CHELSEA V RANGERS 1971
Chopper’s No Coppers : A Glamour Testimonial

● Ron Harris Testimonial Match
● Tuesday 23rd November 1971 Kick-Off 7.30pm

EXTRACTS FROM : BACKGROUND

• CHOPPER’S INVITATION
Rangers snapped up the opportunity to be the guests for this Testimonial, Chelsea had something they wanted. The Londoners were current holders of the European Cup Winners’ Cup but surprisingly had already been eliminated in the 2nd round. Rangers were still in the competition and wanted to pick up any additional knowledge and practice. It would also be an interesting experience for Rangers fans, Chelsea were an excellent and exciting team. They had come to be known as the glamour club of London and cheered on by an assortment of ‘showbiz’ fans. The team had become something of a metaphor for the 24 hour partying, decadence and sophistication of the adjacent Kings Road.

• SURPRISE GUESTS
Chelsea were probably a bit surprised when Rangers accepted their offer. This excerpt from the ‘Star Letter’ to Goal Magazine from 26th October 1968 reveals what happened when Rangers were invited to play in prolific goalscorer Bobby Tambling’s Testimonial at Stamford Bridge.

“Soccer is indebted to its servants - men like Bobby Tambling, the Chelsea crowd pleaser who is this year being given a Testimonial by the club. How mean can you get, when Glasgow Rangers, who should surely be only too pleased to be able to help in Bobby’s benefit season, ask for half the takings.” – Needless to say Bobby sought alternative opposition.

The charge could be linked to the fact that Rangers did not like any distractions to their planned season and that their travelling support would substantially boost the attendance and receipts. It’s fair to say that it was not Rangers duty to help provide players with no connection to the club with a nest egg.

• CRACKERS??
On this occasion they were happy to ‘waive’ any fee for a free lesson. Rangers News announced this fixture on the front page of the Rangers News on 27th October 1971. The paper began to hype the game on 17th November with a page devoted to Chelsea. Headlined ‘the Chelsea Crackers,’ It covered the ‘London Scottish’ angle of Chelsea players, a short article on Chopper, details of the clubs 3 previous meetings all played on a 1954 North American tour and the ‘showbiz’ supporters of Chelsea. This was to be Rangers first visit to Stamford Bridge.

The Rangers management team in Willie Waddell and Willie Thornton had both played in the 1954 tour matches. Rangers triumphed 1-0 in Montreal (16.5.54), lost 4-1 in Toronto (5.6.54) and the 2 teams travelled together for a fixture the following day in New York that finished 0-0. (6.6.54). The game in New York had a particular poignancy for Willie Thornton as it was to be his final appearance in Rangers shirt before announcing his retirement.

EXTRACTS FROM : “CHOPPER’S GONNA GET YOU CHOPPER’S GONNA GET YOU LA LA LA”
(THE SHED END, STAMFORD BRIDGE)

• SOME THOUGHTS FROM CHOPPER AND HIS ‘FRIENDS’
Favourite Opponent? : “The one I have to mark.” (Evening Standard Supplement 1970)

“The best man-marker I ever played against, bar none.” (Jimmy Greaves)

“I was never blessed with pace. In fact, I rarely used to cross the halfway line, but when attackers came my way, it was my job to stop them.” (Goal Magazine, March 1998)

“I’ve been kicked and fouled hundreds of times, but I pride myself that I don’t moan unless it is what I consider a diabolical stroke. I would hate to get a fellow professional sent off because I bleated to a referee.” (Soccer The Hard Way)

“Every time I played against Chopper, I took a right hammering. But I gave as good as I got. He whacked me really hard one time so I jumped up and down on his chest. He was coughing up blood according to the papers.” (Charlie George of Arsenal in Football’s Hard Men by Phil Thompson)

“When Chopper took your legs from under you at least he’d be upfront about it... But there was no hard feelings. It was part and parcel of the game.” (Stan Bowles also in Football’s Hard Men)

THE MAN WHO WAS NEARLY BANNED FROM HIS OWN TESTIMONIAL
Surprisingly given his reputation Ron had only even been sent off once, in a 1967 FA Cup tie. However having amassed 3 cautions in 12 months, Ron had recently appeared in front of an FA Disciplinary Panel. Ron was fined £150 and given a 5 week ban, fortunately for him suspended.

