Few played such an important role throughout Chelsea’s title-winning season as the feisty winger whose pace down the flanks helped earn him the nickname, ‘Rabbit.’
Although some supporters – as wingers, closer to the stands, have often found – got on his back in his early years, no one could criticise the Rabbit’s work-rate and athleticism. Often seen helping out deep in his own half seconds after a run forward, Eric may well have been the first name on a Jose Mourinho team sheet. He was certainly appreciated by manager Ted Drake.
In the early 1950s Eric struggled for a position and for confidence. After Drake arrived that all changed and in 1954/55 the former West Ham man figured in every match of the campaign and weighed in with 11 goals – plus who knows how many ‘assists’ in the days before such statistics were gathered.
After the decisive Sheffield Wednesday match when the plaudits were being lavished on bigger stars such as Drake and skipper Roy Bentley, the crowd called for Eric to emerge from the dressing room with chants of ‘We want the Rabbit!’
He never reached such heights again and was soon displaced by thrusting young winger Peter Brabrook, a move to Brentford taking place in November 1956. Eric died in his hometown, Worthing, in 2011.