Born in Scotland but raised in Yorkshire, Speedie worked as a coalminer before signing professional terms with Barnsley in 1978. Without having scored a single goal for Barnsley in 21 appearances, he was off to Darlington where his talent was apparent to Chelsea Manager John Neal, who signed him for £80,000 in May 1982.
In his five year spell at Stamford Bridge he formed a lethal partnership with Kerry Dixon and rattled in 64 goals for the Blues including a famous hat-trick at Wembley in the Full Members Cup. He was also awarded with Chelsea Player of the Year award in 1985. Two year’s later and David was sent to Coventry City in a £750,000 deal following a dispute with manager John Hollins.
At Highfield Road the popular Scottish International striker formed a good partnership with Cyrille Regis and scored some spectacular goals in the Sky Blue of Coventry City. He scored 35 goals for Coventry before heading to Anfield in 1991 and was to be Kenny Dalglish’s final signing as Liverpool manager. He scored on his Liverpool debut at Old Trafford then scored twice in the Merseyside Derby in the next league game and by the end of the season had scored six goals for the Reds in just 12 games.
King Kenny signed Speedo for a second time in a matter of months when he took him to Ewood Park, where he would play a significant role in helping Blackburn Rovers into the Premier League via the Play Offs scoring 23 goals in 36 games. David was soon on the move again this time to Southampton to replace Alan Shearer who moved in the opposite direction, Speedo was reunited with his old strike partner Kerry Dixon. After a few loan moves he ended his professional career helping Leicester City to promotion to the Premier League in 1994.
90 seconds, 11 Q&A with David Speedie:-
1) Childhood team growing up? Chelsea but I also liked Leeds United.
2) First pair of football boots owned? Georgie Best boots, they where purple, white and black with laces on the side.
3) Did you have a nickname in the dressing room and how did you get it? Speedo, but my former teammate Kev Smith also named me Ratso after the character played by Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy.
4) Favourite teammate? Chelsea legend, Kerry Dixon.
5) Toughest opponent? Des Walker, Paul McGrath and Terry Butcher.
6) Which player do you wish you’d had the chance to play with? That would have to be Lionel Messi.
7) Favourite football shirt you’ve played in? The Chelsea home shirt from the 1985/86 season.
8) Best stadium for atmosphere? Anfield or Old Trafford.
9) Biggest influence on your career? Norman ‘Bite ya legs’ Hunter who was a coach and player during my time at Barnsley and George Herd who was a coach at Darlington.
10) Most prized possessions from your playing days? My Chelsea shirt from the Full Members Cup Final in 1986. The one I scored my Wembley hat trick in.
11) What keeps you busy these days? Golf and dog walking.
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