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Chelsea v New York Cosmos in Sept 1978.


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programme cover for Chelsea v New York Cosmos, Tuesday, 26th Sep 1978 

We played New York Cosmos in a friendly back in late Sept 78.

Footage of this game of 2mins and 8 secs, above with no commentary.

A 1-1 draw with Ray Wilkins scoring for us. Denis Tueart formerly of Man City and England scoring for them.

Tuesday, 26th Sep 1978 at 8pm.Official attendance (!) given as  39,659 !!

 

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Cosmos%2078%20Exhibition%20Johan%20Cruyf

 

https://www.nycosmos.com/news/2016/03/25/johan-cruyff-and-the-cosmos

 

The passing of Johan Cruyff has stunned the soccer world.  Those that love the Beautiful Game mourn the loss of one of its greatest advocates and exemplars.  A player and manager whose devotion to an aesthetic ideal leaves a lasting legacy, Cruyff’s place in the sport’s pantheon is ensured – he will be revered as long as the game is played, forever celebrated as the epitome and uncompromising prophet of totaalvoetbal. The Dutch superstar will always be most associated with the Oranje and the two clubs he played for and managed, Ajax and Barcelona, but he also left a lasting impression on the Cosmos, despite only playing twice for the club. 

Having trained briefly with the Cosmos in the summer of 1977, rumors were rife that the three-time Ballon d'Or winner would join the star-studded New Yorkers after he retired from Barcelona at the end of the 1977-78 La Liga season.  After months of negotiations, by late July of 1978, Cruyff agreed to make two appearances in postseason international friendlies and guaranteed if he were to ever play soccer again beyond those two matches, he would only play for the Cosmos. 

Cruyff’s Cosmos debut was made against a World All-Stars side on Aug. 30 (three days after the club won its third NASL title in Soccer Bowl ’78), and his performance didn’t disappoint the crowd of 50,757 at Giants Stadium or the millions watching worldwide.  His assist that night was precisely the kind of magic everyone expected from him.  Between two defenders marking him on a corner kick, Cruyff plucked the ball midair waist-high with his right foot, then flicked it over his back before spinning away to create space.  Drawing a third defender, Cruyff fooled his markers with a cheeky right-footed backheel, slotting the ball back for the onrushing Seninho, who powered home the Cosmos’ second goal in the 2-2 draw.  

Citing personal reasons, Cruyff abruptly left New York and went back to Europe the next day, the club announcing that the Brazilian, Rivelino, would take his spot that Labor Day in a friendly against Atlético Madrid. 

Cruyff caught back up with the Cosmos a month later in London, for the sixth game of their postseason tour of Europe, against Chelsea in front of a crowd of 39,659 at Stamford Bridge on Sept. 26.  Cruyff proved his was still in peak form and the Cosmos dazzled the crowd with their attacking display.  Despite several scoring chances, Dennis Tueart’s 38th-minute goal was the only Cosmos goal. It seemed enough for a road victory until New York conceded an 89th-minute goal by Ray Wilkins to draw 1-1.  Having played twice for the Cosmos, Cruyff had fulfilled his contractual obligation to the club, but talks continued to bring him fully out of retirement.  He had proven to the world he wasn’t ready to retire and that his artistry worked well with the Cosmos. 

Like the protracted pursuit of Pelé, New York persisted in negotiations with Cruyff through the spring of 1979.  The season already well underway, the announcement he would join the Los Angeles Aztecs was a shock move, done with the Cosmos’ consent.  With a roster stocked with galácticos, New York enjoyed an embarrassment of riches.  For the good of the league, the Cosmos released Cruyff from his exclusivity agreement from the year prior, compensation of $600,000 from the Aztecs softening and sweetening the deal for New York. 

Cruyff earned the NASL Player of the Year award for 1979, but he was transferred to the Washington Diplomats, where he spent 1980 and part of the 1981 season, before returning to Europe.  In his three seasons in the NASL, Cruyff only played against the Cosmos three times.  The Aztecs lost 3-1 in Los Angeles to the Cosmos on Aug. 1, 1979.  His Dips lost in a shootout at RFK on June 1, 1980, but in his only appearance against the Cosmos at Giants Stadium, Cruyff’s team won in a shootout on Aug. 17, 1980 in front of a crowd of 55,764.  Marked by Andranik Eskandarian in those three games, Cruyff never scored against New York. 

Completing his playing career with Feyenoord in 1984, Cruyff assumed a managerial role with a return to Ajax in 1985.  Managing there until 1988, he took over at Barcelona until 1996, their current style of play testimony to the Dutch master’s technical and tactical legacy.

