Chelsea F.C

Chelsea F.C

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Chelsea Football Club has been good at celebrating special anniversaries. The year 2005 saw us reach the major milestone of 100 years-old. What better way was there to mark the centenary than by becoming champions of England for the second time in our existence?

Our golden jubilee had been similarly honoured. The club won silverware in the 1960s, the 70s, the 90s and at the turn of the new millennium, but 1955 was the year we finished above all other teams in the League for the first time. It was also Chelsea's earliest major trophy. The first five decades had seen the club develop into an integral part of sporting life in England's capital city with famous players and a large, often full stadium.

Chelsea were popular, but achievement fell a long way short of that now enjoyed by the current team, which began the second 100 years of Chelsea history as the best in the land and the biggest football story throughout the world. Even if trophy success proved elusive in the first 50 years, the club had been set up for the big time from the moment Henry Augustus Mears had a change of heart one Sunday morning in the autumn of 1904.

Of all the decisions that have shaped the history of Chelsea FC, there can be none more crucial than the one this Edwardian businessman made that particular day. Gus Mears was an enthusiast for a sport that had taken northern Britain by storm but had yet to take off in the capital in quite the same way. London at the turn of the century failed to provide a single team to the Football League First Division.

Mears had spotted the potential for a football club to play at an old athletics ground at Stamford Bridge, an open piece of land in west London. It was a ground he planned to massively redevelop, but unforeseen problems had followed, as did a lucrative offer for the land. Mears was on the verge of selling up and abandoning his sporting dream.





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Page modified by Edgar Guerrero, April 10, 2014