History

Andy Wilson

One of Chelsea’s greatest centre-forwards, Andy Wilson (pictured above right) served the club with distinction over nine seasons, many as skipper, despite having his left arm smashed by shrapnel at Arras in 1918.

He was contracted to Middlesbrough before World War One and manager David Calderhead eventually prised him away for a mere £6,500 after a long courtship in 1923.

Less physical than his contemporaries, built more for a later era with a game based on skill and intelligence as well as goalscoring, he netted 61 times in 253 Chelsea appearances. Presented with a chance he was ‘so calm and controlled that he needed only a gap of 30 inches in the goal to shoot at and score,’ reckoned the Observer.

Unusually, Wilson represented Scotland against England at football, and England against Scotland – at bowls. Despite the withered arm he was also a keen golfer. His departure in 1931 was to Nîmes in the booming French league, where he earned £17 a week – double his salary at the Bridge.

Andy eventually returned to coach Chelsea Juniors and in the 1960s maintained his long affair with the Blues as president of the Chelsea Supporters Club and as a fan watching from the stands.

He died in Fulham in 1973.

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