Being so close to the new waves in society and the arts that were sweeping London, Chelsea could not avoid embracing modernisation. Ted Drake’s distinguished era drew to a close with relegation and a new broom: Tommy Docherty.
The dynamic young Scot was a novice in man-management but knew what he wanted in football terms and created a young, vibrant, all-action attacking unit that was hugely attractive to fans, new and old alike.
The flair of the ‘Kings of the King’s Road’ appealed equally to the working classes of the World’s End and Battersea and bohemians from the Chelsea Arts Club or the big names of stage and screen who brought stardust to the stands. New accommodation was created with the cantilevered, functional West Stand in 1966.
— Manager: 1952-61
— Manager: 1962-67
— Manager: 1967-74
Drake had overseen the first use of a badge on Chelsea shirts, the now-famous lion rampant, but while The Doc would initiate trendy kit changes of his own (all-blue, then blue-blue-white) it was fresh tactics and success he craved.
He began by brilliantly stewarding his young, mostly homegrown side to an immediate return to the top flight. The following season, 1964/65, they genuinely chased the treble of Division One, FA Cup and League Cup.
Only the League Cup was won, but it was a start, and an exhilarating foray into Europe ended at the semi-final stage against Barcelona after a replay. These were times of renewal and hope.
The Blues reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 52 years in 1967, losing to London rivals Spurs. Former coach Dave Sexton returned to replace Docherty soon after and his more tactical, less cavalier approach soon paid off.
— Player: 1958-70
— Player: 1960-66
— Player: 1959-79
— Player: 1961-80
— Player: 1968-74
— Player: 1963-1975, 1983/1984
— Player: 1962-1973
Better league finishes year-on-year suggested the shedding of the age-old inconsistency tag and in 1969/70 Chelsea finished third for the second time in six years. The same season an epic FA Cup final replay against Leeds United – watched by the largest UK television audience for a club football match of 28.5 million – ended in glory for Chelsea at last in that competition.
Everything looked rosy at Stamford Bridge.
Spirit Of The Age
Young people’s rejection of age-old conventions leads to creative explosions in art, music, literature, philosophy and fashion. London is the ‘swinging city’, with the King’s Road at the heart. ‘If you remember anything about the 1960s,’ people will later claim, ‘you weren’t really there.’
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1962/63 saw us back in the Second Division for the first time in 33 years. After an indifferent start Tommy Docherty’s young team started a long unbeaten run that included a club record of 10 wins and one draw in 11 games. READ MORE>>
CHELSEA 3 LEICESTER 2 / LEICESTER 0 CHELSEA 0
The League Cup was still in its infancy, this was only the fifth year of the competition but having taken seven games to get past Birmingham City, Notts County, Swansea Town, Workington and Aston Villa we were determined to beat Leicester City and lift our second major trophy. READ MORE>>
CHELSEA 4 ROMA 1 / ROMA 0 CHELSEA 0
European nights have always been special at Stamford Bridge but on occasion they have been memorable for more than the football. READ MORE>>