The final batch of pictures were taken after the turf was laid in May 1992 as the race to have the ground ready before the start of the season continued. Thanks to former programme editor John Martin for supplying many of these photographs which were taken by developers Morrisons. The remaining pictures were again provided by Fraser.
Of particular interest are the aerial views of the ground including a superb unique photograph showing both the Deva Stadium and the derelict Sealand Road ground. It is also possible to see the Stadium floodlights in one of Fraser’s pictures.
As a precaution Chester’s early season league fixtures had to be re-scheduled to allow for the ground to be completed and the season started with four away games where only one point was collected. The stadium staged it’s first game, in the Coca Cola Cup against Stockport, on August 25th and the first league game was played on September 5th against Burnley with Chester winning 3-0, Neil Morton had the honour of scoring the first league goal with Chris Lightfoot and Paul Comstive also on target.
The first league programme included a centre stage spread listing the materials used in the construction and, taken with the complete sequence of photographs, they merely serve to emphasise what was in effect a rush job. The list was as follows:
6,500 Tons of ready mixed concrete
52,000 Concrete blocks
4,500 sq metres cladding
2,000 litres paint
40 miles cable
100 Electric sockets
550 Light fittings
1.5 miles Drainage pipes
16 Standards timber
4.5 Tonnes nails and screws
Twenty years on older fans like me still mourn the loss of the Sealand Road ground and it’s a shame that the shambolic events surrounding the sale of the old stadium resulted in a cobbled together compromise. It could have been so much better.
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