|Player Sponsor||Steve Pagnam|
|Kit Sponsor(s)||Alex & Lucy Croft
|Date of birth||17-09-1977|
|Place of birth||Wigan|
|Previous clubs||Prescot Cables|
|Favourite club||Manchester City|
David Chadwick has got a dirty secret and it isnât just that his mum doesnât like him being called Dave.
Worse than that, the uncompromising FC United centre back and captain is a self-confessed Manchester City fan. The Wiganer, who joined FCUM from UniBond Premier division side Prescot Cables at the start of the season, admits that while he is of course an FC United fan now, his past is somewhat tainted by his choice of football club.
âIâm a Man City fan and Iâll always be a blue,â he says. âI got brought up being a City fan. All my family are Reds but when I was about six or seven the guy across the road was a season ticket holder at Maine Road and he used to take me and his son every week so I just grew up like that.â
Chadwick was highly rated at his old club. He was voted managerâs player of the year, playerâs player of the year and supporterâs player of the year for the past two seasons and the Merseyside club were not keen to lose him. So what made a blue quite happily playing in the UniBond Premier want to take four steps down the pyramid to join a new team set up by disenchanted Manchester United fans?
âI played with Margy at Salford (City) and then when he got the job I spoke to him about it. He explained the potential of the club and asked if Iâd be interested in coming down and captaining the side so I said âyeah, course I would, Iâd love toâ then we took it from there,â Chadwick explains.
âI dropped down four divisions and the football is not as competitive as the level I have been playing at. A few people have asked me whether it was a good idea to drop down but itâs the fact that youâre playing at somewhere like Gigg Lane in front of 2,500 people. How many people can turn round and say theyâve done that? Itâs just amazing, the fans are just awesome. You get a proper buzz playing in front of them.
âYou can hear the crowd when you come out and it spurs you on. I suppose you want to do well to please them all but once youâve kicked off, I donât really hear all the singing. Iâll come off the pitch after the game and someone will say âoh did you hear this song or that songâ and Iâll be like âno â I didnât hear itâ. But itâs like when thereâs a break in play or if thereâs an injury and you turn round you can hear it all and you think âthis is awesome thisâ and it does kind of spur you on I suppose because you want to do well for them all.â
Like many of FC Unitedâs squad Chadwick has been enticed by the chance to perform in front of crowds at least five times bigger than anything he was previously used to. The burly defender has enjoyed a decent career in non-league, progressing through the ranks at Leigh RMI before joining Skelmersdale, Salford City and Prescot. But by his own admission the biggest audience that had ever seen him play before his move here was 800 away at Workington.
It is easy to understand how a lad that loves his football so much that he fits in training and playing around his job as a window fitter, which takes him all over the country, often at ridiculous hours, could not resist the opportunity of joining FCUM.
âToday Iâve been down to Ipswich so I was up at four in the morning and I got back at five. Then Iâve got to go training or whatever so it does get tiring but I just get on with it. Itâs harder when youâve got a game though because youâve got to raise your levels,â he adds.
Although Chadwick had already promised Margy that he would sign for FC United he was keen to check out his new team-mates before becoming a member of the squad. Barring former Prescot forward Steve Torpey, who he had previously recommended to FC, Chadwick did not know the rest of the squad so the manager arranged for him to go down to our pre-season friendly with AFC Wimbledon in July. A day that made Chadwick truly appreciate what he was getting involved with.
âI spoke to Margy about it and I said I wouldnât mind coming watching so he organised it with one of the fans buses to get me on it,â he says in his Wigan burr, pronouncing âbusâ like the noise a bee makes.
âThey picked me up at eight in the morning to get me down there. They were all getting pissed. They started at eight in the morning and eventually I had to give in at ten to twelve and had a can. I was trying to set a good example.â
âI was amazed. When we got off the bus we went to a pub and it was just jam-packed with all these FC United fans - they were all singing away and having a laugh. We all walked up to the ground and I was right behind the goal in the centre and the singing was non-stop. It was peeing down with rain and I was just stood there thinking âoh my God, this is awesomeâ and it just made me more determined to want to get there then.â
So far Chadwick claims that his finest achievement in football is winning a cap for Lancashire under 18s but he hopes that he can better that at FC United. He feels that along with having such a large support base in non-league terms the club can also do plenty of good for local communities.
âWe love going in the pub with the fans and mixing with them. Itâs really interesting listening to their views. They always ask loads of questions and it shows how much they want to be involved with everything. People have asked would we be interested in going to schools and further progressing the club and weâre all for that because weâre just normal people at the end of the day, weâre not professionals. That is a real eye opener,â he says.
Chadwick has quickly gained a reputation among FCâs support as being a no-nonsense player. Durable, steady and obdurate he is exactly the sort of centre back you would expect to find in non-league football. He rarely messes about. Indeed, when he signed the manager was quoted as saying that he is the âtype of defender who would put his head through a brick wall if you asked him to.â Was that what was on Chadwickâs mind when he sent Castletonâs Denny Khan sprawling into the perimeter wall in the 3-0 win at Radcliffe two weekâs ago then?
âNo,â Chadwick laughs, âI did that because he elbowed me five minutes before it in the face and I told him that Iâd get him back.â As Margy says, âThatâs the type of defender you need at this level.â
Under Chadwickâs leadership FC United have not lost a match so far. However, with the rested captain watching from the Manchester Road End a changed FC side slipped to their first defeat of the season at home to Norton United last week. The skipper feels that the result will be a lesson to the whole squad that without the right application they will not win the league in the manner that many expect them to.
âMargy made all the changes and with the squad that weâve got it doesnât matter what players we put out theyâre all good enough to beat anybody in that league,â He says. âIf you go out thinking itâs an easy victory you can come unstuck. A lot of it at this level is down to mentality because for other teams itâs like a cup final playing against us.â
âTheyâre all up for it so you canât really go down youâve got to keep 100% at it all the time. You canât just think youâre going to turn them over dead easily because thatâs when you start making mistakes. âThat for me is what happened on Saturday. We didnât play as a team who wanted to win 100%. To me we just turned out thinking itâs going to be an easy victory and thatâs when you come unstuck. Every game the likes of Margy and myself are telling them all weâve got to keep at it or weâre not going to win anything. Weâve a lot of hard work to do and weâve just got to go back to how we started.â
With Chadwick restored to the side there is every chance of that happening, blue background or not.