When names like Bobby Charlton (Manchester United FC), Ian Rush (Liverpool FC), Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC), Dixie Dean (Everton FC) and Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham Hotspur FC) are mentioned, one automatically connects these names to the fact that they hold the record for most goals scored in the league for their respective clubs. A casual or a non-Chelsea fan would say its Frank Lampard for Chelsea FC. But not many know that Bobby Tambling still holds the record for most goals scored in the league for Chelsea FC.Ai?? Until Frank Lampard surpassed him in the all time list few had heard of Bobby Tambling.

Born on 18th September, 1941 Robert Victor ai???Bobbyai??? Tambling was spotted and signed at the age of 15 by the then Chelsea FC manager, Ted Drake. He was given a debut against local rivals West Ham United on 7th February 1959 at the age 17. The match ended 3-2 in favor of Chelsea with Bobby Tambling scoring the winning goal. With the departure of Jimmy Greaves to AC Milan at the beginning of 1961-62 season, Tambling was moved from wing position to main strikerai??i??s position which is when he started scoring regularly. During the next three seasons he was the highest scorer in the league for Chelsea FC and averaged 24 goals per season. He was also the highest goal scorer in the league for the team during 1966-67 and 1968-69 season, scoring 21 and 17 goals respectively.

Along with Barry Bridges, who was also given a debut and scored in the same match against West Ham formed a formidable striking partnership. The then Chelsea FC manager Tommy Docherty made him the captain of the team for 1962-63 season at the age of 21. However injuries coupled with the rise of academy player and future Chelsea FC legend, Peter Osgood and purchase of Tommy Baldwin from Arsenal led to reduced playing for Tambling. In 1966-67 season he scored 5 goals against Aston Villa in a 6-2 win. He left the Chelsea for Crystal Palace at the beginning of 1970-71 bringing to an end an eleven-year association with the club that resulted in 202 goals across all competitions from just 370 matches. During his time with Chelsea he won only the League Cup in 1965.

In between he was capped by England just 3 times and scored his only goal for the Three Lions against France in a 5-2 loss.Ai?? He also didnai??i??t make the final 22-man list for the 1966 FIFA World Cup overlooked in favor of Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst and Roger Hunt.Ai?? Alf Ramsey had a superb wide man with a fierce left foot in form of Bobby Tambling, but unfortunately Ramsey didn’t use wide men in his formations.

His time at Selhurst Park was not as productive and after 3 seasons he moved to Ireland and has been living there since. During his playing time in Ireland he played for Cork Celtic, Waterford, Shamrock Rovers and Cork Alberts. He retired from the game at the end of 1978-79 season.

While he may not have been as quick as Jimmy Greaves or flamboyant as Peter Osgood, he had the knack of scoring from all parts of the pitch and had a powerful left leg, which he used to devastating effect.

His ex-teammate Ken Shellito explains why Bobby Tambling isnai??i??t as famous or widely regarded as Jimmy Greaves and Peter Osgood, ai???Bob was a playerai??i??s player while people like Ossie and Jimmy were individualists. They were great players and they got the headlines. But Bob was not a glory man. He just enjoyed his football and got a lot of goals.ai??? Ai??In a poll conducted by the clubai??i??s official magazine he was named 13th greatest player of the club behind Jimmy Greaves and Peter Osgood. Ai??Chelsea FC have named a suite after him but his name isnai??i??t sung in the same way the names of Gianfranco Zola or Didier Drogbaai??i??s are sung. He is a man who deserves as much recognition as the great names mentioned at the beginning the article even though he may not be as recognizable as those names.

Ironically only after Frank Lampard overtook him in the all-time leading scorerai??i??s list for Chelsea FC, did Bobby Tambling finally get the recognition that he deserves amongst the current generation of fans.

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