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Strider6003

Chance Encounters as a Chelsea Fan


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Here’s mine you might want to add more

At the matches

The day I decided to become a member in ‘89 I went up to SB midweek walked in past the Shed towards the East Stand and saw and old country-looking building and a prefab building just before it.  As I was pondering which one to try first I saw a smartly dressed man coming towards me with grey hair I caught his eye and thought to ask him where to get the membership when I realised it was Ken Bates. I smiled as this seemed a strange coincidence and I realised he had the reputation of being a miserable bxgger.

As he saw me smiling, he remarkably smiled at me, ‘Can I help you?’

I hadn’t expected that.

‘Yes, I want to become a member,’ I beamed back thinking, this is surreal it’s like the owner personally came out to greet and direct me.

He looked at me a little bemused and said ‘It’s over there,’ pointing at the prefab.

I thanked him and went off to the prefab and the rest is history.

During my years the surprising thing was the old acquaintances I unexpectedly caught up with.

Firstly, a chap a year younger than me I knew from school and had also been in the ATC. I spotted in in Fulham Broadway and was amazed he liked football as I had never seen him even kick one. He said loved the atmosphere.

At Bristol away by chance I saw the cousin of my old flame asking for help as a group of Bristol fans had told him to bring his crew. He didn’t know what to do and I don’t think up until then we had ever even spoken. Looking back it makes me laugh as he reminded me of the Harry Enfield character Kevin but about 6’2 with big shoulders.

Then at Selhurst Park sitting in the seats with a few friends I had met on an away trip and a chap I had known when about 10 or 11 comes over and says ‘hello mate’ and asks me to come and meet up with his friends at the CIU club close to the ground when we next play at home. I agreed a little bemused as I remembered him as a wimpy ten-year-old that could hardly kick a ball and was now looking like a graduate of a Charles Atlas exercise regime.

So eventually we made it to the CIU and caught up with my ‘Charles Atlas’ mate and he introduced me to his friends and I introduced mine. There was lots of banter and then on my way to the ‘gents’ I see a face and he says, ‘I know you.’

I look at him and say, ‘I know you too………….Marcus.’

‘Yeah and you’re xxxxx!

‘How’s your brother?’ I asked as I used to play with his brother, he was the Hulk and I was Spiderman. I lost contact with moving away.

I often met with Marcus at Victoria station as we headed in the same direction.

 

In the Office

Now looking at this from another aspect, it was not just the chance encounters while physically following CFC yet the aspect at work.

 I worked in a high street bank my 4th choice of career yet there it was. There was one older CFC fan there from Battersea a bit of an arrogant SOB who I rarely spoke to (that changed a few years later and my opinion of him changed too) yet another work colleague asked me to go for a drink in the evening and brought along another chap from another bank branch. They both liked music yet the chap from the other branch also liked Chelsea. That was the catalyst for going to SB.

I transferred from that Bank to another branch after making the cardinal error of asking a question at the manager's team meeting about the possibility of training. It opened the floodgates of all these ladies’ pent up frustrations with their dead end jobs. His furious glance at me led me to believe my transfer was not just a good opportunity for me, more his chance to move on a ‘trouble maker’.

At the new branch my first day I recognised another chap in the this much smaller office called Mick, we had both been in the bank’s football teams. We got talking and it transpired he was a Chelsea fan. All of a sudden the move didn’t seem so bad and he even had a sense of humour though different from mine.

I didn’t stay there for too long and after a short spell as a roofing labourer decided I was better off in an office and got a job in a different bank back office. I bumped into Mick one night and after telling him where I was working he told me his friend worked there too called James and he supported CFC.

So I sought out James and said ‘hello’ and mentioned Mick. He told me the Bank was full of Chelsea fans. He pointed out a few and then in my job of dealing with exceptions I found loads more. Not many went to SB at that time so instead many came looking for me in the week asking about the matches.

It got awkward at times as people would be coming to me and supervisors would not be happy yet the worst offenders were actually quite senior so often the supervisors bit their lips. On the other hand it helped my job too as I ended up having contacts in Payments, FX, Loans, Projects, Mail Room, Sales, Doc Credits. With all those contacts I started getting opportunities and got promoted. Another benefit was getting programmes from one of the porters in the Mail Room.  I guess this was an example of early networking from the 90’s.

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Going to watch New York Jets play whilst on holiday in New York on 23rd Oct 2016.

We were just changing trains and a guy had his phone on in front of my son and it was showing us just scoring v Man Utd at The Bridge in the first minute !

Cue three Chelsea supporters cheering and then we introduced ourselves,  I explained that my son sand I were also big Chelsea supporters.

We then talked about Chelsea until we got to Met Life Stadium whilst watching the match !

Totally surreal moments !!

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35 minutes ago, Valerie said:

I am not going to re-live the moment I was nearly run over by Nicholas Anelka in his urban Sherman tank at tStamford Gate :ohmy: Being hugged by Neil Barnett was a marginally better experience :rolleyes:

I might regret asking this yet who's Neil Barnett?

