'˜Please help save my beloved Spireites' - A dedicated fan's emotional plea
'Please help save my beloved Spireites.'
That’s the message from one of Chesterfield FC’s most dedicated fans, Zoe Edge, as Jack Lester’s side face a fight to preserve their Football League status.
Zoe - a successful sportswoman with World Championship and Paralympic medals in boccia to her name - follows Chesterfield home and away as much as possible.
Though born with cerebral palsy, it hasn’t held her back.
She played sport from a young age, competed in 13 major international competitions and went on to claim a silver medal in boccia at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games.
She was crowned Chesterfield FC’s Fan of the Year in 2014, represented the club at the EFL launch in 2016 and has the community sports hall named after her at the Proact Stadium.
Now Zoe has made an emotional plea via a YouTube video in which she details her life and love for the Spireites.
Here is her plea in full:
“Please help save my beloved Spireites.
“Following the Spireites home and away is my life. I have become friends with many players over the years.
“I was named Fan of the Year at the 2014 Player of the Year awards, the Chesterfield FC Community Trust named the sports hall at the Proact Stadium after me in recognition of my sporting achievements.
“I was chosen to represent the club at the EFL launch in 2016.
“Me and my beloved Spireites.
“I’m not sure when my love for football and the Spireites began because I can’t remember not knowing about football.
“My uncle used to take my mum to Saltergate when she was about seven and my dad’s been a supporter since he was nine so it was bred into me.
“I can honestly say I was born true blue. I didn’t breathe for 16 minutes.
“I’ve been going to matches on and off since I was five. I didn’t get to as many matches as I would have liked to during my sports career.
“But when I retired from my sport all I wanted to do was become a full time Spireite.
“On May 4th 2014 I won Chesterfield’s Fan of the Year Award. I was shocked, emotional and amazed that I had won it.
“I still find it hard to find words to describe how I felt when I won it. I am so proud to win this award. I feel special and it was just fantastic.
“I’ve done some great things in my life but this goes at the top alongside winning my Paralympic silver medal because I have been a Spireite all my life.
“I had a two-page spread all about my sports career in the programme and I thought it was brilliant.
“Once a Spireite, always a Spireite.
“I love my Spireite boys past and present. I love to see the team win and be successful.
“But win, lose or draw, top, middle or bottom of any league and I’ll be there to support them.
“I will always love my Spireite boys no matter what because they are just brilliant.
“My favourite Spireite boy of all time and will always be super Jack Lester.
“Jack is fantastic with me and a brilliant person to know. I am proud to say he is a very special friend in my life and I love him loads.
“He is my number one.
“I had my 40th birthday at the Proact Stadium and I had some very special guests there.
“Most of the directors of Chesterfield Football Club, the chief executive Chris Turner, most of the current players and my all time hero Jack Lester.
“I wanted to be a footballer since I was five years old. They didn’t have mascots back then.
“I’ve only had one regret in my life - that I never got to be a mascot for my beloved Spireites.
“That was until the week before my 40th birthday, I got the best and biggest surprise of my life when a few seconds before the players walked out for the match I was told I was going to be mascot.
“I flew on to the pitch. I thought ‘I’d been wanting to do this for 35 years, there’s no way anyone’s stopping me from getting in to that centre circle.
“Then I got a standing ovation and that was just unbelievable.
“When I found out about Chesterfield FC Community Trust naming their sports hall after me it was an amazing, unbelievable and emotional surprise for me.
“The Zoe Edge room to mark my sporting life and my love for CFC. I’m extremely proud to receive this great honour.
“Since then people have told me that I’m very inspirational. It has been extremely touching and humbling. This has made me look at myself a lot.
“One question I was asked was ‘what does the future hold for Zoe Edge?’ At the time I was 40 and at the time my reply was ‘I’m only 40, I’ve got a lot of living to do yet’.
“All this has inspired me to keep living my life the way I believe and to keep doing everything my way.
“I wasn’t born to live a normal life. I’ve always believed I was born to be different. I will keep pushing myself to the limits and I will keep trying to do the unexpected.
“I never quite know what I will do next but I’ve always got ideas. Chesterfield Football Club have been fantastic with me for many years.
“I will do whatever I can to save Chesterfield Football Club. Life without my belived Spireites is just unthinkable.
“One hundred and fifty years should be a celebration. Now I will fight for my club’s survival.
“Chesterfield Football Club is my life.
“I am really worried. I cannot cope with the thought of this being the end. I cannot and will not let Chesterfield Football Club die.
“Please help me save my beloved Spireites. Thank you.”