Stars past and present came together to raise over £25,000 for Chester FC to help keep the National League club afloat.

Fans queued around the block to get into the Deva Stadium on a superb night organised by BBC broadcaster Colin Murray, former Liverpool and England legend Michael Owen and Blues board member Jeff Banks, aimed at raising vital funds for the cash-strapped Blues, who were plunged into financial crisis just three weeks ago and tasked with raising £50,000 to stay in business.

A crowd of 2,080 packed into the Deva on a bitterly cold evening and helped take the fundraising total to over £75,000 since efforts began just three weeks ago to help save the club from a second insolvency in eight years.

Owen, who was born in Chester and took kick-off with his father, Terry, a firm Chester City favourite in the 1970s in the side who reached the League Cup semi-finals, said: “Chester are part of my life. Dad played here and scored quite a few goals in the process, the most famous team I’d say when they won promotion and got to the semi-finals of the League Cup.

“Colin rang and said we’re possibly Chester’s most well-known supporters so let’s do something and I said absolutely.

“We decided to put a game on, ringing what felt like millions of players, and fair play the response was brilliant.

“It looks like we’re going to get a big crowd in tonight and raise lots of money for the club.”

"I started at Chester when was 14 and had some great memories of the club, some that I'll never forget," said former Blues, Liverpool and Wales striker Ian Rush, whose move to Liverpool in 1980 catapulted him to superstardom.

"It is a great thing to try and help them. Smaller clubs, you have to keep these clubs going. You have got to keep these things going, it's all about the grassroots."

Jason McAteer, ex Bolton, Liverpool and Blackburn midfielder, told us: “Unfortunately we’re here for a reason. The club are struggling so we thought we’d get together and help out to raise some cash that will ease some cash.

“Tonight doesn’t solve the problem but it certainly helps having a big crowd and raising some cash.

“Funnily enough I didn’t know too much about it, we’ve got a Liverpool Legends game coming up against Bayern Munich so we were training for that and Michael asked me if I’d come down.

I started here as a schoolboy when Harry McNally was manager of the club, so I’ve always looked out for them. When Michael asked there was no hesitation.”

Kevin Ratcliffe, former Chester City manager and Wales international, said: “I got a little phone call off Colin but there’s too many Reds in that team for my liking...I’d just want to boot hell out of them! I’m happy to be here helping Chester out and hopefully it can go a long way to rescuing the club.

“Youngy can’t be here owing to his Halifax job but he’d have loved to be here and hopefully he’s left me with some pretty decent Chester players in there!”

Chester favourite Paul Carden said: “I’ve got a lot of happy memories here. Banksy messaged me to come and I’m made up he did.

“This club goes back a long way for me and in my playing days these are as big a memories as they come. After what has happened in the past, we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Ex Liverpool forward Neil Mellor said: “Chester is close to my family heart as Dad played here in the late 70s and I came here a lot with Liverpool reserves.

“It’s sad to see where they are now but it’s good to see a good turnout tonight. I’m on the bench because we’re so strong but it’s brilliant to be here!”

Former Scotland international and Blues assistant manager Chris Iwelumo explained: “I’ve got a lot of time for Chester, I retired here as a player, was back here until September and I’ve got lots of love for the club, the players, staff, everyone, it’s family orientated and we all want the best for it.”

Ryan Lowe, former Chester City striker, said: “It’s excellent what they’ve done to get behind the club and raise some much-needed funds. I’ve relished every moment in a Chester shirt. This is a club I’d love to see get back in the Football League.

“The fanbase is excellent but circumstances are difficult so let’s hope the club can stablise and get back on a sound footing.”