Macclesfield Football Club: less Town, more Community

Jen Kelly – a.k.a. Cheshire’s Revenge / The Word Nerd – brings ilovemacc her own take on the highs and lows of The Silkmen

It feels like I’ve been asleep for most of 2020.

The combination of lockdown and furlough with general work troubles had sent me into a bit of a downward spiral, I’m not ashamed to admit. So when the High Court hammered that final rusty nail into our nail-riddled coffin on 16th September, I was already so far down in the pit of despair that it barely seemed to register in my tired and aching brain. 

My phone buzzed and pinged with messages of support and concern from friends, many of whom had struggled to comprehend my undying dedication to that little football club up the top of London Road over the years. People tagged me on social media and directed questions at me through the powers of technology. I replied to a couple, but generally with each message I sunk lower and lower under my duvet and hoped it would all just go away.

It took me a few days to really comprehend what it all meant. As the SST and various fans valiantly kept fighting, hoping for some sort of last minute reprise, I finally started to come around to the thing that had been just around the corner for the best part of the last 2 years. MTFC was no more. 

Crying in the Trees

Deciding I needed to climb out of my funk, I packed a rucksack with lunch, a notebook and my ciggies (the essentials!) and decided to go and walk. Parking up in Langley, I set off in the general direction of the Forest and put one foot in front of the other. As I trudged through the various fields and lanes, the fog slowly started to fade from behind my eyes. Step after step I played through everything that had gone on in 2020 so far. Politics, work, family, friends and football worries all swam around my head like a toxic whirlpool as I clambered over stiles and through creaking gates. As I climbed higher and higher I began to properly process it all and, as I finally reached the top of the Forest, I realised I was crying. Properly sobbing like a small sad child. On my own, in the middle of a load of trees. Iconic.

Macclesfield Forest: A great place for a cry!

As depressing as all this might sound, it’s not meant to be! What my insane crying fit in Macc Forest made me realise was just how much stress and anxiety had built up over the course of the last 9 months, and how much of that had come from the direction of London Road. On my descent back through the trees I decided to step away from it all a little. Stop worrying about things I couldn’t control. Perhaps start watching cricket instead (I think I was hungry at this point; obviously my brain had started to shut down!).

Arise Sir Smethurst…

Fast forward to 13th October. Happily I’d managed to climb a little way out of the pit, and was now just feeling generally pissed off (my usual state I think) rather than out-and-out despair. The 13th was a furlough day (yep, STILL rocking the furlough feeling!) so I’d woken up at a sensible 10am and was considering cleaning the house as I sipped my morning coffee. In terms of everything MTFC the acceptance stage of the grief cycle had well and truly washed over me. I guess, looking back, we’ve all been grieving for our football club for a good long while. 

Enter Rob Smethurst.*

So much has been said about what happened next. The blue and white knight riding in on his horse, flanked by the great and the good of Macclesfield past and present. The promises to sort out everything that had been wrong with the club for many years. The vision to get us back to winning ways. Quite frankly, I’m still not 100% convinced it’s not all some surreal dream.

What has happened over the last 7 days has certainly felt dream-like. I have to wonder whether any of it will feel real until we’re back on those terraces, tears of joy streaming down our faces as Danny’s Boys take to the pitch again. I’m in no doubt they’ll be some tough times ahead still, not least because of the bastard that is Covid19. I’m also in no doubt that the thousands of new fans that we seemed to have acquired over the past few days will have dwindled back down to a more realistic number. And I’ll be paying close attention to the new regime’s plans for real fan involvement and representation on the day-to-day running of our club, as this has got to be a vital consideration moving forwards.

But please don’t pinch me just yet, because at the moment this dream feels fucking fantastic!


*Not into my house as I was cleaning and drinking coffee, I hope you understand. That would’ve been less than welcome (no offence Rob!)

Jen Kelly, aka The Word Nerd

“The Word Nerd: For everything you wanted to know about MTFC, and some things you didn’t…”


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