Along with Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer, Cruyff will always be ranked among the very best of football’s greatest generation.  It is telling that when compiling his own list of the world’s greatest footballers of all-time for his 2013 book, Fútbol, Mi filosofía, Cruyff chose three former Cosmos for his top XI: Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer and Pelé.  Even for those who only know his name in association with his famous turn, he represents an artistic approach to the game.  For those of us blessed to have witnessed his genius with our own eyes, we’re left with tears of gratitude.  He may only have played twice for the club, but Johan Cruyff will always be cherished as a member of the Cosmos family.  Our condolences to his immediate family.

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Carlos Alberto and a night in London SW6

https://gameofthepeople.com/2016/10/28/carlos-alberto-and-a-night-in-london-sw6/

AS WE WALKED down the steps into Chelsea’s old West Stand lower tier, the uncomfortable bench seats that used to provide budget-priced  accommodation for fans that didn’t want to try their luck in the maelstrom that was the Shed, we attempted to play “I spy a World Cup legend.”

“Is that Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer?..Who’s that tall fellow…the Brazilian…it’s not Pele, is it? No, that must be Carlos Alberto, but Pele’s over there, I am sure…Wasn’t Carlos Alberto Brazil’s captain?. Jesus Christ, these Yanks have got everyone. It’s an A to Z of star names.”

Chelsea, struggling in the first division in 1978-79, were playing host to New York Cosmos, the team from the “big apple” that included a bunch of veterans with totally impressive CVs.

In a year when we have seen the departure of many iconic names from entertainment, sport and politics, only Beckenbauer is still alive of the three World Cup skippers. Carlos Alberto, who died this week, became the third member of the Brazil team that charmed us all in the summer of 1970 to pass away.

As the decades have passed, this has been filed away in much the same way that my recollections of Marlene Dietrich – whom I saw when I was just 12 years old in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens- were consigned to memory. Time makes these occasions all the more important and relevant.

If such a combination of superstar footballers was put on the same field in 2016, the fanfare would be deafening, the hype unbearable, but in September 1978, with Chelsea heading for relegation, the realisation that all three of these legendary players were within touching distance, was still quite remarkable. That’s why almost 40,000 people turned up for a friendly between Chelsea and New York Cosmos – most expecting to see the NASL champions wipe the floor with Ken Shellito’s struggling team.

While I was in the stand watching the game, my brothers and sister were actually on the pitch, playing in the Thurrock Drum & Trumpet Corp., marching across Stamford Bridge and mingling with this incredible array of talent.

Sadly, very few of them cared about football, but they were moving among royalty. My sister, Anne Marie, now exiled in Scotland and a part-time St. Johnstone fan, was standing next to Cruyff (a guest player for the Cosmos) and Carlos Alberto, who was listed on the team sheet but never played. If it were me, I would still be talking about it today. They were really in the presence of greatness that night – and I don’t mean, Ray Wilkins, Kenny Swain and Garry Stanley.

Carlos Alberto was skipper of the greatest Brazil side ever to grace a World Cup. Today, it is unlikely that he would have been given that responsibility as more often than not, star players with huge egos are also given the role of captain – I would wager that if Pele and co. were playing in 2016-17,  Edson Arantes do Nascimento himself would have the armband.

But the fact that Carlos Alberto was the captain said a lot about the ability and stature of the man. It is ironic that in a World Cup of so many iconic moments, the image we remember most is the final goal of a one-sided contest, scored by a full back rather than a goal from Pele, Jairzinho, Gerson or Tostao. That fourth goal ensured the name Carlos Alberto would live on, a shot that was hammered low into the net, on the run, after the ultimate team-built prep work.

There were reasons why Carlos Alberto, nicknamed “capita”, was skipper of Brazil. His team-mates talk of his leadership skills and ability to unify a dressing room full of personalities. He also acted as something of a foreman, almost a shop steward negotiating with Brazilian football officials when it came to financial matters.

 

 
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I have just found out that by changing internet browser i am now able to reply to topics on here, so I might be doing some catch up...!!!

i do remember this game. Went with some non Chelsea school mates who were looking to see some of those star names. But from where we were in The Shed you couldn't make them out to be honest and the game itself was not that memorable.

What I do seem to remember though is a great atmosphere in The Shed and some stupid songs about Chelsea Brut Boys - ring any bells with anyone? That was what had us talking the next day, not those foreign stars!

