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Club history

1910s Summary

A well-attended match at Stamford Bridge in the 1910s

David Calderhead (1907-33)
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After just five seasons London’s newest club was already its biggest, taking giant steps and making waves that would ripple down the decades. Sadly, the club’s founder would witness little of his dream take shape. Gus Mears died of kidney failure on 4 February 1912. (His freehold of the land would eventually pass to brother Joe.)

In 1912/13 the Pensioners again registered the highest average home attendance in Britain with 32,100 and the following season set a new UK record of 37,900. At the close of the decade Chelsea broke 40,000 for the first time in Britain by averaging 42,860.

The revenue generated bolstered the club’s ‘moneybags’ reputation but was ploughed back into big names who would draw the crowds such as legendary England centre-forward Vivian Woodward and, in 1913, the ‘Great Dane,’ midfielder Nils Middelboe, the Football League’s first overseas star. 

It barely affected popularity that two seasons were spent on the second tier. However, in splashing cash on players to stave off relegation in spring 1910 Chelsea had inadvertently changed history. The drop still happened, but new rules were introduced to end recruitment late in the season: the transfer deadline.     

In 1915, having reached our first FA Cup final to the backdrop of war, the club was as scandalised as the rest of the game to hear that Manchester United and Liverpool players had fixed a league game so that the Red Devils remained in the top flight at Chelsea’s expense. Thankfully this was swiftly reversed.

April 1911 brought neighbours Fulham to the Bridge for a 2-0 defeat and on 26 April 1919 the same opponents were beaten 3-0 at Highbury as Chelsea lifted the London Victory Cup – we remain the holders to this day.   


Spirit Of The Age

The ‘war to end all wars’ brings the innocence and optimism of the Edwardian age to an abrupt close on 28 July 1914. World War One wreaks four years of horror and devastation on continental Europe, claiming the lives of 700,000 British men, with countless others scarred for life. 

Key Players

The Prince of Wales in uniform on the pitch before kick-off in 1919

Nils Middelboe (1913-22)
Vivian Woodward (1909-15)
Jack Harrow (1911-26)
View Former Player Profiles>

Key Matches : 1910-1919



1910s Matchday Programme Cover


Players of the 1910s

Player Years Total Apps Total Goals
ABRAMS, Laurence1914-20497
BAXTER, Thomas1919-2010
BETTRIDGE, Walter1909-222540
BIRNIE, Ted1906-101083
BRADSHAW, James1909-1063
BRAWN, Billy1907-119911
BREBNER, Ronald1906 & 1912-13190
BRIDGEMAN, Billy1906-1915922
BRITTAN, Harold1913-20247
BROWN, John1912-15164
BROWN, William Y1911-13102
BROWNING, John1919-2062
BUCHANAN, Robert1911-1330
CALDERHEAD, David Jnr1907-14432
CAMERON, Jock1907-131940
CARTWRIGHT, William1908-13460
COCK, Jack1919-2311153
CROAL, Jimmy1914-2213026
DALE, George1919-22521
DICKIE, William1919-21400
DODD, George1911-13318
DOLBY, Hugh1909-1220
DOUGLAS, Angus1908-1310310
DOWNING, Sam1909-1414410
FAIRGRAY, Norman1907-14845
FORD, Harry1912-2424847
FREEMAN, Charlie1907-2010522
GALLON, James1919-2120
HALSE, Harold1913-2111124
HAMPTON, Colin1914-24820
HARDING, Augustus1906-1350
HARROW, Jack1911-263345
HARWOOD, Jack1912-1340
HEWITT, Tom1911-1380
HILSDON, George1906-12164108
HOLDEN, Arthur1908-10201
HORN, George1909-1320
HUNTER, George1913-14322
JOHNSON, Geoffrey1911-1360
JONES, Evan1909-11214
LAKE, George1913-1810
LANGTON, Joe1919-2230
LOGAN, Tommy1913-211168
MAIR, Tommy1909-1091
MARSHALL, Owen1913-20360
McCONNELL, English1910-11210
McEWAN, Marshall1909-11353
McFARLANE, Alex1913-1540
McKENZIE, Ken1910-1110
McNEIL, Bob1914-2930632
MIDDELBOE, Nils1913-22461
MOLYNEUX, Jim1910-232390
ORMISTON, Alec1909-191021
READ, William1911-1340
REILLY, Edward1908-1010
ROBINSON, Arthur1908-1030
SAUNDERS, James1909-1020
SHARP, Buchanan1919-237223
SHARP, James1912-15630
SMITH, Philip1910-1010
SPOTTISWOOD, Joe1919-2010
STEER, William1912-1941
TAYLOR, Fred1909-191714
THOMSON, Bob1911-229530
TURNBULL, James1912-14227
TYE, Edward1914-1510
WALKER, Andy1913-20242
WALTON, Joe1906-11530
WARREN, Ben1908-121014
WHITLEY, Jack1907-141380
WHITTINGHAM, Bob1909-1912980
WILDING, Harry1914-2826525
WILEMAN, Arthur1909-10145
WILLIAMS, Ernest1909-1081
WINDRIDGE, Jimmy1905-1115258
WOODWARD, Vivian1909-1511634
WOOSNAM, Max1914-1430

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