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Former Chelsea player and manager Hollins dies at 76

Former Chelsea player and manager John Hollins has died aged 76, the club announced on Wednesday.

Hollins made his debut in 1963 and went on to make 592 appearances for the London side over two spells at Stamford Bridge, scoring 64 goals.

He won the FA Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and League Cup during his first period at the club, which ended in 1975.

“He was a hero to the fans of this club, and very much that to me,” said Chelsea board member Daniel Finkelstein.

“He was at the heart of one of Chelsea’s greatest teams and, as well as contributing to its trophy success, he expressed its spirit.”

Hollins, fifth on the all-time Chelsea appearances list, also played for QPR and Arsenal before returning to Stamford Bridge in 1983 for a final stint as a player.

He played once for England, in 1967.

He was Chelsea boss from 1985 to 1988 and later had coaching stints at Swansea, Rochdale and Stockport.

On behalf of his family, Hollins’s son, Chris Hollins, said: “John was always so modest about the role he played in Chelsea’s history. 

“He was only 15 when he signed for the club and went on to win trophies in those incredible sides of the 60s and 70s.

“He had so many stories, but he always told us he just loved running out at the Bridge and wearing that famous blue shirt. We will miss him as a husband, a father and grandfather and will always be proud of what he achieved in the game.”

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