History

Tommy Law

Three of Scotland’s ‘Wembley Wizards’ who thrashed England 5-1 at Wembley in 1928 passed through Chelsea’s portals, but only one was actually with the Pensioners at the time: left-back Tommy Law.

With characteristic modesty he would say ‘I was little more than a spectator. The ball always belonged to our forwards.’ Those forwards included future Stamford Bridge teammates Hughie Gallacher and Alex Jackson.

The Scot – ‘as stylish a full-back as Chelsea can be a team,’ the Daily Mirror once wrote – was plucked from Glasgow youth football aged 18 and would have been at home in the modern game.

Other than reliability and quick-thinking, his prime assets were brilliant positional sense (compensation for a lack of pace), fine interceptions (including crowd-pleasing slide tackles) and excellent distribution that would accurately convert defence to attack in one fell swoop.

His sound technique extended to the penalty spot and over one season, 1930/31, Tommy weighed in with seven penalty goals.

Unlike some Chelsea players Law turned down the offer to more than double his salary in France in 1932, extending his own lengthy stay but helping finally topple secretary-manager David Calderhead from his cosy perch at the Bridge. Tommy finally hung up his boots in 1938 and played for no other side.

In the 1950s, as manager of Ware, he witnessed Bishop Auckland’s Seamus O’Connell his side 5-1 in the 1953/4 Amateur Cup; O’Connell was soon recruited by the Blues.

More commonly Law could be seen chatting to fellow fans in the grandstand at the Bridge along with the likes of Andy Wilson. In February 1976 he passed away in Wandsworth aged 67.

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