Chester City Club Profile
Chester City : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :

Club Background; We've Met Before; Club News; Club Statistics; Club Information; Directions To The Ground; Web Resources; Food And Drink; Local Amenities


Chester City : Club Background
Football has always been a bit of a struggle in Chester. Right on the Welsh border, a historic tourist honeypot rather than one of the industrial centres that have traditionally provided the bedrock of support for the game, and with Merseyside close enough to suck out the local talent and the gloryhunters, it's perhaps surprising they have done even as well as they have.

Founded in 1885 as Chester FC, the 'City' wasn't added until 1983, as an amalgamation of Chester Rovers and Old King's Scholars they first joined a league, the Combination, in 1890. They'd already moved once when they lost their ground in 1899 to housing development and were disbanded.

Reformed in 1901, they turned (semi-)professional in 1902 and had another short term home before finding a base in Sealand Road in 1906, where they would remain until 1990. For thirty years Chester played in the Combination League, then the Lancashire Combination, and after the First World War in the Cheshire County League. In 1928 they made their first application for the Football League, receiving two votes. They applied again in 1929 and got no votes. In 1930 they did not bother to apply, but 1931 saw they come from absolutely nowhere to tie for second place in the ballot with Nelson on 27 votes. In the run-off Chester took 28 votes to Nelson's 20 and the Lancashire club lost its League status. (As a historical footnote Nelson can now be found in the North West Counties Division Two.)

Chester remained in Division Three North all the way through to the reorganisation of 1958, when they were placed into Division Four. Before the war they had been relatively successful as a top half of the table team. This was when Yeovil (& Petters United) first came across them in 1932, with a Second Round loss 2-1 away in the F.A. Cup. After World War Two Chester were perennial strugglers, always in the lower reaches and seeking re-election on several occasions. Another connection with Yeovil was that Louis Page, player-manager at Yeovil from 1933-35, was in charge at Sealand Road from 1953-56.

Division Four brought no relief, with regular requirements for re-election in the Sixties. The Seventies saw an improvement and 1974-75 was a golden season. After defeating Leeds United and Newcastle United amongst others to get there, a two-legged League Cup semi-final saw them go out only by the odd goal in nine on aggregate to Aston Villa, and they finished fourth in the league and for the first time ever won promotion. Seven mid-tablish seasons followed in the Third Division until they were relegated in last place in 1981-82. By 1983-84 they were back to being the worst club in the Football League, but as usual were comfortably re-elected.

The rapid succession of managers was halted with the arrival of Harry McNally in 1985 and he got them promoted as runners-up to (though 18 points adrift of) Swindon Town at the end of his first season. He kept them there reasonably comfortably until the first season after the restructuring for the Premiership, when they finished last. McNally paid with his job. With the renaming it was now Division Two they were relegated from. In the meantime Chester City had been playing for two years from 1990 at The Moss Rose to bridge the gap between the sale of Sealand Road and the building of the new Deva Stadium. They were thus an (innocent) party to one of the biggest disgraces ever in the disgraceful history of nest-feathering self protectionism that has always dominated relations between the Football League and its lesser brethren further down the pyramid. Despite the fact that the League had ruled it perfectly acceptable for Chester to play two whole league campaigns there, when Macclesfield Town won the Conference and went to claim their promotion they were refused on the grounds their stadium was inadequate.

Graham Barrow took over for his first spell as manager at Chester and got them promoted again as runners-up in 1993-94. They came straight back down the following season. There was another flurry of mangers until Kevin Ratcliffe took over in 1995 but, through little fault of his, Chester were about to enter their darkest days.

During the 1998-99 season the club finally hit the financial rocks and had to take refuge in administration. If anything worse was to follow. As is often the case the any-port-in-a-storm nature of the less perceptive fan initially saw only an apparent saviour in the form of American Terry Smith, welcomed as a white knight. From the outside it is perhaps easier to spot the signs; on the inside the temptation is to bury one's head in the sand and hope it'll all be all right. But how, in this particular case, so many Chester fans were initially taken in remains a mystery. Of course you won't now find a supporter not claiming s/he spotted Smith was a fruitcake of the first order straight away. But although they'd hate to admit it, that's not how it was at the time.

