Division One - 16 March 1935
Chelsea’s greatest ever winning margin against Leeds was achieved despite giving our bitter Yorkshire rivals the lead after 10 minutes from a free-kick.
Prolific winger Dickie Spence equalised before renowned former Sheffield Wednesday inside-left Harry Burgess ‘evoked a great cheer by giving his new club the lead’ on his debut. Burgess’s performance was just one of the reasons this result was also testament to the wheeler-dealing of manager Leslie Knighton.
Two goals for Irish centre-forward Joe Bambrick and another for Spence produced a 5-1 interval scoreline, and the former added a further two in the second half to make it 7-1 on the day. His four goals – on the eve of St Patrick’s Day – were ample proof, were it needed, that the Emerald Isle’s goalscoring legend would enjoy the craic in London.
Not everyone was convinced. ‘It will require an historian with a long memory to recall the last occasion when Chelsea’s forwards were so assertive,’ suggested the Guardian. And it is a measure of the Pensioners’ enduring inconsistency that the win was hailed more for its reassurance to supporters concerned at relegation. The stars were still not lighting up the sky with regularity.