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Copied From cfc.net:

One for a few of the older ones!

Writing down the words for "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner" on another thread really got me reminiscing. I started thinking about our younger fans & how good they have got it success wise, my mates boy is 14 & has been interested since he was 7 so all he has really known (1997) is Trophys every year it's amazing really. However I can't help feeling sorry for them in other ways, I know we didn't have the success but following Chelsea (away from home especially) was the biggest adrenalin rush you could ever have. Turning up at St Pancras, Euston or wherever, finding out we were taking up 2 special trains & finding out that the previous public trains that had already left were full of Chelsea. Walking along the platform with your supplies for the journey, counting the carriages then feeling the excitement that there were so many bloody carriages the train was longer than the platform. On the journey strutting up & down the train to the buffet carraige reckonising familar faces & also seeing some right hard looking bxstxrds & knowing that as a young 16 year old you were gonna be able to sing your head off in total safety.

THe train constantly stopping on the way up, always in the middle of knowhere, everyone's heads sticking out the window to look for someone to abuse only to see sheep. "Mint sauce, Mint sauce" a voice would roar out, everyone pisses themselves. Eventually we very slowly pull into the destination up Norf, again every window has a head sticking out of it, the shouts of Chelsea cry out , the locals on the station just look & stare any decent looking crumpet gets whistled & jeered at followed by "celery". They laugh or smile as they can see although we are being chauvanists, we are a much better looking bunch of chauvinists than they are used to. Then the train slowly grinds to a halt, if you're lucky you get to jump of the train before it stops & bounce straight into your Chelsea strut along the platform. Everyone piles of the train, the long journey already a distant memory as the blood pumps through your veins. It looks like everyone is off so the massive roar goes up "Chelsea" Chelsea" Chelsea" the echo from the station is fantastic & the 800 or so sounds like 10,000. The massive roar livens up the police dogs & we can hear barking from every angle of the staion. Time for the next song "Get out your riot gear Chelsea's here Chelsea's here". We can now see the old Bill who are grimacing. Then we get the news "we are holding you here until the next special train arrives in 20 minutes". The older one's on the train starting shouting & moaning because they are loosing drinking time, us 16 & 17 year olds pretend we are pissed off but deep down are excited because we now know there will be nearly 2,000 of us marching to the ground so we will be twice as loud and twice as impressive for the locals to look at. When the 2nd train arrives we embark on our march, I would get as near to the front as I could hoping at some point we would engage a hill so that I could look back at the full length of the Chelsea army, and trust me 2,000 people 10 wide can stretch back an incredibly long way. The locals are pulling back their net curtains, people are taking photo's from their offices as the Chelsea army go through their full repetoire of songs "Maybe its because I'm a Londoner" "Hello Hello we are the Chelsea boys" "We will follow the Chelsea" "It's superb Chelsea" "you are my Chelsea" "In Dublins fair City" so on so on so on. A few of the older boys try & sneak away from the convoy so they can find a pub, again we pretend we want to with about us much conviction as a Van Perse tackle only for the old bill to shove us back into line. In later years we too would escape the police presence to find a watering hole. Often you would walk in to be met by a lot of non London voices, you are about to do an about turn when you notice 50% of them have Chelsea tatoos & are part of our army from all over the Country.

You arrive in the ground wondering how many Chelsea had made the trip, anything less than 3,500 was dissapointing but it very rarely was no matter who we were playing & on occassions even for league games it could be between the 5 & 8,000 mark. Yes I know there were fights & unsavoury moments but in the years I followed Chelsea away I only ever got caught up in 3 instances & they were all self defence. It was never like that for my mates & me it was all bravado & just the pure buzz of being a teenager following your beloved Chelsea and being part of the largest away following in the Country & the respect that demanded especially up Norf.

This is why I so hope the Shed campaign is a massive success so our younger fans can get some of that buzz of going to a Chelsea match, knowing we are going to be the loudest, knowing we have a fantastic selection of songs & knowing no matter what the other fans sing at us we will always have something to sing straight back at em that will shut em up.

I'll shut up now.

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