Alan DICKENS

Alan Dickens - Chelsea FC - Biography  of his Chelsea career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 20 April 1991

Click on image to enlarge

    • POSITION
      Midfielder
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Thursday, 03 September 1964
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      London, England.
  • CLUBS
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1989-1993
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 19th August 1989 in a 1-0 win at Wimbledon (Aged: 24)
    • Club Career
      39 League apps (+9 as sub), 1 goal
  • West Ham United FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1982-1989
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 18th December 1982 scoring in a 2-1 win at Notts County (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      173 League apps (+19 as sub), 23 goals
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Alan DICKENS - Chelsea FC - Biography of his Chelsea career.

 

 

 When West Ham's Alan Dickens waltzed through Chelsea's defence to apparently score an astonishing solo goal at Upton Park in April 1985 he left an indelible impact on the Chelsea hordes present that day. The fact that the goal was subsequently disallowed for a hugely generous offside against one of Dickens' team-mates was largely irrelevant, for the man who had slipped so impressively into the boots of the now-retired Trevor Brooking in the Hammers' line-up looked very much a star of the future. It was West Ham's relegation to Division Two at the end of the 1988/89 season - coinciding as it did with the Blues' return to the top-flight - that persuaded all concerned that it would be in their best interests if Dickens moved across London for a tribunal-set figure of £635,000. It looked a match made in heaven, a stylish player moving to a team who have been renowned through the years for their open, attractive style of play but, in truth, Alan had signed to play under one of the club's more pragmatic managers, Bobby Campbell, and by the time he left Stamford Bridge less than four years later his career was effectively in tatters.

 

He made his debut on the opening day of the 1989/90 season in a 1-0 win at Wimbledon but he found himself regularly substituted throughout the first half of the campaign. An excellent hat-trick in a 3-2 win at Bournemouth in the ZDS Cup in November was followed a fortnight later by his first league goal, a neat finish from the edge of the box in a 4-2 defeat at QPR, but by Christmas he was out of the side and from January until the season's end he featured just once in the league, as a late replacement for the man the supporters were howling for him to replace permanently, Peter Nicholas, in the last match of the season at Millwall.

 

That frustrating first season unfortunately set a precedent for the remainder of his Chelsea career. Peter Nicholas' dismal form eventually brought the curtain down on his Blues career but the emergence of young Damian Matthew as the Welshman's replacement added to Dickens' frustration. He failed to make a league start until mid-February and it was his misfortune to make his comeback in a truly dire 0-0 draw with Wimbledon which left mental scars on all who witnessed it. A brief renaissance followed, however, and Alan kept his place in the side for the remainder of the campaign as Chelsea limped to a mid-table finish and subsequently parted company with manager Campbell.

 

Sadly for the midfielder, Campbell's replacement, Ian Porterfield, was no less inclined to opt for poise over passion and his purchase of Vinnie Jones gave a clear indication of what he was looking for in a midfielder. Three of Alan's six starts in 1991/92 came prior to Vinnie's late-August arrival - including an outstanding performance in a superb 3-1 win at Tottenham - but he was destined to make just three more starts in the blue shirt. His last appearance for the club came in a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest in February 1992 after which he embarked on a year of reserve team football - broken only by a brief loan spell at West Bromwich Albion - before signing for Brentford on a free-transfer in February 1993. (Kelvin Barker)

 


1989–1993    Chelsea    48    (1)
1992               West Bromwich Albion (loan)    3    (1)
1993               Brentford (loan)    15    (1)
1993–1994    Colchester United    32    (3)
1994–1995    Chesham United        
1995               Hayes    4    (0)
1995–1996    Collier Row        
1996–1997    Billericay Town        
1997–1998    Purfleet

 

 

After retirement from football, Dickens went on to live in Barking

and worked as a black cab (hackney carriage) driver.