Following promotion in 1930, Chelsea went on a spending spree. A total of £25,000 was spent on three Scottish internationals, Alec Cheyne, Alex Jackson and most significantly Hughie Gallacher from Newcastle United where he had been a league champion. The fee for Gallacher was £10,000, then a club record.
In his four seasons at Chelsea, Gallacher was top scorer. He totalled 81 goals in his 144 games. He had explosive pace but with close control and guile to match.
Above all, Gallacher was box office. His second game for Chelsea saw him return to Newcastle and the attendance that day of 68,386 is still a record for St James' Park. A crowd of 55,000 saw his home debut against Manchester United and 74,000 packed into Stamford Bridge for the visit of Arsenal.
Despite all the talent on show at this time, we could not maintain a challenge for honours and Gallacher's notoriously fragile temperament began to show. He was once banned for two months for swearing at a referee and in 1934 Gallacher was declared bankrupt following an acrimonious divorce. It was felt by the directors that his off-field problems were affecting his play. He was allowed to leave for Derby County in September 1934.