The Chelsea Independent – Issue 10 – January 1989

Peter Collins was the editor of this issue. First, it’s down to business matters, with the announcement of a price rise of 10p to 30p per issue.

This followed a “beer fuelled” AGM where the most “contentious issue” was the role of Darren Wood in the Chelsea midfield.

A more serious motion was passed that decided that an effort should be made to set up a police committee so that any police related grievances could be made to the local “fuzz”. (That’s a word that we don’t hear enough now-a-days.)

On the pitch Chelsea had just put in a performance against Portsmouth, where the defence, complete with 3 full internationals (can you name them?) contrived to look like a “bunch of performing seals” in a 3-3 home draw. A young David Lee had a “stinker”, but was still deemed to be a “wonderful prospect”.

Other points to note is this editorial was that Peter had already singled out Clive Wilson as player of the season so far who was “revelling in his new-found freedom” and that performances had recently improved, so much so that his barracking had actually died down.

Martin Booth wrote a piece about the departure of Colin Pates. Martin states that Colin’s departure was notable for its “speed”. (At the time Colin was the only Chelsea captain to lift a trophy at Wembley.)

Martin’s favourite assault was on Mark Hughes in the 84-85 season. When as Martin states Pates kicked Hughes “extremely hard.”

The biggest surprise of Colin’s career was his failure to reach the ranks of the legendary Top Tier Club. (Otherwise known as “hoofing the ball into the top tier of the East Stand”.)

On the Cards was an article by Jeff Dewynne. Jeff is convinced that the ludicrous ID card scheme, which incidentally didn’t stop me getting in Luton on more than one occasion, had nothing to do with football violence or as a trial run for the national ID scheme and was more to do with the government’s aim of the abolition of professional football. That was indeed a fear during this pre-Premier League period.

Loadsawankers was an article by Mike Ticher. He was unhappy with the quality of his fellow Chelsea fans, who as he saw it were inspired by the current Chairman Ken Bates and Harry Enfield’s “loadsamoney” character.

To give you an idea of the relationship between the club and the fans, one contributor had sent in a piece of ticket news which stated that the forthcoming away fixture with Watford was NOT all ticket. What’s peculiar about that you ask? Well, Chelsea had previously said that it was. We can only wonder why?

Woodn’t it be Luvverly? was written by Paul Roberts and “pays tribute to one of the most impressive performers and major contributors to recent successes – Darren Wood.”

Darren had never been a favourite of the Chelsea faithful even though he had captained England Schoolboys before joining Middlesbrough and was a favourite of Malcolm Allison. Whom had threatened to resign should the Boro directors sell their prized asset.

Paul states that “Darren’s role in the side is quite simply to stop the opposition’s midfield, a job he does excellently, though this may be at the expense of his own creative play.”

Paul finishes by saying, “Darren’s biggest reward is that the manager and his team mates appreciate his true value to Chelsea – hopefully the supporters will soon do likewise. He deserves it.”

Roger Barnes writes a piece called No More Self-Abuse. This time it’s not defending Darren Wood. This piece is defending Joe Mclaughlin. Roger then questions why some players can do no wrong even when they put in a below par performance. Peter Osgood and Alan Hudson get a mention here.

The Celery Patch featured letters from avid readers of the fanzine. This month there also happens to be one from non-other than Ken Bates of SW6. It looks like the indie had sent a letter to Ken in regard to the transfer of Pat Nevin. Ken notes that the indie had omitted the cheque to buy Pat back. However, even with the money, Ken is not confident that Everton would want to sell him or if Pat wanted to return anyway.

Ken also criticised the indie for sending a letter with a PO Box number and no phone number.

Other letters support the hope put forward by Nick Brown, that Eddie Niedzwiecki should get a testimonial. This prompted a letter from Eddie himself. Eddie thanked the fans for their support and apologised for not replying sooner, but “his new job takes up more time than he had bargained for.”

Mike Gregory pens a letter titled “More on Moaners.” He adds Nigel Spackman to the recent list of targets. Mike also claims to sit near “four of the club’s worst enemies since German bombers in World War Two”. Basically, just waiting to pick on someone every game. He also claims that during the Scunthorpe game “even the police found their constant verbal baiting offensive and they were threatened with an early bath.”

Bill McCornish looks into the policing of football grounds in an article called “Police and Thieves.” At the time, the Police were charging Chelsea £80 per officer and poor old Colin Pates was charged £12,000 for his testimonial, which was a third of the total gate receipts.

And finally, Dougie Donnelly picks his worst ever Chelsea X1 in an article called “Can you do any worse?”

Here’s his team and his reasons.

Les Fridge. Conceded 5 to an average Watford side.
Dennis Rolfe. Does anyone remember this man?
Doug Rougvie. Physically incapable of kicking a ball in a straight line.
Keith Dublin. He was just really shit.
Graham Wilkins. Sheer nepotism couldn’t keep him in the side for ever.
Lee Frost. Midfielder-cum-winger-cum-cretin.
Dale Jasper. Gave away two penalties in a semi-final and was never heard off again.
Alan Mayes. Physically refused to score. Could have been Kevin Wilson’s dad.
Tommy Langley. Pointless runs and permanently offside.
Teddy Maybank. Scored against Carlisle and then compared himself to Puskas, Pele and Di Stefano.
Darren Wood. I still can’t see what the hell he is meant to be doing?

Subs: Perry Digweed, Trevor Aylott, Mike Nutton and Phil Driver.

What do you think?