When did you start supporting Chelsea and why?
Supporting Chelsea has to be one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made to be honest. With dad going every week when I was little there really wasn’t another option I could’ve picked. There’s photos of me as a baby with little Chelsea shoes on and I have a Teddy Bear wearing the 1997/1998 Autoglass kit.
Is there any rivalry in your family or is it Chelsea through and through?
We’re Chelsea through and through and it will certainly be staying that way! My grandad supported Sunderland with my family being based in the south we gravitated to Chelsea.
What’s your first memory of Chelsea?
My first memory of Chelsea is actually the first game I went to at Stamford Bridge. Back in September 2002 Chelsea were playing Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and I was lucky enough to be taken by my dad, even though I was only four at the time! I have vivid memories of the West Stand being constructed around this time. In reality, I was probably a little too young to properly understand what was going on!
What game was the first one you went to at Stamford Bridge? How did you feel etc…?
The first game I would otherwise class myself as going to was our fixture against West Brom at home back in 2005. We beat them 4-0 and I can remember obsessing over Frank Lampard who scored twice on the day. He had just had his first child and celebrated by rocking his arms with a few other players. I remember being so excited at the game and that was when I knew Chelsea was the club for me.
During your time as a Chelsea fan, which season do you significantly remember?
This is a tough one, because I’ve been fortunate enough to witness such ridiculous success in my lifetime. Perhaps the most obvious one that sticks out to me was the 12/13 season, this was the first year I was lucky enough to go to over 10 games. It truly was a rollercoaster of emotions, with such a positive atmosphere going into the season having won the Champions League. DI Matteo, loved by all, was replaced by Rafael Benitez. Fans did eventually warm to him but the hostility at first was brutal. In true Chelsea style, we capped it off in style by beating Benfica in the Europa League final.
Whats the best match you’ve seen live at the Bridge?
Again, another tough one. I’ve had a good think about this and do think I’ve found one worthy of being an answer. It has to be us beating Wigan 8-0 on the final day of the 09/10 season to clinch our third Premier League title. There was just an amazing party atmosphere in the ground which was made even better by Drogba’s hatrick and subsequent golden boot.
During your time as a Chelsea fan, which player has been your favourite and why?
Easy. Frank Lampard.
He was my hero growing up and I can remember trying to recreate his goals during lunchtime at school. I truly cannot ever see there being a player quite like him. He was just stupidly good. I can’t even put into words just how happy I was in July when he became our manager and he has created an atmosphere in the club that perhaps only he was capable of.
During your time as a Chelsea fan, which manager has been your favourite and why?
We’ve had some amazing managers over the year but Jose Mourinho does clinch it. To come into the league, as he did, and leave with three Premier Trophies was unthinkable at the time. I was gutted when he was sacked the second time. I was even more gutted when he eventually went to Manchester United. I thought it was the perfect match at the time but things didn’t quite go to plan. I’m interested to see where he ends up next and there are rumours of him awaiting a job in England.
During your time as a Chelsea fan, what has been your worst memory?
Even though I was younger, the 2008 Champions League Final was devastating. To have John Terry score the winning penalty for it would’ve been the perfect script. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. We’ve been lucky enough to win it since anyway though!
More recently? Perhaps the 2017 FA Cup Final against Arsenal. We took apart the league and just should’ve been able to win that game. Having won the league weeks before, this loss was a sad way to end the season.
If you could watch only three Chelsea games for the rest of your life, what would they be?
- 2012 Champions League Final – I would love to be able to go back a few years in my life and watch it again as I did. The rollercoaster of emotions in this game made it all the more sweeter and to finally clinch that evasive European Trophy was the best feeling in the world. What a night.
- FA Cup Semi Final 2017 vs Tottenham – This was perhaps the most thrilling game I’ve seen in the flesh. Tottenham were so good this year but Conte chose to bench both Costa and Hazard for this game. With the score at 2-2, he brought both of them on to go for the jugular. This game also had the amazing Nemanja Matic strike, one of the finest goals I’ve seen.
- FA Cup Final 2018 vs Manchester United – Again, another game I was fortunate enough to attend. It was a vintage Eden Hazard masterclass. He put us 1-0 up and then bossed the game in a way only he could. Running rings around the United players. This truly was the Eden Hazard final and a nice way for Conte to go out.
Favourite player in the squad at the moment? Most disliked player in the squad at the moment?
Favourite – Mason Mount – I just love his attitude. You can see the passion he has for the badge every time he plays. He’s going right to the very top and us Chelsea fans have front row seats!
I don’t truly dislike any of our current squad. I do find Ross Barkley extremely frustrating though. The talent is there he just doesn’t seem capable of fully using it. I’m certain he’ll be out the club either in January or next summer.
Which player during your time as a Chelsea fan has been very underrated?
One player who I hope will be remembered correctly is Branislav Ivanovic. He lost his pace very quickly and was getting dominated by opposition wingers. In his prime he was invincible, he used to win us so many games singlehandedly and a lot of his goals will live long in the memory of Chelsea fans. An absolute legend and by all accounts a great guy!
Why did you join the Chelsea Echo and what got you interested in writing?
I got into writing over the summer as a way of making a log of all the games I’m lucky enough to go to. I really enjoyed it and when I saw the Echo was looking for writers the choice seemed obvious. I’m hoping to have a go at podcasting at some point, we’ll just see what the future holds!