Jump to content

J. Chelsea History (1970-1975)


Recommended Posts

Chelsea History (1970-1975)

Written by Lofty in June 2007

ossie72leaguecup.jpg The following season, 1971-72 will always be a bit special for me. Not only did I manage to get to most of the home games (I was 15 and was working after school) but I also got to see Chelsea at Wembley for the very first time. Not that I had a ticket; I was one of hundreds of Chelsea fans outside, spending the first half running round Wembley, and finally managing to get into the ground shortly after half time.

Sadly I was also there to see George "old man" Eastham score their winning goal. Losing to Stoke was a huge upset and an even bigger disappointment than the 1967 FA Cup Final defeat against Tottenham because this time I was there to see it. That season I also saw all of our home Cup Winner's Cup games. Both of them - the 13-0 win over Jeunesse Hautcharage of Luxembourg (still a record, as is the 21-0 aggregate) score.

orient_fa_cup_72.jpg This was followed in the next round, by the shock of losing on goal difference when we failed to beat Swedish no-hopers Atvidaberg at home. Then there was the FA Cup 5th round defeat away at Orient, where we somehow managed to squander a 2-0 lead , rounding off an unholy trinity of cup upsets in a single season. A poor end to the season, saw Chelsea finish 7th in Division 1.

Looking at the bare facts for 1972-73 : Chelsea slipped to 12th in Division One; got as far as the 6th round of the FA Cup, losing a tight game 2-1 at Highbury, and the semi-final of the League Cup, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Norwich City.

And yet this was another memorable season for me; I was now working and started going to "proper" away games, i.e. not only London derbies. I hitchhiked to Newcastle that year, partly as a bet with some Geordie bloke at work. "Loadsa tough guys up there ya noo" he told me, but I just laughed, cocky little toerag that I was. Of course he was right, but even so, I always enjoyed going to Newcastle, never saw any trouble up there.

However, this was also the season when things began to fall apart for Chelsea FC.

goodbye_ossie.jpg Dave Sexton appeared to have well and truly lost the dressing room, and now seemed hell bent on breaking up the squad. Having already sold Charlie Cooke to Crystal Palace, Sexton not only sold Alan Hudson to Stoke, but even more unforgivably, sold Ossie to Southampton. I remember at Stoke away, one of the first ever Sunday games, begging Ossie not to go. But it was all to no avail.

Dave Sexton had described 1972-73 as the "season that lasted for years", but predictably enough, the 1973-74 season saw a further downturn in the club's fortunes. We failed to win any of the last 8 league games, finishing 17th in Division One, the club's lowest league position since 1966-67, Sexton's first season as manager; we were knocked out of the FA Cup in the 3rd round replay away at QPR, and got no further than 2nd round of the League Cup, losing 1-0 at Stoke, to whom we lost by the same score in the season's final home game.

By this time I was going to almost every game, home and away, and while not exactly enjoying the results, I was having a great time. But that's another story.

cfcvcarlisle74-75.jpg Assistant Manager Ron Suart took over from Sexton, who was sacked after a diabolically awful start to the 1974 - 75 season; Chelsea failing to win any of the first 11 games, drawing only 4 and losing the rest. The next game saw a much needed 1-0 home victory over Tottenham. Maybe things were looking up at last? Not so: the 13th Division 1 game was the first of a run of 7 without a win.

In October we were knocked out of the League Cup losing 6-2 in the 3rd round 2nd replay, yet again to '70s bogey team Stoke City, and in the New Year lost in the FA Cup 4th round at home to Birmingham.

Relegation to Division 2 could hardly be called a surprise in a season that included a nightmare come true 7-1 defeat away at Wolves. Other lowlights that year included the 2-0 defeat in the infamous relegation battle at Tottenham. I was one of relatively few Chelsea fans who managed to get into the ground. Looking back, this was just one more awful day in a truly awful season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up

Well, this is awkward!

Happy Sunny Days GIF by Atlassian

The Shed End Forum relies on revenue to pay for hosting and upgrades. While we try to keep adverts as unobtrusive as possible, we need to show these to make sure we can stay online and continue to keep the forum running. Over the years costs have become very high.

Could you please allow adverts on this domain by switching it off and whitelisting the website? Some of the advert banners can actually be closed to avoid interference with your experience on The Shed End.

If you don't want to view any adverts while logged in and using your account, consider using the Ad-Free Subscription which is renewable every year. To buy a subscription, log in to your account and click the link under the Newbies forum on the home page.

Cheers now!

Sure, let me in!