Cheshire Jets

Cheshire Jets
Cheshire Jets
Cheshire Jets logo
League British Basketball League
Established 1984
History Ellesmere Port Jets
Cheshire Jets
Chester Jets
Cheshire Jets
Arena Northgate Arena
(Capacity: 1,300)
Location Chester, Cheshire
Head coach United Kingdom Paul Smith
Ownership Unknown
Colours Black, Yellow and White
Kit body yellowshoulders.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours
Kit body blackshoulders.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours

The Cheshire Jets are a British professional basketball team based in the city of Chester, in Cheshire, England. Formerly known as the Chester Jets, their home court is the Northgate Arena and they play in the top-tier British Basketball League.


Franchise history


The team was first formed from the ruins of the Ellesmere Port team, the St Saviours in 1984. The team was initially named after their sponsors 'Motocraft Centre Ellesmere Port'. However, after the loss of their sponsor, they renamed themselves Ellesmere Port Jets.

Moving to the BBL

The Jets were admitted to NBL Division 2 in 1986 and showed little sign of what was to come as they finished last in their first season, with just a single victory. Edging up to seventh in 1987-88, they then changed their name to Cheshire Jets, though still continuing to play in Ellesmere Port. They continued a steady mid-table development until, in 1991, they won the divisional title despite suffering five defeats. The same year, the Jets moved up into the BBL joining in with Britain's elite basketball teams. Later however, the arena in Ellesmere Port became unsuitable, and so in 1993 the Jets were forced to move to Chester, and into the Northgate Arena. The move was reflected in another name change to what is now the Chester Jets.

The real turning point for the Jets came in 1996, when the application of the Bosman ruling to basketball resulted in the departure of many of the top English players to European clubs, and the BBL changed its eligibility rule to entitle teams to use five non-national players.

Millennium success

Astute trans-Atlantic recruitment by coach and co-owner Mike Burton resulted in a highly competitive team, which finished fifth in the League table in 1997. They have remained highly competitive ever since, with best-ever performances in 2002 (Northern Conference Champions) and 2003 (3rd in the re-unified League), and a string of successes in the BBL trophy (4-times winners, from 2001 to 2004), culminating in the League Championship in 2005.

Future in doubt

On April 7, 2007, prior to the Jets' season finale at home to Guildford Heat, an 81-102 defeat, club owner and head coach Mike Burton formally announced that he would be retiring from the franchise at the end of the 2006-07 season. Burton's announcement, after 19 years at the helm, raised serious doubts of the clubs' future,[1] with mounting debts and lack of financial backing. Shortly after the announcement, group of fans formed a committee to help save the club, while arranging several meetings and fund-raisers, the dedication and commitment publicly received the backing of players including Jets legend James Hamilton.[2] Following a sponsorship deal agreed during the summer of 2007 with local firm BiG Storage to save the club and preserve their future, the Jets was renamed as the BiG Storage Cheshire Jets to cover the wider demographic of Cheshire county as BiG Storage not only has branches in Chester but also other sites such as Warrington. When BiG Storage terminated the sponsorship, the managing director of the company arranged a successor sponsor; Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Return to Ellesmere Port?

The Jets have expressed an interest in moving back to Ellesmere Port if plans to build a new £10.8m leisure centre in the town to replace the ageing EPIC centre get the go-ahead. The centre, which would be due for completion by 2014, would offer seating for 1,500 spectators, a welcome increase on the 1,000-capacity Northgate Arena.[3]

Home arenas

Ellesmere Port Leisure Centre (1984-1993)
Northgate Arena (1993-present)

Season-by-season records

Season Div. Pos. Pld. W L Pts. Play Offs Trophy Cup
Ellesmere Port Jets
1986–1987 NBL 2 10th 18 1 17 2 DNQ DNQ 1st Round
1987–1988 NBL 1 7th 18 7 11 14 DNQ DNQ 2nd Round
Cheshire Jets
1988–1989 NBL 1 8th 20 6 14 12 DNQ DNQ 2nd Round
1989–1990 NBL 1 6th 22 10 12 20 Quarter-final DNQ 1st Round
1990–1991 NBL 1 1st 22 17 5 34 Quarter-final DNQ Quarter-final
1991–1992 BBL 11th 30 2 28 4 DNQ 1st Round 3rd Round
1992–1993 BBL 10th 33 10 23 20 DNQ 1st Round Quarter-final
Chester Jets
1993–1994 BBL 11th 36 11 25 22 DNQ 1st Round Quarter-final
1994–1995 BBL 12th 36 6 30 12 DNQ 1st Round Quarter-final
1995–1996 BBL 12th 36 8 28 16 DNQ Quarter-final 4th Round
1996–1997 BBL 5th 36 24 12 48 Semi-final Runner-up 4th Round
1997–1998 BBL 10th 36 15 21 30 DNQ 1st Round 4th Round
1998–1999 BBL 11th 36 10 26 20 DNQ Quarter-final Quarter-final
1999–2000 BBL N 4th 36 17 19 34 Quarter-final Quarter-final 1st Round
2000–2001 BBL N 2nd 36 25 11 50 Quarter-final Winners 1st Round
2001–2002 BBL N 1st 32 24 8 48 Winners Winners Winners
2002–2003 BBL 3rd 40 28 12 56 Quarter-final Winners Runner-up
2003–2004 BBL 5th 36 22 14 44 Runner-up Winners 1st Round
2004–2005 BBL 1st 40 32 8 64 Runner-up Semi-final Semi-final
2005–2006 BBL 7th 40 17 32 34 Quarter-final 1st Round Semi-final
2006–2007 BBL 9th 36 10 26 20 DNQ Quarter-final 1st Round
Cheshire Jets
2007–2008 BBL 11th 33 9 24 18 DNQ Semi-final Quarter-final
2008–2009 BBL 8th 33 15 18 30 Quarter-final 1st Round Quarter-final
2009–2010 BBL 4th 36 22 14 44 Quarter-final Runner-up Runner-up
2010–2011 BBL 4th 33 20 13 40 Semi-final 1st Round Semi-final
2011–2012 BBL 0 0 0 0


  • From 1999-2002 the BBL operated a Conference system. Chester competed in the Northern Conference.
  • DNQ denotes Did Not Qualify.



  • NBL Division One Winners: 1990/91 1
  • BBL Championship Winners: 2001/02, & 2004/05 2
  • BBL Championship Runners Up: 2000/01 1


  • BBL Championship Play Off Winners: 2001/02 1
  • BBL Championship Play Off Runners Up: 2003/04, & 2004/05 2


  • BBL Trophy Winners: 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04 4
  • BBL Trophy Runners Up: 1996/97, 2009/2010 2


  • National Cup Winners: 2001/02 1
  • National Cup Runners Up: 2000/01, 2009/2010 2


Current roster

Cheshire Jets rosterv · G
6 United Kingdom Brandeth, Philip 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
G/F 7 Trinidad and Tobago United Kingdom Myers, Shawn 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
G 9 United Kingdom Halpin, Lewis 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
G 10 United Kingdom Page, Keith 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
F 12 Republic of Ireland O'Reilly, Colin 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)
G 13 United Kingdom Helsby, Jason 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
F 20 United Kingdom Wilson, Joe 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
F 30 United States Cole, Bill 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in)
F 33 United Kingdom Gallagher, Ryan 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
G 40 United States Brown, Adam 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
C 50 United States Schneck, Matt 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)
Head coach
  • United Kingdom John Lavery
Assistant coach(es)
  • United Kingdom Paul Smith

  • (C) Team captain
  • (INJ) Injured

Roster • updated 2011-10-11

Notable former players

Retired numbers

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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