis opened the second half with the pick of the bunch as he hit an unstoppable finish past the visiting keeper.

On 63 minutes David Hancock sent Banks away, and he used his characteristic determination to bulldoze through the visiting defence to make it 4-0. At this point Adrian Thorne was the only player in the forward line not to have a hand in the goal-fest, but he wasn’t left out for long and made doubly sure of his contribution by netting the 5th and 6th goals

Chesterfield pulled one back to avoid the whitewash, but that didn’t matter much to the home fans, who at the full time whistle raced onto the pitch to surround Banks and his victorious team mates in congratulating them on the biggest win of a memorable season.

Just one week later many of these fans would be amongst the crowds outside St David’s Station, waiting to celebrate with the players once again as they returned home from Workington with another point on the table and promotion secured.


Final Score: 6-1

Exeter City: Barnett; Smyth, MacDonald; Mitchell, Harvey, Anderson; Rees, Banks, Curtis, Hancock, Thorne.

Chesterfield: Powell; Holmes, Poole; Clarke, Blakely, Beresford; Duncan, Hughes, Frear, Rackstraw, Armstrong.

Man of the match: Alan Banks

Attendance: 9,000


Written by: Will Barrett

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