Thursday 27th March 2008
It was an evening of celebration when fans and former players gathered at Stamford Bridge for the inaugural annual dinner in aid of the Peter Osgood Trust.
Over 200 guests attended the event including Clive Walker, Bobby Tambling, Marvin Hinton, Tommy Baldwin, ex-Chelsea boss Tommy Docherty, former Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemy Chelsea Life-Vice President Lord Attenborough, Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck and comedian David Baddiel.
Proceedings started with an emotional rendition of the terrace chant ‘King of Stamford Bridge’ sung by Stuart Pendred, followed by a fitting video tribute playing out the strikers greatest moments including the equalising header in the 1970 FA Cup Final replay against Leeds.
Host for the night was Sky Sports presenter Matt Lorenzo who introduced a variety of guests throughout the evening for some uniquely entertaining question and answer sessions. Tommy Docherty was a popular figure with his stories on life as a football manager during his time at Stamford Bridge from 1962-67, ‘Ossie is the best player I have seen’ he said. ‘I have told this story so many times but it never gets boring. When I first saw him play on a Saturday afternoon at Hendon I told Dickie Foss, who was Youth Team Manager at the time, to take him off at half time because he was excellent. He was amazing to watch and there were scouts there from other London clubs and I didn’t want them to snap him up.’
‘He had the grace to glide past players with ease and nothing ever troubled him. He played football with a smile on his face and loved life. He was a true gentleman and it was a pleasure to be his coach.’
It may have been a pleasure to coach a player with the ability of somebody in Osgood’s mould but playing alongside him was an honour that many Chelsea players have long spoken about in length and Bobby Tambling is no different. ‘There was simply nobody like him’ enthused Chelsea’s all time leading goal scorer. ‘A lot of the Chelsea players had come through together from a young age and had to work their way up through the ranks, but Ossie was different. At 17 he was in the first team because he was that good. The first time the players saw him train we all knew he was going to be a great player for Chelsea and he never let us down. He was excellent.’
Clive Walker was coming through the ranks when Ossie made his emotional return to Stamford Bridge in 1978 having made the move to Southampton four years earlier. ‘I had grown up watching him from the Shed and then to suddenly be playing alongside him was unbelievable’, Walker remembered. ’He was a legend at Chelsea at it’s great to see so many people getting behind Lynn and the Trust to ensure his name lives on’.
One of the highlights of the evening was the entertaining pairing of Lord Attenborough and David Baddiel on stage who gave the highest accolades to Ossie.
Before the evening was out a host of messages from some familiar faces were played across the screens. Chelsea Captain John Terry and midfield ace Frank Lampard received big cheers when they paid tribute to a Chelsea hero.’ Long live the King’ declared JT. ‘Ossie we love you’.
‘I have so much respect for Ossie – he is a Chelsea legend – a big hero of mine’ added Lampard, before offering an insight into his goal celebration in the game against Derby when he scored only the second penalty to have been taken before the Shed since Osgoods ashes were buried under the penalty spot in October 2006. ‘I had been desperate to score there having been to the memorial service which was such an emotional occasion. I kissed the penalty spot as a mark of respect for a Chelsea hero.’
An auction and raffle raised over £6000 for the Trust and cheers and applause for the King rang throughout the room as ‘Blue is the Colour’ was played out for one last time rounding off a truly emotional evening.