DATE OF BIRTH27 October 1993
Jamal Blackman is a goalkeeper who joined our Academy as an Under-13 and has progressed steadily into the senior game.
A tall and commanding figure between the posts, Blackman rose through the ranks after signing for Chelsea at the age of 12 and was an ever-present throughout our FA Youth Cup-winning campaign of 2011/12, during which he put in some outstanding performances and made crucial penalty saves. He finished the season with 11 reserve appearances, training frequently with the first team keepers and took part in the senior side's summer tour to the USA in the summer of 2012.
Jamal spent the majority of the 2012/13 campaign as the first-choice Under-21s goalkeeper when not involved with first-team preparations. He again went on the club’s pre-season tours in 2013, to Asia and America, playing 45 minutes of our games in Bangkok, Jakarta and Washington DC, during which time he did not concede a goal.
He played in both the semi-final and final of our Under-21 Premier League play-off success in the 2013/14 season, making two decisive saves in the penalty shoot-out victory against Manchester City in the first of those games.
Senior football in Sweden and beyond
In the summer of 2015, Blackman made his first move on loan and headed north to Middlesbrough where his one appearance, his debut in first-team football, was a remarkable one. A Capital One Cup tie at Liverpool ended with the joint highest-scoring penalty contest in English professional football. Blackman saved a penalty from Raheem Sterling and also scored one as both goalkeepers were required to take a kick. Liverpool eventually prevailed 14-13.
With Mark Schwarzer leaving Chelsea at the start of January 2015, Blackman returned to be the third keeper in the first-team squad, but with the experienced Marco Amelia signed as cover when Thibaut Courtois was injured later that year, Jamal was allowed to leave on loan in March 2016. He joined Swedish top-flight side Ostersunds FK where he played 12 games prior to the end of the loan period in May.
Then in August 2016, he moved to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers on loan for the first half of the season, where his good form helped the Chairboys climb the table. The loan was extended to the end of the campaign, which meant Blackman was in goal for a dramatic FA Cup tie at Tottenham. He pulled off some notable saves and his side were going through 3-2 until the 89th minute but eventually lost in added time. He made 52 appearances for Wycombe, keeping 17 clean sheets, and picked up the club's Young Player of the Year award.
It was announced in July 2017 that he would be continuing his development on loan at Championship side Sheffield United, and he also signed a new contract at Chelsea until 2021. He impressed in an eventful season at Bramall Lane as the Blades narrowly missed out on a play-off spot, keeping nine clean sheets in 33 appearances.
In 2018/19 he began a second season on loan in Yorkshire, again in the Championship, but this time at Leeds United where he joined fellow Chelsea Academy graduate Lewis Baker. Unfortunately, having made two Carabao Cup appearances for the Leeds senior team, he suffered a fractured tibia playing in an Under-23 fixture in November 2018 and returned to Chelsea.
Blackman spent the first half of the 2019/20 season with Vitesse but his time in the Netherlands was affected by injury. In January 2020 it was announced he would switch his loan club to Bristol Rovers in League One. Before the season's abandonment, Blackman kept three clean sheets in his 10 outings at The Memorial Stadium.
In late August 2020, it was announced he would be embarking on his third loan at a Yorkshire club in the Championship when he moved to Rotherham United.