Long before foreign owners came to buy up English football clubs, teams would rely on local talent including the use of their own academy and youth systems. The FA Youth Cup was set up in 1952 and Chelsea were winners in both 1960 and 1961. They boasted future stars and legends such as Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, Terry Venables, Bert Murray and Bobby Tambling.
Jimmy Greaves had come through the Blues youth set up and scored 132 goals in just 169 games before moving to AC Milan for £80,000 in 1961. Less than a year later he moved back to England with Spurs prepared to pay his £99,999 transfer fee. He made his Chelsea debut in 1957 in a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. The young Englishmen scored on his debut at the age of 17 years and 186 days. This made him the youngest ever person to score on his Blues debut.
In the 1966/67 season Chelsea were mounting a good run in the FA Cup and even managed to make it to the final. However, it was a league game on the 18th March 1967 that created history for the Blues as they took a trip to Tottenham and played out a 1-1 draw. Almost ten years after his CFC debut Jimmy Greaves was playing for Spurs and actually netted after just ten minutes. Things were looking good for Tottenham until there were twenty minutes left on the clock.
Chelsea had given a debut to Ian ‘Chico’ Hamilton, a young English midfielder from Streatham. At the age of 16 years and 138 days he became the Blues youngest ever player. Things got even better for Chico when he scored past the highly rated Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings. This made him the youngest person to ever score for Chelsea as well. Hamilton only played five times for the first team, scoring two goals, before moving on to Southend, Aston Villa, Sheffield Utd and a stint in North America.
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