John Dempsey (footballer, born 1946)

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John Dempsey
Personal information
Date of birth (1946-03-15) 15 March 1946 (age 71)
Place of birth Hampstead, England
Playing position Centre back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1969[1] Fulham 149 (4)
1969–1978[1] Chelsea 166 (4)
1978–1980[2] Philadelphia Fury 81 (2)
1983–1984 Dundalk 10 (0)
Total 404 (10)
National team
1966–1972 Republic of Ireland 19 (1)
Teams managed
1983–1984 Dundalk
Egham Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Dempsey (born 15 March 1946 in Hampstead, England) is a former footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s as a defender.


Starting his career with Fulham, making his debut in 1963 and 149 appearances over six years, Dempsey was signed for West London rivals Chelsea by Dave Sexton in January 1969 for £70,000. He made his Chelsea debut against Southampton in February that year and established himself in the side for the remainder of the 1968-69 season.

Dempsey featured in the successful Chelsea side of the early 1970s, winning the FA Cup with the club in 1970, playing in both fiercely contested final matches against Leeds United as his side eventually ran out 2-1 winners. A year later, the Cup Winners' Cup was added with a win against Real Madrid in another replay in Athens, in which Dempsey scored the opening goal with a powerful volley following a corner (one of only five goals he scored for the club) as Chelsea won 2-1. He won a number of international caps for the Republic of Ireland (he qualified to play for Ireland through his parents).

He had no further success with the club, but remained during the turbulent later 1970s, and eventually left in March 1978 with the club by then in Division Two, and moved to the Philadelphia Fury of the NASL, playing alongside fellow ex-Chelsea star Peter Osgood.[2] In 1979, he was voted the NASL's defender of the year, beating out Franz Beckenbauer who finished second.[3]

He was appointed player-manager of Dundalk in August 1983[4] making his League of Ireland debut on the 9th of October at Sligo Rovers but departed by mutual consent in March after a series of confrontations with referees.[4]

He also had spells managing Maidenhead and Egham Town before retiring from the game in 1984.

He is now involved in local charity work and recently attended the tributes to Peter Osgood at Stamford Bridge following the latter's death.

He currently works with adults with autism and learning difficulties in a daycentre in the London Borough of Barnet.[3] John has been a care worker in the area for a number of years.[3]


Dempsey was the first Irish international player ever to be sent off in a 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification game, being that against Hungary national football team in the Ferenc Puskás Stadium[5]

External links[edit]




  1. ^ a b "John Dempsey". National Football Teams. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b NASL statistics. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Chelsea legend Dempsey still a star". This is local London. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b ""Dundalk History"". Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved 2008-12-13. . Dundalk. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  5. ^