ASK STATMAN 30

Back for the first time this season to answer a range of number or fact-based Chelsea questions sent in by supporters is club statistician Paul Dutton…

I'm going to open this time by mixing up my sports.

Mark Taylor asks for information on a visit by the Chelsea players to the Oval cricket ground in London in July 1971. He was there and met many stars from the 1970 FA Cup winning squad and can remember there being a five-a-side football game and a 50-over cricket match.

The picture above records the event as being part of a testimonial for Peter Bonetti. I know for sure it was on 21 July 1971 and in the cricket match, Surrey scored 228 for 9, Keith Weller and Steve Sherwood both taking three wickets and three catches each for Chelsea.

Having had a 50-run start, Chelsea were all out for 201, goalkeeper Sherwood hitting 46 runs.

It was actually six-a-side football and the match ended Chelsea 8 Surrey 6 with the cricket county having a five-goal start. Chelsea's scorers were Cooke 2, Houseman 2, McCreadie, Dempsey, Webb and Mulligan.

It all went to show that footballers are better at football than cricketers and cricketers better at cricket than footballers!

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Stories from testimonial games have been a rich seam for previous Ask Statman's and this question might continue that.

Mike Mears is trying to remember who the team was we were playing when Micky Droy (pictured below) dribbled the ball all the way from defence and scored.

This is the sort of event not readily in the records but such a contribution by our colossal defender would stick in the memory and I suspect it was in Micky's testimonial in November 1983 against Arsenal, which we have discussed at length here before.

Droy Testimonial

If anyone else can confirm or contradict that belief I would be grateful to receive their email.

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Ricky Good has sent in two more up-to-date enquiries, wanting to know who from the current squad have worn the captain's armband for Chelsea in a competitive fixture, suggesting it is a small number compared with the 1999/00 season when seven different players started games as captain.

Players in the current squad who have started games as skipper are John Terry and Frank Lampard of course, plus Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole and this season, Petr Cech. Paulo Ferreira definitely took the armband on two occasions last season when JT came off - Marseille away and Newcastle in the League Cup. Michael Essien has been captain in a pre-season game in the past.

The second question is on the back of Swansea's run without wins at Stamford Bridge which was extended to 86 years and nine months last month. Ricky asks which team has gone the most years without a win at Stamford Bridge.

Of course a team has to have played at least once at the Bridge to count in this and the longest spell without beating us on our home patch belongs to Hull City. They have never beaten us at the Bridge, the run extending all the way from our very first home game in 1905. The last time they were beaten here was in August 2009 and in those 104 years there were 15 games. We only conceded three goals in all the matches.

Two more significant runs have been Bradford City whose games without beating us at Stamford Bridge run to 12 between 1912 and 2000 which is 88 years, and Bristol City between 1906 and the last time we hosted them in 1980 - 74 years and 12 games.

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Osunbiyi Olawale asks about prestigious individual awards and which Chelsea players have won them.

If we are looking at the Fifa World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or for European Footballer of the Year, two awards recently amalgamated, then we are talking about players who won them before joining Chelsea.

Two won the World Player award - Ruud Gullit in 1987 and George Weah in 1995.

There were three Ballon d'Or winners - Gullit in 87, Andriy Shevchenko in 2004 and Weah in 95.

Didier Drogba has won African Player of Year while at Chelsea - in 2006 and 2009.

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Tom Brett wants some information on an event 50 years ago - the 1961 FA Youth Cup Final, the second time Chelsea won the tournament having also lifted the trophy the year before.

The side contained several players who went on to have first team careers.

It was: Cowen, Butler, Allan Harris, Venables, More, Ron Harris, Murray, Shaw, Bolland, Johnston, Gillingwater.

Chelsea beat Everton 4-1 in the home leg with Bert Murray scoring a hat-trick and Gordon Bolland netting the other one. The other game was Everton 2 Chelsea 1 with Gillingwater our scorer.

More on the youth team and Steve from Surrey want to know the years Chelsea won the South East Counties League, the South East Counties League Cup and the Southern Junior Floodlit Cup.

These were all youth competitions and the League was won 10 times between 1955 and 1984, including seven years in succession from 1957 to 1963.

We won the South East Counties League Cup 11 times between 1953 and 1987.

The Floodlit Cup was lifted five times between 56 and 64, the already mentioned successful spell for Chelsea youth that also saw the Youth Cup won twice.

From youth teams of the past to reserve teams of the past. James Kennedy asks about Chelsea's involvement in the London FA Challenge Cup Finals which was for a long time a reserve competition.

Our second string won the final five times and lost it five times. The wins were 1920 v Crystal Palace, 1927 v Clapton Orient, 1950 v Brentford, 1960 v Tooting and Mitcham and 1961 v Arsenal.

The defeats were in 1949 v West Ham, 1954 v Arsenal, 1963 v Arsenal, 1964 v Tottenham, 1965 v Brentford.

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Louis Grice Horton looked up her great grandfather's history and noted he had a brief spell at Chelsea and asks for any information on it.

Jack Horton, who was born in the year of our formation, 1905, played for us between 1933 and 1937 but was only a regular for one season, his first - 1933/34. Jack was a 5ft 6in left winger and scored 15 goals in 66 games.

Jack is one player who I can confirm has played for Chelsea, unlike a name raised by Carlos Delgado from Mexico. He has emailed me for confirmation on what he suspects is a false claim by an English player called Kurt Reynolds who plays for a Honduran team called Necaxa. Carlos has sent me a link to an interview in which Reynolds is reported to have played for Chelsea reserves, scoring 42 goals in 73 games.

I indeed have no records of this name playing for Chelsea at any level.

