Chelsea Legends (1) - Peter Osgood
Of all the Chelsea legends, Osgood sticks out for many reasons. Ossie, or to be correct, Peter Leslie Osgood was born in Windsor on the 20th of February, 1947. In his early days he played football for the Slough and District team, often alongside his uncle Bob. It was that very uncle that wrote to Chelsea, asking them to give young Peter a trial.
He signed for Chelsea as a promising youth player, and at just 17 years of age he made his debut in a league cup game against Workinton AFC, on the 16th of December, 1964. In his debut for the blues he netted two goals, well on his way to making a name for himself.
He started making regular appearances for the first team, and many thought he was worthy of a call up into Alf Ramsey's 1966 world cup squad. He was included in the 40 man squad announced in April, but did not make the final 22.
On the 6th of October, 1966, Osgood's leg was broken in a league cup game against Blackpool. This injury denied him the chance to play in the 1967 F.A. Cup final, which we lost to Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.
After coming back from injury, Ossie played every game of the 1967/1968 season, and finished up as the clubs top goalscorer for that season.
He played a key part in the 1970 F.A. Cup final replay against Leeds United, scoring a memorable header from a Charlie Cooke assist to get the blues level. David Webb went on to score the winning goal in extra time,Chelsea's first ever F.A. Cup in the process. Osgood had the distinction of scoring in every single round of the F.A. Cup that year.
He also helped the club to European glory, in the 1971 Cup Winners Cup Final against Real Madrid. In the first game in Athens Ossie put us one up but Real equalised right at the death after Ossie had gone off injured. In the replay Ossie scored again to add to John Dempsey's opener and although Real hit back, Chelsea held on to win the clubs first ever European trophy.
Osgood scored in the 1972 league cup final against Stoke City, however it was a match that the blues ended up loosing.
Things started to turn sour at Chelsea, a combination of financial pressures and dissatisfaction with Dave Sexton saw many of our prize assets sold off. It became clear that the board would not sack Sexton, and Ossie decided it was time to move on. He joined Southampton for a then record British fee of £275,000.
After stints at Southampton, Norwich City and the Philadelphia fury, Peter returned to Chelsea in December of 1978 for a fee of £25,000, but did not make many starts before being let go by then manager Geoff Hurst.
Ossie retired in 1979, and after his stunning career, decided to run a pub with former team mate Ian Hutchinson, however the venture did not do well and he was declared bankrupt in 1985. Ossie was banned from Stamford Bridge along with many other Chelsea greats by Ken Bates, for what Bates perceived as criticism of the club.
This however, was rectified when Roman Abramovich took over the club, Ossie returned to the club, and enjoyed his role as a hospitality host on match days.
Sadly on the 1st of March, 2006, Peter Osgood passed away whilst attending a family funeral. He suffered a heart attack and passed away at just 59 years of age. Chelsea fans lay tributes outside the Bridge, and a minutes silence was held for him in the next league game against Tottenham.
He will be remembered by the Chelsea faithful as the king of Stamford Bridge, and his name will always be a massive part of our history.
'From out of the Shed,
Came a shining young star,
Scoring goals past Pat Jennings
From near and from far.
And Chelsea won,
And we all knew they would,
And the star of that great team
Was Peter Osgood.
Born is the king of Stamford Bridge!'
R.I.P. Peter Leslie Osgood, February 20, 1947-March 1, 2006.