There were a few mutterings as Ratcliffe got the boot and Smith awarded himself the managerial post. They got louder as the club struggled week after week at the foot of the table. Eventually Smith reluctantly conceded that he might not know everything about football tactics and Ian Atkins was brought in to try and salvage the situation. Results indeed picked up and Chester nearly escaped. A win at home to Peterborough on the final day of the season would have saved them, but they lost 0-1.

Atkins left for Carlisle, the club who had been saved at Chester's expense, and Graham Barrow returned for the first campaign in the Conference. Despite the usual bluster from clubs coming down into Non-league he did about as well as should have been expected, with a fairly solid 8th. Smith however was not done. His announcements and actions becoming more and more bizarre by the day, Barrow was sacked. Players in the squad were either released or transfer-listed, then re-instated, then released, then re-instated, then transfer-listed........ There was an insanity at the heart of Chester City Football Club, and the majority of fans at last began to blame the turmoil on one person and one person only - Terry Smith. The only surprise was there was still a significant minority prepared to defend him.

Even that minority began to whither when Youth Team coach Gordon Hill was appointed manager at the start of the 2001-02 season. The unrest became massive. A boycott of home matches was organised by the club's supporters along with a permanent picket line outside the ground, with the stated aim of driving Terry Smith and Gordon Hill out. Crowds which had averaged 1,832 the previous season plummeted to 600-800. The nadir was reached in October with a demoralised team beaten 0-3 at home by Margate and bottom of the Conference. Under huge pressure Smith sold up and the unpopular Hill was sacked by the club's new owner, Steven Vaughan. The boycott was lifted and after a false start under manager Steve Mungall who only lasted a few months, and then Owen Brown as caretaker, former Southport and Oxford boss Mark Wright took over at the Deva.

The 2002-03 season saw Chester reach the play-offs, only to be defeated by Doncaster Rovers on penalties in the semi-finals. However the following campaign they made no such mistake, clinching the title with a game to spare and securing their first Championship since their previous time in Non-league back in the 1920's. There remained - or should have remained - disquiet about what was going on behind the scenes, with a constant trickle of rumours of unhappiness, court orders, unsettled financial issues and interference on the field from the chairman. But Chester fans were happy with results and heads were firmly stuck back in the sand.

All set fair for a triumphant return to the Football League then? Not a bit of it. Chester don't seem to have purged all that recent suicidal streak from their system yet. The day before the new season was due to kick off Mark Wright stormed out of the club taking almost the entire backroom staff with him. To this day it remains unclear exactly how he and the chairman came to fall out to such a degree, with both sides claiming to maintain a dignified silence whilst quietly leaking different versions of events. Vaughan fiddled about once again with the managerial post until eventually settling on Ian Rush.

Prediction corner :
What can we say? Not that their fans will care two hoots about our opinions but we see a deep seated malaise at Chester City. Vaughan may have saved them from the clutches of a madman but his own record in football is deeply flawed. In turn he seems to be becoming more unpredictable in his announcements and actions. Chester to grimly survive this season in 20th.

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Chester City : We've Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Chester City

10/12/1932AwayFAC2L1-2Lewis
09/09/2000HomeConfW2-12862Patmore 43, Crittenden 72
10/02/2001AwayConfL1-22265Bent 85
03/11/2001HomeConfL0-12833
01/04/2002AwayConfD1-11807Skiverton 42
02/11/2002AwayConfD2-23821Crittenden 51, Forinton 55
26/04/2003HomeConfD1-18111Gall 8
30/10/2004HomeCCL2W4-15741Jevons 25, 63, 90, Caceres 56
19/02/2005AwayCCL2W2-03072Davies 12, Jevons 32


Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Chester City

HomeAwayOverall
WDLFAWDLFAWDLFA
21174122773331411


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Chester City : Club News
Recent News For Chester City

News Date Headline Source View


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Chester City : Club Statistics

FORTHCOMING FIXTURES

CLUB GOALSCORERS
Name LGE FAC FAT LGC CC Total

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: Not Applicable
Lowest League Attendance: Not Applicable
Average League Attendance: Not Applicable

CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS

Games Without A Win: 0 Games Without A Home Win: 0
Games Without An Away Win: 0 Games Without Defeat: 0
Games Without A Home Defeat: 0 Games Without An Away Defeat: 0
Games Without A Draw: 0 Games Without A Score Draw: 0
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 0 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence:
Away Results Sequence: Overall Results Sequence:


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Chester City : Club Information
Address : Saunders Honda Stadium
Bumpers Lane
Chester
CH1 4LT
(Click for map)

Telephone Number : 01244 371376
Fax : 01244 390265
E-mail: info@chestercityfc.net
Clubcall : 09068 121633 (calls charges at 60p per minute)

Chairman : Stephen Vaughan
Press Officer : Vaughan does a bad enough job all by himself
Fixtures Secretary : Tony Allan
Manager : Ian Rush
Capacity : 6,012
Seated : 3,284
Covered Terrace : 2,728

Record Attendance : 5,987 v Scarborough, Conference, April 17th 2004

Colours : shirts - blue and white stripes; shorts - blue; socks - blue
Nickname : Blues

Ticket Prices : Away fans get the South Terrace (which is covered and has a capacity of around 1,200), and some seating in the West Stand. Ticket prices are : adults 13.00, concessions 8.00 and U16's 5.00 for the terrace; adults 15.00, concessions 10.00 and U16's 6.00 for the seats in the West Stand.

Disabled Info : There are spaces for 32 wheelchairs and up to 40 helpers in the stadium, split between the East and West Stands. A disabled adapted toilet is available in both areas. Wheelchair users are allowed in free, helpers pay full price. There are ten places with 'hospital' radio commentary. The club prefers advance notification and booking by disabled fans - phone 01244 371376.

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Chester City : Directions To The Ground
General

Possibly the worst located ground in the whole of League Two - and we say that not because part of the stadium is reputed to be in Wales. Buried deep in a trading estate far from any facilities, it's a pain to get into and an absolute nightmare to get out from. If driving don't rely on clearing the stadium, and then Chester itself, after the final whistle in much less than an hour and a half.


By Road
Most Yeovil fans will be coming from the South, and this is another M5 - M6 trip. There's a number of junctions one could drop off on. We've tried most of them on occasion in or out (16,18,19) and all routes to and from Chester seem the same : slow, irritating and prone to becoming completely stationary. You might even consider going the long way round and using the M56 (see directions from the North, below).

When eventually getting to the City the stadium is of course on the 'wrong' side. However you approach from the East every route seems to filter you bang towards the middle of the city. To be fair you'll probably want to spend some time in the centre anyway, unless you are the sort who enjoys looking at modern industrial warehouses and small business units for an hour or two because those are the only things around the ground. The inner ring road normally operates at walking pace (on a good day), so crawl round until you find the A548 (Watergate Street, signposted Queensferry, Ellesmere Port) exit by the Racecourse. Pray nothing is happening there - traffic then reduces to a metre a minute. Watergate Street turns into Sealand Road (still the A548). Carry along this road for about a mile - with luck you'll be back up to walking pace by now - until the set of traffic lights by a Kwik Save and MFI. The left turn into Bumpers Lane is indicated by the appealing sign "Sealand Industrial Estate / Household Waste Site". If you squeeze down Bumpers Lane through the narrow channel left by all the locals (probably illegally parked) for half a mile or so a humourless car park attendant will then relieve you of 3.00. Enjoy.

From the North the obvious route towards Chester is along the M56. If going to the city centre ahead of the match switch onto the M53 at Junction 15. At the end of the motorway take the A56 into Chester, then it'll be the pleasures outlined above to get you from the centre to the stadium.