“I thought the hearing was fair at the time and felt I’d been quite lucky. If the ban had not been suspended I might have missed my own Testimonial.” (Goal Magazine, March 1998)

EXTRACTS FROM : CHELSEA FC. THE STORY OF THE BLUES.
SCOTCH TERRIERS, RANGERS AND A 22 STONE GOALKEEPER

Most professional football clubs have their roots in the amateur game, a group of friends or workmates who set up their own team for fun, exercise or recreation who later turned professional. Chelsea FC were created as a business venture. As with many things since at Chelsea, it was not a straightforward affair and accounts differ. However I go with the following version. Essentially it being a case of building a ground and then constructing a team to play in it.

Most professional football clubs have their roots in the amateur game, a group of friends or workmates who set up their own team for fun, exercise or recreation who later turned professional. Chelsea FC were created as a business venture. As with many things since at Chelsea, it was not a straightforward affair and accounts differ. However I go with the following version. Essentially it being a case of building a ground and then constructing a team to play in it.

• THE SPORTING MR PARKER AND THE MEARS BROTHERS

1877 : Stamford Bridge was the new headquarters and venue of the London Athletic’s Club.
1896 : Athletics never really took off. One of the Club’s founder members a sports enthusiast called Mr Parker thought that given the excellent public transport links it would make an ideal site for a football ground. He contacted his affluent building contractor friends, brothers’ Gus and Joe Mears.

• AND IT’S HENRY NORRIS AGAIN
The Mears assumed Fulham would want to take up residence in the stadium. (Modern parlance ‘the anchor tenant’.) But they didn’t, mainly at the behest of the controversial Henry Norris (See Arsenal History in 1963.) Gus Mears was crestfallen and soon after in 1904, the Great Western Railway made him a very generous offer for the land. Mr Parker was devastated and frantically tried to persuade him not to sell. He wasn’t making much headway until…

• SCOTCH TERRIER AND SCOTTISH INFLUENCE
Both men went for a walk together when Bluey, Gus’s dog bit him. Gus strangely remarked, “Scotch terrier, always bites before he speaks.” Mr Parker, ever the gentleman laughed out loud and despite bleeding found it highly amusing. Mears was so impressed with Parker’s reaction that it convinced him that his friend’s judgement should be trusted. Football it was. The pair went on a brainstorming trip to Glasgow, including a visit to Ibrox. Thinking big Chelsea opted for a 60-70,000 capacity stadium including 5,000 seats According to Rick Glanvill in his Official Biography on Chelsea FC, “It was like little Caledonia on the site. All the steelwork came down the Great North Road from Glasgow. Grass for the pitch was grown in Winchester but laid by Scottish labourers.”

• THE SCOTLAND AND RANGERS CAPTAIN BECOMES PLAYER MANAGER
Next they set about building a team. The Ibrox influence was extended with the recruitment of Rangers and former Scotland International Captain and half back, Jackie Robertson (aka Jock and John Tait) was named player manager on 27 March 1905.

BLUE REALLY IS THE COLOUR

Historically they say Chelsea’s blue strip was chosen as it was the racing colours of the club’s president, Earl Cadogan but I think Bluey the Scotch Terrier and Jackie Robertson might also both have had some input in this choice! (The colour of shorts chosen for the first season were white.)

HE’S FAT AND ROUND HE WEIGHS FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS
One of Robertson’s first signings was the famous 6 foot 3, 22 stone goalkeeper Willie Foulkes, the big man like all of the first ever Chelsea starting 11 all came from outside London. (There was just 1 Londoner in the 1905 Chelsea squad.)

