A new series for The Chelsea Echo, an opportunity for you to really understand more about our writers. First up, Daniel Childs, also known as SonOfChelsea.
Q. When did you start supporting Chelsea and why?
I started supporting Chelsea at the age five, taken by my Dad to the Bridge without knowing what football was. My family have lived in Chelsea for generations, so there was really no other choice, the decision was made for me and I’m very grateful.
Q. What is your first memory of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge?
My first memory of Chelsea was my first game which was a Champions League qualifier second leg against MŠK Žilina under Ranieri. Me, my Dad and several members of my family sat in the West Stand Lower. There were pictures of me in Autoglass shirts before this and tales that as a baby I burst into tears when my family celebrated Zola’s winner in the Cup Winners Cup final in 98, but Chelsea coming into my life was being taken to the Bridge.
Q. Which season do you significantly remember as a Chelsea fan?
For me it has to be 04/05, which was the second season supporting. Jose arriving in England and taking everything by storm. That team was simply magnificent and gave you such confidence before each game. At 6/7 years old I have the nostalgia of the Umbro Kits, idolising Frank who was on the back of nearly all of my tops. This was the year I truly fell in love with football and have more distinct memories. Quick side-note – Jose sent his kids to my primary school and one day walking out with my Dad I was wearing the full black and silver away kit with Drogba on the back. I got a pat on the back, I turned round and looked up to see Jose smiling and he gave me a thumbs up. Stuff dreams are made of.
Q. Which match do you significantly remember as a Chelsea fan?
I guess its hard not to mention the Champions League win in 2012. The run up to the final had wrecked all of our nerves and it had gotten to a point where me and my Dad watched 87 minutes of it in separate rooms in our house. I sat on the edge of my bed clutching a Chelsea scarf into my mouth trying to get some comfort. When Didier’s header went in, all hell broke lose. The scarf went flying and me and my Dad ran into the hallway and embraced. Extra time, then pens all were as excruciating. When Didier’s penalty went in I fell to the floor in tears of happiness. We both walked up to the Bridge at near midnight, getting mauled by a fellow Chelsea fan just in his boxers who embraced both of us. We arrived at the Bridge to meet with my Brother and Grandad and celebrated with with our fellow Blues. It was simply magical and at times still feels like a dream. I love Chelsea, but my love and pride will likely never be topped as how I felt that night.
Q. Which game has been the most entertaining whilst you were at the Bridge?
I remember a few barmy high scoring games that were astonishing to witness. Aston Villa 4-4, Everton 3-3. Late winners like Frank’s against Stoke under Scolari. Big wins against rivals, but the first one that seems to come to mind is the 2-2 against Spurs in 2016. It had been a dour season that I’d spent the majority of the time in my East Upper seat for the nine months scratching my head in bemusement. However, when Eden’s equaliser went in I’ve never heard the Bridge erupt like that. Nearly going five rows forward, being grabbed by my brother and celebrating with those who have sat around me since I started going. That second half comeback, that magical goal and most importantly stopping Spurs winning the league was majestic.
Q. Who is/was your favourite Chelsea player and why?
If it isn’t obvious already, it has to be Frank. On the night I was taken to my first game, the players came to warm up near us and my Dad asked me who my favourite player was. At the age of 5 and having never seen a footballer before I just randomly pointed at one, and my Dad looked up and responded – “That’s Frank Lampard”. I bore people to death with that story, but love telling it because of how poetic it is. Other than being the best English midfielder ever to grace the game, the best player to ever wear Blue and being a part of so many amazing memories, what makes Frank brilliant and an inspiration to me is his work ethic and continual ability to prove doubters wrong and work tirelessly at his game. Talent can only get you so far and Frank is ultimate proof that anyone can work hard and improve themselves, an that’s a great lesson. And anyway, Who’s Scott Canham?
Q. Who is/was your favourite manager and why?
I think it has to be Jose. Yes with his move to United some of soured on him and his antics but you can’t deny how along with Roman’s investment, he helped instil a winning mentality that you could argue is still present today. His intelligence, mind games and charisma were things that would easily make you fall in love with him. The 04/05 and 05/06 team were simply unplayable at times and are still devalued to this day at the quality of football Jose’s teams could play. He was ahead of the curve during those early years and caused havoc for managers like Wenger and Ferguson who had sat unchallenged for many years. Also in relation to Lampard, the effect he had on his career in making him believe he could be the best in the world, along with so many others he helped improve. When he came back and won the title again, it was special to witness again and even though it ended badly months later, those special memories can never be taken away.
Q. What has been the worst memory for you related to Chelsea?
Worst memory has to be Moscow 08. The less said about it, the better. Worst I’ve ever felt as a fan.
Q. If you could only watch three Chelsea matches ever again, what would they be?
Difficult one. Think the Champions League Final 2012, even though it still is a bit of a difficult watch. Bolton 2-0 in May of 05 to win the title, Lampard’s goals and for fun the Arsenal 6-0, because that was hilarious.
Q. Who is your favourite player in the Chelsea squad at the moment?
Would have to say Ruben. Following his career and wanting to see him breakthrough has been a wish of mine and seeing him thrive at the back end of last season, standing out as one of our best players and proving doubters wrong truly opened a lot of people’s eyes to his talent. I’d say Rudiger is a close second, just emanates ‘Proper Chels’ and appears to be a great character on and off the pitch. Love seeing Tammy, Mason, Callum, , Fikayo and Reece all getting a chance this season under Frank. A lot of likeable players.
Q. Which player has been the most underrated in a Chelsea shirt?
Jorginho came in for so much unwarranted abuse last season because of the divide over the manager and at times I felt like a lone voice in the Bridge as people booed and sarcastically cheered when he was substituted. Luckily people are now showing him more appreciation and hopefully that spreads outside the club. Don’t know if I can think of a player overrated greatly by fans, I’m probably more of an optimist so give our players higher props so maybe I’m guilty of this.
Q. Why did you join The Chelsea Echo and what got you interested in writing/making videos on Chelsea?
I love being a part of the community and talking about the club I love. The Echo became a really great platform to express things I believed in on an intellectual and more in-depth level. The way the site is run is one based off principles and trying to facilitate the most beneficial and respectful discussions. I started my YouTube channel when I was 16 and I’m glad to be back doing it because there is so much sensationalism, hyperbole and clickbait I just can’t sit back and not get involved to counteract it and offer a rational perspective. Even if I’m not getting thousands of viewers, I know I’m creating stuff I enjoy, with the best intentions, trying to make change. Which I’m proud of.
Wow, what a story to Daniel’s life as a Chelsea fan, and there are some memories there which will never be forgotten. Make sure to follow The Chelsea Echo and Daniel on social media to find out the next guest as part of our new series ‘Meet the Writers.’