In edited version of this article appeared in the Cambridge United matchday programme for the game against Luton Town on 3 March 2018.
When talk turns to big clubs’ practice of ‘stockpiling’ young players, whereby the closest most will ever get to first-team football is on loan at another club, the word ‘Chelsea’ often crops up.
With good reason: at the time of writing, Roman Abramovich’s pet project had 38 players out on loan, and goodness knows how many other youngsters queuing up behind them.
The West London giants have always had an eye for young talent, but there was no question of stockpiling when they snapped up the 19-year-old Ian Hutchinson from United in 1968. Nor is there any suggestion that the Pensioners had anything but the best of intentions for the career of Abbey United’s youthful George Alsop when he left for Stamford Bridge in the early 1920s.
George Alsop in 1925. Photo: Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library
We don’t know exactly when the Barnwell-born lad departed for the Smoke; nor do we know how Chelsea came to find out about young Alsop’s talent. He was after all playing his home games on Stourbridge Common, in the depths of Cambridgeshire League Division Three, when he came to their notice.
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