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Club history

1920s Summary

Chelsea goalkeeper Ben-Howard Baker makes a save, 9 Sept 1922

David Calderhead (1907-33)
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With English football restored as a national competition in 1919 Chelsea moved swiftly to bring the usual big names in – World War One had sadly ended the careers of many. Charismatic striker Jack Cock, slide-tackling Tommy Law, reliable keeper Sam Molyneux and long-serving skipper Andy Wilson would be the cigarette card icons of the new era. ‘There is plenty of money down Stamford Bridge way,’ noted the press, as usual. 

One explanation for the wealth was the attendances at Stamford Bridge, now averaging around 40,000. Chelsea were again the country’s best supported club in 1919/20, 1921/22, 1923/24 and 1925/26 – the latter, remarkably, as a Second Division team. Hundreds followed the team to every away game on ‘special’ trains too.

A dream of Gus Mears and Fred Parker was realised when Stamford Bridge replaced Crystal Palace as the venue for the FA Cup final in 1920, 1921 and 1922. Unfortunately, once the Empire Stadium was built at Wembley in 1923 the final switched there. Soon the London Athletics Club would look for pastures new after half a century on the Fulham Road as stadium owner Joe Mears looked for more lucrative ventures for the running track. Dirt-track racing – later known as speedway – proved hugely popular until abruptly replaced by greyhound racing.

Chelsea continued to innovate on the field. Numbered team shirts was a pet project of chairman Claude Kirby and the Pensioners became first to wear them in England in 1928. The following summer, on a pioneering pre-World Cup tour of South America, the Londoners were nicknamed ‘los numerados’ when they wore numbers in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, and no professional English team had ever played in Sao Paulo before. That three-month eye-opening jaunt prompted a fine league campaign that successfully brought an end to our longest spell in the second tier in 1930. 


Spirit Of The Age

Post-war economic depression, record unemployment and mass strikes make Britain a dreary island. In response a string of imported dance cheers up London, from the Charleston and the jitterbug to the tango.    

Key Players

A famous three of Alex Cheyne, Hughie Gallacher and Andy Wilson

Jack Cock (1919-23)
Tommy Law (1926-1938)
Andy Wilson (1923-1931)

Key Matches : 1905-1910



1920s Matchday Programme Cover

1920s Programme

Players of the 1920s

Player Years Total Apps Total Goals
ABRAMS, Laurence1914-20497
ANDERSON, George1927-2990
ARMSTRONG, James1922-273210
ASHFORD, James1920-2580
BAKER, Ben-Howard1921-26931
BARRETT, Fred1920-27706
BAXTER, Thomas1919-2010
BELL, Dr John1920-234410
BENNETT, Walter1922-2450
BETTRIDGE, Walter1909-222540
BISHOP, Sid1928-331096
BISWELL, George1928-29259
BOWER, AG ‘Baishe’1923-2590
BRITTAN, Harold1913-20247
BROWN, William1924-295721
BROWNING, John1919-2062
CAMERON, David1920-26812
CARR, John1928-3110
CARTER, Robert1929-33181
CASTLE, Sidney1923-26332
COCK, Jack1919-2311153
CRAWFORD, Jackie1923-3430827
CROAL, Jimmy1914-2213026
DALE, George1919-22521
DICKIE, William1919-21400
DUFFY, Bernard1923-2730
ELLIOT, Sidney1928-30309
FERGUSON, Chris1927-3010
FERGUSON, Edward1920-2320
FERGUSON, Willie1921-3329412
FERRIS, James1920-22399
FINLAYSON, William1920-2451
FORD, Harry1912-2424847
FREEMAN, Charlie1907-2010522
FREW, James1922-27430
GALLON, James1919-2120
HALSE, Harold1913-2111124
HAMPTON, Colin1914-24820
HARROW, Jack1911-263345
HAYWOOD, William1921-24222
HIGGS, Frank1928-3020
HODDINOTT, Frank1921-23324
IRVING, Sam1928-32975
JACKSON, William1928-31266
JENKINS, Richard1924-2540
LANGTON, Joe1919-2230
LAW, Tommy1925-3931819
LEE, John1920-2371
LINFOOT, Fred1920-24411
LOGAN, Tommy1913-211168
MARSH, Wilson1921-24120
MARSHALL, Owen1913-20360
McKENNA, Peter1924-31660
McKENZIE, Ken W1920-23220
McNEIL, Bob1914-2930632
MEEHAN, Tommy1920-241334
MEREDITH, John1928-30236
MIDDELBOE, Nils1913-22461
MILLER, Harold1923-3936544
MILLINGTON, Sam1926-322450
MILLS, George1929-43239125
MOLYNEUX, Jim1910-232390
MORISON, William1924-2710
ODELL, Leslie1924-361037
PEARSON, George1926-3321536
PLUM, Seth1924-26271
PRIESTLEY, John1920-2820419
RODGER, George1924-311222
RUSSELL, Willie1927-361606
SALES, Arthur1924-2870
SHARP, Buchanan1919-237223
SMITH, George1921-323700
SMITH, Stephen1921-23231
SPOTTISWOOD, Joe1919-2010
STONE, George1924-28252
THAIN, Albert1922-3115351
THOMPSON, Jimmy1927-294234
THOMSON, Bob1911-229530
TOWNROW, Jack1927-321403
TURNBULL, Bob1925-288758
WALKER, Andy1913-20242
WARD, Joe1920-22160
WEAVER, Reg1929-32208
WHITTON, William1923-263919
WHITTON, William1923-263919
WILDING, Harry1914-2826525
WILLIAMS, Bill1927-2820
WILSON, Andy1923-3125361

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