John Bumstead was one of Chelsea’s most popular players as he gave consistently outstanding and loyal performances at a time when the club was at its lowest.
John joined the club as a schoolboy and signed professional forms in the summer of 1976. He made his debut at Leeds United in November 1978 aged 19 and made a handful of further appearances that season as the team was relegated with a record low number of points.
The following season John was a regular in midfield as we challenged for promotion but a serious ankle injury coincided with a poor run of form and we missed out on goal difference.
John was a tough tackling defensive midfielder but in the 1983/84 season he added goalscoring to his game and netted seven times, many of them long-range free kicks. Those goals were a major contributing factor to our finally winning promotion that season.
He took to First Division football easily despite suffering from a series of niggling injuries over the next few years. It was no coincidence that the form of the team often suffered when he was out of the team.
Eventually the injuries took their toll and Bumstead was allowed to join Charlton Athletic in 1991 having played 409 games for Chelsea.