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Your First Ever Chelsea Game...


BlueBeard

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What was the first Chelsea match you attended? Or, if you haven't had the opportunity to get to the Bridge, what was the first match you watched on television?

We didn't get a TV until the mid-60's, and the first match I ever remember seeing was the 1966 World Cup Final in the front room of our place in Worthing (we lived there for about three years after leaving London). I also remember watching the Chelsea v Spuds FA Cup Final in 1967, a really dull game and such a disappointment! I'd followed Chelsea's results for quite a while, but this was the first full match I saw Chelsea play, albeit on TV. My Uncle Pete had given me loads of old Chelsea programmes which I treasured, reading them from cover to cover many times, and so my appetite was whetted well before the Final.

Pretty soon I was pestering my dad to take me to Chelsea (he'd already tried taking the easy option of taking me to a Brighton game in the hope of placating me, much nearer geographically but obviously with no success). But then we moved down to Cornwall, about 300 miles away from Stamford Bridge! I really thought I'd never get to see Chelsea then, but happily my grandparents still lived in South London and we drove up to visit them every now and again - nine bleedin' hours it took, nightmare! It was on one of these visits that my dad finally relented and told me he'd take me to see Chelsea if I behaved myself in the meantime - needless to say I was an absolute angel from that moment on :139:

It's a strange thing that I'll always remember my first match, though I don't remember a thing about the game itself!

It was 26th August 1967, a month after my 10th. birthday - a lovely sunny day. We got in the car, (a Vauxhall Victor estate with bench seat in the front, lovely big old motor) and set off from Mitcham. I've still got vague memories of us going through Tooting Broadway and crossing the Thames via Wandsworth Bridge before parking in Bagleys Lane near Fulham Power Station. Needless to say, I'd been craning my neck out of the window ever since closing the car door, trying to see the floodlights. Think I finally saw them as we hit Wandsworth, but I can't be sure!

I can't really explain the excitement adequately - this was the most important day of my life so far as I was concerned, and to say I was thrilled would be a huge understatement. After parking the car, we made our way through the streets towards the ground - sometimes as we'd turn a corner I'd get a tantalising glimpse of the floodlights, much closer now. The nearer we got, the more crowded the streets became, and then all of a sudden we were on the Fulham Road! There were dodgy looking geezers selling scarves, rosettes and badges, the programme sellers were doing a roaring trade, and the smell of fried onions was heavy on the air. My dad refused to buy me a hot dog or hamburger, and I thought he was a tight old git, but years later I fully understood why and to this day I'm grateful to him for that. Strange how something that smells so appetising can taste so bad, and have such a devastating effect on your guts - but that's another story!

When we got to the North Terrace entrance, the turnstile operator got me to jump over the turnstile, and my dad followed me into the ground. We walked right up the long slope to the back of the North End terrace, and then all of a sudden the pitch and stadium were in view for the first time. I spent ages taking everything in - to my left, the North Stand looked a bit ricketty, and next to that the old East Stand ran the length of the pitch. Opposite that was the fairly new West Stand, looking ultra modern compared to the rest of the ground, but I was captivated by the terrace at the other end of the ground. Loud singing was coming from over there, underneath what I instinctively knew was 'The Shed'. I'd seen grafitti all over South London proclaiming 'Shed', or 'Chelsea Shed', and it was clear that this was the place! My dad wouldn't take me down the Shed End, and instead left me at the front of the North End terrace peering over the high white wall at everything around me, before going back up the terrace. I vowed there and then that as soon as I came to Chelsea without my dad that I'd go in the Shed end!

