Date: 21st November 2008 at 8:21pm
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One player who will feature at the Deva Stadium on Saturday is former Chester City youngster, Chris Blackburn.

Blackburn began his footballing career with the Blues and not ply’s his trade with Aldershot Town. He is strong and a good organiser and can play at centre half, right back or in midfield. He is the nephew of legendary Manchester City midfielder Alan Oakes and the cousin of ex-Wolves keeper Michael Oakes.

He started his career as a midfielder with Chester City and signed full pro forms at the Deva Stadium in August 2000. He was a member of the side that lost to Canvey Island in the FA Trophy Semi-Finals in 2000-01 and also trialled with Manchester City in the summer of 2001.

He made his debut for the England National Game XI (as a substitute) against Italy in November 2002.

He left Chester City in the summer of 2003 and went to America where he played briefly (as a striker) for Nevada Wonders in the USL Pro Select League. On his return to the UK, he signed for Northwich Victoria.

In February 2004, he signed a short-term deal at Morecambe. Despite playing just five games towards the end of the 2003-04 season, Chris impressed sufficiently to be given a two-year contract. That summer, he again played for the Wonders (this time on loan) before an injury crisis at Christie Park saw him converted to a defender and he regularly excelled at both centre half and right back.

Chris was a member of the Morecambe sides that lost to Hereford United in the 2006 Conference National Play-Off Semi-Final and that beat Exeter City in the following season’s Final. He was also part of the England National Game XI squad that won the 2005-07 European Challenge Trophy – he was one of the goalscorers in a 3-1 victory over Italy in February 2006.

In July 2007, Chris joined Swindon Town for whom he scored twice on his debut (against Brentford in a Football League Trophy tie).

In March 2008, he was loaned to Weymouth where he became an immediate favourite amongst the fans. His 13 games for the club ended with the drop out of the Conference Premier being avoided by five points.

Chris returned to Swindon and was subsequently released at the end of the season (despite having a year left on his contract) before being immediately snapped up by Aldershot Town.