Reference number
  • S/005
Alternative reference code(s)
  • Collection
  • 1949 - 2000
Extent and medium
  • 328 files, 6 VHS cassette tapes, 1 banner (20 archive boxes, 8 linear metres)
  • ┆Papers of Sir Norman Chester (1907 - 1986), public administrator, Warden of Nuffield College Oxford and football enthusiast, relating to association football. In this catalogue the term 'football' refers to association football played by men. The term 'women's football' is used in this catalogue for association football played by women. The Chester collection relates solely to men's football, with some few exceptions. The papers consist primarily of correspondence between Chester and contacts in The Football Association, The Football League and other football and sports administrative bodies, with associated administrative documents and enclosures. The majority of the papers reflect the positions Chester held in football administration: Chair of The Football Enquiry (1966 - 1968); Chair of The Football League Committee of Inquiry (1982 - 1983); Chair of The Football Grounds Improvement Trust (1975 - 1979); and Deputy Chair of The Football Trust (1979 - 1986). A smaller number of papers reflect Chester's personal interest in, and enjoyment of, the game of football, particularly as a shareholder and supporter of Oxford United Football Club. Papers relating to The Football Enquiry include: correspondence, report drafts; and press cuttings (1966 - 1968). Papers relating to The Football League Committee of Inquiry include: background research (1962 - 1983); and inquiry papers (1982 - 1985). Papers relating to The Football Grounds Improvement Trust include: minutes (1975 - 1980); finance (1975 - 1984); correspondence (1974 - 1985); grant applications (1975 - 1981); and publications (1973 - 1979). The grant application papers are arranged in an alphabetical sequence by name of football club and often contain copies of the applications themselves. Papers relating to The Football Trust include: governance documents (1978 - 1986); minutes (1980 - 1989); finance (1980 - 1984); correspondence (1978 - 1986); and grant applications (1975 - 1986). The grant application papers consist mostly of correspondence between Chester and other Trustees regarding the merit of applications rather than copies of the applications themselves, with some exceptions. Where copies of applications are held these are noted in the file description by name of applicant. Papers relating to Chester's personal interest in football include: event invitations (1967 - 1985); handbooks, transfer lists and yearbooks (1958 - 1986); matchday programmes (1980 - 1986); football publications (1980 - 1982); football club publications (1973; 1981); shareholder papers, correspondence, matchday programmes and press cuttings relating to Oxford United Football Club (1949 - 1986); general press cuttings relating to football, collected by Chester (1966 - 1986); and general football and sports research collected by Chester (1962 - 1986). Series 13 contains papers created after Chester's death in 1986. It is likely that these were collected by The Norman Chester Research Centre at University of Leicester and kept with the Chester Papers as a continuation of the football research Chester himself was interested and involved in. Since these papers constitute an artificially-created collection rather than the papers of The Norman Chester Research Centre itself, and their provenance is as additional material to the original deposit, the decision was made to retain the papers as a separate series within the Chester collection rather than catalogue them separately as a unique collection with a unique provenance. This series contains: football research papers (1991 - 1992); football research reports (1987 - 1990); matchday programmes (1973 - 2000); and papers of the English Football Supporters Association, incorporating material from the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs (1960 - 1998). Series 14 contains football research reports (1986 - 1992) given to De Montfort University Special Collections by Montsaye Academy School Library. The decision was made to catalogue them as a separate series within the Norman Chester papers in order to acknowledge their separate provenance while reflecting their close association with the Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research material in series S/005/13 and their relevance to subjects discussed throughout the whole Chester collection such as crowd safety, hooliganism and the experience of football supporters.
Administrative history
  • ┆Daniel Norman Chester (1907 - 1986), known as Norman Chester, was born on 27 October 1907 in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. Chester left school at the age of fourteen to work in the treasurer's department of Manchester City Council. As a young man he played football, before switching to running cross-country and track during his university years. He achieved a BA (1930) and MA (1933) from Manchester University, where he subsequently held research and lectureship roles in Public Administration. In 1935 - 1936 he undertook a Rockefeller fellowship in the United States of America to study the administration of public utilities. Chester married Eva Jeavons (died 1980) in 1936; the couple had no children. During the Second World War, Chester worked for the Economic Section of the War Cabinet Secretariat and was Secretary to the Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services whose work resulted in The Beveridge Report (1942). In 1945 Chester moved to Oxford and became a fellow of Nuffield College, where he worked for the rest of his life. Chester made significant contributions to the development of Nuffield College. He held the position of Warden between 1954 and 1978 and was Chairman of the Oxford Centre for Management Studies from 1965 until 1975, a centre which he had helped to establish. He became an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College on retirement from the Wardenship in 1978. Chester participated in local government in Oxford, serving as a member of Oxford City Council from 1952 to 1972 and becoming an Alderman in 1965. Throughout his life, Chester served on numerous committees, groups and boards. Most were related to his experience and expertise in public administration, although some reflected his personal interests. He was a member of various Ministry of Works Working Parties and government advisory committees. He was a founder-member of the Political Studies Association (1949), the International Political Science Association (1950), the Study of Parliament Group (1964), the Comparative Politics Group (1967) and the