Chelsea Looking To Avoid The Birthday Blues
For Chelsea Football Club, today marks the occasion of its founders day. It was 113 years ago that the club were formed. For 'a club with no history` that`s a remarkably long time.. Courtesy of the Official Chelsea Website we`ve cobbled together a few snippets of information about that great day and beyond.
Chelsea were formed at a meeting in the Rising Sun Pub, now called the Butchers Hook. It sits opposite the main entrance to Stamford Bridge. Attending that meeting in a small room above the pub were were millionaire owner Henry Augustus 'Gus` Mears, his brother Joseph, their brother-in-law Henry Boyer, publican Alfred Janes and his nephew Edwin, who ran the Rising Sun.
Another of the club`s founding directors, Frederick Parker, managed to get The Pensioners, as they were then nicknamed, admission to the Football League, in Division Two. Ever since, they have remained within the top two tiers of English football.
Chelsea lost their first game to Stockport County 1-0, it was significant for one thing. William Foulke, known, not surprisingly as 'Fatty` due to his 20-stone bulk, became the first Chelsea goalkeeper to save a penalty, but in the melee that followed a wayward County shot was deflected into his own net by Robert McEwan.
The first home league game played at the Bridge was against Hull City. A crowd of just 6,000 witnessed the 5-1 victory. Ten years on and In 1915, having reached our first FA Cup final to the backdrop of war, the club was as scandalised as the rest of the game to hear that Manchester United and Liverpool players had fixed a league game so that the Red Devils remained in the top flight at Chelsea`s expense. Thankfully this was swiftly reversed.
As we sing a hearty happy birthday to the club we all love this afternoon , it has to be hoped that the players are able to deliver a performance worthy of such an historic club and Palace don't spoil the party.