Dave Sexton – Rip

Article published on 2012-11-26 by ChelseaChadder of ChelseaChadder.com | Share on Twitter |

Dave Sexton sadly died on 26th November 2012 at the age of 82 years old. Born in Islington on 6th April 1930, Dave was the son of professional boxer Archie Sexton. Perhaps ahead of his time in terms of taking a more scientific approach to football, which many stars of the day were not ready for.

Sexton, an inside forward, played for many clubs including West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Luton Town and Leyton Orient. Although it was Orient that gave the Englishman his first managerial role, he started his coaching career at Chelsea. He later became the Blues manager after the departure of Tommy Docherty in 1967.

Sexton’s start as Chelsea manager did not start of well at all. On the 7th October 1967 he took a blues side to face Leeds Utd at Elland Road. However, a 7-0 defeat is the worst result any Chelsea manager has had in their first game as boss.

It wasn’t until his 6th game in charge until he registered his first win after Chelsea beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Goals from Peter Osgood, John Hollins and John Boyle sealed the 2 points (not 3 as is awarded for a win now). By the end of the 1967/68 season, Sexton’s record was Played 37, Won 19, Drew 9 and lost 9.

In the 1969/70 season Sexton led Chelsea to their first ever FA Cup final win after beating Leeds Utd (sweet revenge for his first game in charge). The first game at Wembley ended 2-2 with Chelsea going behind twice, only for Peter Houseman and Ian Hutchinson to equalise. The blues had to wait a further 18 days for the replay at Old Trafford (due to ). Although Chelsea conceded first, Peter Osgood got the Blues level before David Webb (a future Chelsea manager) nodded in the winner. Also, Osgood’s goal meant he had scored in every round of the cup and to this day is still the last player to achieve this feat.

The following season saw Chelsea with another trophy after beating Real Madrid in the Cup Winners Cup final in Athens, Greece. Again, this was via a replay as the original game ended 1-1. Peter Osgood scored in the 56th minute before Ignacio Zoco equalised in the last minute. However, it was joy for Sexton’s side eventually as they ran out 2-1 winners with goals coming from Osgood and John Dempsey. Chelsea ended the season playing 60 games which had never been beaten until the Blues first Champions League campaign in 1999/00.

Sexton was manager for Chelsea’s biggest ever win after beating Jeunesse Hautcharage 13-0 in September 1971. This was in addition to the 8-0 scoreline in the first leg giving the Blues a 21-0 aggregate score in European football. By the end of the season, Chelsea amassed 105 goals which is the 11th most notched by CFC during one season. This wasn’t beaten until the 1988/89 season (109 goals) although the Blues were playing in Division 2.

On 28th September 1974 Dave Sexton took charge of his final Chelsea game. The Blues lost 1-0 to Wolves at Stamford Bridge. He was then replaced by Ron Suart.

It is worth noting that Sexton gave Chelsea debuts to some truly great players:

  • Alan Birchenall
  • Alan Hudson
  • Bill Garner
  • Brian Bason
  • Chris Garland
  • David Hay
  • David Webb
  • Derek Smethurst
  • Gary Locke
  • Graham Wilkins
  • Ian Britton
  • Ian Hutchinson
  • John Dempsey
  • John Phillips
  • John Sissons
  • John Sparrow
  • Keith Weller
  • Kenny Swain
  • Micky Droy
  • Mike Brolly
  • Paddy Mulligan
  • Peter Feely
  • Ray Wilkins
  • Steve Kember
  • Steve Sherwood
  • Stewart Houston
  • Tommy Ord
  • Tony Potrac

His final record as a Chelsea manager was:

P W D L F A GD
373 164 108 101 569 440 129

Dave Sexton,  1930-2012. RIP.

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