Bobby Tambling Profile
Feb. 07, 2020
Bobby Tambling, our record goalscorer until 2013 when he was overtaken by Frank Lampard, made his Chelsea debut as a 17-year-old on this day in 1959, scoring early in a 3-2 victory over West Ham United.
It was the first of his 202 goals for the Blues, which stood as a club record over 40 years.
Over the next two seasons Tambling made a handful of further appearances, mostly as a winger. It wasn't until the departure of Jimmy Greaves to AC Milan in 1961 that his career as a goalscorer really took off.
Tambling went on to score 22 goals in his first full campaign for the club, even though we were relegated that season. The following season proved to be more successful for Bobby as he became the youngest captain to lead a team to promotion and scored 37 goals.
Bobby would continue to score throughout the 1960s, scoring over 10 league goals every season from 1961 to 1969.
The 1965 season also provided Bobby with his only piece of silverware as a Blue, scoring in the League Cup final vs Leicester City. Bobby did also become the first player to score for Chelsea in an FA Cup Final, but his goal in 1967 proved to be just a consolation.
Tambling also set the record for most league goals scored by a Chelsea player on one game when he netted five vs Aston Villa in a 6-2 win at Villa Park. His record still stands to this day.
As the 1960s came to end, Tambling found his place under threat and he played just seven times in the 1969/70 season, behind young strikers Peter Osgood and Ian Hutchinson. He joined Crystal Palace that summer having missed out on a place in the FA Cup final team.
Tambling was voted into our greatest ever XI to mark the club's centenary in 2005. He will always be a Chelsea legend!
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