Dating back to 10th March 1905, when a group of well-to-do businessmen gathered at the Rising Sun Pub in Fulham Road to discuss forming a new football club, newly-crowned English Premier League champions 2016/17 Chelsea FC have a long and proud history.
Birth of Chelsea FC
The idea came from two friends, millionaire Henry Augustus Mears – better known as Gus – and fellow businessman Frederick Parker. Mears bought 12.5 acres of land at Stamford Bridge and considered launching a football club there with Parker, who also loved the game.
The founding directors were Mears, Parker, Mears’ brother Joseph, their brother-in-law Henry Boyer, pub landlord Alfred Janes and his nephew, Edwin. Chelsea FC entered the league in Division Two with their first player-manager, Scotland international Jacky Robertson, at the helm.
The team played their debut match at the new stadium, beating Liverpool 4-0 in a friendly in September 1905. Chelsea were promoted to the First Division in 1907, just two years after their formation.
Designed by renowned architect, Archibald Leitch, the original stadium was opened on 28th April 1877 and was used for athletics for 27 years. After Mears took over the site, a new super stadium was commissioned and in the first year alone, crowds of 60,000 spectators weren’t uncommon.
It remained unchanged until the 1930s, when the southern terrace was partially covered – leading to its nickname, Shed End. In 1945, work on a new covered seating area at the northern end was completed. A 6,000-seater west stand with hospitality boxes was built in 1965, followed by a new east stand in 1974.
The club was purchased by businessman Ken Bates in the early 1980s, ending the Mears’ long association with Chelsea. The 21st century has seen almost every part of the stadium being dramatically changed and other facilities have been added to make the club the global brand that it is today.
Russian billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC in 2003 and embarked on the club’s ambitious commercial development which includes restaurants, two four-star hotels, a health club, conference and banqueting facilities, an underground car park, a business centre and a music venue. He attends almost every match – his love of the club makes him popular with the fans.
Chelsea had won more points halfway through the 2016/17 season under manager Antonio Conte than they had ever achieved in the club’s history, including 13 straight league wins in a row. Conte led them to victory, winning the Premier League and being named Premier League Manager of the Season and LMA Manager of the Year.
Mention Chelsea and you’ll automatically think of club legends John Terry and Frank Lampard. Terry joined the club aged 14 and made his debut in 1998. By 2000/01, he was a first team regular and was skipper for the first time in December 2001, aged only 20. He made 700 appearances for the club, before saying goodbye at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Lampard played for Chelsea from 2001 to 2014, when he earned the title of the club’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals in 649 appearances. He also scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the Premier League. He announced his retirement from football in 2017 at the age of 38.
Chelsea won the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history by beating Bayern Munich in a thrilling penalty shoot-out at the Allianz Arena. Bayern’s Thomas Mueller scored a late header that put them 1-0 ahead on home turf – but Didier Drogba equalised and the match went to penalties – which Chelsea won, giving them their greatest victory in the club’s 107-year history.
Automatic Access and Chelsea
A football club of Chelsea’s magnitude demands only the best facilities – and that’s why we’re very proud to say we have completed some work for them. Contact us today for further information on our automatic doors that are suitable for a wide and varied range of applications.