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Osgood, king of Stamford Bridge, dies

Former Chelsea and England striker Peter Osgood, "the king of Stamford Bridge", has died of a heart attack, aged 59, the London club said on Wednesday.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 23:10 IST

Former Chelsea and England striker Peter Osgood, "the king of Stamford Bridge", has died of a heart attack, aged 59, the London club said onWednesday.

Osgood, who worked behind the scenes at Chelsea and was a popular after-dinner speaker, collapsed at a family funeral in Slough, west of London.

Osgood was a key member of the stylish Chelsea side of the early 1970s which won the FA Cup in 1970 and the European Cup Winners' Cup, beating Real Madrid in the final, the following season.

He played four times for England, including twice at the 1970 World Cup.

Tommy Docherty, who signed Osgood, said: "He was a world class player— he had two great feet, was great in the air, brave as a lion and he always had a smile on his face."

"He was one of the most gifted players I played with at Chelsea," former defender Ron Harris told Sky Sports News.

"In the late 1960s and 1970s we used to know him as the King of Stamford Bridge."

Players such as Osgood, Alan Hudson and Charlie Cooke were soccer's members of "swinging London" in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

"The world was just an amusement park for Peter Osgood. He was the leader of the Chelsea set," former Chelsea chairman Brian Mears wrote in "Chelsea Under The Blue Flag".

"Osgood epitomised swinging London as much as David Bailey or Paul McCartney, celebrating and celebrated, inaccessibly cool...he had everything."

FEARLESS STRIKER

Osgood scored twice on his Chelsea debut as a 17-year-old in 1964 and quickly developed into a quick, skilled and fearless striker who served the club with distinction for 10 years.

He will be best remembered for his diving header in the Old Trafford FA Cup final replay in 1970 against Leeds. Chelsea won the trophy for the first time with a 2-1 replay success following a 2-2 Wembley draw.

He scored in every round of the competition, the last man to do so, making up for the disappointment of missing the 1967 final against Tottenham Hotspur because of a broken leg.

In 1971 he scored in the European Cup Winners' Cup final against Real Madrid in Athens, and again in the replay which Chelsea won 2-1.

He also scored in the 1972 League Cup Final, a 2-1 defeat by Stoke City.

In all he played 380 games for Chelsea and scored 150 goals, the club said. Only Bobby Tambling and Kerry Dixon have scored more.

RECORD SIGNING

He left Chelsea in 1974 to become Southampton's record signing. He helped the second division club win the FA Cup in 1976, famously taking the trophy home and sleeping with it on the night of the final.

He then joined Philadelphia Fury in the fledgling North American Soccer League before returning for a second short spell with Chelsea in 1978, making his final appearance in the 1979-80 season.

His short England career began in a friendly against Belgium in 1970. He was in Alf Ramsey's squad for the Mexico World Cup, appearing as a substitute against Romania and Czechoslovakia.

His final cap came four years later against Italy.

Mick Channon, his strike partner at Southampton, said: "He was out on his own for a few years. Probably the only one who could touch him at the time was George best— he was that good."

Osgood had his own website in which he gave his views on Chelsea, champions last season, alongside photographs of him in conversation with coach Jose Mourinho.

His last entry, made on Tuesday, praised Chelsea's battling performance in Saturday's 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

It signed off: "More in a couple of weeks."