Dmitri Kharine - Chelsea FC - Biography of his Stamford Bridge carrer.

Photo/Foto: Stuart Franklin

Date: 14 May 1994

Click on image to enlarge

      Friday, 16 August 1968
      Moscow, Russia
  • Russia
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Wednesday, 27th January 1993 in a 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers (Aged: 24)
    • Club Career
      118 League apps
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Dmitri KHARINE - Chelsea FC - Biography of his Stamford Bridge carrer.


After an early career which saw him tour the Moscow clubs, playing for Torpedo, Dynamo and CSKA, 24-year-old goalkeeper Dmitri Kharine signed for Chelsea in December 1992 for £400,000. The Russian international, who had played for his country under the guise of CIS in the 1992 European Championships, made an impressive debut for the Londoners in a 1-1 draw against QPR at Loftus Road in January 1993 but was injured against Sheffield Wednesday three days later and was replaced at half-time by loan signing Gerry Peyton, who subsequently played his only 45 minutes of football for the Blues. By the time Kharine was fit to return, manager Ian Porterfield had been dismissed and temporarily replaced by David Webb. Webb had opted for Dave Beasant as his first choice keeper but gave the Russian stopper his chance after Beasant's slip at Southampton cost the Blues dear. Kharine played in three of the remaining four matches of the campaign, conceding seven goals but impressing with his displays behind what was an uncertain defence.


New manager Glenn Hoddle selected Kharine for the start of the new campaign and the Russian responded in style, being the club's top appearance maker during a season in which the Blues struggled for League form but reached their first FA Cup Final for 24 years. Kharine kept early season clean sheets in single goal victories over Manchester United and Liverpool, and repeated the feat at Old Trafford in March. A week before the trip to Manchester, he saved a penalty from Tottenham's Andy Gray as Chelsea won a topsy-turvy match 4-3. Unfortunately, having conceded just three goals in the Blues' seven matches en route to Wembley, Kharine was beaten four times, including two Eric Cantona penalties (the photo above shows the Frenchman slotting home the opening goal), as Manchester United won the Cup Final 4-0 in May. The 1994/95 season was another in which Chelsea disappointed in the League but performed significantly better in cup competition. Early season optimism soon gave way to another relegation battle, a battle which the Stamford Bridge club eventually won with a little to spare, with Kharine making 31 League appearances.


However, it was in Europe that the Blues excelled and Kharine's European experience proved invaluable as Chelsea entered the Cup Winners Cup through the 'back door'. His crucial penalty save in the second leg of their first round clash with Czech side Viktoria Zizkov helped an inexperienced defence clinch a 0-0 draw, and 4-2 aggregate victory, and in the next round, a clean sheet in the home leg against Austria Vienna was vital as the Blues prevailed courtesy of the away goals rule. Sadly for Kharine, an injury sustained during a February triumph at West Ham rendered him unavailable for much of the remainder of the campaign, including the final four matches of the European run which ended in a semi-final defeat at the hands of eventual winners Real Zaragoza. (Kelvin Barker)



Goalkeeper Dmitri Kharine is pictured on 18th. August 1996. © George Herringshaw.


                                        Biography (Part 2) 1995/96-1998/99.



Chelsea's 1995/96 season, Hoddle's last in charge, followed a similar pattern to the previous two. The purchase of three outstanding individuals, Ruud Gullit, Mark Hughes and Dan Petrescu, ensured that relegation was never an option, but a mid-table finish was inadequate for a squad of such talent. Dmitri Kharine was in the team as the season began and remained between the sticks until an error in an FA Cup tie at home to Newcastle in January gifted Les Ferdinand an equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time. Hoddle was in no mood to forgive and the Russian was immediately dropped. His replacement, Kevin Hitchcock, was Chelsea's penalty shootout hero in the Cup replay at Newcastle and retained his place in the side throughout another lengthy Cup run which ended in a semi-final defeat at the hands of Manchester United. Hoddle chose to not re-instate Kharine until the final three weeks of the season but he was back in the starting line-up when Hoddle's replacement in the hot-seat, Ruud Gullit, selected his first team for a visit to Southampton at the beginning of the 1996/97 campaign.


He appeared to be back to his best, keeping three clean sheets in his first four games before rupturing knee ligaments in a September clash with Sheffield Wednesday which brought his season to an early conclusion. Gullit returned to his former club Feyenoord to recruit Dutch international Ed De Goey in the summer of 1997 and Kharine was left to battle it out with Hitchcock for the role of understudy. He appeared to have won that particular battle when new manager Gianluca Vialli chose to rotate his goalkeepers towards the end of the season in order to ensure that De Goey was fit for a number of crucial fixtures, including the Coca-Cola Cup Final and the semi-final and Final of the European Cup Winners Cup. If Kharine's ten League appearances that season were perhaps something of a bonus, there were more to come the following year when he was a surprise selection as Chelsea began their defence of the ECWC with a tie against Helsingborgs of Sweden.


Dmitri played in all three of the club's Coca-Cola Cup matches, handsome victories over table-topping Aston Villa and Arsenal (5-0 at Highbury no less!) followed by a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon, and his final appearance in Chelsea colours came on the season's final day when he was in goal for a 2-1 victory over Derby County at Stamford Bridge. That summer he moved north of the border to join Glasgow Celtic on a Bosman free transfer but, sadly, his knee injury continued to plague him and he was able to make just eleven appearances in his three years at Parkhead before he returned south to play non-league football for Essex side Hornchurch. (Kelvin Barker)


1982–1987    FC Torpedo Moscow    63    (0)
1988–1991    FC Dynamo Moscow    40    (0)
1991–1992    CSKA Moscow    34    (0)
1992–1999    Chelsea    118    (0)
1999–2002    Celtic    11    (0)
2002–2004    Hornchurch    23    (0)

Kharine joined Luton Town in 2004 as the club's goalkeeping coach. He remained with the club until 2013 when he was released from his contract. Kharine then moved to Conference South side Hemel Hempstead Town.