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 CHELSEA Programme.1985/86 

NOVEMBER 23, 2019 

The subject of today’s On This Day feature is Chelsea’s programme from the 1985/86 season. 


Chelsea’s programme for the 1985/86 season was a 28-page issue that offered 23.5 pages of content. This provided plenty of space for some readable features.

An introductory ‘Welcome’ column reflected on recent developments with Chelsea’s positive form having put them in the top three of the First Division. The column also referred to the international exploits of striker Kerry Dixon, who had just won his first full cap for England against Northern Ireland after three appearances in friendlies the previous summer. There was a one-page column from manager John Hollins, who looked back at Chelsea’s recent results, including progress on penalties away at West Bromwich Albion in the Full Members Cup (which Chelsea would go on to win later in the season). There were colour photographs of Chelsea’s 4-2 win against Nottingham Forest, whilst there were also three pages of pictures from the victory at the Hawthorns, including images of each of the Blues’ successful spot-kicks.

The best reading in the programme was ‘Chelsea’s Top Goalscorers’, written by historian Scott Cheshire. Over the season, the recurring feature looked at the most prolific marksmen in Chelsea’s history, with the focus in the Villa programme on Ron Tindall, who played for the club between 1955 and 1962. Tindall, who scored on his debut against West Bromwich Albion in November 1955, was described in the column as a loyal and versatile player who spent time playing as a left-back as well as up front. At the time of writing Tindall was the 12th highest scorer in Chelsea’s history, with 70 goals to his name.

Another feature of interest was ‘Out of the Blue’, a two-page interview with one Chelsea player, here featuring defender Keith Dublin. The promising left-back had won Chelsea’s Young Player of the Year award in 1983 but then struggled to establish himself in the first team due to injury issues. Chairman Ken Bates penned his usual column under the heading ‘Straight Talking’. As well as commenting on football matters, Bates referred to supporter behaviour and the club’s efforts to root out troublemakers, as well as the discovery of various historic documents dating back to the birth of the club in 1905. Captain Colin Pates also contributed a column, while ‘Bridge Talk’ was a page of news from around the club that included a physio report from Norman Medhurst and Jimmy Hendry. A detailed stats section included the usual first-team results and fixtures spread alongside the league table and appearance records. There was a page for the club’s reserve team, which analysed their performance in the Football Combination, whilst the youth team’s performances in the South East Counties league received similar treatment.

Visitors Aston Villa were covered over two pages in ‘Facing the Blues’. The main article in the section looked at Villa’s recent history following their league title and European Cup wins in the early part of the decade, as well as the club’s transfer activity under Graham Turner. There was a ‘Who’s Who’ of the Villa squad and a profile of forward Simon Stainrod. Described as “an entertaining striker who likes to try the unexpected”, Stainrod had hit four goals on his debut for Villa in the Milk Cup a few months earlier. The section also included details of Villa’s post-war results against Chelsea and a full summary of the record of match-ups between the two clubs.

Certainly among the better issues for the 1985/86 season, the Chelsea programme was notable for the amount of reading material included, with the ‘Goalscorers’ column a stand-out feature.

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On 19/11/2020 at 22:00, Ewan Hoozarmi said:

I'm just a bit too young to have seen Graham Wilkins in all his glory! You're right though, can't have been easy for the bloke having such a natural talent like Butch as a brother. 

Canners speaks favourably about Wilkins G in his book actually. In one of his first training sessions at Chelsea, Graham was encouraging him to take him on and show the other players how good he was, so I imagine it stems from that. 


Thanks for that info - I've just downloaded Canners' book, it sounds like it will be an interesting read. 

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12 hours ago, Richard P said:

Remember when I first started going in the late 70s if the away team came out and came down to warm up in front of the shed end they would loads of abuse!!!

Few seasons before that when they used to come out with those orange tracksuit tops. Sometimes the opposition would come out first sometimes us none of this come out together handshake in the middle nonsense. DDR (now banned) his way of writing was sometimes hard to fathom but he said one of the things that made him support Chelsea were the nets I had no idea what he meant looking at that picture I do now although supporting a club cause you like the style of nets is still a bit weird !

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I didn’t realise DDR was banned ,he had some excellent stories ....anyway pre kick off i always liked how nearly every player had a song and when sung they would turn and wave to the shed.... when and why did  that stop..? Just the modern game i guess ....

Random examples Peter Bonetti clap clap clap Peter Bonetti ,Kenny Swain he’s here he’s there he’s every fuking where ...na na na na na Spackman ,la la la Zola



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There was a chant of: 'He's here, he's there, he's every f**king where, Frank Lebouef.'

Lebouef complained about the song as he didn't want his kids to hear swearing associated with his name.

At the next home game the song became: 'He's here, he's there, we're not allowed to swear.'

I think I have it right about the complaint coming from Frank rather than from the club. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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