Hugh Hastings first worked for Chelsea Football Club in 1977 when he became the Club's Official Photographer, a post he held for ten years while in his twenties. The first game at which he worked was at Stamford Bridge v Middlesbrough October 15th 1977 (0-0). Hugh was also Editor of the Chelsea FC programme from 1980 to 1986. He was the same age as many members of the playing squad and enjoyed a hugely memorable time working alongside players, fans and staff, a fact which has made the passing of two recent players of that era - Ian Britton and David Stride, especially sad.
One of Hugh's images from this era - of Paul Canoville, the first black player to play for Chelsea FC - is a part of the National Portrait Gallery's collection.
In May 1984, Hugh appeared as a substitute for the Chelsea first team in a testimonial game played at Brentford. His last ever game of football was for the Chelsea FC Old Boys team, scoring two goals in an Alan Hudson benefit game at Carshalton, Surrey.
Today, Hugh continues his work for Chelsea as part of the Club's Cobham training ground based Comms team, managing and developing Chelsea's historical photographic archive in addition to assisting as second photographer when needed at major events. He also edits current images and helps manage the Club's day-to-day digital image workflow in support of the Club's current, long-standing Official Photographer, Darren Walsh (below right).
The purpose of the Chelsea FC Photo Archive is to help connect the Club and its ever-growing worldwide fan base with its past by creating a library of images in which the rights are owned or part-owned by Chelsea in order that the Club has consistent in-house access to historical images. These images are available for the media through Chelsea's media partner, currently Getty Images.