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Match detail: Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea

Match Date: Saturday, 7th May 1983 at 15:00
Competition: League - Football League Division 2
Opponent: Bolton Wanderers
Venue: Burnden Park
Attendance: 8,687
Half Time: 0 - 0
Result: Won 0 - 1
Referee: Terry Holbrook (Walsall)

Team:

John Bumstead
Paul Canoville
Gary Chivers
Micky Droy (C)
Mike Fillery
Steve Francis (GK)
Chris Hutchings
Joey Jones
Colin Lee
Colin Pates
Clive Walker

Chelsea Goal Scorers:

Clive Walker (75)

Bolton Wanderers Goal Scorers:

None



By fan Garry Jones in reference to Clive Walker's goal in this game:

Cometh the hour; cometh the Man. The hour was 16.30 on May 7th 1983. Chelsea on the brink of extinction. Minutes to go to save the club. Relegation seemed assured. Bates planned to shut the club down if we dropped. There would have been no way back.

The game going nowhere unless one of our mediocre band of misfits could conjure up something special. Hope dies eternal. Lord knows we all knew that. But I had not missed a game home or away since Jan 79 and hope seemed spent. We had not conjured up anything on order since 71. We were watching the last throws of Chelsea Football Club. Priests were converging on Burnden Park to read The Last Rites. Doomed. Doomed. Despair and desperation. We faced the fact. We stood on the brink of the Abyss. Chelsea were dead and burried. The champagne had been ordered on Tyneside, Merseyside, Everyside (and Leicester).

One man refused to believe it. Walker, picking up the ball in an impossible position with his back to the goal, turned on a sixpence and smashed one into the top corner. Cathy, Sue and I were in the Bolton end. We flew in the air and into each others arms.Incredible. Incredible. Chelsea fans letting off screams of disbelief all over the ground. The final whistle. Club safe. Everybody in tears. Walker with his fist up punching the air just trying to come to terms with what he had done. For that my friends was the most important goal in Chelsea history. Thank You Clive. For me it was enough. I never had to see Chelsea play again. I stopped going and saw just a handful of games until 88 when I emigrated. And just one game since then - the ECWC final - when Chelsea came to Sweden to see me. For me it suffices. I will never get over Walker's goal in 83. Football can not match that again. In a matter of life and death Walker gave Chelsea the kiss of life.


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Programme cover for Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea, Saturday, 7th May 1983programme cover for Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea, Saturday, 7th May 1983