Ian Porterfield is dead

Last updated : 12 September 2007 By Paul Lagan
Ian Porterfield has died at the age of 61.
Porterfield enjoyed 20 months in charge at Stamford Bridge between 1991 and 1993 having returned to the club where he had previously worked as a coach.
As a player, Scottish-born Porterfield was most renowned for scoring the winning goal in one of the all-time FA Cup Final shocks, when Second Division Sunderland beat Leeds in 1973.
He established his reputation as a manager when winning promotion in the lower leagues at Rotherham and Sheffield United, before working in his homeland at Aberdeen in the mid 1980s.
He became coach at Chelsea under the management of Bobby Campbell with the team enjoying initial success, winning promotion to the top flight as record-breaking Second Division champions in 1988.
Soon the offer came to manage in his own right once again and Porterfield left to take the reins at Reading with recently retired Chelsea keeper Eddie Niedzwiecki making the same journey as his coach.
When Campbell left the Chelsea hot seat at the end of the 1990-91 season, the impression Porterfield had made as a coach had not been forgotten. The popular choice of the dressing room, he was eventually appointed by Ken Bates for the start of the new campaign.
His first season in charge saw Chelsea reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years before we lost at Porterfield's former club Sunderland in a replay. There was also a first win in the league at Anfield for 56 years. The season ended with the Blues 14th in the table.
Paul Elliott, Tony Cascarino and Vinnie Jones had been prominent new additions to the team that season and they were followed in the summer of 1992 by defender Mal Donaghy and three strikers - Mick Harford, John Spencer plus for a club record fee, Robert Fleck.
Despite losing Player of the Year Elliott to a career-ending injury early in the new season, the first year of the Premier League, a team that was now coached by the experienced Don Howe and had several homegrowns to the fore - including Frank Sinclair, David Lee, Gareth Hall, Graham Stuart, Graeme Le Saux and Eddie Newton - rose as high as fourth in the table by mid-December, playing some of the best football seen at the Bridge for several seasons.
Sadly that good form was not maintained. Howe's absence through ill-health did not help and following a run of 12 games without a win that resulted in an exit from both cups in the space of week and the team heading fast towards the threat of relegation, Porterfield was relieved of his duties on February 15 1993. David Webb took charge for the remainder of the season and the slide was halted.
In the seasons that followed, Porterfield specialised in managing international sides from several of football's lesser known nations.
He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year but appeared on Chelsea TV's Live From Stamford Bridge programme as recently as July.
Chelsea Football Club sends our condolences to Ian's family and friends.
With thanks to www.chelseafc.com