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What period was our mob at its peak


Soulboy
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When would you say our firm was at its strongest? I'm going mid nineties. They probably didn't see as much activity as 10 years earlier, but before the banning orders kicked- the thing with the banning orders was many of their mates also dropped out with them- they used to share lifts, if he's not going Im not going etc etc

If you look back at the Millwall games in 97- the West Stand was a zoo that night- even Millwall fans admit we were much more impressive than them over 2 games, and that's saying something. That's my take on a subject which isn't everyone's cup of tea. What's yours?

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Not someone who was active, but was at most of the games when it went off big time and was inadvertently involved sometimes.

Both those Millwall games Chelsea were hugely impressive, but there are other one offs that were similar. Sunderland in the Milk Cup, home and away and by all accounts at Parsons Green, Tottenham in 1978 I was at Seven Sisters and we did really well, and Upton Park in 1981 which rarely gets mentioned. Had to get stuck in that day and Chelsea did really well in the South Bank, spoke to a West Ham bloke I worked with and they were shocked.

But to answer your question I agree with you, mid 90's was the peak.

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Difficult one to answer, depending on mass numbers at away games, or having a 'pop' at the home teams end. Obviously as the decades passed it was harder to get in a home teams end, due to 'all ticket' games becoming more numerous etc, and Thatcher's clampdown on football fans with harsher penalties dished out by the courts obviously made some fans think twice.
In the 70's, had we taken the numbers to away games as we did in the 80's & 90's, we would have many more tales to reflect on.
But these were different era's and things change. As the 70's was my 'youthful time', i've never been able to understand the '1 off's'.For example in Sept 1971 a good mob from Stockwell (i think) had a good go at West Ham's North Bank. Why not do the same the next season, like they used to do to us every year?. Was it because those guys grew out of the footie scene, i dont know.
At Arsenal on Boxing Day in 74 there was only about 40 of us in the Clock End!. Yet 10 years later we had 10,000 there for our opening game of the season!. 
Obviously communication had a major role, with the introduction of mobiles etc, whereas in my 'day' the message went round the previous week, ie meet at Euston 9am or Victoria whenever, and you turned up and hoped for the best!.
Eagerly awaiting other Blue's views.
 

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Early 80s, 82-84 more precisely, I think Pompey, City and Cardiff all mention us in their books as being too good on the day.  Was at all those games and can personally vouch for the last two of those. Our numbers at those games were enormous and most of those who went were chaps.

 

Funnily enough I thought even in that period and into the mid 80s we did not perform well in London - home or away - against the big firms with Spurs being the exception. 

 

Anyway I'm biased, too young before that, and left the country early 90s.  Heard about CFC mid 90s through the grapevine though.

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I think the 90s mob were a lot more violent, that might sound weird given our past 70's/80's mobs, because the scene went more underground in the 90s it became a lot more personal between some firms, us & Spurs for one has always been personal but take their top 30 v ours & it'd be like a medieval battle scene with the amount of weapons involved.

 

Thats just my opinion & it comes from the fact the 90s was my era(age wise not fv)

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Interesting question!

1970's

When the Shed could be bothered to make the effort we had a great firm, but most of the time individual mobs went their own way. The Shed was taken regularly in the late 60's/early 70's by West Ham and Arsenal, mainly because we had no real organisation. Apart from those two home fixtures things were pretty quiet in the Shed unless some other mob fancied their chances, which was something of a rarity. I was only young then, but I took to watching home games from under the old North Stand, much more interesting!

Away games in the 70's were a bit of a mixed bag, most games we'd take a large mob and nearly always try to infiltrate the home end. But now and then you'd find hardly any Chelsea had travelled at all and just a handful of us were there, but luckily this was pretty rare. Chelsea rarely took numbers to Old Trafford, Anfield or Goodison, which was annoying, though things picked up in the second half of the decade. A couple of seasons in Div.2 were great fun, and the mob started sticking together more, getting better organised.

1980's

Times were changing, the old bill were starting to get on top of things and getting in away ends was more difficult. Luckily the Chelsea mob had a lot of game youngsters coming through the ranks, and we were taking thousands of chaps to away games. In Div.2 most home firms didn't want to know and were totally outnumbered, we had a great time! After our promotion in 1984 a lot of Div.1 mobs were taken by surprise by the Chelsea firm, they hadn't played us for a while and things had changed. I'll see if I can rustle up memories of individual matches from both decades later on.

I stopped going in the mid 80's, when I moved away from London, so can't comment on our later mobs. In my opinion, I feel that our mob was at it's peak in the 80's, due to sheer weight of numbers, better organisation, and more bottle. That's taking nothing away from the 70's mob, and it's a close run thing. Personally I preferred the 70's, though I can't really explain why. Maybe it was more exciting because I was younger?

