22 January 2024

Former Chelsea forward Tommy Baldwin dies aged 78

22 January 2024

Former Chelsea forward Tommy Baldwin has died aged 78 following a long illness, the club have announced.

Baldwin scored 92 goals in 239 appearances for the Blues and lifted the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Born in Gateshead, Baldwin joined Chelsea from London rivals Arsenal in September 1966 and scored his first goal in October away to Manchester City.

He went on to score 17 in his debut season for the club and played in the 1967 FA Cup final, which they lost to Tottenham.

Baldwin’s ability to absorb tackles contributed to his nickname ‘The Sponge’ and he continued his goal-scoring prowess with 16 goals in his following season for the Blues.

Despite spending four months on the sidelines in the 1968/69 season, Baldwin scored twice in a 4-0 away win against Manchester United, who had recently been crowned European champions.

The forward helped Chelsea win the FA Cup in 1970 as they beat Leeds 2-1 in a replay and he played a key role as they claimed the European Cup Winners’ Cup with a 2-1 replay win over Real Madrid in Greece the following year.

Baldwin narrowly missed out on lifting another trophy as Chelsea were beaten by Stoke in the 1972 League Cup final and eventually left the club to play in the North American Soccer League in the mid-1970s.

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