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We have plenty of fans in the United States these days but Steven Elmore asks if we have ever had an American player.

I am not aware of anyone born in the USA and being an American national turning out in blue, but there was striker Roy Wegerle (pictured below) who entertained us with his dribbling between 1986 and 1988 when he played 28 times, scoring four goals.

Wegerle

Although Roy was born in South Africa, he played for the US national side having become an American citizen due to his marriage.

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We had the rare experience in recent times of this season not winning our opening match but we still drew a difficult game at Stoke. It was the first time we dropped points at the start since we drew 1-1 at home to Newcastle in 2001 which answers a question emailed in by Johnny Edward.

In separate question, Anthony Knight asks the last time Chelsea lost an opening day fixture at home and the last time away.

There most recent opening day home defeat was in 1993, Glenn Hoddle's first game in charge, when we lost 2-1 to Blackburn. Away we lost 2-1 at Coventry in August 1998, a debut game for Marcel Desailly, Albert Ferrer and Pierluigi Casiraghi, which brings us on to a query from Peter McBride who is trying to find out the very first game that Casiraghi played in his unfortunately short-lived Chelsea spell that was cut short by career-ending injury.

Peter thinks it was a pre-season friendly against Kingstonian on 18 July 1998 and I confirm this.

Chelsea beat the non-league side 2-0 and Casiraghi played the first half. His competitive debut came the next month in that match away to Coventry.

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Inspired by Andre Villas-Boas's arrival at Chelsea, Yasser here in London wonders how many players or managers we've had with double-barrelled names.

He comes up with a list of Peter Rhoades-Brown, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Tal Ben-Haim and Yves Ma-Kalambay (a keeper who was only ever an unused sub).

If by double-barrelled names it means ones with a hyphen in them then I cannot add to that list with any other first team players.

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Alex Fedorov watched our pre-season game at Portsmouth in the summer and when Hilario saved a penalty in the game, he found himself thinking that the Portuguese between the posts had saved spot kicks previously and wants know what his record is.

Hilario's penalty record for Chelsea in competitive games is six faced, five scored past him with one saved which was in a win at Sheffield United in October 2006 (pictured below). In penalty shoot-outs he has saved one out of five, against Blackburn in an away League Cup tie two seasons ago when we were knocked out.

H

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I am going to pick out a few subjects from an extensive email from Mike in Wales, mostly ones about our earliest opponents in European competition.

Mike states that different sources list Chelsea as playing differently named opponents in 1958/59 in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, later the Uefa Cup and now the Europa League. He has us down as playing against Frem (Denmark) and then Ville de Belgrade (then of Yugoslavia, now of Serbia) but wants confirmation of actual team names, given the different ones quoted elsewhere.

We did play a team that was fielded under the name BK Frem and the majority of it were Frem players although there were a few borrowed from other Danish clubs, as was allowed in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup at the time. Ville de Belgrade is the correct name of that later opposition.

Mike also asks how did Chelsea exit the Fairs Cup in the 1968/69 season against DWS Amsterdam as both games ended 0-0 We went out on the toss of a coin.

Mike also asks why Uefa's website has 20 less European games played by Chelsea in our history than the 173 total arrived at if you tot up all the games. That is because Uefa are not including our Fairs Cup games in their totals.

He also asks if three games that were played in the league at the start of the 1939/40 season before the outbreak of the Second World War are included in mine and other people's totals. They are not because as the season was not completed, the games are scrapped from the record books.

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I am going to finish with a few of our regular requests for first game info and Darren Fewell was pretty lucky to see a win from his first Chelsea match, all things considered.

It was at home to Middlesbrough on 21 April 1979 and Darren remembers Gary Chivers making his debut that day and being brought down for a penalty, but he wants to know more details.

It wasn't a good time for the Blues. This 2-1 win was our first victory in 14 games and the only win in the last 18 games that season. Consequently we were relegated with 20 points, our worst points tally ever.

Tommy Langley took the penalty mentioned but almost inevitably given the season, it was saved. However Garry Stanley did score, as did Graham Wilkins, his only goal for Chelsea, in front of 12,007 spectators.

The team was: Peter Bonetti, Graham Wilkins, David Stride (Ron Harris), Eamonn Bannon, Micky Droy, Gary Chivers, Garry Stanley, Ray Wilkins, Mike Fillery, Tommy Langley, Clive Walker.

Mike Fury first went to see Chelsea play on a day Jimmy Greaves scored a hat trick against Birmingham City. He wants to know when that game was.

The date was 15 September 1959 when we won 4-2. It was one of Greaves's club record 13 hat-tricks.

The final first game question I am answering this time is from Andy Palmer who in 1966 or 1967 saw John Hollins miss a penalty although he is not sure whether it was against Bolton or Blackpool?

The records show that Chelsea didn't play Bolton in either those years and the only game Hollins played against Blackpool was a third round League Cup replay on 17 October 66. We lost 3-1.

We did play Blackpool in 1967 in a league game but Hollins wasn't in the team.

On a Blackpool theme, Andy also writes that in about the time in 1971 or 1972 when Ron Harris came to his school in Watford to open a school fete. He still has a picture taken with Chopper that day and recalls getting a programme signed, from a game against Blackpool he thinks, and Harris telling him he scored in that game.

Andy asks if Harris did and who else he scored against.

Harris got 14 goals for Chelsea in all competitions but none against Blackpool.

He scored in away games against: Sheffield Wednesday (two goals), Burnley, Derby, Coventry and Spurs.

He scored at home against: Leicester, Blackburn, West Ham, Wolves, Jeunesse Hautcharage, Newcastle, Wrexham and Burnley.

On that note I must end it this time.Please send any new questions, comments, corrections to statman@chelseafc.com