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tough call. I  spanned 80s and 90s. Think we were the best in the country for taking it everywhere we went in the early mid 80s. I do think there was a bit of a complex about upton park and never took the numbers there in the early 80s but in saying that we had a good 300 turn out for the postponed new years day game in 85 that went into the y*d end at highbury and in subsequent years confidence seemed to build, We had a top turnout there for the FA cup replay in 2000? when we met at aldgate. Agree about millwall in 95 we had all the old 80s lot turn out with the 90s firm as well. Really impressive at both games, more than matched them and millwall always all turned out for us..But what about now? Do we even have a mob anymore? Often see old faces but all surely way past rucking .All seems quiet when i occasionally go..

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Agree with Melbourne. Add to that away days at dirty Leeds in early 80s.

Suppose it all depends on your age really.

Went to both them leeds games and tbh we had massive turnouts but were pretty much wrapped up by the old bill. I think rumour has it that hickys coach lot had it off at leeds station at the 82/3 game while the following year 300 tried to get off the service train i was on at wakefield only for the old bill to get handy with the truncheons!

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Went to both them leeds games and tbh we had massive turnouts but were pretty much wrapped up by the old bill. I think rumour has it that hickys coach lot had it off at leeds station at the 82/3 game while the following year 300 tried to get off the service train i was on at wakefield only for the old bill to get handy with the truncheons!

yes mate, a load of us made it past the bill at Wakefield, had a mooch round, layed waste to a load of leeds, then on the train to Leeds,it went off in Pudsey that day as well.
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For numbers I would say the 80s but pound for pound late 70s after we had been down in the second division a couple of seasons the Millwall experience made us better organised we came back to the first prepared to go to places we had nether been before mobbed up Manchester, Liverpool etc even going into and taking other London clubs ends North Bank Arsenal Boxing Day 1977 peaking with the firm we took to Spurs in August 1978 Good days

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Can only really comment on the 70s till mid 80s, from mid 70s the newspapers testify to the numbers and increasingly violent incidents, late 70s to mid 80s increasing organisation by already established groups coupled with outside organisers made us probably at our strongest with expectations to be matched on a weekly basis.

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As someone who was an observer more than a participant, who occasionally got caught up in things, here would be my list of Top Ten Turnouts- no particular order and games that I attended;

Straight in at number 10- West Ham away 81. Watched it happen ie the corner flag getting thrown around like a javelin, from the Chicken run, with my Dad and younger brother.

Number 9- Derby 83 in the cup- you had to feel a bit sorry for the poor sods, having had Leeds the week before.

Number 8- Man City 84- Amazing numbers. We passed Jimmy Hill on the way up the Motorway- he was commentating that night- pulled up along side him in our boozed up escort estate and all stroked our chins at him, along with various hand signs as you do.

A new entry at number 7- Pompey 84. Was in the side enclosure. First time I sampled the conversational delights of court jester to the mob, JK. He reckoned he got there by ship which still makes me chuckle. I remember it looked like a one point our fans behind the goal- which was mega packed, were gonna have a go at their main side terrace- which would have been one hell of an off. Got the slowest train ever home. It stopped at stations where you couldn't even see any houses dotted around

Number 6 ill go Man City at Wembley. We were probably aided by floating London fans that day but a mighty show of force.

Boro- Wembley 89 for Number 5. Before kick off me and a couple of mates were having a beer on a grassy bank near Wembley Arena- used to like watching us in the daily express five a sides there when I was a kid, but that's another story. Anyway, Boro turned up and scattered all the CFC there- who weren't our boys- Then the Calvary did arrive and it was a different story. Got caught up in the half time thing with a fella I didn't know Adam who stopped to have a puff on his asthma inhaler in the middle of the brawl. I've seen him a few times since and we always have a laugh with that one. Ps who was the bloke who used to take his teeth out if he thought it was going off?

Number 4- millwall in 95. Was on my own for that one in one of the side stands. The Brancote Arms got paid a visit that day if my memory serves me

Number 3 can be the semi v Man U at Villa. We had hundreds and hundreds of chaps by that grass verge after.

Man U late nineties in the cup- think it was a draw- Victoria Beckham had just got up the stick and naturally the vast chelsea support were questioning the parentage of the kid. We took big numbers that day, and I got chased across a dual carriageway for minding me own business. I'm told possibly the very best ensemble was for the 94 cup final against the Mancs, however I wasn't there

Kelleys eye, Number one. That's not Jerry Kelleys eye by the way- Stockholm 98. We flew to Malmo then drove for some reason, stayed in what looked like a converted holiday camp, which was ram jammed with Chelsea. There was a meet in the green jaeger - a big barn of a place- some very scary looking blokes in there a recall.