1905 Before kicking a ball, Chelsea got a great result. Having been turned down by the lowlier Southern League, they joined Division 2 of the Football League.

EXTRACTS FROM : CHELSEA PLAYERS AND STYLE 1971

• ONE STEP BEYOND
Chelsea manager Dave Sexton wrote for the News of the World Football Annual at the start of the 1971-2 Season, “I don’t think there can be many doubts about the ability of this Chelsea team. If there are, then they will be erased by the winning of one title. And surely the Football League Championship is not beyond us.”

In an age when many commentators felt that the game was becoming too negative and dull, Chelsea had shown that it was possible to be successful with style and flamboyance. This team had proved it’s mettle, winning Cup Competitions in successive years.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH AND WHEN THE GOING GETS SOFT
In addition to skill, Chelsea had players who could also ‘mix it’ when the going got tough. Their 1970 Cup Final Replay against the ferocious but talented Leeds United has since been dubbed one of the dirtiest matches in history. As Chelsea more than matched their opponents for skill and fight. Leeds took pride in being consistent, dour and totally devoted to their game and there was certainly no love lost between the players. Perhaps the games between them became a metaphor for different approaches to life in addition to the North – South stereotype.

The nagging criticism the media and critics had about this Chelsea Team was that they were not consistent enough to be champions. They could raise their game when they wanted to, especially against the top teams. Yet they would not work hard and raise their play against lesser unfashionable sides. Their critics mainly from ‘North of Watford’ dubbed them ‘posers’ and ‘playboys’. Especially given the reputation of some of their players for being trendy dressers and photographed with celebrities enjoying a night out.

DOES CRAFT + GRAFT = ENTERTAINMENT + TROPHIES?
Beneath the gloss there was some real steel. Peter Osgood wrote in Goal magazine in January 1970. “I am fully convinced that we can be even better than Leeds. Firstly we are one of the few Southern teams to possess that extra hardness but apart from this very vital asset we are, I think, a much more attractive side to watch. When we attack, everyone takes an active part, and although we are sometimes faulted for leaving gaps in our defence, I think our results show that this criticism is not at all valid.”

TEAM SPIRIT
Dave Webb attributed the success at Chelsea to teamwork and the depth of quality in the squad. “Everyone is working for one another. And the fact that we have such a strong first team pool at Chelsea keeps everyone in the first team right on their toes.” (Goal Magazine 10th January 1970, No 75)

THROWN
Chelsea were particularly adept at using the long throw in. Ian Hutchinson had possibly the longest throw in the League, with John Hollins and Chopper not too far behind. Tactically a defender put the ball out of play to gain respite if his team was under pressure. However against Chelsea, conceding a throw anywhere in their own third of the pitch was asking for trouble. Opposing defenders tried to avoid conceding throw ins near their penalty box which in turn forced them to take greater risks in trying to keep the ball in play.

MOMENT OF TRUTH

Season 1971-72 was in some senses to be a pivotal season for Chelsea. To show that they had made the transition from being a cup team to being a championship winning side but it wasn’t happening. At the time of this game, Chelsea were placed 9th in the table and had exited the Cup Winners’ Cup against Swedish team Atvidaberg on the away goals rule, following a 2nd Leg 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea squandered a string of chances on a slippery surface in the away leg and back at home missed a penalty at 1-0 up and despite dominating the game were hit by a sucker punch late breakaway goal.

• SOME OF THE BACKROOM STAFF
Harry Medhurst had been head trainer since 1960 and was a former Chelsea goalkeeper who originally joined the club in 1946.

THE TRAINERS BAG 1971
Harry Medhurst crammed 21 items in to his ‘magic’ bag. Namely :
A sponge, bottle of drinking water, clean handkerchief (to take dirt out of players’ eyes), laces, ammonia phials (‘smelling salts’), vaseline, bandage, olive oil (some players have sensitive skins), Zinc oxide, Algepan, Elastoplast Strips (large and small size), eye ointment, Nivea cream, Friar’s Balsam, antiseptic powder, aspirin, Spare socks, Spare shorts and a plastic splint. (Evening Standard Supplement 29th August 1970)

His son Norman was assistant trainer. He joined Chelsea as a trainee physiotherapist in 1963 and held full FA Trainer’s and Medical Certificates.

