Saturday, April 18, 2020

The day Chelsea came to town

Photo:  The souvenir programme for Chelsea's 1965 tour of Australia.

On 26 May 1965, English First Division club Chelsea played Tasmania at North Hobart Oval.

It was a Wednesday afternoon and many people had to get time off work to watch the game.

I was a student at Hobart Matriculation College at the time and we students had to ask permission from our principal to attend the game just over the road from the college.

Chelsea had beaten Victoria 1-0 at Olympic Park in Melbourne before 18,000 spectators on the weekend before the Tasmanian game.  Scottish international Jim McCalliog scored the goal.

Terry Venables had missed that match after being injured in Chelsea’s previous game in Newcastle.

He didn’t play against Tasmania, either.  I remember standing near him at the steps to the main grandstand at North Hobart (adjacent to Argyle Street) and being impressed as he juggled a 20-cent piece with his shiny shoes, flicking it up on to his shoulder and then letting it fall back to his feet and repeating the trick.

Venables was 22 years old and had already played for England.  He would be transferred to Tottenham, Hotspur the following year and eventually also played for Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace.

He would go on to manage England.  He also coached Australia in that ill-fated World Cup campaign of 1997.

Goalkeeper Peter Bonetti, who passed away last week aged 78, was not part of the Chelsea squad that came to Tasmania.  He was in the England Under-23 side that was touring Europe at the time.

The Tasmanian side was reinforced by three Victorian players:  Frank Donleavy (Melbourne Juventus), right-back Terry Hartley (Melbourne Juventus) and centre-forward Mike Jurecki (Melbourne Polonia).

The Tasmanian team was:  Mick Roussos (Olympia), T Hartley (Victoria), Hugh Robertson (Olympia), Jim Wallace (Rangers), Egon Mathias (Rapid), Frank Donleavy (Victoria), Walter Worsey (Juventus), Hans Streit (Northern Juventus), Mike Jurecki (Victoria), Peter Wood (White Eagles), Harold Pattison (Devonport).  Reserves:  Karl Jaegar (Rapid), Joe Rader (Rapid), Barry Shacklady (Olympia).

Six of this team had played for Tasmania against New Zealand, in New Zealand, earlier in the year.  Can you imagine a Tasmanian representative team travelling to play New Zealand nowadays?

The Chelsea squad was:  John Dunn (20) (Goalkeeper), Alan Harris (21), Ken Shellito (24), Marvin Hinton 24), John Mortimore (29), Frank Upton (29), Barry Bridges (23), Joe Fascione (19), Peter Houseman (18), Jimmy McCalliog (17), John Boyle (18), Terry Venables (21), Peter Osgood (18) and Billy Sinclair (18).

Tasmanian soccer had been rocked five days before the game when three of South Hobart's promising young team were involved in a car accident on the way home from training.  Outstanding left-winger Steve Watson was killed, while Colin West and Ron Manson were seriously injured.

South Hobart captain-coach Jim Scally politely refused offers of loan players to replace the trio that were received from Juventus and Olympia.  Scally selected an all-South Hobart side against Olympia for the coming weekend.

Olympia beat South Hobart 4-2 as it turned out.  A minute's silence was observed before all games that weekend in memory of Watson, one of the up-and-coming stars of Tasmanian football.

A crowd of 4,500 turned up for the mid-week game at North Hobart and Chelsea won 12-0 after leading 4-0 at half-time.

The goals came from Peter Osgood (17, 30, 35, 80, 86), Barry Bridges (46, 56, 64), Jim Smart (81, 84), John Boyle (42) and Tommy Docherty (71 pen).

Tommy Docherty, the Chelsea manager, warmed up at half-time and played for the second half, scoring a penalty.

Shellito, Bridges and Venables were already full internationals.

Peter Houseman, who played left-wing against Tasmania, was to die tragically in a car accident 11 years later while he was a player for Oxford United.  He and his wife and another couple were returning home from a charity function when they collided with a speeding vehicle driving on the incorrect side of the road.  All four were killed instantly.  The driver of the offending vehicle was the 21-year-old son of a member of parliament and was fined 4,000 Pounds and disqualified from driving for 12 years.

Chelsea were quite innovative at the time.  They had numbers on the front of their shorts  (as well as on the back of their shirts) and were the first team to do this.  It certainly made it much easier to identify the players.

Discipline was strict at the club, nicknamed at the time as 'The Pensioners".  The team trained in the afternoons to coincide with the normal Saturday match kick-off times.  Players who were late for training were fined.

All players wore club uniforms at away matches, and all were given one small and one large blue travelling bag  with 'Chelsea FC' inscribed in white on the side.

The curtain-raiser at North Hobart was between a Schools XI and a Tasmanian Under-19 side.

The Schools XI squad was:  D Balding (Hutchins), R Biggar (Hobart Matric), J Johnston (Clarence High), R Zapatocki (Cosgrove High), R Maschiter (Taroona High), E Owen (Captain) (New Town High), P Owen ((Hobart Matric), Fong Mar (Hobart Tech College), O Bachinger (Hobart Matric), K Leung (Elizabeth High), K Laning (Taroona High).  Reserves:  Dolliver (Cosgrove High), D Carson (Claremont High), O Heinrich (Cosgrove High).

Jack Johnston, of course, went on to become Tasmania’s leading referee and the only Tasmanian ever to become a FIFA referee.  He also became the Commissioner of Police.

The Schools XI beat the Under-19s 6-1 after it was 1-1 at the interval.

Kevin Leung scored a hat-trick, with the other goals coming from David Carson, Otmar Bachinger and Erik Owen.  Goodey replied for the Under-19s.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff Walter. Thank you and Keep them coming!

Brian Young said...

Great report. Celtic had numbers on their shorts for many years.

Brian Young said...

Celtic's tradition of wearing numbers on their shorts rather than on the back of their shirts was brought to an end when the Scottish Football League instructed Celtic to wear numbers on their shirts from the start of the 1994–95 season.

Anonymous said...

How good were the school boys? .I Think Dreamer played for the Australian schools boys many years ago.

Unknown said...

Great memories.

Tim Rolls said...

Hi Walter, I love that post, many thanks. I am a Chelsea author researching that 1965 Australian tour and am trying to identify the Chelsea starting line-up for that game. You list the squad, but is there any way I can find out which eleven started the game?


Tim Rolls