Wolves 6 Chelsea 4 – 26.04.1947
Today we go back 65 years, to the post-wartime Chelsea, under the stewardship of Billy Birrell, as the league format got back underway following the end of the war.
The season before, only the FA Cup competition took place, as the country was struggling back to full health, and was solely for the purpose of gaining revenue for the clubs.
Billy Birrell was not one of Chelseas most well-known managers, consistently finishing mid-table, reaching two FA Cup semi-finals, but was most famous for starting Chelseas youth system, which has since flourished and become one of the best in the country.
The 1946/47 season saw Chelsea finish in 16th place out of 22, with Tommy Lawton finishing top scorer with 30 goals. They also reached the FA Cup 4th round, but were knocked out by Derby, who finished but above them in the league.
There was some cracking games in the season, and on this day, Chelsea travelled to the Midlands to face high-flying Wolverhampton, and were beaten 6-4 in a 10 goal thriller.
Three players scored braces for Wolves, Forbes, Hancocks and Westcott. While for Chelsea, top scorer Lawton got one, while Machin, Spence, and Goulden also got on the score sheet.
The late forties and early fifties were a quiet time for Chelsea, and although winning the league title in 1955, Chelsea were never associated with the big clubs in England, and it was another 15 years until they finally had success in Europe.
By Brad Smith