January 3rd, 1974
48 years ago today, then Chelsea manager Dave Sexton chose to put two of the club’s most iconic players on the infamous transfer list, following another falling out with Alan Hudson and Peter Osgood.
It was reported that the pair had failed to turn up to training and were immediately suspended, then listed, by the London club.
A club statement read: “Hudson and Osgood both refused to train with the first team squad this morning and have been suspended by the club for one week. Both have expressed a wish to move and the club are making them available for transfer immediately”.
Hudson’s memory is slightly different, however. Writing many years later in the Stoke Sentinel, he said: “I had a pretty hectic life living in Chelsea and I donâ€™t really think it sunk in for Peter Osgood or myself that one minute we were winning cups, the next Dave Sexton saw us as surplus to requirements at the new-look Stamford Bridge. We were stunned as we sat in our favourite restaurant in the Kings Road, shaking our heads and talking of where we would like to go.”
Neither played for the Stamford Bridge side again – within a month, Hudson had signed for Stoke City for Â£240,000 (then a club record for the Potteries’ club) and Osgood moved to Southampton in March for Â£275,000.
Two days later, Chelsea travelled to QPR in the FA Cup and drew 0-0. They would lose the replay 1-0 ten days later.
It was never felt that Sexton had the man-management skills to cope with the Chelsea players of the time – the fallings out with the likes of Osgood, Hudson, Charlie Cooke and John Hollins were regular occurrences and with Chelsea needing money at the time to fund the redevelopment of the ground, the two mavericks were easy targets to move out of the club.
Hudson’s move to Stoke City was ultimately successful, finding himself playing for his perfect manager in Tony Waddington. Hudson impressed on his debut versus Liverpool and inspired Stoke to finishing with four points of the First Division title in the 1974/75 season. His two-year spell at the Victoria Ground was the best spell of his career and he later returned to London in the red of Arsenal.
Osgood, considered the King of the Kings Road, went on to win the FA Cup with Southampton in 1976. Chelsea supporters had picketed for him not to be sold by Sexton, to no avail.
We’ll be back with another Football Pink Time Machine in a couple of days…