Chesters moving on at season’s end
Ealing Trailfinders are bidding farewell to flying wing Phil Chesters who is leaving the club after nine seasons with the club.
The Salisbury native joined Ealing Trailfinders in 2008 while he was studying at St Mary’s University in Twickenham and quickly made his mark with his speed and nose for the tryline.
Chesters’ most prolific season came in 2010-11 when he helped the team to the National 2 South title with 70 tries, including seven in one match against Lydney. In his nine seasons at Vallis Way the 29-year-old was leading scorer in all but one season, 2015-16 when he still weighed in with nine tries in 15 appearances.
“It has been a pleasure to play for Ealing Trailfinders and experience success with the club over the past nine seasons,” Chesters said. “I have played with some fantastic players over the years and have made some friends for life with both fellow players and the supporters.
“I would like to thank all the players, coaches, medical staff, backroom staff and all of the supporters who have supported myself and the team over the course of my playing career at Ealing Trailfinders.
“A special thanks has to go to Mike and Fiona Gooley, my sponsors Mike and Angela Jackson, and finally to my parents for their unwavering support over the years.”
Chesters scored 42 tries in his first season in National 1 in 2011-12 and then added a further 29 in 23 matches as Ealing Trailfinders won promotion to the Greene King IPA Championship in 2012-13.
In his first season in the second tier of professional rugby he scored 13 tries, including one in the opening match of the season against London Scottish at Allianz Park.
After the team were relegated following one season in the Championship, Chesters’ scoring went a long way to ensuring the team’s immediate return and a second National 1 title with 33 tries.
His try-scoring prowess was reward with call-ups to England Counties and the Barbarians and true to form score tries for both.
“Phil has been a massive part of the success over the years at Ealing Trailfinders,” Director of Rugby Ben Ward said. “He is the club’s record try scorer and his ability to finish off moves is second to none. Whenever we needed to score points he would be the first person you would look to get the ball to in a bit of space.
“Off the pitch he had a good rapport with the supporters and always enjoyed a beer and chat in the bar after games. I don't think we will see the likes of his scoring record again and he can be incredibly proud of the career he has had playing just under 200 games for the club. He will always be welcome back to the club and I hope to see him back on regular occasions.”