European Consortium for Political Research (1969), later serving as President of the International Political Science Association (1961 - 1964). Of particular note was Chester's longstanding association with The Royal Institute of Public Administration, for which he served as journal editor (1943 - 1966), Chairman (1953 - 1954) and Vice-President (1966). This collection represents Chester's involvement in committees, groups and boards reflecting his personal interests. Chester had a lifelong interest in association football and was a shareholder and supporter of Oxford United Football Club. In 1966 Chester was asked to Chair a government inquiry into the organisation, management, finance and administration of association football at all levels, which resulted in a 'Report of the Committee on Football' (1968), also subsequently known as the first Chester Report. On the creation of The Football Grounds Improvement Trust in 1975 Chester was appointed Chairman and led the work to improve the football stadia of Football League clubs in line with The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 by allocating funds from the football pools. In 1979 a sister organisation, The Football Trust, was set up to widen the scope of improvement works to non-League football clubs and to consider football in society, including issues such as hooliganism and grass-roots participation. Chester resigned his Chairmanship of The Football Grounds Improvement Trust and became Deputy Chairman of the new Trust. From 1982 to 1983 Chester Chaired a second inquiry into football, this time at the request of The Football League, which reviewed the structure and finance of the League and produced a report often subsequently known as the second Chester Report. Chester developed and maintained many contacts in football and sports administration, not only as a football administrator, but as a supporter and a spectator himself. He often received dinner and/or speaking invitations to notable events such as Football Association Cup Finals and football club anniversary dinners, as well as invitations to matches. Asked about his interest in football, Chester commented "Look, I was born within three miles of Old Trafford. I ask you, how could I not have been infected with the thrill, the excitement and the challenge of such a wonderful game?" _(quotation from The Football Trust Bulletin Number 1 July 1982, see source list below)._ Chester published several books during his lifetime, most relating to public administration, and left an unpublished history of Nuffield College. Besides football, his personal interests included reading detective stories, walking and playing bridge; he was a founder-member of The Oxfordshire Contract Bridge Association and donated the Chester Cup, for which players still compete today. Chester was awarded a C.B.E. in 1951 for services to the study of public administration and received a Knighthood in 1974. In 1976 he was created a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. Although Chester was not known by his first name, Daniel, he used the initials 'D.N.C.' in annotations and sometimes in signatures; examples can be found throughout this collection. Sir Norman Chester died on 20 September 1986 in Oxford. _Sources:_ * _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_ * _'A Handlist of the papers of Sir Norman Chester 1907 - 1986 in the Library of Nuffield College, Oxford' \[accessed 2019\] ([]( and []( * _Nuffield College Library's Blog, 'From the archives - Sir Norman Chester', published 10 June 2014 (\[accessed 2019\] []( * _'Personality Portrait' profile of Chester, 'soccer-loving academic and innovator', in_ _The Football Trust Bulletin Number 1 July 1982_ _(reference S/005/04/05/10/01/003 in this collection)_ * _Oxfordshire Bridge Association website, 'Honours Board - Chester Cup' page \[accessed 2019\] ([](¶m=1&print=1&club=oba)_[page53&sessid=255049440254868&wd=1¶m=1&print=1&club=oba](¶m=1&print=1&club=oba))_
Access status
  • Open
Conditions governing access
  • Some items may be closed under data protection regulations.
Conditions governing reproduction
  • Copies may be made subject to the condition of the item and usual copyright restrictions.
Language/scripts of material
  • English
  • French
System of arrangement
  • This collection is arranged in the following 14 series: S/005/01 The Football Enquiry 1966 - 1968 S/005/02 The Football League Committee of Inquiry 1983 - 1983 S/005/03 Football Grounds Improvement Trust (FGIT) S/005/04 The Football Trust (FT) S/005/05 Event Invitations S/005/06 Handbooks, Transfer Lists and Yearbooks S/005/07 Programmes S/005/08 Football Publications S/005/09 Football Club Publications S/005/10 Oxford United Football Club S/005/11 Press Cuttings S/005/12 Football and Sports Research S/005/13 Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research Collected Material S/005/14 Football Research Reports The original order of papers within files has been retained and wherever possible Chester's original title for the file has been used.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
  • John M. Williams
Archival history
  • After the death of Sir Norman Chester in 1986, staff of the Nuffield College Library, University of Oxford, retrieved papers from Chester's house and amalgamated them with papers Chester had left at his workplace, Nuffield College. The papers were sorted and, while the bulk of the collection was kept at Nuffield College Library, the decision was made to separate out papers relating to specific areas. Papers relating to Oxford Centre for Management Studies were given to the archive of Templeton College. Papers relating to football were donated to The Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research, University of Leicester. John Williams of The Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research passed the collection on to The International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) at De Montfort University, Leicester. In 2017 Neil Carter of ICSHC passed the collection on to De Montfort University Special Collections. The early archival history of this collection is described in the handlist for the papers retained at Nuffield College Library, Oxford. Please see and
Related units of description
  • The main collection of Papers of Sir Norman Chester is held by the Library of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. A handlist of contents is available. Please see and Chester's papers relating to Oxford Centre for Management Studies were given to the archive of Templeton College, now Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. Please see
Date(s) of descriptions
  • December 2019