The noise when the teams came out was tremendous, and the Chelsea players looked so smart in their kit of royal blue, with just the lion rampant badge on the shirt, and wide white stripe and number on the shorts. We wore blue socks that season, but you can't have everything! The opponents that day were Fulham, and they took the pitch in their drab white shirts and black shorts - even then I recognised that these were our shabby neighbours :D

Tommy Docherty was still Chelsea manager at that time, and he'd just sold Tony Hateley to Liverpool as Peter Osgood had supposedly recovered from his broken leg of the previous season. The teams that day: -

Chelsea - Peter Bonetti, Marvin Hinton, Jim Thomson, Colin Waldron, Ron Harris, John Hollins, Peter Osgood, Johnny Boyle, Charlie Cooke, Tommy Baldwin, Bobby Tambling. Sub. Peter Houseman (for Osgood)

Fulham - Ian Seymour, George Cohen, John Dempsey*, Stan Brown, Brian Nichols, John Conway, Johnny Haynes, Mark Pearson, Les Barrett, Allan Clarke*, Terry Parmenter.

* Yes, the same Allan Clarke who later went on to make his name at Leeds. And yes, John Dempsey was playing against us that day - he didn't sign for Chelsea until January 1969. And yes, the same Les Barrett whose brother lived round the corner from my grandparents :)

As I said earlier, I don't remember a thing about the game, but the final score was 1-1 - Tommy Baldwin gave us a first half lead, but Stan Brown equalised in the second period. The attendance that day was 38,404, which was about average for that time.

This was our third game of the season, having already won at WBA and drawn at home to Newcastle. Four days after this game though, we lost 1-5 at Newcastle, but even so I pestered my dad to take to the home game against Southampton the following Saturday before we returned to Cornwall.

I've got mixed feelings about that match - Southampton beat us 6-2, with their big Welsh centre-forward Ron Davies getting four goals, and Martin Chivers (pre-y*d) getting the other two. On the brighter side I got to see my first Peter Osgood goals, one of them a true gem - he dribbled the length of the pitch and beat just about every Southampton player before putting the ball in the net :P

Despite the fact I still hadn't seen Chelsea win, I was well and truly hooked. We visited my grandparents again in November, and my dad took me to Craven Cottage to see us draw 2-2 with Fulham (my first Charlie Cooke goal!), but that was to be my last game of the season. In the winter I wrote to Chelsea asking them to send me some programmes for the current season, enclosing a postal order for ten shillings. Eventually they sent me a large envelope with ten pristine programmes enclosed - I was in heaven!

Imagine my feelings the following summer when my parents announced that we were moving back to London! I was gutted in a way, as I loved Cornwall, but the opportunity to watch Chelsea every other week totally eclipsed any other feelings - I was on my way to becoming a Chelsea regular! B)

Bloody hell, I just previewed this post - didn't realise I'd rambled on for so long. Apologies to all!

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Due to living abroad for so many years I didn't get to the Bridge until 1987 and when I did I put a jinx on the team that destroyed our season!! I don't remember much about the game at all, I remember what happened to the team afterwards!

17 October 1987 we beat Coventry 1-0 at the Bridge courtesy of a Dixon goal. Great stuff, my first trip to the Bridge, points in the bag - a doddle this Chelsea supporting thing... or so I thought. Two weeks later we managed a 2-1 win at home against Oxford but other than that the rest of the season was a disaster!

Starting with the Coventry game our league results were:

W L W L L D L D D D L L D L L L L L D D D L D D W D D L D

so after the Oxford game we went 21 games without a win!! A run of games that saw us drop into the relegation zone, and gave us a second class ticket into the lower division. The game we did win (in the 22nd attempt) was a 1-0 win over Derby courtesy of a Micky Hazard goal. So bloody typical of Chelsea in that during the 21 game run we get soundly thumped by the likes of Norwich, Luton and Sheff Wed but managed draws against Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs.

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Can't remember the first game I ever watched on TV but I do have vague recollections of my first game at Stamford Bridge which I have mentioned before but am happy to revive the memories again.

The great day was April 9th 1966, yep even before England won the World Cup (I also got to see England play out a woeful 0-0 draw with Czechoslovakia in England's world cup build up in the same year) Chelsea played West Ham, I was the ripe old age of 8 and my old man had asked me what I wanted for my birthday.

"I want to go and watch Chelsea" said I.