That's me lot pop pickers. I'm about to cook lunch for the family. Ps my spicy stew which Im about to get going, is that close to perfection, that its nickname is Peter Osgood

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.........and seeing what i did see i would love to go back to 67/68 onwards  and have been an older boy.......I certainly would have been a mad chelsea skin for a short time at least.....Seeing the likes of DH and SH later on that journey was fantastic with fun beginning as soon as you woke up on a match day and not finishing till you got home...Era late 60s to end 80s i think ill plump for

Edited by Mike Carefree
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Interesting question!

. Chelsea rarely took numbers to Old Trafford, Anfield or Goodison, which was annoying, though things picked up in the second half of the decade. 

 

 

If memory serves me right, 1976 was the first time we took good numbers to Old Trafford for a league game. We won 1-0, Bill Garner scored the goal. I may be wrong but i think no other London club had taken the amount we did on that day beforehand, which then started a trend.

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September 1977 we had two specials to Warwick Road station took up all the scoreboard enclosure but the Mancs had the paddock to the left remember a few Chels climbed a fence to our right took it to them but got nicked including old Wiff throughout the game the mob in the paddock kept chanting"Babsy Babsy show us your arm" at the end of the game the old Bill kept us behind giving us a lecture about keeping calm when the gates open and there is enough of them to protect us from the waiting mob outside soon as the gate opened up we just charged through broke the police line and laid into them we had offs all the way back to the station past the cricket ground running them everywhere good days

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September 1977 we had two specials to Warwick Road station took up all the scoreboard enclosure but the Mancs had the paddock to the left remember a few Chels climbed a fence to our right took it to them but got nicked including old Wiff throughout the game the mob in the paddock kept chanting"Babsy Babsy show us your arm" at the end of the game the old Bill kept us behind giving us a lecture about keeping calm when the gates open and there is enough of them to protect us from the waiting mob outside soon as the gate opened up we just charged through broke the police line and laid into them we had offs all the way back to the station past the cricket ground running them everywhere good days

I remember Old Bill saying something similar before the game, we were lined up by the cricket ground waiting for the second train to pull in and were told we'd be looked after if we kept quiet and behaved ourselves, followed immediately by a very loud rendition of Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner. Usual suspects giving the pep talk about sticking together and not running or we'd answer to them on the way home, load of scruffy Mancs coming out of a block of flats across a field opposite the cricket ground and thinking better of it as they got close, then loads of offs at the traffic lights as Utd seemed to come from everywhere. We had no choice but to stick together and came out of it unscathed and laughing like lunatics, as you did when you used to go against the odds and get a result. Inside the ground, Chelsea scattering the Stretford End for a few seconds till they were overwhelmed by weight of numbers, as mentioned the Babs song and Bill Garner and after the game proud of being the first London team to take it to them up there, great day.

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From what I understand, 1984/1985 was a year when it seemed to reach its pinnacle. Not just with Chelsea but the rest of English football too. Chelsea had a couple of rucks that year (Sunderland, Millwall)...Millwall went mental at Luton...and of course the best fans in the World were responsible for the deaths of 39 people at Heysel (sorry, I meant the stadium, the police and Chelsea fans disguised as Scousers were responsible).

After that, the authorities clamped down and it took a few years to re-emerge.

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85', millwall at ours in the cup when they started a fire on the NS terrace? was in the east stand upper and there were plenty of them up amongst the seats but we all seemed a bit subdued for some reason.

300 + older faces at Solihull(?) pre match for Brum away a few years ago got respect from everyone."We thought you lot had all gone away". 

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When would you say our firm was at its strongest? I'm going mid nineties. They probably didn't see as much activity as 10 years earlier, but before the banning orders kicked- the thing with the banning orders was many of their mates also dropped out with them- they used to share lifts, if he's not going Im not going etc etc

If you look back at the Millwall games in 97- the West Stand was a zoo that night- even Millwall fans admit we were much more impressive than them over 2 games, and that's saying something. That's my take on a subject which isn't everyone's cup of tea. What's yours?

i was in the west stand that night against millwall, in the seats above the benches up by the temporary seating where millwall where,There was i remember, a millwall supporter wearing one of those nafnaf puffa jackets that was bright yellow,who looked like a f**king  banana on a day out. Who was giving it the barry mcguigan, giving it all the throat cutting thing, w**ker hands, and he got singled out by us in the west stand "banana man is gonna die" he sussed we was singling him out, and he ended up moving from the seats next to west stand to the seats next to the east stand, we went over the little wall into the benches at the final whistle,and it just went off with the old bill!  Kicked right off as well after the game down by the petrol garage on the kings road where we had a good ten minute off, before the old bill got any where near it. also remember a skip being emptied in about 90 seconds, down one of the side roads that some bright spark left there. happy days

Edited by croydonblue
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