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I bumped into Mark Schwarzer in the Leicester Morrisons a few years ago. He seemed like he was doing his weekly shop so I didn't particularly want to disturb him. Gave him a smile and a nod, got a grin and a wink in return. Seemed like a friendly chap.

I'm also fairly sure I saw Frank Sinclair walking down Beaver Street but I was on the other side of the road so no chance to interact.

Oh, and I once held a door open for Christian Fuchs, but he never played for Chelsea and it was at the King Power so I don't think it counts...

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I met Frank Sinclair once in a night club, I didn't intend to speak with him yet my friend went over and started to point at me.

Part of me never forgot that 7-0 hiding up at Forest where he made his debut though not one of our better defenders he did have the useful habit of scoring some cracking goals normally with his head.

Another interesting one was walking out of the Old Den after Dixon had got his hatrick, and as we walked through the back streets there was Peter Nicholas walking back to his car. He regularly got booed at the ground as he had the DM role in a time before it was appreciate by many of us (pre-Makelele I guess). There was a low chant of, 'there's only one Peter Nicholas', he did not seem to acknowledge it. I was surprised he would take that chance  of walking back on his own or perhaps he timed intentionally for when the away fans left the ground. 

 

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51 minutes ago, Strider6003 said:

I might regret asking this yet who's Neil Barnett?

He was the pitch announcer for many years before losing his job last year. There is a thread on here about him losing his job.  He also worked for Chelsea TV.

I know a great story about Ronnie Wood of the Stones meeting a couple of guys I know in the Shed Upper a few years back. Will post about it later.

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Also seen Frank Sinclair during my clubbing days- and Jody Morris who always seemed in an advanced state of refreshment.

Clocked JT and his partner Toni in Pets at Home in Raynes Park. They were dog basket shopping; no cheap jokes....

Edit: my old mans got dementia god bless him. Swears blind he used to play golf with Zola

Edited by Ewell CFC

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Had a piss next to RLC at Wimbledon Station, met Jamal Blackman in Wimbledon Burger King, bumped in to (literally) Miroslav Stoch outside the bridge and Lamps turned up randomly in the shed end when he was injured once upon a time. 

Saw Butch at the first home game after his sacking, walking about the bridge smiling and having a good laugh with the fans.  

If you know the faces of the youth team player you will regularly see them around on match days. 

 

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Another one I saw was Paul Elliott on the tube going to Fulham Broadway. I was going for the customary pre-match drink, aiming to meet up about 1pm and he was dressed in a tailored suit looking very smart. Not only smart, he also looked very much the athlete.

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Was sat a tad away from gate 13 and was more close to the tunnel,so it was quite sparse in the seats for this game against Sunderland back in div 2.glanced to me left and clocked >>> Steve cram <<< sat on his Todd “your Steve cram the sunderland fan are you not” he answered “ yes but please keep that to yourself as that lot over there might kill me “ 

“ mums the word “ I replied .

 

was walking up a some streets behind qpr  ground ,and having a chin wag with Richard burton as we was both type of lost trying to get to the ground.

 

 

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Not really a chance meeting because it happened when I worked on the construction of the new training facility at Cobham.

We weren't meant to talk to the players but one day nearing the end of the works I was snagging with a father and son team of fixers. We were inspecting the works from the players car park and heard this terrific rumbling noise from the other side of the adjacent pitch and noticed a really flash sports car driving towards us. As it came closer we could see it was a Mercedes sports of some kind. It looked like a Batmobile and sounded like a Lion. It came closer and closer and eventually parked up right next to us. Out stepped Claude Makele all happy.

The son of the team, immediately piped up "Hello Claude, nice car". As the senior person I felt a bit responsible and thought we should just ignore him but the young lad couldn't control himself. Claude was very approachable and said "Do you like my new baby?". At which point the young lad was all of a sudden Claude's best mate. They started talking and before you could say "stop it or you'll get sacked" the young lad, who I can't name, was being invited to sit in the car and look at the dash and everything. This carried on for a while and after a short while Mr Makele said "would you like to go for a spin?". Of course the lad said "not 'arf" and off they went. Growling back around the pitch and back out onto the main road. They disappeared and I was left standing with his father alone. We waited for them to come back. We waited a few more minutes and they didn't come back. Eventually after about 15 minutes we heard the growling engine enter the training ground and saw them coming back around the pitch. As they entered the car park we noticed that the son was in the drivers seat. It was at this point that the father told me that his son was on a D&D. I nearly had a heart attack.

Apparently they had driven off to Cobham town centre and Claude had, without any type of request, offered to let the lad drive the car back. He accepted, without fessing up to the minor transgression. They made it back in one piece and I eventually calmed down without the need for a defibrillator.

I worked at the Cobham site on and off for a few years and only ever met Claude Makele.  A number of the other lads met the players on a regular basis and apparently the best one for making contact was Didier Drogba. He would talk to anyone and was more than happy to sign shirts and chat.

