City’s Chappy chat is great pep talk for Philip

When you’re a lifelong Manchester City fan and you’re ‘feeling blue’ you either need a pep talk – or better still – a Chappy chat.

With Pep Guardiola presiding over the club’s thrilling Champions League comeback win over Monaco – it was left to City’s Master of Mirth & Merriment, Les Chapman, to bring even more joy to true blue, Philip Entwistle.

Calling the shots - Pep was on the touchline as City beat Monaco 5-3, while City fan Phil, cheered the Blues on TV at home.

Calling the shots – Pep was on the touchline as City beat Monaco 5-3, while City fan Phil, cheered the Blues on TV at home.

Philip, a Maine Road and Etihad season ticket holder for four decades, is fighting what will ultimately be a losing battle against lung cancer.

The 63-year old City fan attended what looks likely to be his last City game earlier this month, as his health continues to falter.

Gabriel Jesus’ late late winner against Swansea was a fitting finale to Phil’s attendance at matches, as he bade farewell from his seat in the Colin Bell Stand.

Jesus just in time - Gabriel celebrates scoring against Swansea with City legend Zaba.

Jesus just in time – Gabriel celebrates scoring against Swansea with City legend Zaba.

But if Phil could no longer get to watch City ‘live’, City could sure as hell get to Phil…in the shape of the club’s ex-kitman, the ever popular cheeky ‘Chappy’.

Les popped over for a ‘quick cuppa and a natter’ at Phil’s home in Nelson, Lancs.

So much for the ‘quick’ tea and biscuits…four hours later Chappy was still regaling Phil with a treasure trove of tales and anecdotes about City, and his 50 years in football.

When City come knocking - Chappy dropped in for a morale-boosting chat with City fan Philip Entwistle at his home in Nelson.

When City come knocking – Chappy dropped in for a morale-boosting chat with City fan Philip Entwistle at his home in Nelson.

Chappy’s career included more than 700 first team games for Oldham Athletic, Huddersfield Town, Stockport County, Bradford City, Rochdale, Preston North End and the San Jose Earthquakes, plus managerial stints at Stockport and PNE.

Phil said: “It was a great afternoon. I can’t thank Les enough for his kindness and for keeping me wonderfully entertained.

Kevin De Bruyne in action in City's 2-0 win at Bournemouth. Philip is now the proud owner of a KDB Number 17 shirt.

Kevin De Bruyne in action in City’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth. Philip is now the proud owner of a KDB Number 17 shirt.

“The time just flew by and I couldn’t believe we’d been chatting for more than four hours. Obviously we talked loads about City, but Les also had so many stories about his playing days and time in management – what a great guy.”

Les, topped off the visit by presenting Phil with one of Kevin De Bruyne’s match shirts – a special piece of City memorabilia to be treasured in the Entwistle family – and eventually given to Phil’s City-supporting daughter, Victoria.

Cheeky Chappy - Les took time out from his media team duties at the Etihad to talk all things City with Philip.

Cheeky Chappy – Les took time out from his media team duties at the Etihad to talk all things City with Philip.

Chappy, now a member of City’s media team, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Phil, he’s a lovely man whose passion for City shines through.

“I could happily have stayed all day, so much so that we’re planning on doing it all over again in the very near future.”

 

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

24 Comments

  1. February 25, 2017  3:57 pm by Mark Reply

    Brilliant to hear. This is why we support a special club. One that is always willing to that extra mile. Well done chappy

    • February 25, 2017  4:11 pm by David Walker Reply

      Great kindness and consideration from Les Chapman, warmly received from another true gentleman in the shape of Phil Entwistle. It was a privilege to make it happen and to hear how rewarding it had been for both. Sometimes in life it truly is the small selfless acts that mean so much.

  2. February 25, 2017  3:58 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    A good deed by City Chappy making us realise there is more to footy than the actual game itself.

    • February 25, 2017  4:13 pm by David Walker Reply

      Very true Richard. A happy chapter in a sad tale. Phil sits on the row in front of me in the Colin Bell Stand and his presence and enthusiasm will be sorely missed on match days. Forever the gentleman and always a staunch Blue.

  3. February 25, 2017  4:32 pm by Alan Baxter Reply

    Very good of you to take your time and publicise what the club and their employees do. I've met Chappy on a few occasions and as much as comes across as ''mad as a box of frogs' he has tremendous knowledge of the game and his anecdotes keep you spellbound. Well done Sir for arranging this for Phil.

