As Chelsea prepare to take on Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, we reminisce over some of the players who have worn both shirts over the years.
Footballers representing these two clubs are more common than meetings between us in the modern era, with this game set to be only the sixth since the turn of the century – and four of those will have come in the past two Premier League seasons.
The bulk of these players predate those matches, with the Eighties proving to be a particularly good era for those who traded west London for Yorkshire.
The most noteworthy of them is Joey Jones, a left-back who won Chelsea’s Player of the Year award in 1983. The Welshman was one of those characters you hated if he was playing against you but loved him lining up for your team, although that didn’t stop Blues fans booing him on his debut against Carlisle! The former European Cup winner with Liverpool quickly turned things around, though, and ended up helping us to promotion from Division Two in 1984. When he left us a year later, Huddersfield was his destination – and he won their Player of the Season award, too.
Chris Hutchings was kept out of that promotion-winning side by Jones. He was a late starter in professional football, joining Chelsea at the age of 23, but he proved to be a reliable presence in our back line despite the Blues' struggles in the early Eighties. He left the club in 1983 and four years later moved to Huddersfield, where he scored almost half of his goal tally in the Football League. The affable character later managed in the Premier League with Bradford City and Wigan Athletic, securing a famous win over the Blues during his time the former.
As a youngster at Chelsea, Steve Francis took the gloves from Petar Borota and established himself as first choice between the sticks until the arrival of Eddie Niedzwiecki in 1983. However, a serious knee injury to the Welshman offered him another opportunity and he was in goal for our thrilling Full Members Cup final win over Man City in 1986. A decade later he was playing for Huddersfield, where he played close to 200 league games.
Ken Monkou was the first Dutchman to appear for Chelsea enjoyed an incredible start to his Blues career after joining us from Feyenoord in 1989, winning the club’s Player of the Year award in his debut campaign – and also becoming the first black player to win the illustrious award. He finished his playing days with Huddersfield, even helping the Terriers to a shock League Cup win here at the Bridge in 1999. Although the less said about that, the better.
Another popular defender, and Player of the Year winner, was Frank Sinclair. Having been at Stamford Bridge from the age of 11, the versatile defender lived the dream with the Blues, winning the FA Cup and scoring in the 1998 League Cup final. That turned out to be his last appearance for the club; little did we know he’d be back in west London a decade later, at the age of 36, representing the Terriers in an FA Cup fifth-round tie. Indeed, he only hung up his boots a couple of years ago and can now be seen regularly on Chelsea TV.
A joint-entry completes our round-up: Izzy Brown and Kasey Palmer. The two Blues youngsters played their part in helping Huddersfield Town win promotion to the Premier League and they both scored four goals apiece in the Championship in 2016/17. Palmer came on for Brown in the Play-off final win over Reading, adding further silverware to the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League trophies they have won with Chelsea.