DEREK KEVAN - 1935-2013

Posted on: Sat 05 Jan 2013

Derek Kevan, a forward who played seven games for Chelsea in 1963, has died aged 77.

A tall, powerfully-built Yorkshireman who had won 14 caps and scored eight goals for England, Kevan was signed in March of that year with West Bromwich Albion paid a healthy fee of £45,000.

A young Chelsea side were chasing promotion but had lost form. Kevan made his debut in a defeat at Newcastle but then played in a home win over Derby before losing his place after his third game, when Walsall won at Stamford Bridge.

Two more appearances came in April but with two games remaining in May and our hopes of making the top flight hanging by a thread, manager Tommy Docherty took a gamble as Chelsea travelled to Second Division leaders Sunderland. Among his team changes he left out Barry Bridges, who with Bobby Tambling were the side's main goalscorers, and played strong, combative forwards Kevan and Frank Upton.

The battering-ram approach was rewarded with a 1-0 win. Now Portsmouth had to be beaten in the final match at Stamford Bridge and Kevan headed his only Chelsea goal after just two minutes. The team went on to win 7-0, finish second in the table and pip Sunderland to promotion.

That was Kevan's last game for Chelsea. He had differences of opinion with Docherty and moved to Manchester City in August 1963 for £40,000.

He played for eight league clubs but it was at West Bromwich where he flourished longest, scoring 173 goals in 291 games. All his England caps and goals, which included two strikes in the 1958 World Cup, came during his West Brom years.

Chelsea Football Club would like to pass on our condolences to Derek's family and friends.