Thanks to everyone who went to the latest Chelsea Legends night at The Duke Of Edinburgh last Sunday. A packed pub had a great evening, as did the guests, as the photos show. Thanks to landlord, and die-hard Blue, Nick Tilt for another for another top Chelsea Legends event.
The Doc, who was on great form, told me on the way back to his hotel how much he enjoyed meeting his old players and all the Chelsea supporters, how the memories came flooding back, how welcoming everyone at the DofE was and how much he loves Chelsea Football Club.
Talking to Barry Bridges and Bert Murray afterwards it is clear they thoroughly enjoyed themselves too on their Ascot Legends debuts, reminiscing about their time at the club in such an honest and entertaining way. I thought Ron Harris sparked off the other three really well, with a different set of stories to tell than when I had seen him in the past. Given Bert and Barry left the club in 1966, and The Doc a year later, their memories were astonishingly sharp.
From my point of view I sold almost all the paperback copies of ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils‘ I took along, thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Tommy and Mary and had a great evening all round. A reminder that the paperback and e-book are also available on Amazon, and can be ordered here amzn.to/2iM3pFs .
The hardback content and cover have been given final sign-off this week so our firm target of dispatch to backers in good time for Christmas still stands.
These pictures have been lifted off Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, and I will be sending a set to Tommy. They were mostly posted by Debs Coady, Chris Mears, Christine Matthews, Mark Worrall, Rodney George, Nick Tilt, Graham Ellis and Hugh Momber. Thanks to them.
I thought it worth putting out a quick update on the blog, as a fair bit has been happening with the various book versions since the last blog post, particularly the paperback version, which is now available to order. It is also a chance for me to plug an event with Tommy Docherty in early October, and also two Chelsea books that you may well find of interest.
Paperback Version The paperback version can now be ordered on Amazon, price £14.95. The content is the same as the hardback version, and the cover almost identical, but it does not not have a slip cover, an index, or the photographs. Order a copy here http://amzn.to/2iM3pFs
Hardback Version The hardback version is with the printers, who are going through the various tasks in preparation for printing. We do not have a firm dispatch date yet but reaffirm our promise that it will be sent out to backers in good time for Christmas.
E-book version The e-book version, with the same content as the paperback version, will be published on 6th October. Pre-orders for the e-book can now be made now at http://amzn.to/2tWo2Dj . Price is just £2.99.
If you are new to this blog, and wondering what the book is all about, worry no more.
‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils’ is a book for anyone who remembers Chelsea in the 1960’s, anyone with an interest in the club’s history and anyone with an interest in how the personality of one man can reshape a football club.
It utilises extensive research to detail and examine all the above personalities and events, and many more, and draws a series of conclusions about one of the most exciting periods in Chelsea history. It also includes an exclusive author interview with Tommy Docherty, carried out in April 2017.
Docherty managed Chelsea FC for six tumultuous years. Between 1961 and 1967 he got hired, relegated, promoted, lauded, vilified, backed, victimised, fined and sacked.
Garrulous, volatile, unpredictable, impulsive, inventive, intensely competitive, highly talented and much-loved by Chelsea supporters, ‘The Doc’ won one trophy for The Blues and was close to winning plenty more – he reached five semi-finals in three seasons. Docherty transformed and modernised the club, built a highly-regarded young team from the ashes he inherited but over time he fell out with, and sold, key players. In the end, amid gathering controversy, his parting was probably inevitable.
The players – Docherty’s Diamonds. Peter Bonetti. Eddie McCreadie. Ken Shellito. Allan Harris. John Mortimore. Frank Upton. Ron Harris. Marvin Hinton. John Hollins. John Boyle. Terry Venables. Frank Blunstone. Bobby Tambling. Barry Bridges. Bert Murray. Graham Moore. George Graham. Peter Osgood. Charlie Cooke. Tommy Baldwin. Tony Hateley. And many more. The swathe of home-produced talent, the bargain buys and the expensive flops.
The famous victories. Sunderland ’63. Portsmouth ’63. Tottenham Hotspur ’64 and ‘65. Leeds United ’64, ‘66 and ‘67. West Ham United ’65 and ‘66. Leicester City ’65. Roma ’65. Liverpool ’66. AC Milan ’66. Barcelona ’66. Villa ’66. Man City ‘66 and plenty more.
The numbing defeats. Stoke City ’63. Manchester United ’65. Forest ’65. Liverpool ‘65. Sheffield Wednesday ‘66. Barcelona ‘66. Tottenham Hotspur ’67. Southampton ’67 and, sadly, quite a few more.
The ground and the supporters. 70,000 home crowd v Tottenham. The lock-outs, crushes and broken crash barriers. The building of the West Stand. Doc’s ‘they’re useless’ criticism of the Chelsea crowd. 5,000 to Anfield. Mick Greenaway’s programme letters. The great European nights. The Blue Submarine. The naming of The Shed.