A 20 YEAR STRETCH AWAITS!

Chelsea’s assistant coach was none other than Dario Gradi. The man who subsequently clocked up over 20 years as Crewe’s manager, unearthing some exceptional talent and hugely respected in football. Then aged 29, he joined Chelsea in January 1971 after 3 years with the FA’s London Regional Coaching Staff. Before that he had been a PE teacher and England amateur half back.

EXTRACTS FROM : THE CHELSEA SQUAD 1971-72

THE DONOR
Steve Kember was signed to provide extra bite and industry to the midfield and became Chelsea’s record signing when they forked out £170,000 to buy the Crystal Palace Skipper in 1971. Kember had already generously contributed a tooth to Chopper’s Testimonial fund, when he played against Chelsea in a 1971 FA Cup tie, courtesy of Chopper’s straying elbow. Recalling the incident in ‘Kings Of The King’s Road’ by Clive Batty, “I went to close Ron Harris down and as he cleared the ball he’s gone bosh and he’s done me, shattered all my teeth. One tooth came out completely and the other split in two.”

THE ENIGMA
On the wing was the enigmatic Charlie Cooke. A hugely gifted dribbler able carve out opportunities. When he joined Chelsea he lacked ‘end product’, (taking on 1 player too many) Dave Sexton made him more productive but had to drop him first. When Cooke was dropped, Chelsea picked up more points but their fans demanded his inclusion. The articulate Cooke still believed that entertaining the fans was very important. He was frequently brought up as an example when the question was posed. “Is there still room for an entertainer in a team that’s striving for the honours?”

Accurate crossing and passing from the left hand side was supplied by Peter Houseman. Usually located on the wing, he could also drop back and was even capable of filling in for the left back.

THE AUSTRALIAN
Australian, Tony Potrac aged 18 had not yet made his League debut but had been selected for this game. In a struggling reserve team, he was the leading scorer and had appeared in 18 of the 20 reserve fixtures.

THE SPONGE
Chelsea’s pool of forwards contained the ‘Sponge’, Tommy Baldwin. Media pundits thought it was for his non stop running actually it was his ability to absorb booze. Baldwin had joined Chelsea from Arsenal in a swap for Scotland International George Graham in 1966. The Sponge was a tireless worker and very good all round forward, though had more recently been injury prone and some commentators noted that his enthusiasm had sagged. Chelsea had recently sold their pacy forward Keith Weller. To fans this suggested an indication of a preference power rather than pace but many years later was revealed to be a deal done over the head of the manager to balance the books.

EXTRACTS FROM : PRE – MATCH BUILD UP

• THE DAY BEFORE THE MATCH
It was reported that to avoid the flu, Rangers players had undergone a series of preventative measures. Including treatment with ultra violet rays, anti flu injections and a daily dose of halibut oil tablets.

EXTRACTS FROM : MATCHDAY

EXTRACTS FROM : A HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO MATCHDAY

• IS THERE A DOC ON BOARD?
I wonder what the reaction of the players was when they spotted Thomas Docherty ‘hitching’ a lift to London. The Scotland manager had actually been given a very special honour in that he was to take charge of a European Select Side that were playing that night in Geoff Hurst’s Testimonial game at West Ham. He had quite a team to manage. It included: Eusebio, Uwe Seller (Germany), Jimmy Johnstone, Tommy Gemmell, Jimmy Greaves, Rodney Marsh (no doubt the Rangers team wished to pass on their best wishes), Israel Skipper Mordechai Spiegler (a rumoured transfer target for Arsenal and West Ham) and Ted MacDougall.