"But that's the other side of London. It would be much easier to go and watch Arsenal or Spurs" replied my Dad.

"But I don't like Arsenal or Spurs. Chelsea are my favourite football team because they play in blue". That's kids logic for you! No one could ever call me a glory hunter, I just liked the colour blue. The old man relented and gave me my wish. I remember very little about the day at all except for being overawed when I caught my first glimpse of the stadium which seemed massive to this little eight year old so I refer to notes from the late great Ron Hockings to revive the brain cells.

The Chelsea team was 1 - Bonetti; 2 - Kirkup; 3 - McCreadie; 4 - Hollins; 5 - Hinton; 6 - Harris; 7 - Bridges; 8 - Graham; 9 - Osgood; 10 - Venables and 11 - Tambling.

I'd love to say we were playing the eventual 'world cup winners' but sadly only Booby Moore out of the 3 Hammers played that day. Their team also included a certain John Sissons who went on to have a very unspectacular short carrer with us in the mid 70's.

The crowd was 35,958 and we went on to win 6-2!! What a baptism into my love affir with this great club. Even 'Chopper' or 'Buller' as the players preferred to call him scored twice that day - once for us and once for them! Our other scorers were Graham with 2, Venables with a penalty and Tambling with 2. Their first goal was scored by Bennett.

Needless to say I was hooked for life and it wasn't just the blue colour I loved now, it was the whole package of the atmosphere, the ground, the team and the following season a certain Charlie Cooke.

It would be a number of years before I got to go back to the Bridge again as my old man didn't have enough time to get to and back from the Bridge in time for him to then shoot off to Victoria Palace to appear in The Black & WHite Minstrels in the evening. Eventually I was old enough to be allowed to go on my own so from the downturn years of 1971-72 onwards I became a regular at the Bridge getting my first season ticket in 1973-74. Can't recall the price but it was around £75 - £100 in the old west stand.

How ironic that 40 years later to the day on April 9th 2006 I would be attending the Bridge to once again watch us take on the Hammers. This time we won 4-1 in the game where Maniche got sent off, we went 1-0 down but then the 10 men rallied to pull off the win which for me won us the Championship that season because the Mancs had been closing us down bit by bit until that game.

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My first game - February 1958 against Preston NE, dont remember much about the game as I was 8, except we lost 0-2. It was just after the Munich air disaster and we had to stand for 2 minutes silence as we got into the ground. Tom Finney waltzed past most of the Chelsea defence including keeper Reg Matthews before putting it wide. Jimmy Greaves was playing and was of course my hero then. It had been raining quite a bit before and there is a famous picture of Willy Cunningham the Preston full back performing a slide tackle and water spraying everywhere.

It was a couple of years before I was old enough to go regularly on my own and we got relegated in 1961-62. I remember walking down the Kings Road after a game and a couple of pensioners asked how we had got on - "we won 4-1" - it was when I saw the surprise in their faces and the shock of their voices "DID THEY?" that I thought I might have picked the wrong team to support.

The following season in the second division was one of my favourite times, seeing my team win regularly was such a change.

From the mid 60's to the early 70's were great times but always the nearly team in the league.

Now I live in Cumbria and I go to just one game a season with my son, still get wound up when they lose, happiest now when they beat Liverpool.

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I'm going to make you all feel very old by saying that my first game was against Aston Villa in the League Cup in 1998 when I was 8. John Terry made his debut and If I remember correctly, Vialli scored a hatrick.

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I'm going to make you all feel very old by saying that my first game was against Aston Villa in the League Cup in 1998 when I was 8. John Terry made his debut and If I remember correctly, Vialli scored a hatrick.

He did indeed score a hattrick. Didn't Wisey get sent off as well?

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I was born in '61 not far from Stamford Bridge and lived the early part of my life in Acton. My dad was a Chelsea fan but first took me as a very small boy to Brentford. Don't ask me why. I have vague recollections of sitting on the terraces there...... bored bloody witless!

