Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings saved Chorley FC too

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Chorley chairman Ken Wright tells CRAIG SALMON how ‘brilliant businessman’ Trevor Hemmings, who passed away yesterday, stepped in to secure club’s future.

Trevor Hemmings saved Chorley Football Club from oblivion, that is the view of the club’s current co-owner and chairman Ken Wright.

The Magpies are arguably the biggest non-league club in Lancashire.

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They play in the National League North – which is just two steps below the Football League – and are watched regularly by four-figure crowds in one of the country’s most historic and iconic non-league venues in Victory Park.

Trevor HemmingsTrevor Hemmings
Trevor Hemmings

Over the past decade, the Magpies have enjoyed an amazing run of success rising up through the football pyramid.

And last season, they made the footballing world sit up and take notice after embarking on a remarkable run to the FA Cup fourth round proper, after beating Football League outfits Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United and Derby County, before losing narrowly at home to Premier League Wolves live on TV.

However, all of that success would not have been possible without the intervention of Hemmings in the mid-1990s.

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He rescued the club when it was in severe financial difficulty in 1994 and continued to provide support and stability over the ensuing years, giving it a platform to grow into the club it now is.

Chorley chairman and co-owner Ken WrightChorley chairman and co-owner Ken Wright
Chorley chairman and co-owner Ken Wright

“Trevor came in when the club was in a desperate situation and salvaged it, it is as simple as that,” said Wright, who is also a past first-team manager of the Magpies.

“Obviously, if he had not have done what he did, then it would probably have been the end of Chorley Football Club, which would have been really sad.

“So anybody at our football club who is aware of that fact will always have a huge debt of gratitude towards him.”

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Wright has been chairman of Chorley since 2003 and became owner of the football club in 2017 alongside Graham Watkinson.

Over the years, he has had many personal dealings with Hemmings describing him as a ‘brilliant businessman and a real character’.

“I have not seen Trevor for a while but his passing is obviously very sad,” he said.

“He was a real character and is somebody who I got on with very well.

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“He made a massive contribution to Preston North End over the years.

“What he achieved in the horse racing world was brilliant.

“What he achieved in his lifetime was, well, what can you say?

“He was a brilliant businessman and put his stamp on the world of football and horse racing, he leaves a wonderful legacy.

“It is so sad and my thoughts are with his family.”