Brian Mears

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Brian Mears in 1977
Joseph Brian Mears (25 April 1931 – 28 July 2009) was chairman of Chelsea Football Club from 1969 until 1981. He was the son of Joe Mears, also a chairman of Chelsea, and grandson of Joseph Mears, co-founder of the club.[1] He was the last member of the Mears family to be involved in the running of the club.

Before Chelsea

Mears was born in Richmond, Surrey, and educated at Malvern College. In 1950 he emigrated to Canada where he began working life in a seed factory. He returned to the United Kingdom shortly afterwards and did his national service as a radio operator in the Royal Air Force.

Chelsea Chairman

Brian Mears took over as chairman following the death of Len Withey in 1969, at the age of 38, and presided over the club's successful period in the early 1970s, when the FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup were won in consecutive seasons. He remained in the position until 1981, when a boardroom coup d'etat led by Viscount Chelsea saw him removed with the club in a dire position both on and off the pitch, mainly a result of the disastrous attempt to redevelop Stamford Bridge during the 1970s. He sold the club to Ken Bates a year later for a nominal sum of £1. Mears came under fire when his shares in the Stamford Bridge freehold were later sold to property developers Marler Estates; he insisted that it was his wife who controlled the shares.

After Chelsea

After leaving Chelsea, Mears relocated to the United States, where he was involved with several North American soccer teams and ran a car dealership in Long Beach, California. He wrote several books on Chelsea. Despite befriending Chelsea director Matthew Harding and chairman Bruce Buck in later years, he never set foot in Stamford Bridge again.[2] Mears died of heart failure on 28 July 2009.

Chairmen of Chelsea
Claude Kirby (1905–35) • Charles Pratt, Sr. (1935–36) • Lt. Col. Charles Crisp (1936–40) • Joe Mears (1940–66)
Charles Pratt, Jr. (1966–68) • Len Withey (1968–69) • Brian Mears (1969–81) • Viscount Chelsea (1981–82)
Ken Bates (1982–04) • Bruce Buck (2004–)
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