When I was bit older he inevitably took me along with him to Chelsea. He's well into his 70's now and has trouble walking far but I still occaisionally take him up to SB with me. But you know what? I have never ever asked him and I have no memory of what my first Chelsea game was. He took me to a fair few games as a kid but but sitting here now, I remember none of them. I do remember things other than the football itself though. I remember the sheer excitement of walking down the Fulham Road with so many men all headed in the same direction. I remember being wedged so tight in the Shed I could hardly move. I remember silly little things like asking Don Revie for his autograph, (sorry Bluebeard), outside the East Stand and standing on his foot!

But I do remember the first game I ever attended unaccompanied by my dad. FA CUP 3rd round Burnley 1977. We were living in leafy Stevenage by then and a Chelsea Supporter's club bus ran to every home game from The Sportsman pub in Letchworth. Me and my mate Jim had spent all Friday night polishing our DM's and ironing the silk wrist scarves specially for the occaision. The day of the game was really cold and we were the first on board that bus and promptly bagged two prime seats at the back. And just as promptly, when the big lads turned up, we had our arses kicked back up the front. Didn't care though. We had ten No:6 to share between us and we were going to Chelsea. I remember the singing on the bus. I remember the piss taking. I remember the sheer excitement and expectation.

And then we there. The Bus stopped at the bottom of the North End Road, by the junction with the Dawes Road, and we all piled off. We walked straight towards the ground. Me and Jimbo were buzzing. Then someone near us remarked on the flow of people going in the other direction. Away from the ground. Odd. There was only an hour or so to kick off. And then, just as we got level with Fulham Broadway tube, we saw the first sign............. "MATCH POSTPONED". The pitched was iced up, (yes, that really used to happen kids). Couldn't believe it. And to make matters worse the bus had gone off somewhere and wasn't coming back until the end of the game! So what did we do me and Jim? Well, believe it or not, his nan lived quite close to Stamford Bridge and the highlight of our big day out to Chelsea was us sitting in her flat having tea and cake!

How can you ever forget a day like that?

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my first game was in the 93/94 season, at highbury. went with my dad... remember a few things, was really really looking forward to the game, my dad asked if I wanted a programme... to which I thought, why would I want a video of the game, surely it would spoil the result? yes, I was a particularly stupid child. I once tried to climb a marble pyramid in a shopping center and split my forehead open. anyway, I remember ian wright singing "1-0 to the arsenal" on the big screen before the game. he was the guy all my friends at school pretended to be when we played, but whatever, did they share a birthday with john spencer? no, no they did not. c*nts. anyway, ian wright scored a goal, 1-0 to arsenal, and that was that. good day, loved going out and seeing a game up close and experiencing the atmosphere, but arsenal also taught me that it was possible to make the football itself totally joyless.

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First game was away at Leicester, in 1971. Drew 1-1, with a last minute equaliser by Ossie. I was 10, and nearly knocked myself out celebrating.

First game at the Bridge was in August 1976, beat Carlisle 2-1. Swain and Finnieston. Start of Eddie Mac's promotion season.

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I'm pretty sure it's this one:

Chelsea 2 - 2 Man City

Date : 21-08-1971

In the old first division. I was in the benches that day, but it didn't take me long to move round to the Shed.

And the first proper away game (out of London) I ever went to was Norwich the following season. From then on there was no stopping me! I lost jobs through refusing to work Saturdays - "f**k off I'm going to football" :happy0034:

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Chelsea 2 - 0 Wrexham

Date : 10-10-1981

Competition: Division 2 (old)

or it may have been the Barnsley match two weeks later.

The only things I remember are being very drunk/high and somewhat scared for my safety standing at the very back of the Shed. I really don't remember the match action at all just the blue kits Chelsea wore and all of the blue and white scarves in the stands. The pitch was so far away and I had never been to a "soccer" game before so I was pretty much a duck out of water. But it was a party for sure. One of the guys I was with gave me some blue tablets and I didn't sleep for two days afterward.

