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Adam Baker

Adam Baker writes

Posted Monday, April 23rd 2018

Roy Bentley 1924-2018

Roy Thomas Frank Bentley was born in Bristol on May 17th 1924. 

He was good at many sports, including athletics and boxing, but football was always his main interest. 

At the age of 14 he joined Bristol Rovers before moving about a year later to Bristol City, where he made all his appearances during the war years.

His debut arrived aged 15, in the 5-2 away defeat at Bournemouth on September 7th 1940, after which he was a team regular.

This game was in the war time South Regional League. He scored his first goals, a brace, in the 6-0 home win against Aldershot on October 26th.

Bentley served in the Royal Navy, which caused him to miss the entire 1943/44 season and to make a single appearance in late the year 1944.

He returned for 1945/46 to score three goals in eight appearances in Division Three South, which ended December 29th, and four goals in 11 appearances in the FA Cup, which started in the New Year.

His powerful play had not gone unnoticed and, much to the displeasure of many City supporters, he was transferred to Newcastle United, where he scored 22 goals in 48 games. 

It was at Chelsea that he made his name. They recruited him in 1948 to replace the great Tommy Lawton, one of his childhood heroes.

On January 8th 1949 he did return to play against City as Chelsea won an FA Cup third round tie 3-1. Don Clark scored the opener for City after 20 minutes and so it remained until ten minutes from time. 

Bentley headed the equaliser and a minute later Benny Jones fired them ahead. Bentley then capped a memorable return to Ashton Gate with a magnificent header to seal the win. He was chaired off the pitch by former teammates Cliff Morgan and Dennis Roberts.

He became Chelsea's top scorer for seven consecutive seasons, with 150 goals in 367 appearances, captaining the team to their First Division One title in 1955.

In 1949 Bentley made his England debut, scoring nine times in 12 appearances to 1955.

He was the last surviving member of England's 1950 World Cup squad, before his sad passing.

The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Roy's family and friends at this time.

With thanks to Mike Adams, Bristol City Supporters Club & Trust

Roy Bentley is pictured second from the right, top row

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