Ted Drake

Highbury hero, title-winning Bridge boss

Player Biography
Full name: Edward Joseph Drake
Date of birth: August 16, 1912
Date of death: May 30, 1995
Clubs played for: Southampton, Arsenal
Clubs managed: Hendon, Reading, Chelsea
Ted Drake and Alex James
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Ted Drake and Alex James Cliff Bastin, Ted Drake, Alf Young, Tom Whittaker, Ken Willingham and Eddie Hapgood sail to an England away game in 1938 Chelsea FC Manager Ted Drake Ted Drake, Chelsea Ted Drake, Chelsea Ted Drake, Chelsea Ted Drake, Chelsea Chelsea FC, League Champions, 1955 Chelsea FC, 1956 Ted Drake, Chelsea Ted Drake Ted Drake Ted Drake, Arsenal Ted Drake, Arsenal
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Club Career

A prolific striker, Drake regularly found the net at both Southampton and then Arsenal before moving into management with the Gunners' London rivals Chelsea. The Southampton native originally turned down a move to Highbury when the great Herbert Chapman was in charge, but finally signed for his successor George Allison.

Drake scored 42 goals in 41 games in his first full season, hit seven in a single game against Aston Villa, twice fired Arsenal to title glory and added an FA Cup medal to his trophy cabinet in his 11 years at the club.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1931-1934 Southampton 71 47
1934-1945 Arsenal 167 124

International Career

Shortly after his move to Arsenal, Drake earned an England call-up and scored on his debut in an epic and controversial encounter against the Italians. In his penultimate appearance, he scored a hat-trick against World Champions Hungary and bowed out with a double against France in Paris in 1938 to take his tally to six goals in just five games. Who knows how many he would have scored had the Second World War not ended his international career.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1934-38 England 5 6

Managerial Career

Drake spent five years at Reading but could not get them promoted, despite finishing as Third Division (South) runners-up in 1951-52. But his fortunes were turned on their head when Drake joined Chelsea at the end of that season. Within three years he had revolutionised the club and guided them to the title in 1955 - the last Chelsea boss to do so until Jose Mourinho 50 years later.

Key Games

England 3-2 Italy (International friendly, November 14, 1934)

In what became known as the "Battle of Highbury," Drake lined up alongside six other Gunners as England took on recently crowned World Champions Italy. In a violent affair, Drake was on the receiving end of a heavy blow and Manchester City's Eric Brook was forced off with a fractured arm. The injured duo still managed to put England 3-0 up inside the first half, Brook with a brace before Drake added a third.

Arsenal 1-0 Sheffield United (FA Cup final, April 25, 1936)

Having been injured playing for England, Drake was forced to undergo a cartilage operation and only returned to the Gunners' side the week before the final. Despite his lack of match fitness, he still looked as sharp as ever, scoring the only goal with a powerful drive.

Chelsea 1-2 Crewe (FA Cup 3rd round, January 7, 1961)

This was a defining game in Drake's Chelsea managerial reign as the Blues lost to then-Fourth Division side Crewe. Barrie Wheatley headed in the decisive second goal and the pressure was beginning to mount on Drake, eventually sacked for having failed to repeat his title success.


Club Competition Year
Arsenal League Championship 1934-35, 1937-38
FA Cup 1936
Chelsea (as manager) League Championship 1954-55

Did You Know...?

Drake became the first man to win the league title both as player and manager. He won the trophy twice with Arsenal, before leading Chelsea to glory in 1954-55.

The Second World War curtailed Drake's career. But he did manage to turn out for Arsenal in wartime games while serving in the Air Force.

Drake played professional cricket for Hampshire, making his debut in 1931. He made only 16 appearances in six years, picking up 10 shillings a week for his trouble.

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From the back pages

England 3-2 Italy Published: November 15, 1934

International friendly match report

Bristol Rovers 1-5 Arsenal Published: January 13, 1936

FA Cup 3rd round match report

Arsenal 1-0 Sheffield United Published: April 27, 1936

FA Cup final match report

Chelsea 1-2 Crewe Published: January 9, 1961

FA Cup 3rd round match report

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