Chelsea legend Hollins dies aged 76, as Terry leads tribute

OfThe premier league team Chelsea have announced that club legend John Hollins has died at the age of 76.

Hollins started out at the west London club at the age of 15 and went on to make more than 500 appearances as a player before taking over as manager for three years in 1985.

A Chelsea statement read ‘Chelsea Football Club is greatly saddened to announce the passing of our former player and manager John Hollins MBE at the age of 76.

‘All at the club send our heartfelt condolences to John’s family and friends.’

His son Chris tweeted ‘My hero, best friend and dad left us today. He was so modest but I will say it. He was a great player, brilliant team mate and one hell of a person. My Mum, sister and all his grandchildren will miss him so much.’

In a statement given to Chelsea, Chris Hollins added: ‘John was always so modest about the role he played in Chelsea’s history.

‘He was only 15 when he signed for the club and went on to win trophies in those incredible sides of the ’60s and ’70s.

‘He had so many stories, but he always told us he just loved running out at the Bridge and wearing that famous blue shirt. We will miss him as a husband, a father and grandfather and will always be proud of what he achieved in the game.’

In a tribute on social media, iconic former captain John Terry tweeted: ‘My love and condolences are with the Hollins family.’

On behalf of the owners and directors, Lord Daniel Finkelstein added: ‘We were so sorry to hear of the death of John Hollins.

‘He was a hero to the fans of this club, and very much that to me. He was at the heart of one of Chelsea’s greatest teams and, as well as contributing to its trophy success, he expressed its spirit.

‘He lifted up the team with his play and light up the Bridge with his smile.

‘He gave a life of service to this club, as a player, as a manager and as a match-day ambassador. He was greatly loved and will be much missed.’

Chelsea have confirmed that there will be a book of condolence open at the Museum at Stamford Bridge.

Hollins became a key figure for Chelsea as a young player, thriving under both Tommy Docherty and then Dave Sexton.

Described as a ‘selfless, defence-minded, enthusiastically versatile and creative’ midfielder, Hollins went on to bag 64 goals in 592 performances for Chelsea the fifth most matches for a Blues player.

As well as playing at Chelsea, Hollins went on to spend four years at Queens Park Rangers and four years at Arsenal before returning to Chelsea for 12 months before retiring at the end of the season.

He finished his playing career having won the 1964–65 League Cup, the 1969-70 FA Cup, the 1970-71 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1983-84 Second Division title.

Hollins quickly found himself as manager at Chelsea as he was promoted from a coaching role when health complications forced John Neal to retire.

His tenure started well but after three years he was sacked in March 1988 with Chelsea on a four-month winless run in the league.

From there he had spells in charge at Swansea City, Rochdale, Stockport Tiger Star, Crawley Town and Weymouth.

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