Chesterfield Football Club
Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium boasts two excellent examples of Robert Lally Mosaic Artwork, one inside and one outside.
The exterior work, a head & shoulder of Dave Blakey, the man who’s played more times for The Spireites than any other player. In 2014 a group of supporters set out to raise money to build a brand-new Memorial Garden at the stadium’s location, with a target of £35,000 set.
Fundraising was going well so there was to be some potential spare money to add features not originally in the plan and as Dave passed away in March 2014, organiser Phil Tooley felt remembering him in the Garden was appropriate. The previous year, Phil had visited the National Football Museum and saw some of Rob Lally’s work for the first time, in particular a poignant portrait of the late Gary Speed, so Phil contacted Rob to ask if he would be able to do a greyscale portrait of Blakey. Details were agreed and the eventual artwork was unveiled by Dave’s widow, Kathleen along with the Mayor of Chesterfield. Kathleen, who’d not seen the mosaic before the unveiling and was unsure exactly what was being revealed was clearly moved as were many others at the gathering when the building at the Garden was completed in the summer of 2014.
The mosaic proved to be an extremely popular landmark and in 2017 Phil contacted Rob again to ask if he could reproduce a photograph, taken by photographer Alan Roe, of Chesterfield’s record goalscorer Ernie Moss. Ernie suffers from dementia and cannot communicate any more and when Spireites played another former club of his, Port Vale, it was deemed to be Ernie Moss day, so the target was to complete the mosaic by that date and unveil it in its main foyer location.
The image, a family favourite, was unveiled by Ernie, his wife Jenny plus daughters Nikki and Sarah plus other members of the family who, like Kathleen Blakey, had no idea what they were unveiling. Again, emotions were plentiful.