Chelsea Legends: A Tale That Had Chadder Pulling His Hair Out

Posted: June 9, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in England, Guest, Legends, Random

As a massive fan of Chelsea and Twitter I follow a number of people who are linked with the Blues. This includes current and former players as well as dedicated Chelsea fans and anoraks. One of the people I follow is @morriskid, otherwise known as Jody Morris. The former blue, who debuted in 1995 against Middlesbrough in a 5-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge. I remember sitting in the West Stand benches and seeing him make his debut.

I read on Twitter that Morris and a host of other Chelsea Legends would be representing Chelsea in a tournament called Football40. This is where ex pro’s play against other ex pro’s in short games of 20 minutes each way. It is organised by former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle. But who were the legends?

Manager: Tommy Docherty

Players: Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Tore Andre Flo, Kerry Dixon, Pat Nevin, Frank Sinclair, Michael Duberry, Jody Morris, Clive Walker, Ken Monkou, Dave Beasant, Andy Myers, Danny Granville, Bernard Lambourde, Clive Wilson

As a Chelsea fan who first started going to Stamford Bridge regularly in 1994 one of my boyhood favourites was Frank Sinclair. I had the horrible/nice orange and grey away kit with SINCLAIR 6 on the back, but with fake, blue lettering from a local sports shop. I also had the 1995-97 home shirt, the one we won the FA Cup in, with SINCLAIR 6 on the back. Until recently, this was the shirt that I wore in my seat in the Matthew Harding Lower.

I thought the opportunity of seeing my old heroes putting on the blue shirt again was too good to miss, especially as the tickets were only £15. However, I was only guaranteed to see Chelsea play once, against Fulham, as the loser of this match would be knocked out of the competition. It was a risk I was willing to take, and I’m glad I did.

I arrived at Craven Cottage and stood with a load of fans outside the main entrance, watching all the old pro’s arrive, including Gianfranco Zola. These guys signed pretty much everything put in front of them. I had brought my blue SINCLAIR shirt to get signed. I waited about half an hour but Frank didn’t turn up. He must have already arrived so I went into the stadium.

I sat in my seat, near the halfway line, and waited for the players to come out. Out first were Fulham, including former blues ian Pearce, Bjarne Goldbaek (and Teddy Maybank). Then a few of the Chelsea players came out. I then left my seat to get near to the players, and hopefully Frank Sinclair’s attention. He eventually came out and I shouted his name. He looked over at me, I showed him my shirt, and asked if he would sign it. He said he would after the game had finished. I was so happy.

I went back to my seat to watch the game. The game started slowly, and continued at this pace. The players aren’t as young as they used to be (especially Kerry Dixon)! Chelsea took the lead through Hasselbaink. Chelsea won 5-1, courtesy of a Hasselbaink hattrick and a brace from Pat Nevin. The scoreline could have been more as Tore Andre Flo had missed a penalty. It meant that Chelsea would be in the final against the winner of Spurs/Arsenal (Spurs won).

Chelsea would then go on to thrash Spurs 4-0 in the final. What a great way to end the football. I then proceeded to go towards the tunnel in hope of seeing Frank Sinclair. Sadly I was unable to catch his attention, but Ken Monkou had come over to sign some autographs. I politely asked if Frank would sign my shirt. He then took it from me, asked if I would wait outside, and headed down the tunnel.

I then waited for an hour outside the ground. I won’t rant too much but the Fulham ground staff did not provide a good image for the club. I asked if they could get my shirt back, either signed or unsigned. They must have thought I was pulling a fast one and didn’t even bother to ask. Anyway, I was livid. Not only were they rude to me, I had lost my shirt! The shirt that I have had for half my life. It’s irreplaceable, especially because of the style of numbering and lettering.

On the way home I could see that Jody Morris and Michael Duberry were on Twitter, still at the Football40 tournament. I sent several tweets pleading for them to ask if anyone knew where my shirt was. As expected, there was no reply. I was gutted.

I sent an email to a Football40 player liaison officer, but it was Bank Holiday Monday and so didn’t expect a reply until Tuesday at the earliest. By this time my shirt was probably long gone! However, a very nice email was sent to me saying they thought they knew of the whereabouts of my shirt. I was so pleased and relieved. Basically, after a few more emails I found out who had my shirt. Sadly, that person fell off their Vespa and had to go to A&E. You couldn’t make this story up!

Anyway, a few days later, the day before my 30th birthday I received a package in the post. Can you guess what is was?

_________________________________

Written by Chad. If you liked this story then follow him on Twitter: @ChelseaChadder

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