If going straight to the ground follow the M56 to where it ends in a roundabout. Take the first exit (A5117), worryingly signed North Wales, and go just under a mile to the next roundabout, which has a Little Chef. Again take the first exit (A540) signposted Chester. Continue along the A540 for three miles until reaching another roundabout. Take the third exit onto the Deva Link Road (signposted Queensferry A5480, Sealand Road Ind, Retail Parks). Carry straight over the roundabout after just over half a mile, and when reaching the junction with the A548 at the traffic lights by Kwik Save and MFI Bumpers Lane is straight on.

By Rail

Yeovil (Junction or Pen Mill) to Chester is possible via a number of routes, though most are lengthy and tortuous with plenty of changes. You won't be able to watch the match and get back the same day. The simplest is Yeovil Junction (07.50) - Basingstoke - Crewe - Chester (13.30).

For those using rail from other areas of the country the key is to get to Crewe, from where there are two or three trains each hour to Chester, mostly by Arriva Trains Wales but also the occasional Virgin and taking about twenty minutes. There are two direct trains an hour from Liverpool Central by Merseyrail (41 minutes), and one direct from Birmingham New Street every two hours (Arriva Trains Wales again and taking an hour and three-quarters).

Chester station is about two miles from the stadium. On a clear run (ha ha) a taxi will cost 4.00-5.00, but if (when) you get stuck in traffic and the meter keeps ticking....... There's a Railink bus to the bus station from where you can catch the No. 28 (see below).

If walking ASK! Oh all right then.........leave the station by the main exit opposite the Town Crier, and turn right into Station Road. Head between the Egerton Arms and the Railway Inn, and at the end of the street by Stanley's enter the underpass. In the underpass look for the first exit and then steps signed for Frodsham Street. Head towards the Oddfellows Arms but just before the bridge turn right into Gorse Stacks. When reaching the crossroads by the Bull & Stirrup go straight over into Canal Street and on under the dual carriageway ring road. At the next junction turn left, past Telford's Warehouse on the right hand side, and over the canal. The road then divides. Take the right hand option, South View Road. At the T-junction at the end of South View Road turn right. You are now in Sealand Road. Carry along Sealand Road for half a mile or so until you see Bumpers Lane on your left. Around half a mile down Bumpers Lane you'll reach the stadium.

By Bus

The bus that runs from the city up Sealand Road past the Bumpers Lane turning to the ground is the No. 28.

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Chester City : Web Resources
Web Sites

Official Website - after the Terry Smith debacle Chester didn't even have one for a long while. They do now, and at least it's not PTV, but given they can't even be bothered to put up ticket prices, or much else, it's unclear why they've bothered.
Unofficial Chester City - stepped in to cover as the 'Official' site when Chester didn't have one, and still so much better and comprehensive than the current OS it's embarrassing.
Earlydoors - another good independent website.
Chester City Supporters Trust
True Blue - fan's tribute site.
Deva Online - new launch for 2004; didn't make it into 2005.
Chester City Football Club - sportnetwork site, not updated since early in the 2004-05 season.
The Onion Bag - Rivals is generally poor anyway. This one is desperate and should be put out of its misery.


Web Message Boards

Deva Chat - there are other Chester sites with forums attached, but this is the only one worth bothering with.

E-Mail Mailing Lists

None known.



Local Press

Chester Chronicle & Daily Post - in association with the Liverpool Daily Post.
Chester Evening Leader

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Chester City : Food & Drink
General :

It's a long haul from the city where the pubs and eating places are out to the football ground; a good 25 minute walk or more, depending on where you're starting from. For your convenience some good folk in Chester have designed a pub crawl site, WC Brewery, with a selection of pubs to take in as you wander round the city. They've even provided a map. With around 100 pubs in Chester and the immediate surrounds there's plenty of choice.

