When Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich invested in Chelsea football
club in 2003 its turn around from the wrong end of
the Premiership was swift. By 2004 Chelsea came in at
an impressive second in the league, beating bitter rivals Arsenal and Manchester United and revisited
its former glory days in 2005 by winning the Premiership
title and the League Cup. The winning streak continued in the 2005/06 season when they were again crowned Premiership champions.
Three times FA Cup Winner Chelsea FC has
a rich history that has seen it survive World War II and
loyal fans have experienced life from the top and bottom
of the premiership.
Chelsea’s home is the Stamford Bridge
stadium [map]. Stamford Bridge officially opened
on 28 April 1877. For the first 28 years of its existence
it was used almost exclusively by the London
Athletic Club as an arena for athletics meetings
and not for football at all. In 1904 the ownership of
the ground changed hands when Mr H A (Gus) Mears and
his brother, Mr J T Mears, obtained the deeds, having
previously acquired additional land (formerly a large
market garden) with the aim of establishing a football
team there on the now 12.5 acre site.
Stamford Bridge was designed by Archibald Leitch and initially included a 120 yard long stand on the
East side which could hold 5,000 spectators. The other
sides were all open in a vast bowl with thousands of
tons of material excavated from the building of the
underground railway provided high terracing on the West
Initially the stadium was offered to Fulham
FC to play there, they turned down the chance
and so instead a new side, Chelsea FC, was born in 1905
and moved into the new Stamford Bridge stadium.
If you want to visit Stamford Bridge there are three
types of tour available. Choose from the main
Stadium Tour, the special occasional Legends
Tour (with a Chelsea star of the past) and Stamford Tours (for the kids with the
Chelsea mascot, Stamford the Lion).
Stadium Tours run most days of the year (except match
days and other special events) and last 75 minutes.
Advance booking is essential to avoid disappointment.
“Legend” and “Stamford” tours
only take place on specially advertised dates.