As everyone with more than a passing interest in the game will be aware Chelsea won the Premiership on the 9th of May. For this reason I have decided to tell anyone who wants to listen my match day experiences, rather than regurgitate the match reports and analysis of the mainstream media.
The day started with an engineering works affected train journey to London, coupled with two cans of lager to settle the nerves.
I arrived at the first pub of the day at midday to start proceedings with the boys from the Chelsea Football Fancast.
This was the more reserved part of the day chatting to the podcast crew, musing over what the day had in store and feeling the nerves. However a few pints, a reassuring chip butty later and Chidge’s optimism made me feel as though we couldn’t fail.
Next up was O’Neils an Irish themed bar near Earls Court; this was to meet my Dad, who had the all important ticket and his adopted Chelsea family. I was predictably late and had received a couple of only half joiking texts from him saying he was just moments away from selling my ticket to his mate Clive.
The banter in the pub as with the fancast crew was one of quiet optimism, although this is where I heard the first songs of the day. The pub occasionally belted out renditions of ‘Carefree’ and ‘Who the F%^K are Man United’ to punctuate the discussion that we couldn’t possibly throw it away, could we?
As game time approached we left O’Neil’s and after a short walk through West Brompton cemetery, I was through the turnstiles, with enough time to get a jet pack beer, and join in’ the liquidator’.
Coming out of the tube earlier and on the approach to the ground it was obvious that this was a huge game, the obvious barometer being the plethora of illegal football touts, whose buy and sell’ whispers echoed through the streets.
I had a perfect seat for the game, four rows back bang in the middle of the Shed End, the atmosphere before the game was electric but obviously tinged with nerves and excitement.
For the first time I can remember the old Shed terrace was back, everyone was stood up and roaring the team on, the whole ground was standing up uninterrupted by safety stewards, or others who seek to minimise the entertainment of football spectators.
This is what every football fan loves about football and we had waited three years for another shot.
The game itself was one of true nerves for only 6 minutes, when Anelka scored, the tension eased significantly, however once Frank Lampard fended of Didier Drogba to make it 2-0, the party began in earnest.
At half time anyone caught asking the Manchester United score was laughed at, we were storming to victory, few people seemed to care what Alex Ferguson’s men were up to a couple of hundred miles to the North.
As the second half got underway and the goals rolled in to extinguish any vague hopes of a Wigan revival, this allowed the party to start early, allowing the fans to run through the whole Chelsea song repertoire. Although to answer one query from the home fans, I think those watching in Manchester may have turned off their TV in disgust, a long time before the score resembled that of a rugby match.
Not that anyone was aware of the time, but all too quickly the the final whistle and pandemonium. After 3 years of near misses the title, was back at Chelsea and there was nothing that the moaning and mind games of Alex Ferguson could do about it.
First of all the crowd swayed to ‘One Step Beyond’ before belting out club classics such as ‘Blue Day’ before bouncing to baggy trousers.
Whilst this was going on the youth team paraded their silverware, the FA Youth Cup to a rapturous reception, then one by one the team made its way to the podium for the eruption upon lifting the trophy.
After the trophy was lifted the fans belted out the Queen classic and other champion based songs as the club paraded around the stadium. The music drowned out occasionally by the fans chanting the names of both John Terry and Carlo Ancellotti. One wonders if Fabio Capello is regretting siding against the Chelsea fans assertions that there is infact only one England captain.
At this point I fought my way through the crowds to find my Dad’s seat and give him a massive bear hug as the celebrations continued. As we eventually left the ground we were confronted by the pandemonium of the Fulham road, all the pubs were full so after a quick trip to the off license we joined the fans partying in the streets.
I however was not as brave as the fans climbing lampposts or swirling their tops around their heads, after over an hour of singing we made our way home, knowing that we could be doing it all again next week.
To the summer transfer rumours, which I will be following here
Champions of England