Ex-Chelsea player and manager John Hollins has passed away at the age of 76, the club announced earlier today, June 14.
Hollins made 592 appearances as a player for Chelsea, scoring 64 goals during his two stints at West London between 1963 and 1984.
The Englishman was named manager in 1985 and he was manager of The Blues for three years.
Daniel Finkelstein, a board member of Chelsea said that Hollins was a hero to him and Chelsea supporters.
Finkelstein said: “He was a hero to the fans of this club, and very much that to me.”
The board member also revealed that John Hollins was instrumental to the club’s success.
He said: “He was at the heart of one of Chelsea’s greatest teams and, as well as contributing to its trophy success, he expressed its spirit.
Additionally, Daniel Finkelstein expressed how dedicated the late Blue was as a player and as a manager.
Finkelstein said: “He lifted up the team with his play and lit up the Bridge with his smile.
“He gave a life of service to this club, as a player, as a manager and as a matchday ambassador. He was greatly loved and will be much missed.”
John Hollins was a two time Chelsea player of the year winner and he was a product of the club’s academy.
He made his first appearance for the West London side at the tender age of 17 and he went on to produce magic several years after.
The former England International who made only one appearance for the Three Lions of England won the FA Cup, Cup Winners Cup and League Cup during his first spell at Chelsea.
Hollins left Stamford Bridge in 1975 but returned after eight years to help the club gain promotion to the top tier of English football from the second division.
The late footballer who started his playing career as a midfielder before converting to the full back position is fifth on Chelsea’s all-time appearances list.
He is behind other club legends namely; John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ron Harris and Peter Bonetti.
John Hollins played for both Arsenal and Chelsea
John Hollins also represented other London clubs namely; Queen Park Rangers and Arsenal.
He also played for a club named Cobh Ramblers, a club that play in the League of Ireland First Division.
The former Arsenal man coached Swansea City, a club he led to win the fourth-tier title in 2000.
Hollins also managed Chelsea, Rochdale, Raith, Stockport county, Stockport Tiger Star, Crawley and Weymouth.
His son, Chris Hollins, a former presenter with the BBC tweeted an heartfelt tribute to his father following his demise: “My hero, best friend and dad left us today.
“He was so modest but I will say it: He was a great player, brilliant team-mate and one hell of a person. My Mum, sister and all his grandchildren will miss him so much.”
Legendary Chelsea defender and former captain of England John Terry also tweeted condolences to the friends and family of John Hollins.
Former Scotland forward David Speedie, who was a teammate of Holins and played under the late Englishman at Chelsea also spoke highly of him.
He said: “Long before the days of big money, social media and billionaire owners, John cemented his place as an all time Chelsea FC legend. He’ll be missed by everyone who knew him.”
We wish the family, friends and fans of John Hollins all the best and we pray God gives them the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.