In popular culture

In 1930, Chelsea featured in one of the earliest football films, The Great Game. One-time Chelsea centre forward, Jack Cock, who by then was playing for Millwall, was the star of the film and several scenes were shot at Stamford Bridge, including the pitch, the boardroom and the dressing rooms. It included guest appearances by then-Chelsea players Andrew Wilson, George Mills and Sam Millington. Owing to the notoriety of the Chelsea Headhunters, a football firm associated with the club, Chelsea have also featured in films about football hooliganism, most recently The Football Factory. Chelsea also appear in the Hindi film, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

Up until the 1950s, the club had a long-running association with the music halls, with their underachievement often providing material for comedians such as George Robey. It culminated in comedian Norman Long's release of a comic song in 1933, ironically titled "On The Day That Chelsea Went and Won The Cup", the lyrics of which described a series of bizarre and improbable occurrences on the hypothetical day when Chelsea finally won a trophy.

The song "Blue Is the Colour" was released as a single in the build-up to the 1972 League Cup Final, with all members of Chelsea's first team squad singing; it reached number five in the UK Singles Chart. The song was later adapted to "White Is the Colour" and adopted as an anthem by the Vancouver Whitecaps. In the build-up to the 1997 FA Cup final, the song "Blue Day", performed by Suggs and members of Chelsea's squad, reached number 22 in the UK charts. Bryan Adams, a fan of Chelsea, dedicated the song "We're Gonna Win" from the album 18 Til I Die to the club.

Records

Chelsea's highest appearance-maker is ex-captain Ron Harris, who played in 795 first-class games for the club between 1961 and 1980. This record is unlikely to be broken in the near future; Chelsea's current highest appearance-maker is Frank Lampard with 380. The record for a Chelsea goalkeeper is held by Harris's contemporary, Peter Bonetti, who made 729 appearances (1959–79). With 116 caps (74 while at the club), Marcel Desailly of France is Chelsea's most capped international player.

Bobby Tambling is Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer, with 202 goals in 370 games (1959–70). Seven other players have also scored over 100 goals for Chelsea: George Hilsdon (1906–12), George Mills (1929–39), Roy Bentley (1948–56), Jimmy Greaves (1957–61), Peter Osgood (1964–74 & 1978–79), Kerry Dixon (1983–92), and Frank Lampard (2001–). With 193 goals, Dixon is the only player in the club's recent history to have come close to matching Tambling's record. Greaves holds the record for the most goals scored in one season (43 in 1960–61). Lampard is the top scorer currently at the club.

Officially, Chelsea's highest home attendance is 82,905 for a First Division match against Arsenal on 12 October 1935. However, an estimated crowd of over 100,000 attended a friendly match against Soviet team Dynamo Moscow on 13 November 1945. The modernisation of Stamford Bridge during the 1990s and the introduction of all-seater stands mean that neither record will be broken for the foreseeable future. The current legal capacity of Stamford Bridge is 42,055.

Chelsea hold numerous records in English and European football. They hold the record for the highest ever points total for a league season (95), the fewest goals conceded during a league season (15), the most consecutive clean sheets during a league season (10), the highest number of Premier League victories in a season (29), the highest number of clean sheets overall in a Premier League season (25), and Chelsea even have the highest win percentage of all time in a top-flight season. (all set during the 2004–05 season), and the most consecutive clean sheets from the start of a league season (6).

The club's 21–0 aggregate victory over Jeunesse Hautcharage in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 remains a record in European competition. Roberto Di Matteo holds the record for fastest goal in an FA Cup final, which came 42 seconds into Chelsea's win over Middlesbrough in 1997. Chelsea hold the record for the longest streak of unbeaten matches at home in the English top-flight, which lasted 86 matches from 10 April 2004 to 26 October 2008. They secured the record on 12 August 2007, beating the previous record of 63 matches unbeaten set by Liverpool between 1978 and 1980.

Chelsea have recorded several "firsts" in English football. Along with Arsenal, they were the first club to play with shirt numbers on 25 August 1928 in their match against Swansea Town.[50] Chelsea were the first English side to travel by aeroplane to a domestic away match, when they visited Newcastle United on 19 April 1957, and the first First Division side to play a match on a Sunday, when they faced Stoke City on 27 January 1974. On 26 December 1999, Chelsea became the first British side to field an entirely foreign starting line-up (no British or Irish players) in a Premier League match against Southampton. On 19 May 2007, they became the first team to win the FA Cup at the new Wembley Stadium, having also been the last to win it at the old Wembley. After the conclusion of the 2007/2008 season, Chelsea became the highest ranked club under UEFA's five-year coefficient system used in the seeding of European club competitions in the following season, the first English club to do so in the 21st century.

Supporters

Chelsea have the fifth highest average all-time attendance in English football and regularly attract over 40,000 fans to Stamford Bridge; they were the fifth best-supported Premiership team in the 2007–08 season, with an average gate of 41,673. Chelsea's traditional fanbase comes from working-class parts of West London, such as Hammersmith and Battersea, from wealthier areas like Chelsea and Kensington, and from the Home Counties. In addition to the standard football chants, Chelsea fans sing songs like "Carefree", "Blue is the Colour", "We all follow the Chelsea" (to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory), "Ten Men Went to Mow", "Zigga Zagga", "Hello! Hello!" and the celebratory "Celery", with the latter often resulting in fans ritually throwing celery.

Chelsea do not have a traditional rivalry in the manner of Liverpool and Everton or Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. A 2004 survey by Planetfootball.com found that Chelsea fans consider their main rivalries to be with (in order): Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.[35] Additionally, a strong rivalry with Leeds United dates back to several heated and controversial matches in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the FA Cup final in 1970. A more recent rivalry has grown with Liverpool following several clashes in cup competitions - particularly after Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal' (as dubbed by Jose Mourinho) in the UEFA Champions League 2004–05 semi-final.

During the 1970s and 1980s in particular, Chelsea supporters were long associated with football hooliganism. The club's "football firm", originally the Chelsea Shed Boys, now known as the Chelsea Headhunters, were nationally notorious for violent acts against hooligans from other teams, such as West Ham United's Inter City Firm and Millwall's Bushwackers, both during and after matches. The increase in hooliganism in the 1980s led chairman Ken Bates to propose an electric fence to deter them from invading the pitch; the proposal was rejected by the GLC. Chelsea's hooligan element were revealed to have links with neo-nazi groups such as Combat 18, and other far-right or racist organisations including the National Front. Since the 1990s there has been a marked decline in crowd trouble at matches, as a result of stricter policing, CCTV in grounds and the advent of all-seater stadia.
Chelsea F.C.
Full name Chelsea Football Club
Nickname(s) The Pensioners The Blues
Founded 14 March 1905
Ground Stamford Bridge Fulham Road London SW6 England (Capacity: 42,055[1])
Owner Flag of Russia Roman Abramovich
Chairman Flag of the United States Bruce Buck
Manager Flag of Brazil Luiz Felipe Scolari
League Premier League
2007–08 Premier League, 2nd
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