Kevin McAllister - Chelsea FC - Biography of his career at Stamford Bridge.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 March 1986

Click on image to enlarge

      Thursday, 08 November 1962
      Falkirk, Scotland
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 14th September 1985 as a sub in a 2-0 win at home to Southampton (Aged: 22)
    • Club Career
      78 League apps (+28 as sub), 7 goals
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Kevin McALLISTER - Chelsea FC - Biography of his career at Stamford Bridge.


 Chelsea manager John Neal's last act before standing down due to ill-health in the summer of 1985 was to buy Falkirk's nippy right-winger, Kevin McAllister, for £34, 000. The Blues' reputation for recruiting outstanding wide-men from north of the border was particularly impressive but it was one of those who effectively blocked McAllister's way for the first three years of his Stamford Bridge career. The tiny Scot made his first appearance for the club as a second-half replacement for John Bumstead in a 2-0 win over Southampton in September 1985, and had the supporters in raptures with an outstanding cameo performance. With David Speedie suspended and his understudy, Gordon Davies, out of form, new manager John Hollins pushed Nevin into the attack for the following week's visit of Arsenal and Kevin made his full debut on the right where he was faced by England's left-back, Kenny Sansom. Chelsea won 2-1 but McAllister had a quiet game and was subsequently left out of the side until a month later when two substitute appearances preceded a starting role for the visit of league leaders Manchester United. A hugely impressive performance against a strong United side gave another glimpse of what he was capable of but, sadly, he rarely recaptured that kind of form again throughout the remainder of the campaign. McAllister's first goal for The Blues, and his only strike of the season, came in a Full Members Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion, and in March 1986 he was a member of the Chelsea team who won that trophy with a 5-4 victory over Manchester City at Wembley (see photo above with hat-trick hero David Speedie).


After just 13 starts throughout his first campaign, Kevin managed only 7 the following season. In what was a truly dreadful campaign for the club, his first appearance didn't come until October, when he was a late substitute in a defeat by Charlton which led to Hollins making wholesale changes for the next game. That was a League Cup tie against York City and McAllister returned to the starting line-up to good effect, scoring the third goal in a 3-0 win. A brief run in the team followed, including an appearance alongside Kerry Dixon in the Chelsea attack in a defeat at Arsenal, but a sending-off at Everton in November effectively ended his season. After serving his suspension, Kevin returned for a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool in December and was subsequently dropped for the remainder of the campaign. Clearly unsettled, McAllister began the following season on a weekly contract and had a spell on loan back at Falkirk. He failed to appear in the Chelsea first team until the turn of the year, when he started four consecutive league matches. Unfortunately for Kevin, the results of those games were two goalless home draws and two 3-0 away defeats. He did, however, find the net in a 3-1 FA Cup third round victory at Derby County, and was also selected for the fourth round trip to Manchester United where The Blues were comfortably beaten. He also figured as a substitute in three of Chelsea's four end-of-season relegation play-off matches, but was largely ineffective as The Blues fell into Division Two. (Kelvin Barker)


Kevin Mc Allister playing for Cheldea on 1st February 1990.  Photo G. Herringshaw.  ©


                                                                 Part two.


Chelsea's relegation led to the sale of the peerless Pat Nevin, and his departure opened the way for McAllister to stake a claim for a regular place in the team. Finally unencumbered by Nevin's presence, Kevin performed with a confidence which had previously been lacking. In September, he latched onto a long clearance and raced clear to calmly fire past Oxford United's Peter Hucker to give The Blues the lead in what was eventually a 1-1 draw. As ever, the goal was exuberantly celebrated by a player who was never able to disguise his boyish enthusiasm for the game. The Blues made a slow start to the campaign but by Christmas were firing on all cylinders. Kevin scored again in a 4-1 win at Oldham and a 3-0 triumph at Stoke, and also found the net twice in a 6-2 Full Members Cup win over Plymouth Argyle, but most eye-catching of all was his improved delivery which set up numerous chances for the prolific Kerry Dixon and Gordon Durie to thrive on. His new-found confidence and composure was in evidence throughout the final weeks of the season as Chelsea made light work of the title run-in. He scored a fine goal in a 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion and, after promotion and the title had been wrapped up, he rounded off the season in style with a brace in a 3-2 victory at Portsmouth.


Kevin was in the Chelsea team that made the short journey to Wimbledon on the opening day of the 1989/90 season, but was replaced late on by substitute Kevin Wilson who went on to score the game's only goal. A week later, McAllister skipped round Sheffield Wednesday's Chris Turner to put the seal on a 4-0 victory that sent The Blues to the top of the table but he was dropped after a dismal 3-0 defeat at Charlton and was merely an onlooker as Chelsea regained their place at the top after a fine run of form in the autumn. The inevitable blip followed and Kevin returned to the side just before Christmas, performing well throughout the remainder of the campaign and featuring in another Full Members Cup win at Wembley. The arrival of Dennis Wise, and the emergence of youngsters Graeme Le Saux and Graham Stuart, effectively sounded the death knell for McAllister's Chelsea career. He was given early opportunities to impress, and found the net in a 5-0 League Cup win at Walsall, but was soon back in the reserves. He eventually made a paltry five starts and eight substitute appearances in the League that year, taking his final bow in a Chelsea shirt at Sheffield United in March 1991. At the end of that season he returned to his former club, Falkirk, for a fee of £225,000. (Kelvin Barker)




Years           Team        Games  Goals

1983–1985    Falkirk           64    (18)
1985–1991    Chelsea         106    (7)
1987–1988     Falkirk (loan)    6    (3)
1991–1993    Falkirk            82    (12)
1993–1997    Hibernian     109    (12)
1997–2002    Falkirk           150    (19)
2002–2004    Albion Rovers    48    (1)

Total        565    (72)

Teams managed
2003–2005    Albion Rovers