Chelsea Double Ends 16 years of FA Cup Hurt

 Chelsea Double Ends 16 years of FA Cup Hurt

If taken in context this title may, I confess be a little misleading due to Chelsea’s recent success in the competition. As holders there has been little FA Cup hurt experienced by Chelsea fans in the last few years.

I am however speaking from a personal perspective, since queuing up in the early hours of the morning as a 7 year old in 1994; I have been unable to get a ticket for a final since. This has meant that until Saturday I had only ever seen Chelsea in an FA Cup final once, a 4-0 loss to Manchester United.

Obviously I have watched the previous finals on television or at the Bridge via a beam back. However this is not quite the same as being there.

In recent years, I had got tickets to the Carling Cup and Charity Shield games but not to the FA Cup, every year I would hunt around but despite attending 20 or so games a season, I was never able to access a ticket due to the ridiculous ticketing at Wembley and the sheer number of season ticket holders at Stamford Bridge, ahead of me in the queue for tickets.

This season I did not try so hard in my hunt, I had resigned myself to watching this year’s final on television as in previous years. Thinking that I would be unable to afford the extortionate amounts to buy one from a less than reputable outlet, or the desire to line the pockets of those who seek illegal profit out of the passion of the fans.

However a phone call late on Saturday, changed all that, I had through the miracle of begging secured a ticket, asking everyone I could, for a cup final ticket had actually paid off. Though my hero would prefer to be nameless, I cannot thank them enough. I still cannot believe I got a ticket to the FA Cup final for the first time in 16 years, and it was not from a money grabbing tout!

The day itself was fantastic, I caught an early train and had a champagne breakfast, as in a bizarre twist of fate I saw my boss on the train station platform, her and her friends and got invited to join her for a few glasses/bottles of champagne. Therefore a big thank you to my boss Sam, Elaine, Sal and bride to be Gill, for letting me ‘borrow’ some champagne, I hope you had a great day in Brighton.

After a mad dash to the suburbs to pick up my ticket, I cadged a lift to Wembley and enjoyed a few drinks outside the ground, soaking up the atmosphere and it became patently clear that whatever the result the Portsmouth fans were going to make the most of one last day in footballing sun.

We also saw a few famous faces, such as Steve Redgrave and Boris Johnson as we made our way around Wembley. Although I know that one member of our group was more interested in getting a photo with former Chelsea players Steve Finnieston and Ian Britton, who were enjoying a few drinks in the sun, than any politician or Olympian.

The game itself was a bit of a blur, not due to alcohol but because i got a splinter in the eye as Chelsea hammered the woodwork time and time again.

The atmosphere was pretty good with the Portsmouth fans clearly in party mood, Chelsea were dominant but Portsmouth soaked up the pressure trying to hit Chelsea on the counterattack.

The game was nearly turned on its head when Portsmouth were awarded a penalty, but a combination of a poor strike and good reactions from Petr Cech sent a sigh of relief around the Chelsea end.

Moments later and Chelsea and Didier Drogba made Portsmouth pay moments later to send the Chelsea fans wild as his free kick arrowed in off the post.

Everyone thought the game was over around me when Frank Lampard was given the opportunity from the 12 yards to end the game, his miss sent gasps of disbelief around the Chelsea end, particularly from the guy next to me ,who had bet on Drogba to score first, Chelsea to win 2-0.

After one more scare Chelsea survived to win and spark a repeat of last week’s mass celebrations, this time at our second home, that is otherwise known as Wembley.

After the game we headed to a local pub, to continue singing songs and looking back over an incredible 6 days in the history of the club. When we eventually started making our way home we met some Portsmouth fans on the tube and true to most of our encounters during the day, they were friendly and a good laugh.

The singing continued as each group of fans maybe 6 or 7 for each side, traded songs and banter in what to me is what football is about, no aggro, no violence just banter and fun.

For this reason and their tremendous support of their team today, I for one hope that Portsmouth keep the wolves from the door and one day return to the Premiership.

