242 appearances and 45 goals in a five year career for Chelsea between 1983 and 1988 doesn’t do justice to a Chelsea player who stole Chelsea supporters hearts then and still does to this day.
Pat Nevin was a special player for Chelsea. A successor to Charlie Cooke as a Scottish wizard of the dribble, Pat beat players for fun and created the goals for Kerry Dixon in John Neal’s team that won the Division Two title in 1984 and then put Chelsea back on the map competing for the Division One title in the following two seasons, all resplendent in that wonderful stripy Le Coq Sportif kit.
As so often with Chelsea, it all went pear shaped as John Hollins and Ernie Whalley imposed a new style on the team that was devoid of any err style and Pat’s creative abilities were overlooked before he was sold to Everton after Chelsea were relegated in a play off in 1988.
But in those 5 years, Pat became one of Chelsea’s most loved players due to his wonderful attacking and wing play and also because he dared to be different. The definition of an independent thinker and non-conformist, we also loved him for his love of indie music, with his head in the NME or a French novel and for his principled stance against racism and other injustices.
Stamford Chidge talks to Pat about his book ‘The Accidental Footballer’ including Pat’s views on John Neal, Man City and Arsenal away in 1984, music, John Peel and living in London in the 80’s and standing in the Shed End with the supporters.
‘The Accidental Footballer’ is available on Amazon priced at £16.00