Colin PATES

Colin Pates - Chelsea FC - Biography of his football career at Chelsea.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 January 1980

Click on image to enlarge

    • POSITION
      Central Defender/Midfielder
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Thursday, 10 August 1961
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      London, England.
  • CLUBS
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1979-1988
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 10th November 1979 in a 7-3 win at Orient (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      280 League apps (+1 as sub), 10 goals
  • Brighton & Hove Albion
    • Club Career Dates
      1991 - 1995.
    • League Debut
    • Club Career
      67 League appearances.
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Colin PATES - Chelsea FC - Biography of his football career at Chelsea.

 

                                               (Part 1) 1979/80-1981/82

  

 The bizarre match in which Colin Pates made his Chelsea debut might have given him an indication of the Stamford Bridge roller coaster which lay ahead. The 18 year-old Carshalton-born central-defender, and occasional midfielder, made his bow in place of the injured Micky Droy at Orient in November 1979 in an incredible 7-3 victory. Droy's regular absences through injury allowed Pates to make 17 appearances in his first season, an impressive tally for one so young, and he was a composed figure throughout Chelsea's eventually unsuccessful push for promotion. A ball-playing defender who read the game superbly, Pates had the ability to play in a number of positions and subsequently found himself being used as a regular stop-gap by his manager Geoff Hurst. His 15 appearances in 1980/81 were played out right across the back-four but when new manager John Neal took over at the end of the season, Colin's luck began to turn. Neal saw the potential in a Droy/Pates partnership at the heart of the defence, Droy's strong tackling and mighty aerial presence being the perfect foil for the more cultured defensive distribution of Pates.

 

Colin was an ever-present during Neal's first season in charge, performing impressively alongside both Droy and Gary Chivers at the heart of Chelsea's defence. An injury to John Bumstead in February 1982 gave Neal the dilemma of who to field in place of the influential midfielder for the following week's FA Cup tie against Liverpool. Somewhat surprisingly he moved Pates forward from his defensive duty and the youngster rose to the occasion. In an impressive overall team performance, Pates was a crucial member of the Chelsea midfield which totally outshone their illustrious counterparts, helping the Blues to a memorable 2-0 victory. His performances in the middle of the pitch so impressed Neal that he retained him in the position throughout the remainder of the campaign, even preferring to drop centre-forward Colin Lee back to centre-half rather than disturb his new midfield lynchpin. On the final day of the season, Colin scored his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw at Blackburn. (Kelvin Barker)

 

 

Colin Pates pictured playing for Chelsea against Arsenal on 18th. August 1984.

Photo G. Herringshaw. ©


                                                         (Part 2) 1982/83-1984/85

 

 Colin was in the starting line-up at the beginning of the 1982/83 season but an injury picked up at Derby in early September left him sidelined for a month. Soon after returning he scored his first goal at Stamford Bridge with a 25-yard pile-driver in a 3-1 win against Charlton. Proving he now had a taste for spectacular goals at the Bridge, he repeated the dose a week before Christmas with a volley from outside the box to clinch victory over Bolton, before impressively outshining QPR's Terry Fenwick in the middle of the park at Loftus Road on Boxing Day to lay the foundations for a shock win against the division's top team. The form of the side that season, though not Colin as an individual, precipitated regular changes in the line-up and his appearances were shared between defence and midfield. Relegation was avoided by just two points and many players were shown the door that summer but John Neal had big plans for Pates. With Droy injured again, Colin began the new season alongside Chelsea's new Scottish signing Joe McLaughlin. The pair clicked instantly and formed a partnership which was so solid that Droy, a Blues legend and club captain at the time, was unable to make a single appearance throughout the campaign.

 

Neal reaffirmed his faith in Colin by awarding him the captaincy of the team after Christmas and it proved another piece of inspired man-management by the little Geordie as Pates stepped into the role with ease and led the team to the Second Division title. Colin's classy displays in the top division catapulted him into the limelight, his impressive captaincy of a club on the up particularly catching the eye. A string of niggly injuries after Christmas led to him missing a handful of matches and his importance to the defence was highlighted when, in his absence, Chelsea slipped to consecutive defeats at Coventry and Ipswich. Pates made a total of 48 appearances during the 1984/85 campaign and scored once, the goal coming in a stunning 4-3 win at Goodison Park against the season's champions Everton. (Kelvin Barker)