ASK STATMAN 29

The players may be away but club statistician Paul Dutton carries on, answering numerical related questions sent in by supporters…

I'm going to start this time by winding back the clock over half a century to deal with an email sent in by Mike from Hong Kong.

Mike clearly didn't live in that part of the world back in the 1950s as he recalls watching many of Chelsea's midweek games which was made easier by the fact that to compensate for having to go in on Saturday mornings, he had Wednesday afternoons off school. This is the time before the first floodlit game at Stamford Bridge which came in 1957.

Mike remembers seeing a first team Wednesday match when the crowd was only about 9,000 but at the weekend the match had attracted a crowd of over 60,000 and wonders if I can pinpoint this.

I can find just two occasions in that decade that might fit the bill and when you see the teams you can understand the differences in the crowds.

On Saturday 11 November 1950 Chelsea hosted Man United in the old First Division in front of 51,882. The following Wednesday we played Lille in friendly with a much-reduced attendance of 9,696.

Then at the other end of the decade, on Monday 16 November 1959 Chelsea played a British Olympic XI in front of 6,302. On Saturday 21 versus Arsenal in the league, 52,748 turned up.

Mike also asks about a Chelsea player back in the Fifties who would come to his school in Battersea to teach boxing. His name was Billy Gray and Mike wants some further info.Sadly Gray died recently and there is an obituary here.

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For a trip back even further in time, Koen raises a game he read about in a Belgian magazine when the goalkeeper from a team visiting Stamford Bridge didn't notice that the match had been abandoned due to a thick fog that had rolled across the pitch and stayed out thinking his team was attacking all the time. He wonders if this story is true.

It has to be the tale of a game Charlton played at the Bridge on Christmas Day 1937 when their long-serving keeper Sam Bartram remained in his goal for quarter of an hour after the game was called off. The story is that he only realised when a policeman stumbled across him there in the gloom.

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I hope with this next answer I can clear up some confusion about the birth of the Blues. Oscar Karlström from Chelsea Supporters Sweden has long been under the impression that the club was founded on 14 March 1905 and indeed there have been official publications in the past stating that fact. However he has noticed on this very website us citing the date as 10 March.

The confusion is understandable as our belief on which date the club was formed has changed recently, a result of research by my colleague Rick Glanvill, the club historian.

Rick found a newspaper report that cast new light on the date that previously was thought to be the 14th.

Rick found the story in the 11th March 1905 edition of The Daily Mirror.

It reads:

'At a meeting held in London yesterday evening it was unanimously decided to form a limited liability professional football club at Stamford Bridge. It will be called the Chelsea Football Club. The capital is to be £5,000 in £1 shares, one half of the capital was subscribed at the meeting. It was decided to apply for admission to the first division of the Southern League.'

So that is why we now state Chelsea was founded on 10 March 1905. Continuing the story, the club was rejected in our application to the Southern League and instead succeed in being accepted straight into the Football League's Second Division.

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An email from Friday from Nigeria asks about the criteria for receiving a winners' medal for the FA Cup or League Cup.

All 11 who start the final for the victorious team get a winners' medal, as do all seven subs regardless of whether they come on or not. Then the competition organisers give out another two or three medals which it is up to the club to allocate to whom they see fit. However in my records, I don't put down a player as having won a competition unless he was at least on the bench.

The Champions League Final allocation is a little different to domestic cups. All 25 players in the squad receive a medal if their team wins that competition.

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There have been players from many nations who have donned the Chelsea blue, especially in recent years but the list of countries is by no means complete as shown by a question from Martin Tumpalov, one of our fans in Bulgaria.

Martin wants to know about any players from his country that have represented us at first team, reserve or youth level. I have to tell him that I don't have a record of any.

Similarly, Ahmed Basnere wants to know how many Ghanaians have played for Chelsea.

Big in Africa

There is only Michael Essien although Marcel Desailly is Ghanaian born. He played his international football for France of course. Ahmed also asks in which year did the Premier League start. The answer is 1992 and Chelsea have won it three times since then.

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One question I want to ask if anyone else can help with is from Jay Robinson. He writes that his dad used to play for a small football club called Farnham and believes he said he played against Chelsea. His dad mentioned that Peter Bonetti and Peter Osgood were playing but I can't find any record of this game. Can anyone shed more light please?

I also have an email from Adrian Clark regarding the Chelsea youth team and whether his father-in-law Robert Turnbull played in it around 1962-64.

Youth team records are not complete but I am grateful to Ray Cater who has tracked down that an E. Turnbull played one game at left-back in the South East Counties League in 1962/63. That team beat Millwall 4-2 with John Hollins, John Boyle, Joe Fascione and Peter Houseman in it.

What we don't know is if Robert Turnbull and E. Turnbull are the same player. Any help with that question would also be useful.

Similarly Jack Waight wrote about his grandfather Kenneth A Waight playing a few games for Chelsea as an amateur in the 1938/39 season before the Second World War. A letter/telegram to him from the then Chelsea manager Billy Birrell exists confirming kick-off details for one game.

Unfortunately I can find no record of that name in first team games pre war so I am opening that one to the floor as well.

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I have had two queries on similar lines sent it. The first from Taofeeq Ayodele from Nigeria asks for the highest goal-scoring midfielders in the Premier League since that 1992 start date.

I am pleased to say that our own Frank Lampard is top with 139 goals (115 for Chelsea).

Ryan Giggs, if you count his games as a winger as playing in midfield, is next with 105. Paul Scholes has 102 goals, Matthew Tissier has 101, although you might argue he played as an attacker at times, and Steven Gerrard has 84.

Yomi Aregbesola from Nigeria knows John Terry is Chelsea's highest scoring defender but he wonders whether he is also the Premier League's highest and if not, who is.

