500 not out for Chris Slater at Chasetown
A midweek defeat to Leek Town may not usually live long in the memory but, for 'Mr Chasetown' Chris Slater, it was certainly one to cherish.
The central defender, born and raised just a stone's throw from Chasetown's Church Lane ground, clocked up his 500th appearance for the Scholars at Leek.
He becomes only the fourth-ever to reach the figure – and claims he is by no means finished there.
He revealed: "Whether I'm at the local for a pint or shopping with the family, people were coming up to me saying 'it must be getting on for 500 now' – they made sure I knew!"
"I'm just a lad from Chasetown who wants to play football for the local team – and I'll continue to do that for as long as they need me! Andy Cox's record of 535 is the target – I want the outright record."
Slater, a civil engineer, has not always been a part of the semi-professional game.
Chasetown's phenomenal FA Cup successes of the mid-to-late 2000s under Charlie Blakemore brought a feel good factor to Church Lane, as well as putting the club on the national map.
But for Slater, who worked in a family block paving business at the time, it was merely the beginning of a dream.
He recalls: "I was just going about my working life, and all of a sudden you get a call saying Port Vale have offered you an 18-month contract.
"I had to leave the business. Getting used to training every day was difficult – we had to get up to speed pretty quickly. I have no regrets about my nine months there."
Marcus Law took over from Craig Harris in late January, and Slater is very happy to play his part in a new era for the Scholars.
Saturday's home fixture with Goole AFC will be marked with a 'Slater Special Edition' match day programme.
He said: "The lads have been great. They joke I'm Mr Chasetown because of my work and time with the club."
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