Happy days.

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Summer of 2007 and the mrs and I were down in London for a weeks holiday. I paid a visit to The Bridge (of course) whilst she went to do a tour of Kensington Palace.

We agreed to meet in the centre of London later.

Anyway just as I was leaving The Bridge, complete with two bags full of purchases from the club superstore.

I literally bumped into Pat Nevin and he noticed the bags and we began talking things Chelsea. I might just have mentioned season 1983/84...

To be fair to Pat, he seemed happy to talk things Chelsea and of  things 'vintage Chelsea',   

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Sept 1979 saw the legendary Peter Bonetti playing for Dundee Utd v Morton at Greenock and I went along as I lived locally.

I  arrived early and managed to speak to 'The Cat' and get his autograph.

He seemed genuinely pleased when I told him I was a Chelsea fan.

I was 12 years old and couldn't quite believe that I had spoken to one of my Chelsea heroes.:biggrin:

 

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Met Ron Harris at a local shopping centre a few years ago. He was signing photos, books etc. Had a chat with him and got a signed photo.

Not Chelsea but back in the early nineties met Walter Smith who at the time was the Rangers manager at Fulham Broadway station. He was on the way to the Bridge and took time to chat to Chelsea fans. I can't remember who we were playing and which player Walter was planning to look at.

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Got a few of these actually, first of all back in the 90s I was working in the West End and used to go for a walk at lunch times after too long cooped up inside. Walking round the area near Grosvenor Square I suddenly see a car pull up and a very injured Eddie Newton hop out on crutches. I walked and asked him how long he would be out for and wished him luck with the recovery. 

When I first moved to Amsterdam I had a job near the Ajax stadium and again being bored in an office I would go walking at lunch times and quite often browse round the sports shops. One particular day Im checking out the reduced football boots when I saw Ruud Gullit chasing his escaped toddlers down the aisle. I smiled knowingly at that one ha ha 

And lastly a few seasons ago I was working back in the UK and started going fairly regularly again. Went to the game and then on to the pub near the North End Road afterwards and well refreshed I ambled down to West Brompton and catch a train to Clapham Junction. So at Clapham I get on a London Loop line train Only to find it's taking me back where i came from... being well refreshed it takes me til West Brompton to realise and I jump back on a Southbound train, at Imperial Wharf on steps this young lad and his dad who i soon recognise as Rob Isaac and start chatting. Anyway we get to Clapham and he asks where are you heading and it turns out he lives not far from where i was staying at my mums, and he offers me a lift from Croydon where his missus is picking him up. Of course the whole way we are chatting Chelsea etc and I realise (had an inkling already) what a fan he is who actually had the chance to pull on the shirt as well. Anyway, I got a lift home and have met up since when i've been over for a match. top top fella. bound to be on here somewhere too.

 

Non player chance encounters, waiting for some mates in a pub on the Kings Rd 2010 when hear a voice i recognise and it's a guy i used to go to matches with in the early to mid 90s including Liverpool away where we took over the Mic in a merseyside nightclub much to the amusement of the locals. Also played in a sunday team with him from Walworth.

Also in the late 80s there was a fella at the same nightschool class as me who one night spotted my CFC pin badge and surprised me (he was of indian decent) by saying he not only supported Chelsea but went to matches. Many years went past and I suddenly bump into him at an away game in the 2000s couldve been  Bolton away.

and of course the starter of the post here Strider with whom i used to go to matches for a few years who I bumped into locally after not having seen him for years.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, fillerywhereru said:

and of course the starter of the post here Strider with whom i used to go to matches for a few years who I bumped into locally after not having seen him for years.

And if I remember correctly you used to go only when you were not playing and you played on both Saturday and Sunday.

Although I mentioned your different sense of humour to mine, I find it interesting that we are coincidentally on both the same forums.

Edited by Strider6003

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A few from me:

Watching The Munich Final in a bar in Chicago in 2012. Bloke sits next to me at the bar and turns out big Chelsea fan, born two roads away from me in Fulham.  Had both been at same numerous away games in early 80s. Both in US on business and randomly picked the same bar to watch the match in. Had a great night. Really spanked both our corporate cards

Good evening with Ray Lewington when someone convinced him to present the player of the year awards for the Sunday league team I played for in early 80s.

Norman Medhurst regularly round our house, as Harry was a friend of my dad’s family from the Worlds end.

Met Alan Hudson a few times as his brother had a window cleaning business doing shops on the Kings rd in the 70s & 80s

Regularly in the Duke of Cumberland in New Kings rd after home matches in 80s, Half the team in there having a beer and a fag. Got in the same way as us, through the beer garden, back in days before pubs opened at 6.

Walked past JT playing golf on Wimbledon common mid week a few years back

and sat in front of Super Frank on a flight to the US about 5 years ago. Didn’t realise he was there until getting off the plane and thought it a bit pushy to ask for his autograph for my son, so just said Hi.

 

Edited by Shug

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