    • February 25, 2017  4:39 pm by David Walker Reply

      Chappy is one of a kind - you'd always want him in your trench! I just asked the question and Les was on it straight away. Realising the circumstances he made himself available and, just like City v Monaco, it seems like he and Phil enjoyed a great occasion and a wonderful outcome. I don't have much influence, but what little I have I try and put to good use. Cheers Alan.

  4. February 25, 2017  4:37 pm by Ed Reply

    My mate that I travel to games with has been fighting cancer and has thankfully won the battle for now but can only pray it never makes a return visit.
    Fantastic from chappy, a top man .
    Well done Dave.

    • February 25, 2017  4:43 pm by David Walker Reply

      All I did was make the request and I'm so glad Phil had such a great time. You're spot on Ed, Chappy is the dog's doo-daahs - I think he enjoyed his afternoon as much as Phil ;-)

  5. February 25, 2017  4:47 pm by Martin Goddard Reply

    I met Les in 1966 when we were both enrolled on an accountancy day release course (IMTA) at Manchester College of Commerce. I was working at Stockport Town Hall and he was at Oldham. He was also playing for Oldham Reserves but soon turned his back on accountancy to sign as a professional. I followed his career with interest from then on. Unfortunately, I never realised my ambition of playing for my beloved City but I did qualify as an accountant. We hear so much about what is bad in "the beautiful game" that we forget that much good work goes on behind the scenes. Well done, Les. CTID

    • March 1, 2017  10:40 am by David Walker Reply

      Nice to see that both yourself and Les succeeded in your respective careers.

  6. February 25, 2017  5:04 pm by Martin Goddard Reply

    I met Les at Manchester College of Commerce in 1966 where we were both enrolled on a day release accountancy course (IMTA). He was working for Oldham Council and I was at Stockport. However, he was also playing for Oldham Reserves and soon turned his back on accountancy to sign professional. I followed his career with interest from that time forward. Although I didn't realise my ambition of playing for my beloved City, I did qualify as an accountant. There is much that is wrong in modern football so it is good to hear about the good things as well. Well done Les and also to the great community work that Manchester City does. CTID

    • March 1, 2017  10:39 am by David Walker Reply

      Totally agree. Thanks for the insight on Les' beginnings in accountancy - go figure eh? ;-)

  7. February 25, 2017  5:26 pm by Ian Barton Reply

    Great stuff Dave, lovely gesture, the club do this sort of thing so well & Chappy is a gem. Good luck to Philip!

    • February 25, 2017  6:53 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks your Lordship - completely concur with all your sentiments.

  8. February 25, 2017  7:35 pm by John Evans Reply

    Good luck Phil. We are all routing for you.

  9. February 25, 2017  7:38 pm by John Evans Reply

    Should have been rooting, Apologies

    • February 25, 2017  7:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      No need for apologies - every comment pushes up the numbers :-) More typos Mr Efans ;-)

  10. February 25, 2017  7:59 pm by John Evans Reply

    Went to 'Chappy' testimonial at Edgeley Park. Great turnout. Les's team won 99-98 (thought you come on to take a penalty). It was a memorable day, What a contrast to the 'snides' from Trafford with heads are buried up own derrieres. Probably to do with our Ethos,

    • February 25, 2017  8:05 pm by David Walker Reply

      So neither team reached 100? I hope you kept your receipt and demanded a refund. I was away at the time of the match, otherwise I'd have made the trek northwards for what I'm sure was a great afternoon. I did manage to attend a dinner in honour of Les and that was a smashing evening.

  11. February 26, 2017  11:09 am by Pete lynch Reply

    Lovely gesture and heartwarming story. Well done David and our special club.

    • February 27, 2017  7:49 am by David Walker Reply

      Your comments are always appreciated - thanks fella.

  12. February 26, 2017  1:29 pm by Ian Dunn Reply

    Nice story- I'm sure Chappy and the club do a hell of a lot of such like gestures that go completely under the radar..... It doesn't take much to lift people's spirits- well done all concerned!

    • February 27, 2017  7:51 am by David Walker Reply

      It may sound clichéd but, the best things in life really are free - compassion, kindness, simply giving of your time to those who are most deserving. Thanks for your comment.

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