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'That's Mr Haynes to you' - 5 successive Chelsea wins at Craven Cottage under The Doc

Chelsea face a difficult trip to Craven Cottage this week. Traditionally, Chelsea and Fulham supporters were often closely aligned, with many locals watching one side one week and the other the next, in the days before significant numbers travelled away. There are even reports of both sets of supporters together singing ‘Dear Old Pals’ at 1950s games.

Fulham never finished higher than fifteenth in between 1960 and 1967 but somehow managed to avoid relegation until 1968, where they enjoyed it so much they promptly came bottom of Division Two the following season. Chelsea suffered relegation in 1962 but were after that very much a side on the up. In the early/mid 1960s they won on all five visits to Craven Cottage under Tommy Docherty, a record which must be a rarity for any local derby especially as Doc’s side won all the home games in those seasons as well. This piece looks at those five away wins. Fans of Johnny Haynes may wish to look away now.

January 13th 1962. Fulham 3 v Chelsea 4.

Docherty had taken over as Chelsea manager the previous September but, though he was in the process of clearing out the old guard and populating the first team with youngsters, his side went into the game bottom of Division One, their hosts just two places and two points better off. The hosts had not scored at home for twelve weeks and the visitors had won once away all season so neither set of supporters approached the derby with much confidence.

In an amazing and entertaining game for the 35,640 crowd the visitors won 4-3 with Peter Brabrook heading a last minute winner, after Fulham had pulled two goals back to make the score 3-3. This was the second and last time Chelsea netted four that season, though they managed to concede at least that many no less than ten times, indicating that relegation was hardly underserved. A Dave Mealand own-goal had given Chelsea a half-time lead before the game went mad in the six-goal second half. Andy Malcolm and a Bobby Tambling penalty were the other visiting scorers.

Fulham and England captain Haynes, the first English player to earn £100 a week, had a poor match, the visitors urgency not suiting his more sedate style. After the game he hilariously threw his toys out of the pram. Heading up the stairs to the players’ tea room, a supporter (presumably a Chelsea supporter?) standing on the forecourt shouted ‘Second Division next year, Haynes’. Haynes told Fulham manager Bedford Jezzard to get a commissionaire to remove the miscreant from the ground. With a wonderfully pompous touch, Haynes explained ‘The man was very rude…It wouldn’t have been so bad if he had shouted Mr Haynes or Johnny…The point was he had no right to be there’. Docherty was a happy man ‘A good hard game. I think we were the better side’.

The win took Chelsea off the bottom of the table but the win was a blip rather than a transformation, they won just two of their last 16 games and were relegated, Fulham staying up by a point.

October 26th 1963. Fulham 0 v Chelsea 1.

Promoted at the first time of asking, Chelsea took time to settle back in the top division and had won just three of their fifteen League games when they visited Craven Cottage. In fifteenth place, with their hosts a position below, they approached their game at Fulham with a cloud hanging over the club after Ken Shellito badly injured his knee the previous week’s home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday. Having impressed on tour with England that summer, he was ideally placed to take over from Jimmy Armfield as England’s first choice right-back with a 1966 World Cup place looking a real prospect. Injury of that type meant being out of action for at least a couple of months possibly longer, missing key games for club and country. Tragically, Shellito never really recovered from that injury and, ironically, the beneficiary, England-wise, was Fulham’s George Cohen.

As preparation for the Craven Cottage visit, that week Chelsea won a curtailed closed-doors game at Stamford Bridge 1-0 against a Rest Of The World side that included genuine all-time footballing greats like Lev Yashin, Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Eusebio and Josef Masopust. This was a warm-up for the England v Rest Of The World FA Centenary celebration. Bert Murray scored the goal and impressed his manager sufficiently to earn a first-team recall. Opposition manager Fernando Reira expected a junior team as opposition and called the game off after forty-one nervous minutes, when it became clear how seriously a physical Chelsea first team were taking things.

For the trip to Fulham, Docherty had to reshuffle his side. He moved Ron Harris to right-back, brought in Marvin Hinton at centre-back alongside John Mortimore and brutally dropped Graham Moore to twelfth man for the reserves, incandescent at his performance against Wednesday. Murray was recalled after missing four games and Barry Bridges left out, Dennis Sorrell and Dennis Brown making rare appearances. To add injury to insult, Bridges was then hurt playing for the reserves that day.

Haynes attempted to slow the game down to counter the opposition’s frenzied running around, with some success, but Tambling scored the late winner in a tight 1-0 victory. He had a second disallowed as the final whistle went just as he shot. Fulham were less than happy with Ron Harris after he clashed with danger man Graham Leggatt, who had to be taken to hospital with a badly bruised and suspected chipped shin bone, leaving the hosts to play the second half with ten men.

The Sunday Times commented that ‘Chelsea’s prime quality is their zest rather than their subtlety’ and the papers generally criticised the quality of play. The People headline ‘Tambling Goal Puts Fans Out Of Misery’ summed the game up, as did their ‘deplorable’ comment on the football exhibited. In The Observer, Clement Freud (yes, that Clement Freud…) praised the energy, if not the quality of football, underpinning Chelsea’s recently implemented 4-2-4 system.

In the context of the season a crucial win, regardless of the criticism it attracted. Chelsea had turned the corner, losing one of their next fifteen games and finishing in a highly creditable fifth place. Fulham had, for them, an impressive season, avoiding relegation by eleven points and finishing fifteenth.

