Division One - August 25th 1984
After five years away our opening game back in the First Division could not have been more daunting, a trip to our old rivals and one the clubs heavily fancied to win the title, Arsenal.
We lined up with largely the same team that had won promotion, only Doug Rougvie a tough full-back signed from Aberdeen during the summer, making his debut. And that team approached the game with the same level of enthusiasm and confidence they had shown throughout the previous campaign. The tone of the game was set by a crunching but fair tackle by Rougvie that sent Arsenal full back Viv Anderson flying into the air. That moment gave both team and supporters great confidence and seemed to intimidate the Arsenal players.
In truth, it was against the run of play that Arsenal took the lead midway through the first half. It was a lead though that lasted barely minutes. A long Rougvie free-kick was flicked on to Kerry Dixon whose initial shot was saved. As the ball ballooned into the air Dixon reacted wonderfully to volley home and send the thousands of Chelsea fans who were packed onto the Clock End into ecstasy.
It was a significant moment for Dixon as he silenced the critics who doubted that he had the class to adapt to the top flight. He ended the season as the league’s joint top scorer as we finished sixth, our highest final placing for 15 years.