Focus On; John Hollins

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He joined Chelsea as a youth player and made his debut for the Blues against Swindon Town in September 1963 aged only 17. A talented and hard-running midfielder, usually wearing the number 4 shirt, he was known for his dedicated attitude to the game and went on to become a regular and eventually club captain. Hollins played 592 games, and scored 69 goals in his first spell at Chelsea, and was part of the successful Chelsea sides of the mid-1960s and early 1970s. After establishing himself in the Chelsea side in 1964, he rarely missed a game over the next decade, appearing in 400 out of a possible 420 league games, at one point making 167 consecutive appearances, a club record.

Hollins played in the first leg of the 3–2 aggregate victory over Leicester City in League Cup final in 1965 and the loss to Tottenham in the FA Cup final two years later. In 1970, he played a significant part in Chelsea’s hard-fought FA Cup final win over Leeds United, supplying the cross for Ian Hutchinson’s late headed equaliser at Wembley. Chelsea eventually won 2–1 in the replay at Old Trafford. They won the Cup Winners’ Cup in Athens against Real Madrid a year later, again after a replay, but Hollins missed the second match due to an injury. He was Chelsea’s player of the year two years running. While at Chelsea, he also won a solitary England cap, against Spain, on 24 May 1967.

He had his most prolific goalscoring season for Chelsea in the 1971–72 season, finding the net 17 times. Chelsea also reached another League Cup final in 1972, losing to Stoke City, but declined thereafter, though Hollins remained until the side’s relegation to the Second Division at the end of the 1974–75 season, when he was sold to nearby Queens Park Rangers.


  • Full Name: John William Hollins
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 16.07.1946
  • Birthplace: Guildford
  • Nation: England
  • Club Career: Chelsea
    • Period: 1963-1975
    • League Games, 436
    • League Goals, 47
  • Previous Club: N/A
    • Transfer Fee: N/A
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