There was sad news even before the match yesterday as we learned of former Chelsea manager Bobby Campbell's passing on Friday. He was 78. The players and staff all wore black armbands against Stoke to pay their respects.
Bobby a familiar face around Stamford Bridge until recently, regularly sat at ear of Roman Abramovich. Always with a smile. Loved the game.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) November 6, 2015
"I respect him and like him (Abramovich). I have been invited to watch games with him for seven or eight years and I have learned a lot from him. I can't tell you much more other than to say if I did, I would have to kill you!"
-Bobby Campbell, 2012; source: The Sun
Campbell may have only been in charge for three seasons and a few months back in the late '80s and early '90s, but he can lay claim to the honor of having been the last Chelsea manager to guide the team to a promotion. (We could certainly use a 27-match unbeaten streak right now.) Of course, if we keep up our current form, somebody else will get to add his name to that short list of managers.
For many of us — for the vast majority of fans given the timing of the Premier League's global popularity, in fact — Campbell's tenure, about a quarter century in the rearview now, came before our time. But everybody needs to know a bit of history now and then: the official Chelsea website's tribute (both words and video) is great, while former players, older fans, and many others whose lives had been touched by Bobby Campbell in some way paid tribute to the man on social media.
RIP Bobby Campbell..the first managers office I ever walked into...granted it was by mistake as a ball boy..lovely fella who loved football— Jody Morris (@morriskid) November 6, 2015
RIP Bobby Campbell. He gave me my Chelsea debut which is something I'll always treasure #CFCFamily— david lee (@davejlee69) November 6, 2015
Everyone at Fulham Football Club was saddened to learn of the passing of former coach and manager Bobby Campbell pic.twitter.com/Nmav53AAO2— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) November 6, 2015
Everyone at @Arsenal send their thoughts and wishes to family and friends of former first-team coach Bobby Campbell following his sad death.— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 7, 2015
RIP Bobby Campbell...was always down at cobham watching the academy boys train..enthusiasm for the game still as strong as ever ⚽️ #Chels— Jody Morris (@morriskid) November 6, 2015
Campbell, who lived within walking distance of Stamford Bridge in his later years, had been ill for some time, but was still a regular sight not only on first-team match-days but at youth games and at the training ground as well.
Chelsea was very close to Bobby Campbell’s heart and he will always be close to ours. pic.twitter.com/eUD5GWzthv— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 7, 2015