A product of Sheffield Wednesday’s junior set-up, Terry Whitham was also a keen cricketer with Oughtibridge, his local side, in his youth. He signed pro forms for the Owls just after his 17th birthday and became a mainstay of their reserve team throughout the rest of the 1950s. In all that time he was called on to play for Wednesday’s first team on only four occasions.
A defensive wing-half, Terry dropped from the First to the Fourth Division upon joining Chesterfield for £400 in June 1961, but weighed into his decision to join the Spireites was the fact that he could remain in Sheffield, rather than move away. The Spireites had only just been relegated, and would have been fancied to be one of the division’s stronger teams, too. That hope was quickly exposed as false, however, and it was Terry’s misfortune to be associated with Chesterfield through their lowest point, up to then.
Being one of our better, more versatile players he was called upon to play in a number of roles in his time at Saltergate; in his first season he played in both wing-half positions, made his home debut at centre-forward and ended 1961/62 at left-back. In his three seasons with the Spireites, Terry played 71 games and scored three goals. His longest run of appearances in all that time extended to only 13 games, and that indicates a problem that every player had, at the time – trying to maintain consistency in a side subject to the whim of a manager whose response to any defeat was to chop and change the starting line-up.
Terry left for Midland League football with Worksop Town in the summer of 1964 and enjoyed his time there. He opted to move to Matlock when Worksop made the step up to the Northern Premier League in 1966 – their one season in it was disastrous, and when the Tigers found themselves back in the Midland League, Terry returned to see out the rest of his senior non-league career at Central Avenue before serving as a player-coach to Oughtibridge.
Terry had a number of jobs outside the game, after his playing days were done. He worked in insurance, the steel industry and telecommunications before going into business with the former Spireite John Beresford, in a motor garage.
We send our sincere condolences to Terry’s friends and family.