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 upinto 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.
Astute trans-Atlantic recruitment 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 Director 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.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. 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 were renamed as the Cheshire Jets to cover the wider demographic of Cheshire county.
BBL Trophy Winners (2001,2002,2003,2004)
BBL Championship Play-Off Winners 2002
Northern Conference Winners 2002
National Cup Winners 2002
“Clean Sweep Champions” 2002
John Amaechi Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz
Alan Bannister Utah Jazz
Loren Meyer Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets
John McCord Limoges
Billy Singleton Director of basketball St Johns University
Todd Cauthorn Sheffield Sharks
Hillary Scott Asst Coach east Tennessee State, Penn State, Head Coach Lynchburg
Trey Moore Harlem Globetrotters
Greg Francis Canadian National Team Coach
Pero Cameron Tall Blacks New Zealand Olympic team captain