(above Chris taking on the Hornchurch defence.)
A terrific servant of the club Chris was a skilful midfielder whose positive play always caused problems for the opposition. His early career saw him play for both Prettygate and Elmstead and he made his debut for Wivenhoe Rangers at the age of fifteen when he came on as a substitute for the Reserves on 31st August 1973 in a 9-0 win over Paxmans Reserves. His first ever goal for the club came once again as a playing substitute for the second string on 15th September 1973 in an 8-0 victory at Felixstowe Reserves. Chris became one of the club’s youngest ever First Team players as he made his debut on 20/10/73 as Wivenhoe thrashed Harwich Rangers 13-2 at home in an Essex & Suffolk Border League Cup tie.
Apart from brief spells at Tiptree United (three months) and Brightlingsea United (two months) Chris spent over sixteen years with the Dragons during which time he showed his class by being an outstanding performer at Border League, Essex Senior League and Isthmian League level making him one of the first names on the team sheet under the club’s various managers. Whilst at Broad Lane he gained Representative Honours for Essex and earned his Senior County Cap in 1985/86. Having achieved three Promotions (winning two Championships) and an Essex Senior Trophy Winners medal with the Dragons Chris made his last First Team appearance on 20th December 1988 in a Floodlight League game at Clacton Town and eventually departed from the club in May 1989 to join Braintree Town. In total he made 455 First Team appearances and scored 77 goals, in addition to 80 Reserve Team appearances during which he netted a further 21 times.
After leaving Braintree Chris had another spell with Brightlingsea United before joining Gas Recreation where his performances saw him picked to play for the Essex & Suffolk Border League Representative side. He made a surprise one off return to Broad Lane on Saturday 13th September 1997 as he turned out for our newly formed Reserves in an Essex & Suffolk Border League Third Division fixture against Walton Town. Although at the latter stages of his career the control and passing ability was still there to see and he set up the first goal in a 2-0 victory. Quite rightly Chris Dines ranks amongst the best players to have worn the Wivenhoe shirt.
(below Chris Dines on the ball during the Dragons’ first ever F.A.Cup tie at Erith & Belvedere on 29/8/87.)
(above Chris skips over a challenge during the 3-1 Essex Senior Trophy Semi Final win over Barkingside on 6/2/88.)