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Leslie Knighton (1933-1939)


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Leslie Knighton (1933-1939)

Written by Bluebeard in May 2007

knighton.jpg After the departure of David Calderhead, Chelsea installed Leslie Knighton (far left in the picture) as manager. Knighton, born in 1887 at Church Gresley, Derbyshire, had previously been in charge at Arsenal, Bournemouth and Birmingham – with no noticeable success.

Leslie Knighton inherited a talented side, including the highly rated Vic Woodley in goal, and strikers Hughie Gallacher and George Mills. They rarely gelled as a team under Calderhead, and this didn’t change with Knighton in charge.

At one point he tried a new defensive system, which failed abysmally, but he had a reputation as quite a wheeler-dealer in the transfer market. Amongst the notable signings that Knighton made were Dick Spence, Joe Bambrick and Samuel Weaver.

It was during Knighton’s reign that Chelsea recorded their highest ever attendance at Stamford Bridge, a staggering 82,905 against Arsenal on 12 October 1935.

Despite everything though, Chelsea’s highest league position under Knighton was eighth, and they didn’t get beyond the sixth round of the FA Cup. He spent six seasons at the Bridge – in his first, they finished nineteenth, in his last they finished twentieth, the seasons in-between spent in mid-table.

Managerial Record

Highest League Position 8th (Div 1) 1935-1936


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