Chelsea Football Club is located in Fulham, London. Chances are pretty good that you've heard of Chelsea, even if you're from America; they are the hipster's team of choice when picking a Premier League football club to support, because they were winning championships when Americans started to feign interest in football.
Chelsea are famously known for being really good at football, well at least since Russian gazillionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. At first, Abramovich treated the club like his personal playground, spending whenever and however much he needed to bring in championships to the club. And it worked.
Lately, he has settled down and is perhaps not spending as much money as he once did, but he also has Jose Mourinho installed as manager of the club, and that's enough to make them one of the more hated football franchises in the world.
Chelsea play their fixtures at Stamford Bridge, located in Walham Green. This classic old ground was opened in 1877, making it the sixth oldest ground in the entire Premier League. The ground was first used by a defunct club named London Athletic Club, but Chelsea assumed control when the new club was created in 1905 after the new grounds were first offered to Fulham.
And Chelsea will be there forever, as long as they want to be known as Chelsea; due to a unique arrangement with shareholders, the club will relinquish the name should they ever elect to move away from The Bridge.
Stamford Bridge has seen its share of sporting and entertainment history. Today, we take a look at five of the biggest events in the history of this venerable old stadium.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal (12 October 1935)
In what remains the second-highest attendance ever for an English top division match, Chelsea and Arsenal drew 1-1 in front of 82,905 fans. That's quite the feat, given that the grounds holds less than half that number today. But when Stamford Bridge opened, it could hold over 100,000 spectators.
Chelsea vs. FC Dynamo Moscow (13 November 1945)
It was the end of the second Great War, and things were starting to get back to normal in England, which meant football and more football. All competitive football divisions had been suspended since the war began, and fans and players alike were eager to get back to the pitch.
The Football Association, in the hopes of springboarding morale and getting fans interested again, invited Soviet football superclub FC Dynamo Moscow for a friendly at Stamford Bridge followed by a tour around Britain to play other clubs. Dynamo Moscow were one of the most feared clubs in Europe at the time; they'd just won the Russian national championship by winning 19 of 21 matches. In short, they were awesome, and this was an attraction.
74,496 fans packed into the stadium to see Chelsea and Dynamo draw 3-3, but that wasn't the point. The point was that football was back.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (23 April 1921)
Not every massive match at Stamford Bridge has involved Chelsea. The 1921 FA Cup Final - the first FA Cup Final to be contested at Stamford Bridge - was an exciting and yet dominant win for Tottenham as they turned back Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 on a goal scored by Jimmy Dimmock. King George V gave Spurs the trophy at the end of the match.
Chelsea vs. Sheffield Wednesday (23 April 1955)
On the next to last day of the 1954-1955 season, Chelsea crushed Sheffield Wednesday at home to earn their first top flight championship. Eric Parsons scored a brace, while Peter Sillet slotted home a penalty kick to give Chelsea a 3-0 win and the first of many top division championships.
But it was to be the only time they would win the old First Division championship; it was not until the advent of the English Premier League in the early 1990's that Chelsea would well and truly begin to acquire new hardware for their trophy case.
Chelsea vs. Jeunesse Hautcharage (29 September 1971)
This match took place in the the old European Cup Winner's Cup tournament, and it is the single biggest scoreline in Chelsea history. In front of 27,621 fans at the Bridge, Chelsea rolled to a 13-0 win.
Peter Osgood scored five goals in the match, while Tommy Baldwin scored 3 and others contributed single goals. Given that Chelsea had already defeated Jeunesse 8-0 in the first leg of their two-leg contest, the total aggregate score here was 21-0. That stands today as a record for a two-leg European tie.
Now that you’ve seen the top moments in stadium’s past, we’ve got a unique offer that will help you to write your name in the stadium’s history.
Although football is still going to be Stamford Bridge’s main focus in the years to come, the traditional 11 vs. 11 matches may be a thing of the past already, as partypoker plans to turn the stadium into a battlefield where hundreds of players will compete in an unusual and exciting poker game named The Grand Prix Poker Tour.
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