The Chelsea interview: ‘sacrilege, but Kerry Dixon left me cold’

For the latest feature in Salut! Sunderland‘s “Who are You?” series, David Harding, a Chelsea fan who has written books on Gianfranco Zola and, er, A**n She**r, covers a lot of ground: from his club’s Unloved status and Abramovich’s billions to his thoughts on cheating and Sunderland (positive) and Newcastle (not). He sympathises with the late Ian Porterfield (our hero, less successful as the Blues’ manager) but drools over another of those Sunderland lads who never played for his home town team …

Come back tomorrow to see the full interview. Here is a flavour of it:

Salut! Sunderland: Any memories, good or bad or funny, of games between our two clubs and the players and staff – Ian Porterfield, Clive Walker and – er – Gareth Hall spring to mind – common to both?

The biggest memory is the 1985 Milk Cup Semi Final. A disaster for us from start to finish. We had a decent side, pitched up at yours for the first leg, lost a player (Dale Jasper) to a broken collar bone early on, and lost 2-0. Then the return leg at Stamford Bridge was one of the most notorious games at ours ever. I distinctly remember more policeman being in the penalty area than players at one point there was so much trouble. I am not exaggerating, I think it was when you scored your third goal. A Chelsea fan attacked Clive Walker, and the whole game had a menace that a post-Sky audience could never imagine. Mounted police inside the ground, bottles and benches thrown. Genuinely scarey. To this day I cannot believe the fan punched Walker, that has always annoyed me. The Porterfield years were dreadful though he was in charge of a team including Wise and Vinny Jones, it can’t have been easy. Two other players I would mention are Pop Robson, who pitched up at ours in the twilight of his career but was still the best goalscorer on our books at the time. And Mickey Hazard. He may not have played for you but he is from Sunderland and was a wonderful player, criminally underused by England. The other big thing that always struck me about Sunderland was how windy Roker Park was.

Q: Name the greatest players you’ve seen in Chelsea colours – and those who should never have been allowed anywhere near Stamford Bridge.

A: In terms of heroes, there have been so many over the years. The ones that stand out and in no particular order….

Micky Droy – a woolly mammoth in ill-fitting shirt and shorts, but he could play and it was his misfortune to star in a collection of the crappiest Chelsea teams ever. But he cared so much and as a fan you knew it. Pat Nevin – Hard not to like a player like this and responsible for the most thrilling moment of football I have ever seen at Stamford Bridge. He must have beaten 7 or 8 Newcastle players in a crucial Division 2 promotion clash, dribbling from one box to the other. Beautiful. He crossed for Kerry Dixon, who missed. But the buzz from 40,000 around the ground afterwards was something to behold. David Speedie – A snarly, nasty, small man’s syndrome of a forward. Loved the way he celebrated when he scored.

Gianfranco Zola – How could you not idolise this man? A wonderful footballer, beautiful temperament. His goal in the 1997 FA Cup semi-final against Wimbledon was, I believe, the best goal scored in a Chelsea shirt. The player we would all like to be. Claude Makelele – Never the most glamorous of players, but he hardly ever put a foot wrong and not many players have a position named after them.
Special mentions to these: Marcel Desailly, Ruud Gullit, Glen Hoddle, Michael Fillery, David Lee, John Spencer, Carlo Cudicini.

Those who I did not like are very few and far between, but, and I have never said this out loud before, I always failed to take to Kerry Dixon. Sacrilege considering the amount of goals he scored for us but he never/rarely celebrated when the team scored only when he did. I never liked that.

Tags: , , , , ,

Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

3 Responses to “The Chelsea interview: ‘sacrilege, but Kerry Dixon left me cold’” Subscribe

  1. Birflatt Boy January 29, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    David Lee? David bloody Lee? You are surely extracting the Micheal Mr Harding? David bloody Lee!

    He’s got Lee’s name in the same sentence as Gullit and Desailly!

    He’s having us on lads. At least I hope he is. Dear God, David Lee!

  2. EssientheMerciless January 29, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Dixon, Speedie, Nevin what a combination! Dixon scoring on
    our return to the top flight at L’arse, Dixon scoring at Grimsby cue pandemonium. Dixon one of Chelsea’s greatest. Roll on Torres.

  3. David January 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    England, England’s number 9 – Dixon is a Chelsea legend.


Leave a Reply

Rochdale vs Sunderland: aiming to make it three wins in three

Jake: 'Monsieur Salut must be in a bad mood again - no prize this time'

The most important point to be made about tomorrow night’s game at the Spotland Stadium is that we must aim […]

Rochdale vs Sunderland: hard acts for Dale fans to follow

Click the banner to find all the Who are You? entries this season

Ahead of another important test for Jack Ross’s new-look squad, Salut! Sunderland poses a few questions to Rochdale fans in […]

View from the West Stand: Willis and Maguire leave Portsmouth pointless

View From The West Stand (featured image)

Malcolm Dawson writes……..In a week in which a young bride excitedly looking forward to her honeymoon, wakes to find she […]

Sixer’s sevens: Portsmouth make it heavy at the Stadium of Light

Sixer's Sevens (featured image)

John McCormick writes: Let’s not quibble. We were not good. However, we had enough character to come back from a […]

Sunderland vs Portsmouth: familiar friends, or not quite? Guess the Score

Click Jake's image to enter

A technical fault means our headlines are not currently being picked up by NewsNow. This will seriously affect readership levels […]

Sixer’s Accrington Stanley Soapbox: You’ve got to eliminate the negative

SOAPBOX (featured image)

Malcolm Dawson writes……like a lot of us Pete Sixsmith was underwhelmed by our performance against Oxford and after the Ipswich […]

Page generated in 2.071 seconds. Stats plugin by