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Derek Saunders

Personal information
Playing positionHalf-back

     Home | Football | Derek Saunders

Derek Saunders (born 6 January 1928) is a retired English footballer who played most notably for Chelsea during the 1950s.

Born in Ware, Saunders played primarily as a wing-half and started his career with amateur side Walthamstow Avenue, who he captained in their 1952 FA Amateur Cup Final win. He joined Chelsea in June 1953 and immediately turned professional, making his club debut against Sheffield United.

Saunders' most significant contribution to Chelsea was to be a member of their 1954-55 Championship-winning team. He was one of only two players to play in every game that season. Saunders' position meant that he rarely scored goals, but he scored a crucial one against West Bromwich Albion to put Chelsea 3-2 ahead after they had trailed 0-2; they eventually won 4-2.

He stayed with Chelsea for a further four seasons, though they were unable to repeat their title success. He featured in the first Chelsea side to play in a European competition, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1958. A year earlier, he had played for the representative London XI side in the same competition. He made 223 appearances for Chelsea, and scored nine goals. Upon leaving the club in 1959, Saunders became the Head Groundsman at Vincent Square, the central London playing fields for Westminster School.

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