Chelsea Football Club is greatly saddened to learn of the passing this week of our former defender Ian MacFarlane. He was 86.
A tall, tough, fast-tackling full-back, MacFarlane joined the Blues in 1956 from Aberdeen in his native Scotland, a year after we had won the league, and having made his debut in the second game of the season, he held down a regular place in Ted Drake’s side until a sending-off (rare in those days) at Manchester City in September 1957.
He returned to the side later that season and a decent defensive partnership with Peter Sillett looked on the cards before a game at Stamford Bridge against Blackpool in March 1958. MacFarlane was up against the legendary Stanley Matthews and despite making a heavy challenge on him before the interval which led to Matthews re-emerging heavily strapped, the winger set up three goals for the visitors. That was MacFarlane’s 43rd and final appearance for the Blues before he started what proved a long and successful association with Leicester City a month later. He was a player, an assistant manager and for a spell the caretaker manager for the Foxes. Among his other jobs he was manager at Carlisle United.
We send our deepest condolences to Ian’s family and friends.