Inside Blue Fri 23 Feb 2018
There will be plenty of familiar faces on show when we play Manchester United this weekend, and the path from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford has been well trodden over the years.
As well as Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, the Red Devils are also managed by Jose Mourinho. Between them they helped bring lots of silverware to west London, but on Sunday they’ll be trying to prevent us taking the victory which will move us level on points with the Premier League’s second-placed club.
We’ve delved back into the archives to pick out some of the others who have pulled on both shirts in the past, a list which includes FA Cup legends, Chelsea captains and a pair of superstars who never lived up to their billing in the Premier League.
Thomas's three years at Old Trafford included one of the most incredible FA Cup finals of all time, albeit in a losing cause as their late comeback against Arsenal in 1979 came to nothing. His move to Chelsea in 1984 ended in happier circumstances, though, as he inspired the Blues to promotion back to Division Two and his combination of tenacity and a touch of class made him a cult hero at the Bridge.
The homegrown midfielder was a superstar in a struggling Chelsea side in the Seventies, taking on the captain's armband at 18, but when we were relegated in 1979, the cash-strapped club had to accept an offer for Butch from Manchester United. He would, of course, return to the Bridge as assistant manager on two occasions.
Baldwin was part of Chelsea's trophy-winning team of the early-Seventies fans, the popular striker finishing just eight goals shy of a century for the club. Fans would sing of 'the leader of the team, (what team?); the finest football team that the world has ever seen.' At Manchester United, however, he managed just two games in a brief loan spell at Old Trafford.
Chelsea fans were devastated when Hughes netted against us in the 1994 FA Cup final but it didn’t take long for us to take him to our hearts when he joined us a year later. The boyhood Chelsea fan proved to be the perfect foil for Gianfranco Zola when the little Italian waltzed into English football and the duo were instrumental in our FA Cup triumph over Middlesbrough in 1997.
Juan Sebastian Veron
It is fair to say neither set of supporters saw the best of Veron during his time in the Premier League. Although he picked up a championship winners' medal with the Red Devils, the Argentinian was far from the influential playmaker who had starred in Italy. Despite scoring on his first league appearance for the Blues at Anfield, injury meant we rarely saw the best of Veron.
Like Veron, this Colombian centre-forward followed up a spell at Old Trafford with a trip to SW6, although both moves were on loan from Monaco. He netted four times for the Red Devils, but at Chelsea he could only manage one during an injury-interrupted season at the Bridge – a spectacular diving header against Crystal Palace.
Donaghy joined Chelsea from Man United ahead of the first Premier League season. His best moment for the Blues came in a 4-3 thriller against Spurs – and not only because he scored a rare goal. 'I had a last-minute penalty to win the game,' recalled striker Mark Stein. 'I hit it into the top corner, a perfect strike, and it came back out off the stanchion. I'm not sure what Mal was thinking, but he ran after it to get the 'rebound' and score himself. I'm sure he still thinks he got the winner!'
Graham will always be thought of as an Arsenal legend, but he also had an influential role with both Chelsea and Manchester United. At the Bridge he was a member of Docherty's Diamonds who won the League Cup in 1965, having come through the ranks in west London. His time at Old Trafford was less impressive, though, as the Red Devils were relegated to Division Two.