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Lee Chapman – won the league but not with Arsenal.

One look at the chart that lists all of Lee Chapman’s clubs tells the story – nearly 600 games, 200 goals, but for Arsenal only four goals in 23 games.   What he could do at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds Utd, and indeed Nottingham Forest  he could not do for us.

1978–1982 Stoke City

99

34

1978 Plymouth Argyle loan

4

0

1982–1983 Arsenal

23

4

1983–1984 Sunderland

15

3

1984–1988 Sheffield Wednesday

149

63

1988 Chamois Niortais

10

3

1988–1990 Nottingham Forest

48

15

1990–1993 Leeds United

137

62

1993 Portsmouth

5

2

1993–1995 West Ham United

40

7

1995 Southend United loan

1

1

1995–1996 Ipswich Town

22

1

1996 Leeds United loan

2

0

1996 Swansea City

7

4

1996 Strømsgodset IF

5

1

Total

567

200

Lee Chapman was born in Lincoln on 5 December 1959 and his moment with Arsenal was playing in the FA Cup semifinal as a sub against Man U.  on 16 April 1983.

He came to us as the top scorer with Stoke, and indeed his first game for Arsenal was against Stoke on August 28 1982.  We lost 2-1.  He played in the first eight matches of the season before being replaced at number 9 by Stewart Robson – perhaps not surprisingly as during that eight match spell we won two, drew two and had four defeats.

It was a season in which we just couldn’t find a regular number 9 – Petrovic, McDermott, Sunderland…  everyone seemed to get the shirt at some time or another, but no one could make it work.  A truly good centre forward to play alongside Woodcock would have meant a lot that season – as it was we ended up 10th and lost in both cup finals.  Tony Woodcock was top league scorer with 14 in 34 games.  A really good number 9 could have transformed the side.   As it was no one else got into double figures.

In his second and final season Chapman made three starts and came on once as a sub and that was it – Woodcock moved to number 9 and Nicholas came in at 10.

Brian Clough thought he could get something out of Chapman at Nottingham Forest and he was in the Nottingham Forest team that ended up third behind Arsenal and Liverpool.

At Leeds United he won the second division title and again he played for a team near the top, but not actually at the top – Leeds were fourth in 1991.   But finally he got his title in 1992 as Leeds won the final First Division championship.

Since leaving football he has become a restaurateur.  There are suggestions that the News of the World were involved in hacking the phones of himself and his wife – I am not clear at the moment if this will be part of the current phone hacking trial.

 

 

 

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