Eddie Niedzwiecki was signed by John Neal in 1983 from his former club Wrexham for just £55,000. He was immediately given the number one shirt and was outstanding as we won the Second Division Championship in his first season, playing in every fixture and conceding less than a goal a game.
Eddie continued his form into the First Division as we finished sixth in our first season back. His agility, safe handling and prodigious kicking were crucial in the successes of that era. Eddie was particularly brilliant in a League Cup tie at Fulham in November 1985, making several breathtaking saves, including a penalty stop, as we won 1-0. It is still regarded as one of the greatest single displays by any Chelsea goalkeeper.
Sadly, Eddie suffered serious knee ligament damage in the spring of 1986 while he was at the peak of his game. Although he managed one come back he was soon injured again, playing his last game in October 1987 at the age of just 28. It was no coincidence that following Eddie's relapse we immediately embarked on a run of 21 league games without a win, a sequence that ended with relegation.
Eddie later became a reserve team and a goalkeeper coach at Chelsea before moving on to work at Arsenal, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and with Wales.