A great day out and I can finally say ‘When John went up to lift the FA Cup I was there, I was there’

Keep track of all the latest CFC transfer news here

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11 Responses to Chelsea Double Ends 16 years of FA Cup Hurt

  1. Eious says:

    Chelsea has won 3 PL Titles and now another FA Cup….they are adding more titles to their trophy case

    Is the FA Cup THAT big a deal? No but for someone like Chelsea….they will and should take any title they can….any title is a big deal of some sorts

  2. Ben Clynshaw says:

    Correction, Eious… the FA Cup is a massive deal!

  3. Blake says:

    Sounds like a great time! I know it was probably much closer than you expected it to be, but at least Chelsea came out on top. Tons of credit to Portsmouth for the excellent showing as well.

  4. sauxboy says:

    All I can say is “BASTARD”…. Good on ya, wish I had the cash to pay for return flights from Australia and accommodation for the big occassion. Would love to have been there to see CHELSEA at WEMBLEY in the flesh.Sounds like you had a blast. I spent the early hours with the Brisbane Chelsea Supporters Club from 9pm till 4.30am watching the game and celebrating.The game kicked off at midnight for us here..I must say without taking credit away from our Hardcore Chelsea supporters in England, some of the most hardcore supporters would be in places like Australia and New Zealand who endure during the season the regular stoush with the wife and kids to negotiate a leave pass to view a Chelsea match live with our fellow Chelsea Supporters on PAY TV at the our hang out every week at the between the ludicrus times of midnight and 5am and turn up to work on Mondays morning all red eyed for Sunday games (UK Time) dependant on the timings the game is arranged for. Once the trophy was paraded after the game I just kept seeing DOUBLE, whilst drinking DOUBLE rums and kept crossing the DOUBLE white line whilst driving home.
    Here one for ya…
    What’s Chelsea and Dart have in common?
    The both finish on a DOUBLE!

    That’s why we ARE CHAMPIONS!
    Carefree from OZ

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  6. Duke says:

    Excellent article! I’m happy for you, it sounds like it was a great day (and week!). It leaves me with mixed emotions, being a Blues fan from across the pond.

    I’m going to have to start making plans to get there for the end of next season. Don’t want to miss out on all the fun again, and would love the chance to celebrate with a crowd of like-minded fans. I’m sure there are a couple other Chelsea fans in the Chicago area, but I don’t know where to find them, and we probably would be hard pressed to come up with anything resembling a “crowd!”

  7. Tom says:

    Congrats on the double. I love the multiple trophies that European clubs can win. Every year somebody wins the league, but not every year does someone do a double- thus some years are extra special. Enjoy.

  8. zico says:

    Wish I coulda been there! Must have been a truly great experience. Disappointing news about Ballack. Boateng should feel guilty, he may not have purposely tried to injure Ballack, but he did intentionally go in for the challenge with malice. I have a question: now that Ballack is out for at least 8 weeks, how do you think this affects his possibility of transferring to another club? As much as I like Ballack and his contribution to the double this year, I would like Ballack to leave the club because I don’t want the club to be spending too much money on an aging player like him. Is this injury going to make him less likely to be released now?

  9. Kristian Downer says:

    Duke, drop us a message on my facebook group (search echelseafc) and i will be able to put you in touch with some chicago based fans

  10. I was very lucky to be at the FA Cup Final last year. I was also at the 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2002 finals. Having supported Chelsea since the dark days of 1976, I still regard the FA Cup as huge. As a kid I dreamed of singing Abide with Me with my team waiting in the tunnel. Of course it never happened until many years later. Now I get to enjoy it with my son. and I’ve never been able to sing Abide with Me – I’m always too choked up to sing. Last year’s Final was the best. I went with my 12 year old son and my dad, who was diagnosed with cancer 11 months previously. He had been very ill, and at first we felt he would never be able to travel. but he did. then Everton scored after 24 seconds and briefly our world caved in. But when frank lampard scored the winner in front of us, the feelings were indescribable.
    Check out our photos at
    http://travellingdad.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/ london-2009-multigenerational-fa-cup-final-soccer-trip

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