• WHY WERE 2 GREAT TESTIMONIALS PLAYED ON THE SAME DAY?
The following night Spurs were hosting Arsenal in the League. I suspect that police resources would have been too stretched to also contain Tommy Docherty, Rodney Marsh and another set of fans.

• AFTERNOON

THE BOMB SCARE
The Rangers Party checked into their hotel for some rest before the game. Their relaxation did not go to plan. “There was a bomb scare directed against the team.” (Rangers Yearbook 1970) and the players were evacuated on to the street.

CHOPPER’S CHARITY BET
Chopper had a £50 charity bet that Chelsea would score at least once in the game.

EXTRACTS FROM : MATCH REPORT

CHELSEA : 1 Peter Bonnetti (John Phillips) 2 Gary Locke (Peter Bonetti) 3 Ron Harris (C) 4 John Hollins 5 David Webb 6 Marvin Hinton 7 Charlie Cooke 8 Chris Garland (Micky Droy) 9 Peter Osgood, 10 John Boyle (Tony Potrac) 11 Peter Houseman.

 Despite being at home, Chelsea wore their away shirt, a long sleeved yellow jersey with the rampant lion and staff motif embroidered on the left breast. Blue nylon shorts with a single white stripe down the side. Each player’s number appeared on the left hand side of the shorts in white. White socks completed the outfit.
3
RANGERS : 1 Peter McCloy 2 Sandy Jardine 3 Billy Mathieson 4 John Greig (C) 5 Colin Jackson, 6 Dave Smith 7 Willie Henderson 8 Alf Conn 9 Colin Stein 10 Alex MacDonald 11 Willie Johnston (Tommy McLean)
  Long sleeved blue shirts with the initialled GRFC. White shorts. Red socks with a white top.

 Referee : Mr Ronald Challis (Tonbridge)
 Linesmen : Mr B Robinson (Shepperton, Middlesex) and Mr M J Bayston (Hitchin, Herts).

 Conditions : Dry and Very Cold.
7.15 The tannoy system belts out the ska classic ‘the Liquidator’ by Harry J and the Allstars as it had done before every match since the record’s release in November 1969.

Circa 80 mins : Chelsea Substitution : Midway through the half John Phillips, replaces Peter Bonetti in goal.

As befits a Testimonial for Ron Harris the tackles are full blooded.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, their players have come off worst. John Boyle retires with a thigh strain. Garry Locke is carried off on Dave Sexton’s shoulders and Chris Garland limps off with cramp.

Chelsea have run out of Substitutes… so they bring back Peter Bonetti to play outfield in a number 2 jersey.

90 mins : GOAL 1-0 RANGERS : Sandy Jardine drives from 25 yards out, the ball shoots through a clutch of Chelsea defenders. John Phillips, unsighted, dives too late to stop the ball landing in the corner of the net.

FINAL SCORE : CHELSEA 0 RANGERS 1 (Jardine)
Attendance : 16,362

• POST MATCH

PHYSIOS ON OVERTIME
Meanwhile the physios in both camps were kept busy. In addition to the walking wounded, Colin Jackson needed 3 stitches in his knee.

ENTERPRISE
Chopper might have briefly mused over the £50 lost in his charity bet but was probably satisfied with the estimated £6,000 receipts and the hard fought entertaining fixture played in his honour. Though he might have had good reason to be disappointed with the small amount of Chelsea fans who had turned up for his special evening.

The players of both teams signed the match ball which was raffled by the enterprising Chopper with tickets priced at 5p each. Ex Ranger Dave Provan who was now with Plymouth had watched the game and caught up with his old team mates.

EXTRACTS FROM : POST MATCH REACTION

• KEN GALLACHER
Ken Gallacher of the Daily Record felt that Sandy Jardine’s late winner gave Rangers the result they deserved. His pick of the ‘wee forward line’ were Willie Henderson and Alex MacDonald.

