1979 - HOW BAD CAN IT GET
After enduring the pain of watching their team receive a 25 goal thrashing at the hands of Oakleigh Districts in a practice match, Chelsea diehards in the crowd were bracing themselves for a long, painful season, but one man, Ray Stuart, wasn’t having any of it. He immediately called a meeting of ‘the faithful’ in the centre of the ground and formed an action group—once again, enough was enough!
Having given an undertaking to carry out the necessary tasks of fund-raising and recruiting, the group started work immediately and were able to resurrect the club almost overnight as they created a team with premiership potential.
This was to be a turning point for the Chelsea club.
It seems to be a fact of life that all clubs experience periods of decline. Enthusiasm wanes, interest falls away, key people leave for various reasons, energy levels decrease and achievements inevitably decrease. It could best be described as impermanence. It is applicable to all walks of life—nothing stays the same.
Fresh faces generate energy and success but it usually takes time for new ideas and initiatives to come to fruition.
Despite the best efforts of all concerned, the Seagulls just couldn’t quite locate that winning edge during the late seventies. The club hadn’t won a senior premiership in over ten years and were languishing near the bottom of the ladder with few prospects. As a result of this, on field performances suffered and enthusiasm waned.
COMETH THE TIME—COMETH THE MAN
Enter stage left—Tommy Williams—former player and long-time supporter—a man with a long history of responding to crisis situations. Extremely popular right across the board Tom just had the ‘X factor’ that inspired others to contribute. He led by example and everyone simply followed along enthusiastically supporting him. The transformation within the club was breathtaking as the easy-beats started to grow teeth.