The club was sad to learn of the passing of former Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal legend John Hollins MBE, who was our manager from November 2005 till October 2006.
An energetic and skilful midfielder, John enjoyed a remarkable playing career, making his Chelsea debut aged 17, and going on to hold the top-flight appearance record for an outfield player of 714, playing an overall total of 939 matches. He also won one cap for England. A second playing spell at Chelsea from 1983 was combined with a coaching role, before taking over as manager in the summer of 1985 and guiding the Blues to a sixth-place finish.
After managing Swansea City, where he won the League Two title in 2000, and Rochdale whom he led to the League Two playoffs two years later, John was appointed manager of the Reds in November 2005, succeeding Francis Vines. After a difficult few months amid off-field turmoil, he turned things around with a fine run of five successive wins without conceding a goal, steering the club to safety. The following season, saw even greater troubles with the club in administration and deducted 10 points at the start. However, the deficit was wiped out with three consecutive victories and a draw from the first five matches, and a further 12 points were amassed before John left the club in October 2006.
Everyone at the club would like to send their condolences and thoughts to John’s family and friends.