Chelsea Football Club have just announced, that their former player Johnny Paton has passed away at the age of 92.
Paton joined Chelsea on loan in November 1946. During that time he made 23 appearances and scored three goals.
He was believed to be the oldest living Chelsea footballer prior to his passing.
Chelsea pays tribute to their former player on their official website:
”During half-time of our home game against Southampton in December 2013 he was brought out on to the pitch and introduced to the crowd. With the team trailing 1-0, Paton took the microphone and memorably urged our supporters to roar the team back into the game. Within four minutes of the restart we were level before going on to win 3-1.”
”Back at the Bridge at the 2014 Annual Lunch and as one of the many former Blues invited, he once again gave an impromptu speech on his appreciation for the way the past players are treated and received a standing ovation for his heartfelt words. His warmth and engaging character always shone through and football was his life blood to the end. He died peacefully surrounded by his family after a brave fight against bone cancer.”
While the club historian Rick Glanvill writes:
”I remember the first time I spoke to Johnny. I had tracked him down and rang him up just as he and his wife were about to go out dancing. They were both in their late 80s!”
”‘Och, no one is interested in an old man like me,’ he joked. In fact he was overjoyed to talk about the wonderful year he spent on loan at Stamford Bridge, and eulogised about the centre-forward who regularly dispatched his crosses from the wing: Tommy Lawton.”
”Though a Celtic man, his passion for the Pensioners had never dimmed and he was happy to sing the praises of Didier Drogba with an eye for details of his game.”
”I informed him that he was Chelsea’s oldest living player and, once he had stopped mocking himself for it, the honour became one he would mention regularly with immense pride. Johnny was a popular and engaging guest at many club events, and would sing the praises of the way Chelsea now looks after former players such as himself.”
”Chelsea’s last surviving pre-Ted Drake era player has gone. We will miss him hugely.”