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Dave Bayliss joined Chester on loan from Luton Town in December 2004 as Ian Rush sought to strengthen a leaking defence that had conceded heavily against Yeovil Town, Oxford United and Bristol Rovers. In his two months at the Deva Stadium Dave made nine appearances but blotted his copybook by being dismissed in his final appearance, a 3-0 home defeat to Cheltenham Town. The Liverpool born defender started his career with Rochdale where he made nearly 200 appearances before moving to Luton on a free transfer in December 2001. After leaving the Hatters, at the end of the 2004/05 season, Dave joined rivals Wrexham on a one year deal and was first choice in their side at the start of the campaign. However, after losing his place in the starting eleven early in 2006, he spent some time on loan with former club Rochdale before being released by Wrexham in the summer. Dave started the 2006/07 season with non-league Lancaster City but was on the move again in November when he signed for Barrow. Twelve months later he took over responsibility for first team affairs with Darren Sheridan and Paul Jones following the sacking of Phil Wilson and he is currently joint manager at Holker Street with Sheridan.

One of the players currently playing under Bayliss at Barrow is former City trainee Lee Woodyatt. The Bangor born right back was a Welsh Youth International from Schoolboy to Under 19 level and made his Chester debut, as a substitute, in the Conference fixture against Nuneaton Borough in September 2000. Over the next three years Lee made 32+14 Conference appearances for City, scoring two goals, with his final match coming in the last game of the 2002/03 season against Yeovil Town. During his time at the Deva Stadium Lee was also selected for the Wales semi-professional side and played against Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in 2002. After leaving Chester Lee signed for Northwich Victoria and played regularly in their Conference side in 2003/04 before being released. In September 2005 Lee suffered an horrendous injury in an FA Trophy game against Ramsbottom United when he dislocated his ankle, ruptured his anterior ankle ligaments and fractured his tibia and fibula. Unsurprisingly this injury kept him out of football for 12 months and shortly after returning to the first team the bad luck continued when he dislocated a shoulder playing against Stalybridge Celtic in November 2006. Lee left Rivacre Park last summer and signed for Barrow. He appears to have overcome the injury jinx that has blighted the last two years and has been a regular in the Barrow side so far this season.

Dave Bayliss is not the only former Chester player currently managing a Cumbrian side in the Blue Square North. Darren Edmondson was one of the players signed by Mark Wright before the manager’s abrupt departure on the eve of the 2004/05 season. The experienced defender was a regular at right back under Ian Rush but an ankle injury at the end of November put him out of the side for two months and on his return he struggled to regain his early season form. Following his release from the Deva Stadium the former Carlisle, Huddersfield, Plymouth and York defender returned to his native Cumbria and signed for Barrow at the same time taking a job with Scottish League side Gretna working as a Football in the Community coach. In November 2005 Darren spent a month in charge as caretaker manager at Barrow following the sacking of Lee Turnbull but left the club early in 2006 to sign for Workington. In October 2007 Darren was appointed player-manager at Borough Park and was in charge of the Reds team beaten by Bury in the FA Cup First Round.

Mark Albrighton was a regular opponent of City during their Conference days, appearing for both Telford United and Doncaster Rovers. Mark Wright clearly remembered the big defender as he made him one of his first loan signings from Doncaster after being re-appointed manager in February 2006. Mark made a significant impact in his nine games for the club, including a Man of the Match performance in the 2-1 win over Wrexham, as City began to climb away from the relegation zone. Following the Wrexham game, he was recalled by Rovers but was released by the Yorkshire side in the summer. The Nuneaton born player started last season with Boston United but with the troubled Lincolnshire side suffering from financial problems he was allowed out on loan to Darlington followed by Rushden and Diamonds. Mark returned to struggling Boston before their final Football League game at Wrexham but was an unused substitute. During the summer the experienced centre-half signed for Conference side Cambridge United where his aerial ability and organizational skills have helped the U’s press for a place back in the League

Chas Sumner [Published 29/1/08] | Pictures © Evening Leader




















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