Kurt Bigg, who was part of the club’s media team at Stamford Bridge, reflects on the day….
Like many Chesterfield fans coming away from this weekend, I’ve still struggled to comprehend what actually happened at Stamford Bridge from both a personal and professional viewpoint.
When I first started going to Saltergate at the age of seven, it took me a little time to realise that the Spireites wouldn’t be playing teams such as Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United every week.
Instead, it would be teams such as Dagenham & Redbridge, Hereford United and Barnet – but that’s exactly why I loved going.
I especially loved taking in a non-league game whenever I could whilst I was studying at university. In football, different people like different things, and that’s part of the charm.
Not too long after the Blues moved to the then b2net Stadium, I found myself wanting to become a journalist and writing about football.
In the years since, I have been blessed with opportunities within the club and Community Trust and worked with some fantastic people.
Last year, I was a part of a fantastic team that brought coverage to the fans whilst the games were unfortunately played behind closed doors – an experience that I was truly grateful for.
That season ended with the cruel defeat to Notts County in the play-offs and I thought I that was the last game I would cover for the club.
I had just finished my university course and was looking to land a full-time role in football journalism.
Funnily enough, a few months later I had become lead Chesterfield FC reporter for the Non-League Paper and had an apprenticeship with the club. I have also continued to help out with the club’s output as well.
Since then, we have seen some great moments in both league and cup leading up to Saturday, January 8, 2022.
The FA Cup has not been kind to the Spireites since 1997. No Premier League tie to look forward to and only two third round appearances before this season.
You always hear memories of fantastic cup moments, and the 1996/97 semi-final run is up there with one of the competition’s most remarkable stories.
My first and probably most memorable FA Cup moment saw the Spireites take on non-league Droylsden in 2008. I attended both home games in that saga.
However, it was finally time to create new memories and that was in the form of travelling to Stamford Bridge and facing the European champions.
From the moment of the draw up until the trip down to London, it still didn’t seem real and I’m sure that many Blues fans would have felt the same way.
However, once stepping inside Stamford Bridge I definitely started to realise that it was not actually a dream but me and thousands of other people realising a dream.
Since the start of my journey towards a career in journalism, it was always a dream to be able to report on a match at an elite level and to do it with the team that has been my life for almost 15 years was the icing of the cake.
A big part of football includes caring about the result but for 6,000 travelling fans and everyone associated with Chesterfield FC in the press box, it was about enjoying the day.
Akwasi Asante’s goal was genuinely one of the best moments in football I have ever had the pleasure to witness, and I would be lying if it didn’t make me feel emotional. I have watched the video back numerous times already and it never fails to put a smile on my face.
For most in world football, it was just a consolation goal to make it 5-1. For everyone associated with this unbelievable club, it was a moment that all involved will never forget.
We have won league titles and other competitions but to score at the champions of Europe is something that possibly only happens once in a lifetime.
Every moment spent in that ground is something that will stay with me forever. However, I’m sure that most Chesterfield fans are now looking at a bigger target.
So Spireites, who’s for a title charge?