Terry

JT has 22 Premier League goals whereas the highest total is by David Unsworth who played for Everton among other clubs. He scored 38, although 23 were penalties. There are a couple of other defenders with more than 22 Premier League goals including William Gallas whose 24 doesn't include any penalties.

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A first game question with a bit of a difference came in from Andy George . It concerns the late Peter Houseman (below) who played in Chelsea's great side of the early 1970s.

Andy popped into a jewellery shop in his local city centre recently and got chatting to the manager who told him that his father was Peter Houseman and has since shown him some great memorabilia relating to his dad.

Now Andy knows his first Chelsea game was in March 1975 against Derby County and we lost 2-1 and he also knows it was Houseman`s last season at the Bridge before joining Oxford United, so he is curious to know whether he saw Houseman play that day.

Unfortunately I have to tell Andy that he didn't. Derby were on their way to winning the league and we were on our way to relegation. Houseman only played three more games after this date before moving to Oxford in the May.

Houseman

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A few questions that require short answers now.

Olivia-Chelsea Obi from Cyprus asks who scored the more goals for the club in all competitions -Arjen Robben or Damien Duff.

The answer is neither. You can't separate the two wingers from our successful side in the middle of last decade on goals. Robben netted 19 times in 106 games, Duff got 19 goals in 125 games.

A correspondent with the email moniker simweenea asks how many times Chelsea have qualified from the group stage of the Champions League.

The answer is an impeccable nine times in it and nine times through to the knockout stage.

And tessgithome asks who is the oldest player to have represented Chelsea. Dickie Spence, on 13 September 1947, played his last game for the Blues versus Bolton at home. He was aged 39 years and 57 days.

Jackson Darby who lives in Australia asks for a breakdown of Frank Lampard's most successful scoring against opposition sides.

Of his 170 goals, most have come against Aston Villa with 11 successes. Blackburn and Portsmouth have conceded nine times to him. He has scored eight times against Fulham, Bolton and Spurs and seven times against the Merseyside teams Everton and Liverpool.

Neil from Johannesburg asks what former player John Boyle did after leaving football. When John came into the Bridge recently for an interview with Chelsea magazine about winning the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup, he informed them he works in security these days.

An email from Karn asks if the East Stand is a listed building. The short answer is no.

East Stand

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Not exactly a stats request from Phil Ball but it is still one that this page can try to assist with thanks to a help from Chelsea TV.

Phil has never seen Spencer's famous goal in the European Cup Winners' Cup away to Austria Memphis in 1994 as the video player he was taping the game on was stolen that night. Not surprisingly he would like to see it and there is a clip viewable at the top.

The goal earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw that put Glenn Hoddle's side into the quarter-finals. We eventually went out at the semi-final stage.

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Bruce, who inhabits the Matthew Harding Lower, wants me to help identify which was his first Chelsea game from a couple of possibilities.

Understandably he can recall being at the game when defender David Webb had to start in goal in the absence of any other keepers, as discussed in a previous Ask Statman, but he also remembers Chelsea playing Liverpool in a midweek match when The Shed was packed solid and he gripped his dad's hand in excitement, even though we lost. Bruce can also recall Toshack and Keegan played for Liverpool.

The David Webb game was against Ipswich on 27 December 1971 whereas the Liverpool game must be one played in August 1972. We lost 2-1 and John Toshack and Ian Callaghan scored for the Reds, Chris Garland for the Blues. Kevin Keegan did play. So that match was the earlier.

Another request for first game details came in from Gareth and revolves around a Boxing Day game in 1989 when Chelsea visited Crystal Palace.

The match finished in a 2-2 draw. Like the Liverpool side just mentioned, this was an era when Palace had a celebrated strike partnership - Ian Wright and Mark Bright - as well as current Newcastle boss Alan Pardew in their side. Chelsea, who had been promoted back to the top-flight after one year away, were led by Graham Roberts and our scorers on this occasion were Kerry Dixon and Graeme Le Saux who equalised right at the death. The home side scored through Wright and John Pemberton.

And continuing on the Palace theme, Lee Jones saw his first game against the same south London outfit, this time at the Bridge in February 1992. Lee is pretty sure Tony Cascarino scored for Chelsea and indeed he did, to equalise a David Whyte strike.

It was also Cascarino's debut. Bright was still in the Palace side, as was Gareth Southgate on that occasion.

A match from a month earlier was the first visit to Stamford Bridge from Vesa Saarinen from Finland and although he has match info from all the times he has attended Chelsea games since, he is missing facts from that one.

It was New Year's Day 1992 when he made to wise choice to see some football at Chelsea rather than Arsenal as the Bridge was easier to get to, so I am happy to help with facts from the game that turned him into a Chelsea fan.

The Chelsea team was: Dave Beasant, Gareth Hall, Tommy Boyd, Vinnie Jones, Paul Elliott, Jason Cundy, Graeme Le Saux (Graham Stuart), Andy Townsend, Kerry Dixon, Clive Allen, Dennis Wise.

Man City were: Andy Dibble, Ian Brightwell, Neil Pointon, Peter Reid (Michael Quigley), Keith Curle, Steve Redmond, David White, Adrian Heath (Mike Sheron), Niall Quinn, Gary Megson, Michael Hughes.

It ended 1-1 with Allen getting the Chelsea goal and Sheron netting for City.

Vesa also asks for the ticket prices that day which were:

East Upper £15, East Middle £20, East Lower £10. West Stand £12, Shed Terrace £6, with a £1 transfer to the West Stand benches.

And there I must end it this time with plenty of emails unanswered so apologies for that but I plan to be back before the summer is out. New questions, comments, corrections or help with those I could not answer should be emailed to statman@chelseafc.com