BLUNSTONE ENTERTAINS SENIOR FANS

Frank Blunstone, the youngest member of our 1954/55 title-winning team, was the star of a Chelsea-themed Q&A session in front of almost 100 guests at Stamford Bridge.

The afternoon was a free event organised by the Chelsea Foundation, which gave the 'Alive and Kicking Group' [supporters aged 70 and above] the opportunity to come along to the ground and spend an afternoon being entertained by a genuine Blues legend.

The former left winger was on fine form as he had a captive audience howling with laughter at some of his tales from a far more innocent time, when players earned less than many of those supporters watching from the terraces and the Champions League was simply the brand new European Cup.

The event was a storming success with the guests braving bitter conditions outside to come down and see Blunstone in action, with the former player besieged by supporters looking for pictures and autographs following the session.

An added bonus for those present was the unexpected appearance of John Paton, who played for the club between 1946 and 1947 and is believed to be the oldest living former Chelsea player.

Rick Glanvill, club historian and author of a number of Chelsea books, was compere for the day and admitted the event was one of the highlights of his year.

'As club historian I'm so happy to be involved with the Foundation and the work they do with the 'Alive and Kicking Group,' he said.

'I believe the work they do is unique to any football club with the way they look after the elderly, and the event is one of the things I look forward to most throughout the year.'

Blunstone gave the guests an insight into a number of topics from his days involved in football, both as a player and a manager, and as Glanvill explains, he may have missed his calling as a stand-up comedian.

'Last year we had Tommy Docherty who was great, but I think Frank has raised the bar even further after today,' he said.

'I've known him a long time and I knew he had lots of anecdotes, but he's such a great raconteur he had 100-odd people in the palm of his hand.'

The marvellous turnout only served to emphasise just how high a regard former Chelsea players are held in by the supporters, and it was lovely to see the older fans overcome with joy at meeting one of their boyhood heroes.

'Players like Frank are revered at Chelsea,' said Glanvill. 'They are like ribbons that are woven through the tapestry of the club, and what him and his former team-mates really appreciate now is the fact that they are remembered and respected by the club and always brought back on special occasions.'