KEN MEETS A WEST LONDON MYSTIC
Gallacher enjoyed a conversation with Dave Sexton and asked him how he thought Rangers might fare in Europe. “Before Tuesday’s game I felt that Rangers would have a good chance of winning the Cup Winners’ Cup this season. Now I am convinced they can…They were very impressive against us and I believe they will beat any of the remaining teams…Although we were knocked out this year, I still have a bit of interest in the tournament. I’ve studied the last eight and Rangers in my view are better than anyone.”

“I was very impressed last night with Willie Henderson and Alex McDonald in attack and the 2 centre halfs, Colin Jackson and Dave Smith…We wanted Ron to have the kind of Testimonial he would remember and that’s the way it turned out…We are only sorry we lost – but Rangers deserved to win.”

“They really impressed me. We knew it would be a good match but Rangers proved to be even better than we thought.”

• DISGUSTED OF HATFIELD
“As a Chelsea supporter (owing to work) who can attend only mid-week games, I was disgusted to find so many empty seats in the East Stand at Ron Harris’s Testimonial. Reading in the programme that all the £1.20 seats have been sold as season tickets, I would like to ask where were all the season-ticket holders that night? I’ll bet that there are no empty seats on Wednesday, December 22nd, for the League game v Spurs.” (Letter from B K Vince of Hatfield, Chelsea v Leeds United Programme)

• AN ORDERLY QUEUE
According to Chelsea programme editor Albert Sewell the day after the match there was a queue at the Treatment Room and 2 other players had been ordered to spend the day at home in bed to allow their injuries a 24 hour settling down period.

EXTRACTS FROM : TALKING POINTS

• KINKY BOOTS AND FOOTBALL BOOTS, THE GLAMOUR CLUB
Chelsea really became the glamour club in the 1960’s, probably around 1964. It was a combination of a successful team of ‘good looking’ young men watched by a large locally based celebrity crowd. The players mixed freely with the celebrities and became their friends. Going to parties and restaurants and appearing in photographs with them, often taken by the trendy local photographers. The players shared their ‘fans’ love of fashion and hence the whole image of a glamorous club took off.

In addition to the proximity of Kings Road, Chelsea had film producer Dickie Attenborough on the board who brought a mixture of stars from stage and screen as his guests. On a given Saturday from the mid 1960’s onwards the following could be seen in the Chelsea director’s box : Jane Seymour, Raquel Welch, Honor Blackman, Michael Caine, Michael Crawford, Ronnie Corbett, Richard O’Sullivan, Steve McQueen, Vidal Sassoon, Peter O’Toole, Terry O’Neill (photographer) or Terence Stamp. They were joined by a bevvy of ‘bunny girls’, Kings Road restaurateurs etc.. Yes there had been glamorous players before but never a whole club.

Even though some of the early leaders of the ‘pack’ such as Terry Venables and ‘Gorgeous’ George Graham (George from Bargeddie 1960) had been moved on by Docherty, their places were in turn filled by other glamorous young players. None more so than the likes of Peter Osgood, Tommy Baldwin, Ian Hutchinson and Alan Hudson who would often be joined by Charlie Cooke, Eddie McCreadie, Dave Webb, John Boyle and others. During the early 1970’s, Chelsea devoted a page of their programme to a profile on a celebrity fan. The glamour, style and success of Chelsea FC in turn made them the team to support for youngsters from across the south, west and even parts of the northern suburbs of London extending into the new satellite towns beyond. Many fans of other clubs further afield made them their ‘second’ team.

• THE NEW BREED OF PLAYER

MAKING THE MOST OF IT
The Chelsea players had boot deals where football boot manufacturers sponsored them to wear a particular brand. They were also in demand for personal appearances which supplemented their incomes.

