Stamford Chidge and Martin King interview Colin Pates, who grew up supporting Chelsea as a boy and went on to play for the club for ten years, captaining the side back to Division 1 and the first Chelsea Captain to lift a trophy at Wembley. Colin opens up on his time playing for Chelsea; the highs and lows; the team that John Neal built; the Full Members Cup Final; the relationship with the supporters and his disappointment at leaving the club.
Colin Pates made 346 appearances for Chelsea between 1979 & 1988, 137 as Captain. The era Colin played in for Chelsea, were among the most troubling and uncertain in the Club’s history. In his debut season Chelsea were relegated to Division 2 where they would stay until 1984. Four years later Chelsea were again relegated, by virtue of a playoff against Middlesbrough. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Chelsea assembled a team that flirted with Division 1 title challenges; won the Full Member’s Cup and beat the mighty Liverpool FC, European Champions at the time, in the FA Cup.
Colin was made captain at the age of 22 and led Chelsea to the Division 2 title and promotion back to Division 1. With many new signings by manager Jon Neal, Pates showed maturity beyond his years by moulding together the different groups within the dressing room. More than that, his classy displays as a ball-playing defender who read the game superbly matched his impressive captaincy of a club on its way back to the top.
Colin Pates goals against Southampton & Charlton
Colin Pates goal v Aston Villa
Arguably his finest hour came in 1986 when he became the first Chelsea player to lift a trophy at Wembley when he captained the side to the Full Members Cup trophy in a 5-4 victory over Man City.
“When Pates Went Up to lift the Full Members Cup”
After surprisingly losing the captaincy to Joe McLaughlin the next season and a series of niggling injuries over the next two years, to the dismay of Chelsea supporters, Pates was sold to Charlton in 1988 for £400,000 by then manager Bobby Campbell. On reflection, without Colin’s composure and assured leadership on the pitch, it was no surprise that Chelsea found themselves relegated at the end of the season.
After retirement from the game Colin became a football coach at the Whitgift School in South Croydon where he coached future Chelsea players such as Victor Moses and Calum Hudson-Odoi. Another good reason for Chelsea supporters to be grateful to a player who served the club with commitment and distinction for nearly ten years, having himself supported them since he was a boy.
Chelsea Career Summary
Debut: Saturday, 10th November 1979, Orient 3 – 7 Chelsea
Age on debut: 18 years 3 months 0 days
100th Appearance: Tuesday, 28th December 1982, Chelsea 0 – 0 Fulham
200th Appearance: Saturday, 5th January 1985, Chelsea 2 – 2 Wigan Athletic
300th Appearance: Tuesday, 10th February 1987, Chelsea 4 – 0 Oxford United
Last Appearance: Wednesday, 12th October 1988, Chelsea 2 – 2 Scunthorpe United