Chelsea pay Neal respects

Ross McLean
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CHELSEA yesterday paid tribute to former boss John Neal who passed away at the weekend aged 82, describing him as the manager who “turned the team around from our very lowest point”.

Neal, who also managed Middlesbrough and Wrexham, replaced Geoff Hurst at the Chelsea helm in 1981 with the club still stricken by deep financial problems but led his side to the Second Division title three years later.

He guided the Blues to sixth in the top flight in 1985 but was forced to retire due to ill health, later returning to serve on the club’s board of directors.