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Chelsea Football Club – Some History

Ground: Stamford Bridge
Capacity: 42,449
Manager: Andre Villas-Boas (sacked) – Caretaker Manager Roberto di Matteo

Chelsea Football Club came about thanks to the vision of an Edwardian gentleman called Gus Mears. He was fanatical about sport and had already achieved huge success in northern England but as yet not managed to conquer London. He had earmarked an old athletics ground at Stamford Bridge as being ideal to house a new football club. However many problems were encountered and Gus Mears was about to give up on his dream.

Some unusual events took place between Gus Mears and his colleague Frederick Parker, who had been trying to persuade Gus to continue with the project. While out walking having given up on the project Mears’ dog bit Parker but rather than been angry about the bloodied wound he was amused. From that moment Gus Mears decided he would totally trust his colleagues’ judgement and the plans went ahead once more.

Fulham Football Club located nearby and already in existence decided not to vacate Craven Cottage and move in to the new stadium. So there was a stadium with no football team. Unusually it was decided to build a team for a stadium instead of the other way around, which was the norm.

The date to note now is 10th March 1905 in a pub (The Butcher’s Hook) where a meeting was called to name the new club. Eventually after dismissing names like Stamford Bridge FC, Kensington FC and even London FC, it was agreed that the club should be called Chelsea FC.

Having struggled to find a league that would welcome them, the northern dominated Football League agreed to elect Chelsea FC to the second division, the only club to manage it without even kicking a football.

Chelsea FC managed to reach their first FA Cup final back in 1915 but lost to Manchester United. Just before Wembley football stadium was built in 1923 Stamford Bridge hosted three consecutive FA Cup finals.

The 1920′s and 1930′s did not bring any success for Chelsea although they had splashed out on many top names, even in those days. The 1940′s saw a magnificent tournament where Dynamo Kiev toured the UK and Chelsea played the first match against them at a packed Stamford Bridge. But still no success came for them. It was not until St Georges Day 1955 that Chelsea managed their very first league title by winning what was then the first division.

The 1960′s saw a dramatic change for Chelsea brining in some of their most famous players, the likes of Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, Barry Bridges, Bobby Tambling and Terry Venables. It also saw success in terms of the first silverware for Chelsea having won the League Cup final.

1970 saw Chelsea beat Leeds United after a hard fought replay to finally win the FA Cup final. The win took Chelsea to Europe for the Cup Winners Cup and having fought through each round they were rewarded with a final against the mighty Real Madrid. They could not be separated on the day so it went to a replay which was won by Chelsea, their first ever silverware in Europe. However that latter part of the 1970′s saw Chelsea struggle financially and once again it ended in their relegation subsequent to a string of new managers.

The 1980′s didn’t start well either and Chelsea was on the brink of relegation to the third division and probable bankruptcy. Under the new chairman Ken Bates and new manager John Neal some new names were brought in who were to become the pride of Chelsea. The first game of 1983 saw the new signings Pat Nevin, Kerry Dixon and David Speedie help the team to an opening 5-0 win. There were good times at Stamford Bridge and they went all the way back up to the top division. However, it all fell apart again once Neal had to retire due to ill health. Chelsea was once again relegated.

The 1990′s again were about building and Glen Hoddle was brought in to help style a new team. It was working and he had managed to bring in some great names like Ruud Gullit and Mark Hughes but he soon left when he was acquired by England as manager of the national squad.

There was only one man for the job and that was Gullit and as soon as he took over he enticed top European players Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Di Matteo, Frank Leboeuf and Gianfranco Zola. Chelsea reached the FA Cup final again and new signing Roberto Di Matteo opened the scoring in just 43 seconds. They went on to win their second FA Cup. Even more top names were brought in such as Gustavo Poyet, Tore Andre Flo, Celestine Babayaro, Graeme Le Saux and goalkeeper Ed de Goey. However in 1988 Gullit could not agree personal terms and left to be replaced by Vialli. Within 3 months he had helped Chelsea win the League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup for a second time. Next was the European Super Cup and Real Madrid were seen off for another trophy for the expanding Chelsea trophy cabinet.

It was now a new century and Chelsea started well with another FA Cup win and then the Charity Shield was added to the honours. Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea and massive funds were made available. Jose Mourinho was installed as manager and it was not long before Chelsea won the coveted League title. More league titles and cup success followed in what was to be Chelsea’s most successful period in their history.

Chelsea FC Honours

Premier League / League Champions in 2010, 2006, 2005, 1955

FA Cup in 2010, 2009, 2007, 2000, 1997, 1970

European Cup Winners in 1998, 1971

Suoer Cup in 1998

League Cup in 2007, 2005, 1998, 1965

Charity Shield in 2009, 2005, 2000 and 1955

Disclaimer: Victor Chandler, trading as BetVictor, is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar.

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