Soon I was forced to return to the good old US of A and to be honest never thought about Chelsea again until the 1997 Cup Final when I suddenly remembered that Chelsea were MY team. It's been full on since then really.

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Had been following Chelsea for a good few years beforehand (since mid-1980's), but first game I saw at the bridge:

Chelsea 1 - 1 Aston Villa (Premiership: 22-01-1994)

Can't remember which way round it was, but I remember Wise got the goal for Chelsea, and Andy Townsend for Villa (in the season after he had left us for them).

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Coming from the island of Mull it wasn't easy to just get off the Island and have a Jaunt down to the Bridge, also with no internet then, it wasn't easy to find tickets. I started watching Chelsea in 94, against Man Utd, can't remember if it was home or away, but we beat them, and then beat them again in the second match that season (only team to do so that season.) We then lost against them that year in the FA Cup final. I then moved to the USA in 95, ad came back to Scotland in the summer of 97 just in time to turn the local bar into Chelsea supporters for the day and we won the FA cup that season. Then back to the states until 2002.

First game at the bridge would be 2003 at home to Fulham. Saw Duffer and Guddy score. Left the missus at the pictures, something that a few on here know about and ahve never let me forget. Returned a good few times, sometimes fomr Scotland, sometimes from when I lived in Wiltshire. Been to FA CUp games, League CUp Games, and Premiership games. Will need to take i a CL game.

My wifes first game would have been in 04 or 05, against west brom. We won 4-0 I think. Lampard scored the last goal that day!

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My dad had little interest in football, although traditionally we are a Chelsea family who had always lived in SW London down the years. I was reliant on my older brother taking me to matches but then he would often play on a Saturday.

I can still recall my first game at The Bridge. It was in October 1974 and I was 10. Prior to that, my mum wouldn’t allow my brother to take me so I had to make do with trips to Plough Lane to watch Wimbledon in the old Southern League.

But going to The Bridge and attending a big game for the first time was something else. The whole experience. The crowds, the singing, the hot dog with onions, the floodlights – everything. We played Stoke and the result was 3-3. We were in The Shed and I probably missed a load of the action as you did back then, being a kid and trying to see stuff through the gaps between heads. I think we must have scored one, possibly two late goals, because I can remember my brother saying we’ll leave a couple of minutes early to beat the crush for the tube and then hearing great roars as we were coming out of The Shed and trying to run back to see (oh for big screen replays!).

The next game was just before Christmas in December 1974 and it was another draw, 1-1 against West Ham. Frightening for a ten year old. Standing in The Shed, quite happy, enjoying all the singing when suddenly it was all “Utd, Utdâ€. I can remember thinking, “this can’t be right – there are loads of West Ham in The Shed – shouldn’t they be up the other end?â€. Don’t remember a lot about the actual match – just the very intimidating atmosphere!!

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I dont know how you remember all that Stuff BB

All I know is that it was 1962 - got turfed out of the house with my big bruvs who wasnt happy that he had to take me, following week went to Craven Cottage, ditto after that cos no money/wasnt allowed to go to away matches

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My first match was on 11 March 2000 (according to the Chelsea database, to which Coco has thoughtfully provided a link). My then new boyfriend, later ex-husband, surprised me with match tickets. Somehow he had managed to pursuade the ticket office by phone to sell him 2 tickets (without all that membership nonsense), because he needed to impress his new girlfriend. :P

We sat in the unfinished West Stand, I was gloriously happy to finally get to a match :lol: My first introduction to all the songs that were sung, aaahhh bliss. The match ended 1-1, but for the life of me I can't remember who scored for Chelsea. We had a hamburger during halftime, which made us feel a bit nauseous afterwards.

Later on, we travelled over a few times on a match package via a travel agency, and even later I became a member, so I could make my own way over. But you never forget your first match, do you.... (apart from the scorer obviously).

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My uncle took me to my first game when i was 7. We were away to QPR(well away is a bit far fetched as were all from Tooting) 1984-85 i think and i think we drew 2-2.

