We were delighted to interview Mark Meehan and Neil Smith recently, two of the authors of the eagerly awaited book “Eddie Mac, Eddie Mac” covering the seasons when Chelsea were managed by Eddie McCreadie. Even better, we got to interview them in a pub over a few beers, so this podcast of that interview has the feel of some of our early podcasts in Putney Station!
Mark and Neil’s immense passion for Chelsea and unrivaled knowledge and memories of being part of Eddie McCreadie’s Blue & White Army shines through in a highly entertaining interview. The book will be an absolute cracker and a must have addition to every Chelsea supporters book collection.
But, to set the scene…
Chelsea’s steady, multi-trophy-winning ascent to football’s summit has been well documented. In the modern Blues era, relegation is something that happens to other clubs, while a defeat to bitter London rivals Tottenham Hotspur is as rare an occurrence as a total eclipse of the sun. But life wasn’t always quite so carefree at Stamford Bridge. 19 April 1975, Spurs beat Chelsea 2-0 at White Hart Lane — all but preserving their own top-flight status, while effectively condemning the Blues to Division Two.
Managing Chelsea for the first time that day was 35-year old Eddie McCreadie who’d already achieved cult hero status at the Bridge as an integral part of the swashbuckling kings of the King’s Road Blues side that lit up the game in the mid-late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Set against a gloomy backdrop of economic recession, trouble on the terraces, and a football club on the verge of bankruptcy, Eddie Mac, Eddie Mac forensically details how McCreadie placed his faith in young players and achieved promotion to Division One in 1977.
Cheered on by the burgeoning hordes that went by the name of Eddie McCreadie’s Blue and White Army, Chelsea were back and seemingly set for great things — but suddenly Eddie left. Why? The supporters were both perplexed and saddened – the media didn’t really have a clue. There were rumours about a row over a company car, but no-one ever got to know the real reason — until now.
In his own inspiring words, McCreadie details his time as Blues boss and explains why he left. Fascinating interviews with players of the day who clearly revered him paint a picture of a maverick manager ahead of his time, while comedian Omid Djalili sets the scene from a supporters’ perspective with an insightful foreword. Eddie Mac, Eddie Mac is the greatest Chelsea story never told — the missing piece of the complex jigsaw puzzle that depicts Blues history.
The book will be launched on Saturday May 20th at an event at ‘Under the Bridge’ where most of the players from that time will be in attendance. If you can’t make the event, a limited quantity of the collectors edition of the book will be on sale (£20) at the cfcuk stall before the Sunderland game and also possibly on the day of the parade. There may be some copies available from the Megastore, but that is subject to confirmation. If you order via the Gate 17 website www.gate17.co.uk the book will post out on the same day where practical. The standard edition of Eddie Mac is also available in both eBook and paperback from Amazon.
Follow Mark on twitter: Eddie McCreadie 1977
And Publisher, Mark Worrall