Has it really been four years? Four years since a man so revered by those who saw him play, and many more supporters of our club who’ve only managed to catch him on highlight videos, sadly passed away?
I sadly wasn’t old enough to see Ossie grace the pitch at Stamford Bridge, however I vividly recall how the blue members of my family used to talk glowingly of the days of the man they called ‘The King’.
One of the first steps in my Chelsea education was the 1970 FA Cup final replay against dirty Leeds, I was given a copy on VHS and sat and watched it with my uncle who, even though he knew it was coming, still jumped out of his seat and cheer Osgood’s legendary diving header as if it were happening live.
I came to understand what he meant to Chelsea supporters long before I made my first trip to our footballing Mecca, and was old enough to sit and drink with longer standing supporters who’d followed the blues over land and sea (and Leicester), and had many a story to tell.
They told me of times when they’d be drinking after a game and Ossie would surprisingly walk in to the bar and have a drink with them, and asked their views on the match. You just couldn’t imagine that happening nowadays. Ossie wasn’t just a great player for Chelsea, he was one of us.
I was lucky enough to meet Ossie at some of the Chelsea events held over the past several years, and each time he was polite, courteous, willing to pose for numerous photo requests and also to talk to anyone who wanted to talk to him. I think I’d have tired of that it no time, even if Ossie did, he never ever showed it.
As my involvement with the Chelsea grew, my encounters with Ossie became more frequent to the point where he’d ridicule my choice of clothing or take the piss out of me for one reason or another. Never maliciously, and always smiling.
In most cases I was lost for words (how can you insult someone you idolise? Even in jest, it’s not easy!), in others I was just dumbfounded that here was a bloke my family and many more had worshipped, and I was lucky enough to be having banter with the very best of them.
I remember the day he died as if it were yesterday, rumour had started circulating that he’d passed away and so I tried to call him, half expecting him to answer the phone and laugh it off, sadly the phone didn’t ring and not long after, the news was released that the King, had indeed died.
Peter Osgood was a legend to many, for a number of different reasons, however to all blues supporters though he is a man highly revered, and sadly missed.
Long may you rest in peace Ossie. You may be gone, but you’ll never be forgotten.