OTD - 21 July

30 May 2018
2003: Duff and Bridge join Chelsea

Chelsea completed the double-signing of Damien Duff, of Blackburn Rovers, and Wayne Bridge of Southampton.

One of the most effective left wingers in the Premier League, Duff joined after six seasons at Blackburn, to become the Blues’ record signing at that time.

Duff made an immediate impact for the Blues, scoring five goals in his first season as Chelsea finished second in the Premier League to Arsenal. The following two seasons brought back-to-back title wins.

The Republic of Ireland international made 81 PL appearances for the west Londoners, scoring 14 goals, before moving to Newcastle United. 

Bridge made 33 PL appearances under Claudio Ranieri and scored a memorable winner against Arsenal to take Chelsea into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

He participated in Chelsea’s first title-winning campaign and the left-back made 87 appearances at Stamford Bridge, before moving to Manchester City in 2008.

Damien Duff, front row right, and Wayne Bridge, back row, left
Damien Duff, front row right, and Wayne Bridge, back row, left, are among the summer signings unveiled by manager Claudio Ranieri
2004: Speed joins Bolton

Gary Speed completed the move to Bolton Wanderers following seven seasons at Newcastle United.

The Wales international became the first player to reach 500 Premier League appearances when he played in Bolton’s 4-0 victory over West Ham United in December 2006.

In May 2007 the former Leeds United and Everton midfielder was announced as first-team coach after Sam Allardyce stepped down from his managerial position.

However, he stepped down from that post the following October to continue his role as player in his last season at Bolton, racking up a total of 80 goals in 535 appearances in the Premier League.

Speed passed away in 2011.

Gary Speed, Bolton Wanderers
Gary Speed, pictured, after scoring for Bolton against Manchester United in 2005

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