Chesterfield FC prepare to take on European Champions Chelsea in FA Cup 3rd round

It is 25 years since Chesterfield FC made it to the FA Cup semi finals, where they drew the original tie with Middlesbrough 3-3, before a replay at Hillsborough saw Chesterfield lose 3-0.

Some of the players in the team now were not even born then. But today (Saturday 8 January) they cannot wait to take on European Champions Chelsea, with a huge crowd of more than 40,000 football fans expected to be at Stamford Bridge for the match.

Chesterfield forward, Kabongo Tshimanga, said it will be 'different' to what they are used to but it is an 'exciting moment.'

And the manager has not ruled out a giant killing. James Rowe said: "So without dreams, I wouldn't be sitting here now, and a lot of players are fulfilling their dreams as well as myself. And it's just a really great day to be part of, and I'm really proud to manage this football club on a day like that."

Today's game at Stamford Bridge is a 'dream come true' for the players

It was a two nil win at Salford, which earned a place in the FA Cup third round and the lucrative trip to Chelsea for the club and its loyal fans who come to every single home game.

Cup Fever isn't confined to the pitch. The tills have been ringing in the shop and Chesterfield stand to make £350,000 from the fixture. That is a lot of money for a club like this.

Fans not making the three and a half hour journey can watch from the pub across the road where business is benefiting from success.

Manager of Glassworks, Sam Madin, said if a club is doing well, 'there's more funds, there's more people in pubs, there's more people visiting small businesses in area because everybody's had it rough over the last year and a half two years.'

The club was saved during the pandemic by a takeover from the Chesterfield FC Community Trust

The Chesterfield Community Trust took over a club in trouble less than two years ago and have presided over a transformation.

Mike Goodwin, Chesterfield FC Chairman said: "To come from where we've come from and end up the start of 2022 as very proudly sitting top of the National League, Vanarama National League and also playing the European champions tomorrow is what dreams are made of, isn't it?

"On the field, we're buzzing and off the field we're buzzing as well."

The players and fans are hoping that feeling could carry the Spirites to a performance equal to one of their finest hours 25 years ago.