Sometimes timing can play a big part in how a player’s reputation is forged. At Chelsea Bobby Tambling had the unenviable task of filling the big boots of Jimmy Greaves after he departed for Italy, then he himself was succeeded by the cult figure of Peter Osgood. Both were perhaps more naturally gifted and had bigger personalities, but Tambling was a fine player in his own right – speedy, quick-footed, direct and very good in the air. Playing in the 1960s when England had a glut of great strikers, Tambling’s meagre haul of 3 caps gave him little opportunity to project his talent to a wider audience – although the same could be said about four cap Peter Osgood too.
Today’s Star Strip captures Tambling’s soaring career in 1966. The previous season he had won his first (and only) winner’s medal at Chelsea in the League Cup and now he has stepped up to earn his first international cap for England. Alf Ramsey was in the process of looking at all the options open to him for the forthcoming World Cup, though Tambling would ultimately fail to make the cut.