Joseph Mears

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Joseph Theophilus "JT" Mears (1871 – October 1935), was an English businessman, most notable for co-founding Chelsea Football Club.

He was born in 1871 in Hammersmith, London, the elder son of Joseph Mears, a builder.[1]

In 1896, Mears and his brother Gus purchased the Stamford Bridge Athletics Ground and went on to found Chelsea Football Club in 1905. Though he was never chairman, Joseph was the "dominant influence" at the club after the death of his brother in 1912 [2] with his son, Joe, and grandson, Brian, both later serving as chairman of the football club.

In 1907, Mears acquired the business of the Thames Electric & Motor Launch Co at Eel Pie Island and he went on to build up a large fleet of passenger launches on the Thames.

In 1919 he formed his business into Joseph Mears Launches & Motors Ltd, and acquired a garage immkn Richmond, along with several motor coaches. The company continued until 1945, when it passed to a newly formed company, Thames Launches Ltd.[3]

He formed Joseph Mears Cinemas Ltd which built up a group of cinemas around the Richmond area.[4]

Mears was Mayor of Richmond from 1931 to 1932.

He died in October 1935 and is buried in Richmond Cemetery in London.[5] Mears left an estimated fortune of £30m.[6]


  1. ^ 1881 UK Census.
  2. ^ Glanvill, Rick (2006). Chelsea FC: The Official Biography - The Definitive Story of the First 100 Years. Headline Book Publishing Ltd. p. 74. ISBN 0-7553-1466-2.
  3. ^ Joseph Mears, Thames Launches
  4. ^ Odeon Richmond history
  5. ^ People buried in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Archived 2011-10-27 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Glanvill (2006). Chelsea FC: The Official Biography. p. 78.