Treble title-winning manager Neil Young didn’t quite know what he had let himself in for when taking charge of reborn Chester FC in May 2010.

With Chester City wound up at the High Court in March of that year, City Fans United had formed a new phoenix club set to start life in Northern Premier League Division One, after a successful appeal was lodged against being placed in the North West Counties League.

Wirral-based Young was asked to take the reins, but no one could have predicted what the next 12 months would bring for this reformed club with a proud Football League tradition.

“We didn’t have a ground when I took the job,” Young said. “We were still shut out.

“It was no mean feat getting that team together. First, we needed to get a squad so there were a lot of lads who’d played for me previously and we were able to attract them due to the size of the club and the name.

“I got teased a lot for chopping and changing the team every week, but we were basically starting from scratch so there were always going to be lots of changes.

“We went to Colwyn Bay for the first friendly as part of the terms of the agreement which let me become Chester boss. We knew then that it could be something special. There was an incredible following.

“It was all about getting off to a good start. We felt the fans deserved that.”

Rob Hopley scored the reformed club’s first competitive goal 10 minutes into their opening trip to Warrington Town on Tuesday, August 24, 2010, but the huge 1,200 away following couldn’t celebrate a first victory as Gavin Salmon netted an equaliser.

That first win came 10 days later in the less-than glamorous surroundings of Wakefield, but the Blues made no such mistakes getting off the mark in their first game back at the Deva, thumping Trafford 6-0 as Michael Wilde bagged a hat-trick in front of 2,734 fans.

“Warrington was just a relief to get going,” Young explained. “Trafford felt like it was lift off. We didn’t know how many supporters would turn up, so we hadn’t even been able to put a budget together yet.

“The club had an idea, they’d engaged with the fans with things like the Guildhall, but we didn’t expect that many to come through the gate.

“Wildy scored a hat-trick and it was just the perfect springboard. It was a really positive moment.”

Another 2,000 plus crowd witnessed a comfortable 2-0 win over Garforth Town before Bamber Bridge were thrashed 5-0 as Stuart Jones scored twice.

Leaders Chorley inflicted a first competitive defeat on Chester FC, winning 2-1 at the Deva, with a remarkable 3,092 in attendance in English football’s eighth tier.

As the season developed, moments to saviour kept on coming.

George Horan climbed highest to power home a last-gasp header to win 3-2 at Witton Albion before Wilde’s brace sealed a gritty 2-1 victory at Cammell Laird.

“That Witton one really stands out,” said boss Young. “George towering to head home, the fans going mad. The fans loved having George as captain and Wildy as their goalscorer, they were both hugely important and were hero-worshipped by the fans.”

The Blues inflicted a series of heavy defeats on visitors Lancaster City (3-0), Sutton Coldfield (3-0), Skelmersdale United (4-0) and Ossett Albion (6-0) with Wilde and Iain Howard beginning to click in front of goal.

But there a few stumbles at home, draws with Prescot Cables and Leigh Genesis, while Radcliffe Borough turned the Blues over 3-2 despite another two-goal haul for Wilde.

But the away form remained incredibly strong and Jones’ winner four minutes into added-on time on New Year’s Day at Prescot sent a large travelling support of over 800 fans into ecstasy as they moved six points clear at the top.

Two more hat-tricks against Ossett and Clitheroe followed for the prolific Wilde who was having a dream season, but results such as the 1-0 win at Chorley in mid-February were just as important, Robbie Booth scoring in a game delayed 15 minutes due to crowd congestion.

A 3-1 defeat of Durham City – with 2,514 packed into the Deva – followed by a second 5-0 hammering of Clitheroe in the space of three weeks meant Young’s side were edging closer to promotion, and Chris Simm’s brace to beat Harrogate Railway 3-2 followed by a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Curzon Ashton (that man Wilde again notching twice) meant success was within touching distance.

However, Young’s men suddenly suffered a sudden dip in form, and the 3-1 defeat at Curzon meant they still held a six-point lead over Skelmersdale but their title rivals had two games in hand.

Skipper Horan salvaged a last-minute draw at Radcliffe Borough, before a vital 3-1 win at AFC Fylde in their penultimate fixture meant the Blues would need just a point at Garforth on the final day to seal the title and avoid the play-offs.

Young said: “We’d hit a wall, the final six matches. We’d gone to Fylde and won 3-1, that felt like a massive win, like we were there, because barring a freak set of results we’d win the league.

“But Garforth, I still wake up in hot sweats over it now!”

Michael Powell’s goal sent 2,200 away fans into delirium on the stroke of half-time as Blues fans waited for news from Skelmersdale – who needed to win, Chester to lose and to secure an eight-goal swing in the process, to steal the title from under Chester’s noses.

Garforth levelled after the restart and then took a shock lead through Matt Dempsey’s fine effort.

Nervousness had already filled the ground but news that Skelmersdale were now 5-1 up made for a truly tense final 20-minute period.

Blues fans were glued to radios and phones in a bid to find out the score on Merseyside, as Garforth held on for a 2-1 win. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, it was confirmed Skelmersdale had in fact won 7-2, falling agonisingly short of their target and sending Chester up.

Young thought his side had blown it but had a friend at Skelmersdale to phone through updates, who proved to be a crucial part of the day, explaining: “I still wake up having had nightmares about Garforth!

“We went 1-0 up but Garforth brought some senior players on at half-time and they changed the game.

“I had to disappear into the dressing room – with the game still going on – to ring my mate at Skelmersdale. We then had a decision to make: go for more goals - and risk conceding more – or shut up shop. We went for the latter and thankfully it worked out for the best.

“I was an unbelievable day, but it was incredibly draining for me. I didn’t really enjoy it, it was only a couple of weeks later when we realised what we’d done," added Young, who would go on to win an unprecedented three back-to-back titles with the Blues, leading them back to the National League in 2013.

“It’s never easy winning titles, but what that group of players did, having never played together and brought together at the last minute, was just fantastic.”