The controversies, the incidents and the rows. Blackpool and Bermuda – the incidents, the fall-outs and the aftermaths. The Roma riot. The clear-out of the old guard after taking over. Cup ticket disputes. Doc’s Cup Final speech. Controversial substitutions. Pay disputes. The modern shirts. The tactical innovations. The off-the-cuff press comments. The transfer requests. The Barry Bridges march, petition and St Pancras mobbing. Ossie’s televised v-sign. The player sales propping up precarious club finances. Pitch flooding. The growing feud with Leeds United. Doc’s fall-outs with Venables, Bridges and others, leading to the premature break-up of the team. Tottenham’s whinging about excessive physicality. Rows with the Football League and Football Association. Doc’s close relationship with chairman Joe Mears and his volatile dealings with his replacement Bill ‘our chairman is a’ Pratt. His departure from the club. And plenty more.
A date for the diary
A night with Tommy Docherty, Barry Bridges, Bert Murray and Ron Harris. Sunday October 8th at 7pm at The Duke of Edinburgh pub in Ascot. Includes hot buffet. Tickets £20 from 01344 882736.
Landlord and avid Chelsea supporter Nick Tilt hosts regular ‘Chelsea Legends’ nights at the D of E which are always hugely entertaining and informative, and this promises to be a belting night. A night not to be missed for anyone interested in the Docherty era at Chelsea, which given that you have an interest in ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils’ hopefully means you.
I interviewed The Doc earlier this year and I can assure you that he was as lively and as opinionated as ever. Barry Bridges and Bert Murray came through the Chelsea youth system, were regulars in The Doc’s teams from 1961-65, got promoted, were two of the Blackpool Eight and, despite being crowd favourites, were both sold by The Doc a year later. Ron Harris came into Doc’s team in 1963 to help clinch promotion and he stayed there. He holds the record for Chelsea appearances, was team captain for many years and is the ultimate club loyalist.
All three were in the side that won the 1965 League Cup and came so close to picking up two other trophies that season. Their stories about those days, that team and their relationship with The Doc promise to be fascinating, and will make this a not-to-be-missed evening.
Earlier this summer two books came out on Gate 17 Books, publishers of ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils’, that should interest any Chelsea supporters, old or young.
Eddie Mac Eddie Mac: Life and times at Chelsea under Eddie McCreadie by Messrs Barker, Johnstone, Meehan, Smith and Worrall. A uniquely insightful examination into Eddie McCreadie’s time as Chelsea manager, his appointment, the club’s financial crisis, the 1976/77 promotion season and his abrupt departure. Includes a detailed, searingly honest and revelatory interview with McCreadie, who has never previously publicly discussed some of the controversial issues covered here.
The Italian Job. Mark Worrall’s pithy, personal, passionate and highly-readable diary of Antonio Conte’s first, highly-successful, season as Chelsea manager.
With £5,440 pledged the deluxe hardback version of ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils‘ which includes an index, 24 photographs and a slip cover, will definitely be produced. This is obviously something I am very pleased about and I am very grateful to those who have backed the project. The minimum target of £5,000 was reached a couple of weeks ago and as things stand, we will be ordering c210 books, plus whatever pledges are made before the campaign closes.
Anyone wanting to order a copy of that edition has just five days left to make a pledge. After 20.00 next Tuesday (20th) no more orders for the hardback can be accepted so if you haven’t yet made a pledge but want a copy, don’t hang around.
Here is the link to the Kickstarter page. Making a pledge is very simple, only three out of the 183 backers to date have struggled.
Money will be deducted from backers accounts soon after the campaign closes and I will email everybody asking for addresses to post the book and names to be included in the acknowledgements.
I’m very pleased to advise that the minimum crowdfunding target of £5,000 was reached this morning. This means that the deluxe hardback version of ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils’, with 24 photos and a slip cover, will definitely go ahead. Achieving the minimum target early means we can order the photos, confirm with the printer etc which should make the production process more straightforward between now and the autumn.
The crowdfunding campaign has been running for almost a week. Last time I looked I had received £3,350 worth of pledges, or 67% of the target. Thanks so much to all those who have pledged. In almost every case there is a burst of activity directly after a Kickstarter campaign opens followed by an inevitable slow-down, and this has happened here. Based on Kickstarter historic trend statistics, however, it looks reasonably good for me to achieve the £5,000 target by the closure date of 20th June.
I still need to raise a minimum of another £1,650, though, so if you haven’t pledged, there is no time like the present…. Remember, money is not deducted from your card until the campaign has closed and then only if the target is reached. You can pledge here :- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/timrolls/diamonds-dynamos-and-devils . The Kickstarter process is surprisingly simple and it will only take you a few minutes to complete.
A couple of weeks ago Mark Worrall, the publisher, made a number of extremely helpful comments with regard to format, headings and, particularly, a couple of overly complex tables I had included as Appendices. I have made the necessary amendments, severely slimmed down the aforementioned tables and this lunchtime sent it back as the final submitted manuscript – a significant project milestone. The next step, manuscript wise, is that Mark typesets it into final page format (a significant task, given that the book has 141,000 words) so I can produce the index.