Key former player Tue 11 Nov 2014
Peter Bonetti is one of the truly legendary figures at Stamford Bridge. Nicknamed 'The Cat' for his astonishing reflexes and graceful agility, Bonetti played 729 times for the club making him the second highest appearance maker in our history.
Peter made his debut in March 1960 at the age of just 18, inevitably keeping a clean sheet - the first of 208 for the club. Four months later he had helped us to win the FA Youth Cup.
The Cat was a key figure in all of the successes of the 1960s and 1970s. His brilliant last-minute save gave us a vital win at Sunderland in the promotion season of 1963; he was inspired in the goalless draw at Leicester that won the 1965 League Cup, and possibly his greatest moment came in the 1970 FA Cup Final win over Leeds United. An early foul had left him limping heavily but he defied the injury to put in an outstanding display of goalkeeping. A year later he again saved one of his best performances for a final, this time the Cup Winners Cup replay win over Real Madrid.
Bonetti initially left the club in 1975 to move to the United States but returned within a year and his experience was crucial as a young and inexperienced team battled to promotion in 1977. Two years later, Peter retired although he did have brief spells at Dundee United and Woking. He was also employed by various clubs as a goalkeeping coach.