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Played for both: Chelsea

27 January 2017

We look back at four players who have represented both us and The Blues

Ron Harris: Brentford, 76 appearances, 0 goals; Chelsea, 803 appearances, 14 goals

One of the toughest defenders to play the game, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris is Chelsea royalty having spent nearly 20 years on the King’s Road with The Blues. During his time at Stamford Bridge he won the FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winner’s Cup, and twice helped The Blues win promotion from the Second Division. His battles with the Leeds United team of Norman Hunter, Jack Charlton, and Billy Bremner in the early 1970’s are stuff of legend. Ron joined Brentford in 1980 aged 35 as player/assistant manager. Despite his age, his positional sense and passing meant he was a part of The Bees line-up for three-and-a-half years before retiring in 1984.

Johnny Brooks: Brentford, 93 appearances, 37 goals; Chelsea, 52 appearances, 7 goals

One of the most stylish forwards to turn out for Brentford, Brooks had a long and distinguished career with Reading, Tottenham Hotspur, and England before arriving at Chelsea in 1959. His five goals helped to retain The Blues top flight status that season but he managed just one league goal the following season before heading to Griffin Park in 1961. Despite his 10 goals The Bees were relegated during his first season but the 1962-63 campaign was a different matter. As part of an all-international front line in Division Four, Johnny struck 22 times as The Bees romped to the league title, scoring 98 goals in the process. He was famed for his long-range shooting and his ability to curl the ball round the defensive wall from free-kicks. He scored four goals in six games, including two in the 9-0 win over Wrexham, during his final season before a brief spell with Crystal Palace and retirement.

Alan Nelmes: Brentford, 350 appearances, 0 goals; Chelsea, 0 appearances, 0 goals

Just like fellow Hackney-born defender Ron Harris, Alan Nelmes (pictured top row, middle above) began his career at Stamford Bridge, however after failing to make a senior appearance for The Blues he left for Griffin Park in July 1967. In the wake of the attempted QPR takeover, and with finances tight, Alan’s defensive versatility was a godsend for a squad down to its bare bones. With great pace off the mark and timing in the tackle, Alan missed just three games in four seasons between 1968 and 1972, which culminated in promotion to Division Three in 1972. While he couldn’t help keep The Bees up the following season he continued to be a regular until 1976. Alan remains in a select group of players to have made more than 100 consecutive Bees appearances and is a member of the club’s Hall of Fame.

Keith Jones: Brentford, 213 appearances, 20 goals; Chelsea, 69 appearances, 11 goals

An England schoolboy and youth international, Keith signed professionally for Chelsea aged 17 and spent four years in Division One at Stamford Bridge. Looking for more consistent first-team football Keith joined The Bees in 1987, marking his debut with a scissor kick goal against Rotherham United. Handed the captaincy the following summer, the tenacious midfielder missed only a handful of games over the next three seasons as The Bees reached the FA Cup Quarter Final in 1989 and were beaten in the Play-Offs in 1991. He called time on his spell at Griffin Park that summer but he went on to play professionally for another ten years with Southend United, Charlton Athletic, and Reading before retiring in 2002 with more than 600 appearances to his name.


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