Career: 1953 - 1969
Senior Games: 260
Reserves Games: 3
Senior Premiership: 1955, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967
Team of the Century
A very smart footballer with a medium sized 5’11” build, Tom was able to compete with all manner of opposition. Be they taller, heavier, faster or more elusive, Tommy would adjust his style of play to suit, devising ways of countering their strengths and working away at weaknesses. All the time he would be capitalising on his own exquisite skills.
Ideally, Tom was suited to the role of a ruck rover but, as he got older, he became Chelsea’s premier full back who could who had the versatility to play in almost any position.
Tom’s premiership tally would be hard to match. Five senior premierships over a fourteen year period which encompassed a two year break during the sixties. This record is further enhanced by the knowledge that he was a key player in each of these successes. Add to that Interleague representation over six years in two different competitions and you have a very special footballer.
After this stellar playing career, Tommy also had a successful stint as a junior coach and why wouldn’t he be successful? His quiet, encouraging approach to players, his gentle words of wisdom combined with a profound knowledge of the game, earned him the due respect and player loyalty necessary to achieve success.
Tom was a guiding light within the Chelsea Club for many years.
He was an integral part of most of the high points in the history of the Chelsea Football Club. He played 260 senior games before he retired in 1969.
Gray represented the Federal League from 1955 to ‘57 and the Mornington Peninsula Football League in 1963 and ‘66.
The mainstay of the Chelsea defence for more than two decades, Gray also became heavily involved in the emerging Chelsea Junior Football Club. He coached the Thirds in 1967 (to the preliminary final), 1968 (to the premiership) and 1969 (runners up). He spent seven years with the junior club working with age groups from under 15 down.
Outside football he was also a keen member of Chelsea Yacht Club and Lifesaving Club.
In July 1988 The doyen of Chelsea Football Club, Tommy Gray, died in his mid-fifties.
Chelsea secretary Ray Stuart, speaking at a reunion of past players and officials on Sunday, said the club was deeply saddened by Gray’s death. The reunion was brought forward in the hope that the ailing Gray, who died of cancer could attend.
“He was a very big man, not in stature, but in substance,” Stuart said.
Gray was an integral part of most of the high points in the history of the Chelsea Football Club.