The food in the ground was dreadful a few years ago: expensive and poor value for money. If it's improved since we haven't found out - once bitten, twice (and more) shy.
Likewise the programme. 2.50 for forty pages of minimal content (if the past is anything to go by) is taking the mick. Of course in former times it was a must buy just to read the insane ramblings of ex-Chairman Terry Smith.

Club Bar :

No issues when we've used the club bar in the past. It was refurbished in 2002 and Sky TV and a selection of hot snacks have also been added since our last visit. There was a small charge for entry. A few Chester fans can get a bit excitable inside the stadium but in our experience that's where they've left it. However a phone call to the club revealed they've had "some problems" this season, and their advice was that visiting fans should not rely on this facility being available to them.

Local Pubs :

Albion: Very traditional three room pub close to the walls, the river, and just off the shopping centre, in a residential back street. Run by the same landlord for over thirty years. The food was excellent when we ate there a few seasons ago. Various 'snacks' from 3.50, and main meals are all 6.95. There's a much more interesting variety than the burger/ribs/lasagne/chilli/chicken tikka etc. that one finds in tens of thousands of pubs across the land these days. Nothing wrong with that sort of selection........... but every time? Opening is 12.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.(food served until 2.00 p.m.) and 5.00 p.m. (6.00 p.m. Sat) - 11.00 p.m. (food served until 8.00 p.m.). Regular real ales are the likes of Cains Bitter, Jennings Cumberland and Taylor Landlord, with usually a guest. Local CAMRA Pub of the Year on a number of occasions. No children or credit cards. The pub cat is called Kitchener.
Albion, Park Street, (off Albion Street), Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1RN. Tel: 01244 340345. Email: Mike@albioninnchester.co.uk. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Duttons: Can't get much more central - in a little alley under the shadow of the cathedral. Beer is Lees and seasonal guests. Has a wide and varied menu served until 9.00 p.m. Very popular at lunchtimes. There are tables and chairs outside for when the weather is fine. It does sometimes employ the men in dinner jackets at weekends. As we all know they tend to the simple, and the subtleties of distinguishing between Mad Razor Skullcrusher, in a Nazi helmet and carrying a small nuclear device, and your granny, who happens to have borrowed your spare away shirt, is completely beyond them. Both may be refused entry under some ruling delivered in grunted monosyllables, with your gran the better bet to be told to sling her hook.
Duttons, 10-12, Godstall Lane, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1LN. Tel: 01244 403018. Map: Click Here.

Falcon Inn: One of the oldest buildings in Chester. Good value bar food. Sam Smiths is the beer. Children are allowed at lunchtimes (except on Saturdays) in the no smoking area upstairs. Open all day Saturday, and generally packed.
Falcon Inn, Lower Bridge Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1RS. Tel: 01244 314555. Map: Click Here.

Mill Hotel: Down by the canal (there's a restaurant in a boat as well as the main one in the hotel) and just off the ring road. There are four bars in the complex - based around a converted Corn Mill. Attracts a very wide clientele from the youth market, through sports followers, ladies who lunch, familes and on to the wrinklies. The Public Bar has a house badged beer in Mill Premium, brewed by Coach House. Regulars are Cains Bitter, Theakston Cool Cask and Weetwood Best Bitter, but the glory of the outlet is the best selection of guest ales in the area, with up to a dozen on at any one time, and around 1,000 different beers served each year. Has Sky Sports on a big screen. Wheelchair and child friendly. Opening is 11-11.
Mill Hotel, Milton Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3NF. Tel: 01244 350035. Fax: 01244 345635. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Old Harkers Arms: Third of a mile from the railway station on the way to the city centre, and on the canal. As well as its own house beer called Harkers Silver Pale Ale, brewed by Ossett, there are up to six regularly changing guests - both mainstream and more obscure. The menu is wide ranging if at the pricier end of pub food. On Saturdays food is served throughout the day from 12.00 - 9.30 p.m. Opening is 11.30 a.m. - 11.00 p.m. with children welcome until 6.00 p.m.
Old Harkers Arms, 1, Russell Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH3 5AL. Tel: 01244 344525. Map: Click Here.