January 16th 1965. Fulham 1 v Chelsea 2.

The following season Fulham were again in their annual fight against relegation despite fielding a team including George Cohen, Haynes, Bobby Robson and young tyro Rodney Marsh. They chose the game against their second-placed neighbours to give a debut to young centre-half John Dempsey. Dempsey had a promising debut but could not prevent Tambling and George Graham scoring in a comfortable 2-1 victory. The Kensington Post criticised Chelsea for overdoing the ‘fuzzy-wuzzy’ stuff and for making too many passes and the News Of The World headline ‘Arrogant Colts Canter Home’ made it clear just how dominant Chelsea were.

An ‘uninspired’ ‘plodding’ Haynes, once again, was ineffective against their near-neighbours and Robson, too, laboured against the high energy Chelsea side for whom Terry Venables so effectively pulled the strings. The truly mercurial Marsh was more difficult to contain, once beating three different men (including Harris twice) in seven seconds, but in general was well-marked. As an aside, why the heck did Fulham allow Marsh to move to QPR? I have not researched the move, but it seems completely bonkers.

The crowd was a surprisingly, perhaps suspiciously, low 26,400, 9,000 less than the previous season despite Chelsea’s drive for the League title. Chelsea, ‘a side of power and certainty’ according to The Observer’s John Arlott, had every chance of winning the title but dropped away and finished third behind Manchester United and Leeds. Fulham avoided the drop by one place and four points.

August 28th 1965. Fulham 0 v Chelsea 3.

Chelsea started the 1965/66 season 6-1 third favourites for the title after champions Manchester United and FA Cup holders Liverpool. After two uninspired draws a boost was needed and, luckily the next game, in three days’ time, was at seemingly-perennial strugglers and local rivals Fulham.

A huge crowd turned up but bizarrely someone in the Fulham office, apparently without appropriate authority, panicked and issued an instruction to shut the gates when only 34,000 supporters had entered the ground. Thousands were locked out. Craven Cottage’s capacity was officially 45,000 and this was seen as one of two guaranteed full houses of the season (Manchester United being the other) so Fulham, not a wealthy club, must have been incandescent at losing potentially 11,000 paying spectators, which equated to about £2,000. Supporter Malcolm Doctor remembered that ‘some Chelsea fans broke into Craven Cottage the night before the game and painted the goals blue’. Whether this is what unnerved the Fulham administration is not recorded.

The Cottagers were considered a soft touch physically, so it must have been a surprise for those not at the game to read the ‘Battle of Fulham’ headline in the ‘News Of The World’ the following day. Fulham playmaker Haynes’ effectiveness, already ‘quiet’, was further reduced by a crunching Harris challenge and the one-time England captain was substituted.

To add to Fulham’s woes goalkeeper Tony Macedo was hurt in a challenge with a fired-up Eddie McCreadie marking his return from injury. Chelsea’s defence were in complete control and they won comfortably, 3-0, Murray, Bridges and Graham all netting.

George Graham (right) nets Chelsea's third goal

Graham and Tambling both had to go off with injuries. John Boyle replaced the former, Chelsea’s first ever League substitute but, with only one substitute allowed and down to ten men, Chelsea unsurprisingly slowed the game right down ‘to walking pace’ and were booed by those home supporters who had not drifted away.

John Boyle makes Chelsea's first ever substitute appearance

October 29th 1966. Fulham 1 v Chelsea 3.

In late October 1966 Chelsea were a team in flux. Top of the table and unbeaten at the start of the month, with superb wins at Upton Park, Villa Park and Maine Road already under their belt, the season changed with the mercurial Peter Osgood broke his leg at Blackpool. Docherty bought Tony Hateley for £100,000 as a replacement for Osgood, though they were entirely different types of player, and promptly beat Tottenham 3-0.

They then travelled to Craven Cottage, playing in front of a jam-packed 42,159 crowd (paying record Craven Cottage receipts of £8,118), with enormous queues outside. The visitors dominated and ran out comfortable 3-1 victors. Hateley was known to be superb in the air, less so on the ground, but he scored the first goal (and his first for Chelsea) with a left-foot shot following a hotly disputed drop-ball in the area.

Tony Hateley hits home Chelsea's first goal

He headed a magnificent second from a Hollins free-kick.

Hateley heads a magnificent second

These two goals took some of the fee-related pressure off him. After Les Barrett pulled a goal back for the Haynes-less hosts, John Boyle (wearing No.7 but playing at left-back) netted a third.

John Boyle (right) rounds off the scoring

It was Hateley who attracted the headlines but the press also praised the mercurial Charlie Cooke, who tormented the Fulham defence, though Hateley was occasionally frustrated when crosses did not materialise.

This was their fifth successive win at Craven Cottage and twelfth win in their previous sixteen League games there. Chelsea were still top of the table, Fulham second bottom. In the event Chelsea fell away and finished the season a disappointing ninth, Fulham avoiding relegation by one point. Hateley had a difficult spell at Stamford Bridge and was sold to Liverpool the following summer when Osgood returned to full fitness.

Chelsea were a ‘bigger’ club than Fulham, with better players, bigger crowds and a bigger budget. It was to the credit of manager and players, though, that during Docherty’s reign they never took the foot off the pedal when visiting their ‘dear old pals’.

This piece is a collection of expanded extracts from Tim Rolls’ ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils’ covering Tommy Docherty’s time as Chelsea manager. It is available on eBay and Amazon.

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