 

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33 minutes ago, madmickeyt said:

I have just found out that by changing internet browser i am now able to reply to topics on here, so I might be doing some catch up...!!!

i do remember this game. Went with some non Chelsea school mates who were looking to see some of those star names. But from where we were in The Shed you couldn't make them out to be honest and the game itself was not that memorable.

What I do seem to remember though is a great atmosphere in The Shed and some stupid songs about Chelsea Brut Boys - ring any bells with anyone? That was what had us talking the next day, not those foreign stars!

 

You sure it wasn’t “Boot Boys”?

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7 hours ago, Richard P said:

If you go through the pictures of the game and take into account all parts of the Bridge is packed! Even the east part of the shed that got closed off that season is full right to the wall and there still only 39,000!!

Of course there is still only 39,000 !

They simply must 'have forgotten':slap_face: to count those spectators in the seats in the Stands...:biggrin:

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19 hours ago, Richard P said:

You sure it wasn’t “Boot Boys”?

I think it was against Hereford in 76. The Shed were singing “ Chelsea are back”

My kids ears in the benches thought it was “ Chelsea hard pack”

Edit: around the same time at school we used to sing to the tune of the Van De Valke theme “ We are the A, G, A G R, A G R O, we are the Chelsea Agro Boys....”

Edit ii) Anyone Remember Queen’s “ We are the Champions” being sung in the Shed?

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19 hours ago, Richard P said:

You sure it wasn’t “Boot Boys”?

well yes normally it would be. Sorry memory is a bit hazy after all these years, but weren't they giving out toilitries or something before the game? it was a one off, like the Sweeney thing above.

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ah the Hereford 5-1 home game was the first time i ever spotted myself on TV ,i was in the east lower row 1 and as the camera panned across there was little old me  ...funny as we  spent the 80's avoiding the cameras !

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  • 1 month later...

https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2019/11/05/remember-when----johan-cruyff-lit-up-stamford-bridge

Club historian Rick Glanvill remembers when Johan Cruyff, the best Ajax player of all time, graced the Stamford Bridge turf and wowed the west London masses in the process...

 Tuesday evening in late September 1978 brought a flavour of United States sport's razzle-dazzle to the Fulham Road and almost 40,000 turned out – the largest attendance so far that season at Stamford Bridge. However, it was left to the Thurrock Drum and Trumpet Corp to provide a very English take on American pre-match ‘razzamatazz’, giving an indication of how, for the cash-strapped hosts, this was more a money-spinner than a game-changer.

Ever since funding the new East Stand span out of control, Chelsea had been in financial peril. High-salaried players left, relegation was followed by promotion, but looked possible again. The board looked for creative ways to generate desperately needed funds, and a glamorous game between Ken Shellito’s callow kids and the appearance of the star-studded New York Cosmos was one of their successes.

The Cosmos’ roster was out of this world, peppered with veteran World Cup icons such as Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer, his Brazil counterpart Carlos Alberto, and, the biggest draw of all, Ajax, Barcelona and Holland legend Johan Cruyff. The Netherlander was not a Cosmos player as such, but contracted to play three international friendlies, of which this was one.

In the end Alberto did not figure against Ray Wilkins and company, but along with the more statuesque but stylish German, Cruyff exhibited his skills all over the field. It was arguably the best performance by any Netherlander on the SW6 pitch until the arrival of Ruud Gullit 17 years later. The attacking midfielder had scored for Ajax in a pre-season friendly in Amsterdam back in July 1970, another 1-1 draw with Ian Hutchinson netting for the Blues. Finally seeing him at the Bridge was sensational (he played again at the Bridge in another friendly in 1981,

Chelsea’s young team contributed too. In fact, only a goal from former Manchester City striker Dennis Tueart – one of the more prosaic Cosmos players – separated the two sides, and Wilkins equalised – to the delight of the multitude. The result was a diplomatic 1-1 draw, and a great night for the club all round.

The aftermath was more embarrassing, as the club’s attempts to recruit Cruyff were hyped-up after his stellar cameo. Such a move was a Blues tradition – the club was always linked with crowd-pleasing high-profile signings, from Willie Foulke and Vivian Woodward, through ‘10-goal’ Joe Payne and Hughie Gallacher, to Tommy Lawton and Tony Hateley.

Now chairman Brian Mears appeared on Brian Moore’s ‘The Big Match’ to discuss how he was determined to make the three-time Ballon d’Or winner, a free agent, a regular fixture at the Bridge. The story generated column inches, and eventually a reporter asked Cruyff how close he was to the west London move. He responded as if a move, to Chelsea of all clubs, was absolutely out of the question, and that was that. There would be no Cruyff turns in royal blue after all.

 

 

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