We trace Chel­tenham’s 2001-02 Di­vi­sion Three play-off win­ners

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Neil Fissler

CHEL­TENHAM TOWN had been in the Foot­ball League for only three sea­sons but they were hun­gry for more suc­cess af­ter their long­est ever FA Cup run.

Jamie Victory had scored the win­ning goal against Yeovil Town to take Chel­tenham into the Foot­ball League in 1999.

Three sea­sons later, they reached the FA Cup fifth round with wins over Ket­ter­ing, Hinckley, Old­ham and Burn­ley.

And even though a Danny Di­chio goal put them out at West Brom, it sowed the seeds of am­bi­tion to get the Robins out of the Foot­ball League’s base­ment di­vi­sion that same sea­son.


“Play­ing in front of 27,000 at the Hawthorns was great and we wanted more of that,” said Victory. “And the only way of get­ting more of that was by achiev­ing more suc­cess – and that meant us get­ting pro­moted.”

Full-back Victory, who played more than 250 league games for the club be­fore his ca­reer was ended by in­jury, says their team spirit was cru­cial.

“It was a tough league to get out of but we man­aged it. There were far big­ger bud­gets than us, but the spirit, which was ex­cel­lent, got us through it. We were very con­sis­tent.”

The Robins didn’t win any of their first six games but started to slowly climb the ta­ble dur­ing the course of the sea­son.

They even­tu­ally fin­ished fourth with 78 points, a point be­hind third-placed Mans­field, who beat them in the run-in, and some way be­hind cham­pi­ons Ply­mouth (102) and Lu­ton (97).

“We didn’t have the best start to the sea­son but we kept go­ing – that was the good thing. We knew that we weren’t far away and kept work­ing hard.

“Then we just missed out on au­to­matic pro­mo­tion. There was a game up at Carlisle and we needed to win but we drew, which was gut-wrench­ing.

“In­stead, we needed the play­offs, beat­ing Hartle­pool on penal­ties, and play­ing Rush­den & Di­a­monds in the fi­nal at the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium.

“Martin Devaney put us 1-0 up, but Paul Hall equalised af­ter vir­tu­ally run­ning through the whole team!

