Gareth HALL

Gareth Hall - Chelsea FC - Biography (Part 1) 1986/87-1989/90

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 17 February 1990

Click on image to enlarge

      Right Back
      Wednesday, 12 March 1969
      Croydon, England.
  • Wales
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Tuesday, 5th May 1987 as a sub in a 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      120 League apps (+18 as sub), 4 goals
  • Sunderland FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 23rd December 1995 as a sub in a 3-1 defeat at Derby County (Aged: 26)
    • Club Career
      41 League apps (+7 as sub), 0 goals
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Gareth HALL - Chelsea FC - Biography (Part 1) 1986/87-1989/90

If life at Chelsea Football Club has all too often been something of a soap opera, the events leading up to Gareth Hall's arrival in the Blues' first team were in keeping with the club's reputation for chaos. Having only recently turned 18, Chelsea's youth and reserve team captain, fresh from leading the youths to a South East Counties Cup win just a matter of weeks earlier, made his much anticipated debut in a league match at Plough Lane in May 1987, having featured for the reserves at Stamford Bridge earlier in the day! To be fair, events in SW6 had never been more farcical than during the dark days of the John Hollins regime, and it was Gareth's misfortune to be introduced into a side in decline. The clash with Wimbledon, in which he made his bow as a replacement for Keith Dublin, was a typically disappointing 2-1 defeat, but for the stocky, sturdy right-back it was the dawning of a career in and around the Chelsea first-team that would eventually run for nine years, although for the majority of that time he remained in the shadow of the ever-dependable Steve Clarke. Eight starts and five substitute appearances throughout the following campaign were supplemented by a further three appearances in the end-of-season play-offs, where he excelled in a defensive midfield role. Sadly, though, his efforts were in vain, as the Blues succumbed to relegation after defeat by Middlesbrough in the play-off final. New manager Bobby Campbell, confirmed in the role as Hollins' successor, having replaced the former Chelsea midfielder for the final two months of the relegation season, proved to be a big fan of Hall, and the Croydon-born player - by now a full Welsh international - featured on no less than 22 occasions as the Blues stormed back into the top-flight at the first time of asking. For much of the following campaign, though, he remained in Clarke's shadow, until an injury picked up on international duty ruled the Scotsman out for a month. Given the opportunity to show what he could do, Gareth performed admirably, even scoring his first goals for the club: a one-yard tap-in which gave Chelsea three points against Manchester United, and a neat finish to help send the Blues to Wembley at the expense of Crystal Palace in the much-maligned Zenith Data Systems Trophy. At the end of March, Gareth was a member of the side that lifted the trophy in front of 76, 000 fans, as Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 1-0. (Kelvin Barker)