end of the day people will be able to say o

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end of the day people will be able to say o

Postby lw789 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:08 pm

April 28, 1984 goes down in the annals of Chelsea FC as one of the most pivotal days in the entire 100-plus-year history of the club. Simply put, without that moment, Chelsea’s supporters across the globe would not have experienced the elation of May 19, 2012, when, of course, Didier Drogba single-handedly rallied his team to Champions League glory in Munich. The architect back in 1984 was club manager John Neal, who dragged Chelsea by the heels from a last-day escape from dropping into the third tier of English football in spring 1983 to promotion to the top tier just the following season. The majestic manner in which Chelsea gained promotion and the football produced the stuff of folklore. Making Neal’s feat all the more unlikely was the fact this was all achieved at a time ‘austerity measures’ reigned supreme at Stamford Bridge. With great sadness Chelsea announced Sunday the passing of John Neal. It is no exaggeration to suggest there might not be a Chelsea Football Club today had he not made such a success of dealing with crisis and getting the team back on its feet, read the final sentence of a highly emotional tribute to John Neal on the club’s website Monday morning. Neal was appointed manager at Chelsea in April 1981 following the sacking of Geoff Hurst, England’s hat-trick hero from the 1966 World Cup Final. Neal inherited a tired and aged squad with the club still under the ownership of the founding Mears family, who had sunk vast sums into the reconstruction of the East Stand just as the price of steel hit a record high. With loans required to complete the work and interest rates at the time more synonymous of loan-sharking rates, Neal was fully aware his transfer budget going into the 1981-1982 season was less than the price of a cup of tea at Stamford Bridge. Things did not improve in Neal’s first season in charge, but the highlight was an outstanding 90-minute performanc, and 2-0 victory in the FA Cup against a legendary Liverpool side, which at the time was the current European Champions. The club finished that season in mid-table mediocrity. Remember, Chelsea is not even in the top tier of English football, but playing in the old Second Division. With a change of ownership in late 1982, which saw Ken Bates buy the club for a princely sum of £1 from the Mears family, winds of change were finally in the chilling Stamford Bridge air. As can often happen to achieve success, you have to take one step backwards to enable you to take those two steps forward – this happened during the 1982-1983 season. Chelsea came within a whisker of falling into the third division for the very first time in the club’s history. Only a win and draw in their final two matches saved them from the drop. Survival gained, the expectation was Bates would relieve Neal of his managerial duties, but with money available and Neal’s canny eye for spotting raw talent and bargain basement experienced players, the owner and the coach cast away the Chelsea driftwood and brought in players who weren’t even famous in their own households. Pat Nevin was one player bought in under Neal. Rejected by Celtic, he got his start in professional football at Clyde, a club playing in the Scottish Second Division. Wee Pat - as he was affectionately called by Neal - went on to mesmerize and turn defences inside and out well before Eden Hazard was even a twinkle in his old man’s eye. Chelsea’s 1983-1984 season could not have gotten off to a better start as they pulverized Derby County 5-0. Winning five of their opening six matches set the tone for the season, where they ended the season going unbeaten in the final 17 matches, winning 13 of those. A number of club legends were born under Neal. None more so than Paul Canoville, who was the very first black player in club history. This coming at the time racism in the guise of the National Front had infiltrated sections of Chelsea support. Canoville, plucked from non-league football and a possible lifetime of petty crime by Neal, would suffer horrendous racism from his own supporters and, shamefully on one occasion, even from a teammate. Neal famously pulled him aside in the locker room and told him to ignore the thugs, but take comfort from the fact it was those very thugs who were paying his salary. Canoville would go on to play a pivotal role in Chelsea’s push for promotion that season and had a starring role back on April 28, 1984. It is not an exaggeration to state that of all the memorable occasions ever witnessed at Stamford Bridge over the many decades the club has existed that Saturday afternoon in late April from 25 ago stands out foremost. The atmosphere profound, thanks in part to the 10,000-plus Leeds fans who traveled down to London to witness what, for all intents and purposes, turned out to be John Neal’s coronation. Even the weather co-operated, as a sun drenched Stamford Bridge welcomed by far its largest crowd of the season. When at the time, attendance averaged only 15,000, the official attendance that game was 33,447. With the knowledge that victory would finally secure promotion back to the top flight, it felt like 50,000 had packed the standing-room only terraces. The supporters were not to be disappointed - 3-0 up at half-time, Ken Bates, the owner, proceeded to walk around the pitch at the half with a megaphone pleading for the crowd not to invade the pitch and