Peter Osgood and Alan Hudson had their own fan clubs. Some of the Chelsea team had been used for adverts. Others had gone into business to supplement their earnings. Peter Bonetti was part of a wholesale consortium that sold Peter Bonetti goods. In addition to green goalkeeping gloves, jerseys and caps, they also sold tracksuits, caps and scarves. Dave Webb was imbibed with the entrepreneurial spirit. Something of a wheeler and dealer, his interests included ownership of a used car lot, a hairdressing salon and a wig making business. (wrong era – there seemed to be fewer bald players back then and Bobby Charlton preferred a comb over!)

As for Ron Harris, he wrote a weekly ‘Captain’s Column’ for the Evening Standard or rather he would speak to a journalist for a few minutes and this would make the basis of the column. He also had his shops and invested in a couple of buy to let properties. Though not renowned as a ‘pin up’ he was of course the only candidate to help promote the super cool bicycle which shared the same name as him. (The Chopper - keep up.) Not that the money to be earnt through advertising was going to change any lifestyles. For the Chopper campaign Ron received 2 free chopper bicycles.

MOST CHELSEA PLAYERS DID NOT HAVE AGENTS
Alan Hudson in Action Replay magazine, November 1996. “There wasn’t enough money around to justify having your own agent... I also used to advertise shampoo and can remember travelling on the London Underground and seeing my picture on the adverts displayed on the escalator….I think all I got were lots of boxes of free shampoo! I used to take’em in the dressing room for the lads, who grabbed them like vultures.” (I bet they were Vidal Sassoon.)

THE ONE WHO DID AND WISHED HE HADN’T
Peter Osgood who was the most glamorous Chelsea player rued working with an agent. In his autobiography ‘Ossie’ he recalled being encouraged to invest in a boutique in Mitcham which he memorably described as, “Almost as pointless as opening an Oddbins in Saudi Arabia.” Following on from this debacle he employed an agent to manage his affairs and of course got the various boot/merchandise deals, advertising and personal appearance work which businesses were queuing up to offer him. (It was still virtually unheard of in 1971 for an agent to negotiate a playing contract.) However one day, he received an unexpected summons from his bank manager to enquire why his business account was substantially in the red. No prizes for guessing who was withdrawing the money for expenses. Osgood emerged poorer but wiser from the affair and concluded that it was his very inexperience in business that attracted the parasite like agent to him in the first place.

• STAMFORD BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Despite the glamour associated with Chelsea, their ground did not match the style, sophistication and trendy image of the team. Essentially it was a greyhound track that extended around the pitch. The biggest drawback was that despite a passionate Chelsea crowd, the distance from the pitch to the stands caused the atmosphere to get lost.

• WHERE DID CHELSEA FANS COME FROM IN 1971?
Most League clubs were situated in densely populated, working class parts of towns and cities. Chelsea was located in the most affluent ‘constituency’ in England. That is not to say that there are not working class areas of Kensington and Chelsea which were a natural bedrock of support but given the size of their gates they clearly attracted support from further afield.

In order to identify where their fan base was located to help with the marketing of the new lottery, some market research was commissioned. Not only did it uncover the obvious places such as the suburbs of south and west London but also points along the South Coast seaside resorts.

Furthermore I would suggest that satellite towns in Berkshire and Surrey were a mainstay of Chelsea support. (Eg Croydon, Guildford, Tunbridge Wells and Reading.) Smaller pockets of Chelsea support also extended to parts of North West London (Eg Kilburn, Swiss Cottage and King’s Cross.)

THE WELSH CONNECTION
Bizarrely in a book entitled ‘We Hate Humans’ the author David Robins claimed that there was a large contingent of South Welsh descent. “The children of South London people who migrated to Wales during the steel boom of the early sixties have also returned - the Port Talbot Shed.”

SPECIAL FORCES
Finally due to the large Barracks on Kings Road and of course the ‘Pensioners’ link, Chelsea has always seemed to attract a large support in the armed forces.

• WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND
In the Chapter 1 we read of Real Madrid and the brilliant 1960 European Cup Final.

Chelsea’s John Boyle marked the ageing maestro Gento, 11 years on in the 1971 Cup Winners Cup Final. He made these humorous but very relevant comments in the Official Chelsea Magazine, June 2001.

