Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Ian Rush - The Making of a Legend at Chester Football Club

Flint born youngster Ian Rush began his distinguished career at Sealand Road. After impressing in the youth ranks, he went on to play 34 League games and score 14 goals during the 1979-80 campaign.

Rushie made his debut in April 1979 in a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in midfield, but established himself as a potent centre forward the following season. His first league goal came when Chester drew 2-2 at Gillingham on September 15, 1979.

Rush's reputation was enhanced by scoring for Chester in a famous 2-0 FA Cup third round win at Newcastle United in January 1980, with Chester equalling their best run by reaching the last 16 where they narrowly lost to Ipswich Town two rounds later. Unfortunately the lateness of British Rail meant most Chester's fans missed Rushie's dazzling display of dexterity at Newcastle, they arrived at St James' Park just in time for the second half.

Rushie's last game for Chester was a 2-1 win over Southend United at Sealand Road on April 26, 1980, when unusually he failed to score.

Despite interest from Manchester City, and in spite of Rush being a boyhood Everton fanatic, Liverpool won the race to sign the 18-year old in April 1980. Manager Bob Paisley paid a record fee for a teenager of £300,000. It remains Chester's record sale.

Rush was managed throughout his time at Chester by Alan Oakes, although much of the credit for his development is given to youth manager Cliff Sear. Nearly 20 years later, Rush and Sear worked together on the coaching staff at Wrexham.

Later Rushie made his managerial debut back with Chester City at the Deva Stadium. Sadly a disappointing campaign meant Rushie was soon to be given his marching orders.

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