celebrate until the final whistle. Following Canoville scoring a fifth and final goal, deep into injury time, bedlam of the best variety broke out right all around Stamford Bridge and the man who made it all possible, John Neal, disappeared down the tunnel so as to allow his players to receive the adulations and congratulations. That summer Neal underwent heart surgery, but returned as Chelsea took their bow at Highbury to kick off their return in the top flight. Neal’s team drew that day and went on to finish a very credible sixth and managed a semi-final berth in the League Cup. At season’s end, and for health reasons, John Neal retired and took a place in that very same director’s box where he watched tens of thousands of Chelsea supporters celebrate him down on the pitch that previous April. Following Neal’s passing, Nevin, in an interview with a local Chelsea newspaper, said it was Neal’s wisdom, which set him apart from all other managers. A genuine wisdom is the best way to describe it, Nevin told West London Sport. And that’s rare – not only in football, but quite rare in life too.” With the same newspaper, Canoville spoke of the trust and respect Neal commanded. “He had everyone’s trust, Canoville said. He made brave football decisions, but did things in the right way and treated people with respect. He added, “I could not say one bad word about him and don’t know anyone else who could either.” John Neal’s funeral is scheduled to take place on Thursday. His spirit likely over the Stadion Gelsenkirchen this past Tuesday night, as a majestic Jose Mourinho-inspired Chelsea ripped FC Schalke apart, throughout a match where the Chelsea supporters paid their own special tribute and homage to a gentleman with the refined and so very unassuming character – the like of which is so extremely rare in football today. Chelsea’s gain certainly, football’s loss absolutely - John Neal was 82. 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Peters was signed for 2014, and his new deal adds four years through 2018.GENEVA -- Tour de France champion Chris Froome wants an investigation into cyclings doping history to finally close an era dominated by Lance Armstrong. Almost 18 months after Armstrongs seven Tour wins were wiped from the record, an independent panel created by the new International Cycling Union leadership has begun work to discover the extent of the sports past problems. "I hope that anyone who does have anything to contribute would get involved." Froome told The Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday. The three-man Cycling Independent Reform Commission aims to investigate how doping happened from 1998-2013 and possible UCI complicity in helping Armstrong and his teams avoid scrutiny. "I am hoping that at the end of the day people will be able to say of it, Right, that was that era, we can now put that to bed and stop asking questions about it," Froome said. Armstrong and former UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid will be invited for confidential, closed-door interviews with the panel which is based at Lausanne, Switzerland. None of the trio has committed publicly to meeting with the panel, which is chaired by Swiss politician and prosecutor Dick Marty. Froome said the panel could engage "not just necessarily those three, but anyone really who is part of that era and can contribute to resolving it." "Its going to be more negative publicity for the sport. Thats never good," Froome acknowledged. The Team Sky leader, who made a winning return to racing last month at the Tour of Oman, said he had not heard much tallk about the commission among current riders, who must help restore the sports credibility.dddddddddddd "Theres a lot of really, really talented young riders coming through the system now that I believe in personally." Froome said. "These are going to be the guys carrying the torch going forward." Froome will be 29 when he is scheduled to start defending his Tour title on July 5 in northern England -- probably with 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins alongside him. "Im confident whoever is in there, we are going to have the strongest team possible," said Froome, whose frayed relationship with Wiggins was mended in the off-season. "He can do a lot of damage to the peloton. Hes one of the best climbers in the world and we know his time trialing ability." Froome expects to follow the path both he and Wiggins followed to Tour success, competing in -- and winning -- stage-race preparations at the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland and Criterium de Dauphine in France. "I think it would be crazy to really change things up too much," Froome said. "We found it has been a good system that has worked quite well for us." Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, on the sidelines of a Team Sky sponsors event, Froome said extra work being a Tour champion was "a bit of a juggling act" with his training program. Still, the Oman victory suggests he got the balance right. "It just backs up that I have had a really good winter preparation," Froome said. "Im where I need to be for the season coming up." Cheap Chargers Jerseys Cheap Rams Jersey Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jersey Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap New York Giants Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Raiders Jerseys Cheap Eagles Jerseys Cheap Steelers Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Titans Jerseys Cheap Redskins Jerseys ' ' '

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