“It wasn’t the best of games, but then Ju­lian Al­sop and John Fin­ni­gan scored in the sec­ond half. It was a fan­tas­tic way for us to get pro­moted.” BACK ROW (left-to-right) Brian Tar­ren: The kit manager left the club in 2002 and died in Novem­ber 2003. An­drew Mitchell: Af­ter work­ing as physio at Burn­ley and Wi­gan, he is a phys­io­ther­apy and sports re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion lec­turer in York. Rus­sell Mil­ton: Ran Ar­se­nal Soc­cer Schools, worked in lo­cal ra­dio and lec­tured at the lo­cal uni­ver­sity. He re­turned to Chel­tenham to run the youth team and is now first team care­taker-manager. Hugh McAu­ley: The son of a pro­fes­sional foot­baller, also Hugh, owned Formby FC be­fore they dis­banded last year. He runs the In­no­va­tion Group, fi­nan­cial and prop­erty in­vest­ment com­pa­nies. Keith Hill: Is cur­rently back in his sec­ond spell in charge of Rochdale fol­low­ing a two-year stint with Barns­ley. Neil Howarth: Af­ter a stint as Chel­tenham’s as­sis­tant manager, he is now head of op­er­a­tion and player anal­y­sis at Bury. Ja­son White: Af­ter go­ing to work in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try in Birm­ing­ham and Shang­hai, he is now a se­nior fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor in Hong Kong. Shane Duff: Has set­tled in Glouces­ter where he runs his own soc­cer school. Martin Devaney: Is now coach­ing at Rich­mond In­ter­na­tional Aca­demic and Soc­cer Academy in Leeds and also for Barns­ley’s Academy. Antony Grif­fin: Has re­turned to his na­tive Bournemouth to play Non-League foot­ball and is work­ing in the lo­cal area. John Atkin­son: Re­serve team physio was con­nected with the club for 34 years un­til his re­tire­ment in Novem­ber 2008. Mike Heather: He has been a grounds­man for nearly 40 years af­ter start­ing out as a green­keeper at his lo­cal golf club. MID­DLE ROW (left-to-right) Lee How­ells: A for­mer scrap metal dealer who started to run his own bar­ber shop in cen­tral Bris­tol. Also man­ages Bath City. Michael Jack­son: Is living in the Bishop’s Cleeve area and is a post­man. Steve Jones: Has been Bishop’s Cleeve’s as­sis­tant manager and is an elec­tri­cian. Jamie Victory: Is still at Whad­don Road as Head of Academy Coach­ing af­ter work­ing in the ra­di­og­ra­phy depart­ment at Glouces­ter­shire Royal Hos­pi­tal. Gareth Hop­kins: Lives in his na­tive Tewkes­bury and is train­ing to be a physio. Ju­lian Al­sop: He ran his own foot­ball ca­reers com­pany in the Bris­tol area. Mike Davis: Af­ter serv­ing the club as as­sis­tant manager, he is now un­der-16 manager and has been gen­eral manager for CDW Sys­tems. Steve Cot­ter­ill: Has man­aged Stoke, Burn­ley, Notts County, Portsmouth and Not­ting­ham For­est. Is now in charge of Bris­tol City af­ter coach­ing at QPR. Gra­ham All­ner: Af­ter a spell as manager at Chel­tenham, he is now cen­tre sup­port manager for The Scout­ing Net­work. Michael Duff: Now 37, but is still play­ing in the Pre­mier League with Burn­ley. John Brough: Af­ter a spell as Chel­tenham’s head of youth, he went onto man­age Bishop’s Cleeve and now Cin­der­ford Town. Neil Grayson: Still play­ing in Non-League along­side his son for Cen­tral Mid­lands League side Glap­well, where he is also as­sis­tant-manager, at the age of 50! Lives in the Ch­ester­field area. Mark Yates: Af­ter go­ing into coach­ing at Burn­ley, he man­aged Kid­der­min­ster be­fore boss­ing Chel­tenham un­til last Novem­ber. Richard Walker: Went into car sales in Not­ting­ham and is busi­ness devel­op­ment manager at Inch­cape Mercedes Benz. Chris Banks: Af­ter do­ing a phys­io­ther­apy course at the Uni­ver­sity of Sal­ford, he be­came Stoke City physio in 2007 and still works at the club to­day. FRONT ROW (left-to-right) Steve Book: Has been the Robins’ goal­keep­ing coach since re­turn­ing to the club in 2010. Carl Mug­gle­ton: Be­came a driv­ing in­struc­tor af­ter re­tir­ing, but has also been goal­keep­ing coach at Notts County, Gilling­ham and cur­rently Northamp­ton Town. Arthur Hay­ward: A for­mer chair­man and is a direc­tor of AWH Util­ity Ser­vices. Bar­rie Wood: A direc­tor of a tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion com­pany, Rag­doll Pro­duc­tions. Colin Farmer: Has been on the Chel­tenham board since 1992 and has a prop­erty com­pany. Paul Baker: The cur­rent Chel­tenham chair­man is a lo­cal busi­ness­man and also a Lib­eral Democrats coun­cil­lor. Rod Burge: Had in­ter­ests in win­dows, prop­erty and cladding. Died in April 2014. John Wood: A direc­tor of a Bishop’s Cleeve en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, De­bur­ring Ser­vices, for the last 23 years. Brian Sand­land: He was a direc­tor of BS Oil As­so­ciates un­til his death in 2003. Shane Higgs: Is now based in Ayles­bury in Buck­ing­hamshire and has ran some art ex­hi­bi­tions sell­ing his own work. Steve Ben­bow: Is a po­lice com­mu­nity sup­port of­fi­cer with Chel­tenham town cen­tre safer com­mu­nity team.

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