Former Chester defender Tommy
Singleton sadly passed away at the end of December
2005 at the age of 65. Tommy has the distinction of
being the first ever Chester substitute when he came
on for his debut against Stockport County in the opening
game of the 1965/66 season.
Tommy was born in Blackpool
and signed as an amateur for his local Football League
side in 1957. After appearing
regularly for the Blackpool A and Central League sides
he signed as a full time professional in 1960. In October
of the same year he finally made his first team debut,
in a League Cup tie against Leeds United, as a replacement
for full back Jimmy Armfield who was on England international
This proved to be his only game for
the Tangerines and with first team opportunities limited
he was transferred
to Peterborough United for £2,500 in June 1962.
He went on to play 85 League games and score one goal
for the Posh before Peter Hauser brought him to Sealand
Road for a “substantial fee” in June 1965.
Tommy was signed as a full
back and slotted into that position on his groundbreaking
first appearance when
he replaced the injured Malcolm Starkey. He continued
in that position until Bryn Jones took over the duties
in mid-September. At the start of 1966 both full backs,
Bryn and Ray Jones, suffered broken legs against Aldershot
and Tommy regained his place in the team at right back.
The following season proved
to be the 6ft defenders most successful period at
Sealand Road as he started
40 games, initially at right back, before deposing
John Butler at centre half. In the1967/68 season
it was evident that the Chester side under Hauser
lost its sparkle and as the team unsuccessfully struggled
to avoid re-election Tommy was restricted to 20 appearances.
During the 1968 pre-season
he departed for Bradford Park Avenue as Ken Roberts
continued to rebuild the
Chester team following the dismissal of Hauser. In
total Tommy played 88 league games for the Blues
and scored one goal. Bradford proved to be Tommy’s
final Football League side and after leaving the game
he returned to Blackpool where he worked for TVR cars
and continued to watch his local team.