June 11, 2013 by backofthenetjl
Another piece in the series, this time Connor Davis tells us what it’s like supporting Chelsea.
There’s always been something special about Chelsea for me. While today, the club is portrayed as the plaything of a cash-friendly Russian oil tycoon, my early memories are of the genius of Zola, Di Matteo, Hasselbaink, Desailly, and Gudjohnsen. From a young age my Dad would tell me stories about Chelsea, Osgood’s volley against Arsenal, Ron Harris’ dirty antics, the FA Cup replay vs Leeds, his memories of how football was. He took me to Stamford Bridge for me to experience football for myself, and it instantly clicked, I understood what he meant. I immediately fashioned heroes of my own, as my Dad had done with Wilkins, Dixon, Osgood, Bonetti and Harris, I did with Hasselbaink, Terry, Gudjohnsen, and Di Matteo. I’ve known nothing but Chelsea since then, and to play on an old football cliché, it’s in the blood.
Whilst all around me were conveniently supporting the sides that consistently won trophies, namely Arsenal and Manchester United, occasionally Liverpool, I was Chelsea, and while we weren’t enjoying major success on a frequent basis, I loved watching football with my dad, watching Jimmy Floyd beautifully stroke the ball past the onrushing ‘keeper, a moment of magic from Zola that would capture the eye, a crunching tackle from “The Rock” Marcel Desailly. Perhaps it’s because of the nature of hindsight, but there’s a romanticism and love I have for that Chelsea side that I haven’t felt until this current generation of players.
Chelsea are a club that is universally hated. I accept that, in fact part of me enjoys it. We were despised, even when were “shit” (still finishing in the top 6 and occasionally gaining Champions League football), and the utter vitriol and hatred we receive is, in a strange way, heart-warming. This leads me onto John Terry, now, for many, reading the name of John Terry alone stirs emotions of hatred beyond your wildest imagination, I’ve never known such hatred for one man by so many, from the press to the man on the street, no-one likes him. No-one except Chelsea fans.
For me, John Terry is an extension of us, the fans, he understands the club, he loves it, and treasures it, just as much as we do. He, like us, was there “when we were shit” and for the fans, he is one of us, on the pitch, collecting the trophies, and we love him for it. The same goes for Frank Lampard. It’s hard to explain the joy I felt both when he broke Bobby Tambling’s goalscoring record away at Villa Park, and when it had been announced that he had signed a one year deal with the club, and while his influence on the game has lessened, he’s still exactly the same as John Terry.
Munich was the best night of my life, in a footballing sense, for so many reasons. It was the realisation of a dream of both the club and the fans, which had been made sweeter by the fact that we’d kept a certain north London side out of the Champions League, and we’d finally avenged that night in Moscow. The sheer, unparalleled joy I felt when Drogba slotted home that penalty was utterly indescribable, and like my Dad did to me, I’ll recall tales of Drogba, Terry, Cole, Lampard and Cech to my children. Chelsea is a truly special club to me, and through the highs and lows, I’d never support anyone else. It’s in the blood.
Follow Connor on twitter: @FreshTinted
Follow me on twitter: @DisguisedPass