Kevin Hales - Chelsea FC - Biography of his Chelsea football career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 13 February 1982

Click on image to enlarge

      Friday, 13 January 1961
      Dartford, England.
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 10th November 1979 as a sub in a 7-3 win at Orient (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      18 League apps (+2 as sub), 2 goals
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Kevin HALES - Chelsea FC - Biography of his Chelsea football career.


 The much-vaunted Chelsea youth scheme of the 1960s and 70s produced some truly outstanding performers who thrived for many years as top performers at the highest level - Peter Osgood, Alan Hudson and Ray Wilkins to name but three - but there were many others who for one reason or another were unable to make their mark on the upper echelons of league football. Some were perhaps not quite as talented as they themselves thought and others appeared to lack the necessary desire but a small number were simply unlucky. Kevin Hales - a neat and tidy, hardworking midfielder - must surely fall into the latter category. Hales was just 18-years-old when in November 1979 he stepped up from the substitutes' bench to replace John Bumstead in an incredible 7-3 victory at Orient which also marked the debut of his former youth team colleague Colin Pates. His first start came on a cold and miserable January night when 4th Division Wigan Athletic upset the odds to send Chelsea hurtling out of the FA Cup and another two-month absence followed before he made the first of his five League starts that season, a 1-0 win against Cardiff. The Blues looked odds-on for promotion for much of the 1979/80 season but fell away badly over the Easter period and eventually missed out on goal-difference.


Surprisingly, Kevin was destined to another full season of reserve team football before he was asked by new manager John Neal to inject some enthusiasm into a lacklustre midfield which had been misfiring for much of the first three months of the 1981/82 season. Reinstated for a 4-3 victory at Charlton, Hales revelled in his first regular run in the side and secured a spot on the right of midfield with a string of dependable performances. His first Chelsea goal came just two weeks after his recall, a fine strike in a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday, and another followed in a 4-1 demolition of Leicester City, but sandwiched between these games was a tremendous FA Cup run which saw Kevin figure in a midfield which outfought and outplayed their full-strength Liverpool counterparts to win 2-0 (the photo above was taken during the game), before losing by the odd goal in five to Tottenham in the quarter-finals.


However, in keeping with many who have pulled on the blue jersey through the years, misfortune was lurking just around the corner and a serious knee injury suffered at Barnsley just a week after the cup exit brought a premature end to his fine season. A brave ten-month battle for fitness followed before Kevin was able to return to the side. He made his comeback in a 6-0 win over Cambridge United but that freak result could not mask the fact that he had returned to a very poor team, one which was destined to finish in the lowest position in the club's history. His confidence eroded, Hales was unable to reproduce his previous form and made just three league performances, the last one of his Chelsea career coming when he scored an own-goal in what was a dreadful team display as a run-of-the-mill Barnsley side romped to a 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in March 1983. That summer Kevin moved on a free-transfer to the club where it had all begun for him, Orient, and went on to play more than 300 games in a ten-year career with the east London club. (Kelvin Barker)


1979-1983    Chelsea    20    (2)
1983-1993    Leyton Orient    353    (25)

Teams managed.

1995-2000    Welling United
2000-2003    Stevenage Borough - assistant
2003-2004    Margate - assistant
2004-2005    Erith & Belvedere
2005-2007    Weymouth - coach
2007-2008    Rushden & Diamonds - coach