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David Stride 1958-2016

Chelsea Football Club is saddened by the passing of David Stride, a left-back of ours in the 1970s...

Chelsea Football Club is saddened by the passing of David Stride, a left-back of ours in the 1970s. He was 58.

Stride joined Chelsea as an apprentice and signed professional forms in January 1976, by which time he had been converted from a left winger into a full-back.

He captained our reserves before joining North American Soccer League side Memphis Rogues, managed by Eddie McCreadie, on loan. Charlie Cooke was a teammate of his in Tennessee.

He returned to London and established himself in our first team early in the 1978/79 campaign, making 33 appearances although the team were relegated from the First Division.

Stride, renowned for his pace down the left flank, played three more times in the early part of the following season, his final game a victory over Bristol Rovers at Stamford Bridge in October 1979. A hairline fracture of the skull stalled his progress, however, and he was transferred to Memphis Rogues a month later for £90,000 having made a total of 37 appearances for Chelsea. 

He forged a reputation in the States as a hard man and was nicknamed ‘The Enforcer’ as an indoor player for the Dallas Sidekicks, where he would lift the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1987. He had returned to England and played for Millwall and Leyton Orient in the middle part of the 1980s.

More recently, Stride played for our Old Boys team alongside many of his former Chelsea teammates. He was briefly manager of non-league Bashley and made headlines when he was sacked after just 40 days in charge and before their pre-season had been completed. He also ran a pub in his home town of Lymington in the New Forest.

Our thoughts are with David’s family and friends at this difficult time.