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Tributes pour in for former Chelsea manager Bobby Campbell who passed away on Friday

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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.

"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.

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.