Olde Custom House Inn: Middle of the road pub. Food was OK. Beer was OK, with Banks and Marstons on offer. No problem with children. Conveniently situated on the edge of the city centre near the A548 which takes you towards the football ground. 11-11.
Olde Custom House Inn, 65-67, Watergate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2LB. Tel: 01244 324435. Map: Click Here.

Olde Kings Head: Adjacent to the Falcon Inn (above). Upmarket(ish) hotel style hostelry. Has real ale, and a bar menu at lunchtimes. Main restaurant and accommodation upstairs.
Olde Kings Head, 48-50, Lower Bridge Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1RS. Map: Click Here.

Ship Victory: In the middle of a car park, just inside the ring road to the north of the city centre. Friendly hostelry for drinkers (no meals), with Tetley and a guest, usually an interesting one from a small independent brewer. Wheelchair accessible. Opening is 12.00 (11.00 a.m. on Saturdays) - 11.00 p.m.
Ship Victory, 47, George Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3EQ. Tel: 01244 376453. Map: Click Here.

Telford's Warehouse: Reopened in 2001 after a major fire had seen it shut for a year. On the canal in the direction of football ground from the city centre. It has an arty bohemian feel (warm goat's cheese salad and cous cous on the menu - that sort of thing), but caters for a wider clientele (there's some proper food as well). There's a reasonably extensive wine list. Lots of live music from all styles, which sometimes occasions an entrance charge from mid-evening. The beer is Taylor Landlord, Theakston Best, Weetwood Eastgate and a guest. Has table football, tables by the canal and its own carpark. Opening is 11 a.m. - 1.00 a.m. Monday - Wednesday, 11.00 a.m. - 12.30 a.m. Thurday, 11.00 a.m. - 1.30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 12.00 - 12.00 Sunday. If staying over in Chester you can book tickets for the gigs and even select your menu in advance on-line.
Telford's Warehouse, Tower Wharf, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 4EZ. Tel: 01244 390090. Fax: 01244 370071. Email: webmaster@telfordswarehouse.com. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Union Vaults: Just round the corner from the Mill Hotel (above) but very different in style. A traditional street corner local. Two tier, with satellite TV and games downstairs, a quieter area upstairs. Beer is from the Greenalls stable plus Timothy Taylor Landlord and a guest. Opening 11-11.
Union Vaults, 44, Egerton Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3ND. Tel: 01244 322170. Map: Click Here.

Watergate Inn: Right by the racecourse. Nothing much to recommend it apart from the fact that as you drop off the ring road onto the A548 for the football ground this is the last pub you'll see - and there's still a good 10 furlongs to go.
Watergate Inn, Watergate Square, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2LY. Tel: 01244 323779. Map: Click Here.

Wetherspoons: J D Wetherspoon pub imaginatively called er, Wetherspoons. You'll know what to expect. Children allowed in this one (it's until around 5.00 p.m. in the majority of the chain, but some managers are more flexible). Opening is 10.00 a.m. - 11.00 p.m.
Wetherspoons, 78-92, Foregate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1HB. Tel: 01244 312281. Map: Click Here.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :

Are they Welsh? Are they Scousers? Funny old bunch. The fans have undoubtedly gone through traumatic times over the last decade. They wanted - and got - sympathy and support in the depths of their despair, but seemed careless of squandering all that goodwill within minutes of sensing any upturn in fortune.

Top-Tip :

Be careful not to look like a footballer - Vaughan will probably try to kidnap buy you.

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Chester City : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels

Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.


Other Points Of Interest

Chester is a historic Roman city. You can walk on top of the walls, if you like walking on top of walls. Ron Davies and Ian Rush used to play for them, but not at the same time. Ian Rush has come back again. Hollyoaks is set in Chester, though nearly all of it is filmed in Liverpool.

[No responsibilty is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]

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