Duncan McKenzie - Chelsea FC - Biography of his season at Stamford Bridge.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 28 December 1978

Click on image to enlarge

      Saturday, 10 June 1950
      Grimsby, England.
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 9th September 1978 scoring in a 3-2 defeat at Coventry City (Aged: 28)
    • Club Career
      15 League apps, 4 goals
  • Everton FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 11th December 1976 in a 4-2 defeat at Coventry City (Aged: 26)
    • Club Career
      (Dec 1976-Sep 1978)
      48 League apps, 14 goals
  • Leeds United FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 17th August 1974 in a 3-0 defeat at Stoke City (Aged: 24)
    • Club Career
      64 League apps (+2 as sub), 27 goals
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Duncan McKENZIE - Chelsea FC - Biography of his season at Stamford Bridge.


One of the great mavericks of English football during the 1970's, Duncan McKenzie was 28 years-old when he signed for Chelsea from Everton in September 1978 for £165, 000. Recruited by manager Ken Shellito to add flair and experience to a young side who had struggled on their return to the top-flight a year earlier, the portents were good early on when he scored on his debut in a 3-2 defeat at Coventry and again two weeks later to earn The Blues a point at Birmingham. A hugely self-confident character, McKenzie initially delighted his new supporters with displays of on-field arrogance and 'showboating' which had the boys on the terraces harking back to the golden days of Osgood and Hudson, but alas it was not to last.


He scored on his return to Goodison Park but it was another 3-2 defeat at the start of a pre-Christmas run which saw Chelsea become firmly anchored at the bottom of the table. Although he was clearly no longer the player who had so thrilled the followers of Nottingham Forest and Leeds previously, it was Duncan's misfortune to have joined a club who were beset by problems both on and off the field. The club's financial problems were well documented (McKenzie was in fact Chelsea's first major signing for four years) and the youngsters who had guided The Blues out of Division Two clearly needed supplementing in order to have any realistic chance of avoiding the drop. With the exception of Ray Wilkins, the midfield were out of their depth and the service to the front men was poor. Duncan became an increasingly forlorn figure and when two of the best youngsters, Steve Wicks and Ken Swain, were sold mid-season in order to ease the debt, the entire team became enveloped in an atmosphere of total desperation.


Peter Osgood was brought back to Stamford Bridge in December in the hope that the two flamboyant characters might be able to find the necessary magic to dig The Blues out of the hole they were in and both men were on the scoresheet when Chelsea travelled to Maine Road in January and beat Manchester City 3-2. Somewhat surprisingly, McKenzie was dropped after that game and never returned to the side. In March 1979, just weeks before Chelsea's relegation was confirmed, he joined Blackburn Rovers for £80,000. (Kelvin Barker


1969–1974   Nottingham Forest 111 (41)

1969–1970   Mansfield Town (loan) 10 (3)

1972–1973   Mansfield Town (loan) 6 (7)

1974–1976   Leeds United 66 (27)

1976             Anderlecht 9 (2)

1976–1978   Everton 48 (14)

1978–1979   Chelsea 15 (4)

1978–1981   Blackburn Rovers 74 (16)

1981             Tulsa Roughnecks 31 (14)

1981–82       Tulsa Roughnecks (indoor) 1 (0)

1982             Chicago Sting 20 (3)

1983             Ryoden