“The great thing for me was that I was marking Gento, who had played for Real in the best game I ever saw, the 1960 European Cup Final…Thank goodness he was slower by then… probably about my pace! I got his shirt at the end, too, and Keith Weller reckons that when I ran over to swap shirts at the final whistle that was the fastest I ran all night!”

Eleven years past his prime but still capable of playing in another European Final. Just goes to show how good that 1960 Madrid team were.

• ELSEWHERE
The Geoff Hurst testimonial may have lacked the competitiveness of Stamford Bridge, but given the stellar cast of players it certainly provided entertainment.

West Ham 4 (Robson 2, Best, Hurst) Europe Select 4 (Marsh 2, MacDougall, Greaves)

• JACKIE, THE DIRECTOR, THE BEARDED RANGER & OTHER FRIENDS & LEGENDS
Aside from playing and captaining Rangers, the next greatest honour a Ranger could earn was to captain Scotland in what was then perceived as the most important fixture in the Scottish International calendar against England. 14 players had earnt this special privilege. Including:

• Jacky Robertson was the 4th Ranger to captain Scotland against England and did so on 3 occasions, 1900, 1901 and 1904. (won 1 drawn 1 lost 1)
• Fellow Ranger turned ‘pensioner’ James Stark didn’t have far to travel when he led Scotland out at Crystal Palace in 1909 but England won 2-0.
• Ranger turned wartime Sergeant in the Highland Light Infantry, James Gordon led Scotland to a 3-1 win at Hampden in 1914.
• Director George Brown was the 8th Ranger to skipper Scotland and led them to a 1-0 victory at Wembley 1938.
• Sammy Cox of Rangers was captain for the 1954 joust at Hampden which England won 4-2.
• Eric Caldow had the privilege for 3 consecutive years from 1961-1963 (won 2 lost 1)
• As did John Greig from 1966-1968. (won 1 drawn 1 lost 1)

EXTRACTS FROM : POSTSCRIPT

• WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CHOPPER?
Ron went on to make a club record 655 appearances between 1962 and 1980. Indeed 38 came in his last season when he played in midfield. I watched an episode of ‘The Big Match Replayed’ essentially a rerun of the 1978-79 episodes of ITV’s Big Match, they showed the Chelsea and Liverpool clash from that Season. Ron ran the midfield against the European Cup holders and that great commentator Brian Moore nominated him man of the match. Chopper could play. After Chelsea, Ron went on to become player coach with Brentford and was boss of Aldershot for 8 months during 1984-5. On the face of it doing well in both jobs until falling foul of boardroom politics. Fed up with chairmen he then took a great risk, he sold the family home, cashed in all his savings and borrowed heavily to buy the Bremhill Golf Club for £400,000. Three years later, he sold it for £2 million although seemingly he’s had his ups and downs business-wise since. Most recently he was owner of a fishing and chalet complex for anglers in Wiltshire, an after dinner speaker and wrote a typically no holds barred autobiography entitled ‘Chopper’ published by Bigbluetube in 2004. On the way to a speaking engagement in 2002 he survived an horrific car crash with a drunk driver, but thankfully seems to be back to full health. If you hear a mobile phone ring tone playing ‘blue is the colour’ it might be his.

• RANGERS 1971-1972

ONE NIGHT IN MAY 72
Rangers went from strength to strength in Europe after this match. Maybe in a small way it was the lessons and tips picked up at Stamford Bridge but it probably had more to do with an ultra fit and determined team led by a magnificent captain working under an astute manager and coach. Torino were despatched in the quarter final’s to clinch a semi final meeting with old adversaries Bayern Munich and revenge was sweet for Rangers. Moscow Dynamo posed the final obstacle. In the final at the Nou Camp Stadium, Barcelona in front of 25,000 euphoric travelling fans, the European trophy was won almost 100 years to the day since a collection of brothers and young men had first taken to a football pitch under the name of Rangers.