'Chopper was a hard worker and put himself about' - tribute to ex-Fenmen star

Ex-Wisbech Town forward Chris Coates dies

Chris Coates (front row, third from right) pictured with veterans of the King's Lynn Town team who reached the FA Cup Third Round in the 1961-62 season. - Credit: John Hocknell

A former Wisbech Town player, known to many as ‘chopper’, has died at the age of 80. 

Chris Coates rose through the ranks at his local club and played across the Fenmen's first, reserve and A teams.

Overall, Coates scored 41 goals in 166 appearances between the 1956-57 and 1959-60 seasons, before moving onto King’s Lynn Town. 

Gordon Smith, historian at Wisbech Town FC, said: “Chopper was not what you call an elegant footballer, but a hard worker and he put himself about. 

“He was a local lad who would play inside left or right. If you were good enough at the time, you’d rise through the ranks and he definitely had a go.” 

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During his three-season stay at the Linnets, Coates, who also ran a butcher’s shop in Walsoken, was a member of the squad that reached the FA Cup Third Round during the 1961-62 campaign, before moving on to Boston United. 

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