My uncle also took me upto Hillsborough for the famous 4-4 Rougvie Fuc* up, and away to Sunderland when Clive Walker caused that riot, among other home games.

Needless to say, i weren't allowed to go any away games until long after that.

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I was already well hooked when I saw my first Chelsea game in the flesh, That was at the local to me Palace way back in 69...Ossie scored 4 that day if I remember and I had a couple of mates with me who actually supported Palace :128:

Never got to the Bridge for about a year after and saw us draw with southampton.

67 Cup final to some lot who are holding the table up at the moment was a tv memory as was the 70 final and replay.

Its great to read this thread and peoples memories (nice one Steve)

Edited by Chippy
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I was already well hooked when I saw my first Chelsea game in the flesh, That was at the local to me Palace way back in 69...Ossie scored 4 that day if I remember and I had a couple of mates with me who actually supported Palace :D

Never got to the Bridge for about a year after and saw us draw with southampton.

67 Cup final to some lot who are holding the table up at the moment was a tv memory as was the 70 final and replay.

Its great to read this thread and peoples memories (nice one Steve)

Remember that Palarse game well, Chris, I was in the Whitehorse Lane End with all the Chelsea fans when the ref threatened to call off the game at half-time because the Palarse keeper John Jackson kept getting bombarded with snowballs :D I could have sworn it was a Boxing Day game, but I just had a look in my Ron Hockings bible and saw it was actually played on 27 December 1969 - we'd played Southampton the day before at the Bridge and beat them 3-1.

Classic line-up for the Palarse game: -

Bonetti, Webb, McCreadie, Hollins, Dempsey, Harris, Cooke, Hudson, Osgood, Hutchinson, Houseman.

Got good memories of that game - as you say, Ossie got 4, with Houseman getting the other Chelsea goal. That was a hell of a season!

Agree that there are some great memories in this thread - keep them coming, people! :128:

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Boxing Day 1967 for me, a 2-1 win against Arsenal. Standing at the front of the North Stand in a puddle and barely able to see over the wall and through the poxy dog track fence. I can't remember anything about the match but the ground was packed.

Matches were few and far between in those days and the only others I can remember going to up until I started going on my own in the Mid 70's were Wolves, Morton in the Fairs Cup, Rangers in a friendly, Ipswich with Webby in goal and the 13-0 Junesse win but there must have been others.

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back end of the 81/82 season, lost 1-2 to luton. then we had the worst season for years, perfect timing from my dad to start taking me fairly often. yet he kept at me and eventually i started enjoying it. not so much the football as the crowd watching.

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Every summer holiday i came over to spend time with my family who lived in london( i've lived in holland all my life) but every time school began before the season started. "

But finaly in augustus 87 school started later and i was taken to my first chelsea game. Having looking forward to this from 83 onwards I couldn't wait. Going in to the fanshop, which was basicly a counter with stock behind it, felt like christmas to me.

Remember seeing a see of blue and everybody really upbeat for the season. We won 2-1 against wednesday but the season ended in us being relegated.

It was hard being a chelsea fan, living of few highs and many lows, but the people who said i was daft back then. congrats me now on having the staying power to stay blue.

It doesn't matter when your first game was, i am for certain once you've seeing chelsea live it will never leave your system!!! Watching them on telly and being a fan is great but to go to the bridge is magical!!!

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The first time i was deemed old enough to go the the Bridge was on the 6th April 1996 and we lost 2-1 to Villa, i remember John Spencer scored for us, but the first time i ever went to watch Chelsea was away at Stoke City in the league cup in 95 and we drew 0-0

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F.A Cup 3rd Round.

Villa Park.

Saturday January 10th 1987.

My first Chelsea game was away at Villa, freezing cold Saturday,game was'nt that good as far as i remember i only tagged along with my brother in law (lifelong Blue) for a laugh and a beer.

Ended up a 2-2 draw.

Chelsea won the replay 2-1.

First trip to the Bridge was the opening day of 1987/88 season on August 15th versus Sheffield Wednesday, Chelsea won 2-1.

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