book front 150317Update No.1 – Tuesday 14th March

Welcome to this blog, designed to provide regular(ish) updates to potential purchasers of ‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils – the transformation of Chelsea FC under Tommy Docherty’ by Tim Rolls.

The book, after a lengthy gestation period more appropriate for ‘The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare’, is scheduled for publication by Mark Worrall’s Gate 17 Books in Autumn 2017.

doc arriving 2

The book is designed to be of interest to those who watched Chelsea in the 1960s and remember with such affection the Docherty era, rekindling memories of Docherty’s Diamonds and taking you back to your lost/mis-spent youth.  It should also appeal to supporters with an interest in Chelsea history, regardless of their age.  There are plenty of fine books on Chelsea’s history but none specifically on the six years under The Doc.

This first blog is designed to give information about the book content, the different versions being produced, how you will be able to buy them and some key target dates.  Further blogs over the coming months will give progress updates and more details, particularly of the crowdfunding process.

‘Diamonds, Dynamos and Devils’ – what’s it about?

Tommy Docherty managed Chelsea FC for six tumultuous years.  Between September 1961 and October 1967 he got hired, relegated, promoted, lauded, vilified, backed, victimised, fined and sacked.

Rotherham v ChelseaGarrulous, volatile, unpredictable, impulsive, intensely competitive, highly talented and revered by many supporters, ‘The Doc’ won one trophy for The Blues and was close to winning plenty more.  Docherty transformed and modernised the club, built a highly-regarded and much-loved young team, Doc’s Diamonds, from the ashes he inherited but over time he fell out with, and sold, key players.  In the end, his parting was probably inevitable.

This book draws on extensive newspaper and book research to chronologically examine the Docherty era at Chelsea, and also draws a series of conclusions about one of the most exciting periods in the club’s history.  There is also a statistical record looking at team performance and Doc’s transfer record.  Every major personality, match and incident from those six years is examined, including :-

The players – Docherty’s Diamonds
The famous victories and the numbing defeats.
Stamford Bridge – the crowds, the atmosphere, the new West Stand, The Shed.
The controversies, the rows and the fall-outs – Blackpool, Roma, Bermuda and many more.

Three different versions – ‘deluxe’ hardback, paperback, e-book

lc win

There are three separate versions of the book being produced, details below.  The text will be the same in each version, but the format differs.  Because of the uncertain nature of book production, the dates shown are targets I will try hard to adhere to.

‘Deluxe’ Hardback Version

The plan is to try and crowdfund a hardback version of the book, incorporating photographs, using Kickstarter.  This will be a special edition limited to orders placed during the crowdfunding campaign, scheduled to open for pledges from 11th May to 20th June, a period of forty days.  After that campaign closes, no further hardback copies will be on sale.

More details on the crowdfunding process will be given in future blogs.  I am still finalising the minimum sum I need to raise, but it is likely to be around £4,000.  This would mean that a minimum of c200 pledges of a cover price of c£20 (+p&p) will need to be made to enable publication to take place.   The plan is that the hardback books will be dispatched in good time for Christmas, hopefully earlier.


Paperback and E-Book Versions

It is planned that from 6th October (50 years to the day after Docherty left Chelsea) a paperback version will be available for order from Amazon, likely to be priced at £20 + p&p.  It is also planned to hold a book launch that day, more details nearer the time.

It is also planned to sell the e-book on Amazon from the same date.  This, and the paperback version, will be produced regardless of whether or not the crowdfunding campaign for the hardback book is successful.

Current Status

The text itself is almost complete, with basically just an overview, some interviews and a tidy-up to complete, and the publication planning process is well underway.  I am extremely fortunate that my wife Nicki is a highly-skilled artist and she has produced the cover (top).

teaM 1967

E-mail and Social Media

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at docsdiamonds@hotmail.com and I will happily respond.  You casn also follow on Twitter, where regular links and updates will be posted..

Twitter : @docsdiamonds
E-mail : docsdiamonds@hotmail.com
Facebook: I will use my own Facebook account to post updates.

The link to my Kickstarter page will be published on this blog, via e-mail and on social media once the crowdfunding campaign starts (target 11th May).  The relevant Amazon links will be published in due course.  Once the crowdfunding campaign opens, clearly any sharing of e-mails and re-tweeting/liking you can do will be very gratefully received.


Thanks for reading.  I hope all the above makes sense.  If it doesn’t, let me know.

Tim Rolls

PS A good example of crowdfunding, though of a different type, is the project Chelsea Historian Rick Glanvill and the Chelsea Supporters Trust have undertaken with regard to raising £5,500 to recognise former Chelsea FC player, Jack Whitley, with a memorial on his grave in Brompton Cemetery.  The principle is the same, they need to raise the amount specified for the project to happen.

It also happens to be a very good cause so, if you haven’t already contributed, here’s your chance. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jack-whitley-grave


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