Inside Blue Fri 2 Feb 2018
Olivier Giroud will wear No18 for Chelsea and he’ll be hoping to enjoy as much success as a few of his predecessors to don that shirt for the Blues.
Unlike numbers one to 11, which hold historic context having been used since 1928 – and, indeed, Chelsea were one of the first clubs to wear numbers on their shirts in the Football League – No18 at club level only began to be used with the introduction of squad numbers by the Premier League for the 1993/94 season.
Here are a few players who made their mark for the club with the No18 on their back.
Newton played the Makelele role in a star-studded Chelsea midfield in the late-Nineties – but that didn’t stop him enjoying his moment in the sun. He scored our second in the 1997 FA Cup final win over Middlesbrough, although by then he had relinquished No18 to wear 24 instead. Currently works for the club in the loans department and was assistant manager for our 2012 Champions League triumph.
The hulking Norwegian centre-back won the club's Player of the Year award in 1995, but it’s fair to say his best moment for the Blues came with the No18 on his back in his last season. He won a vital, but controversial, penalty against Leicester City to help us progress in the FA Cup and the Blues went on to the lift the trophy for the first time since 1971.
Andy Myers and Gabriele Ambrosetti wore 18 before the man known as Chapi, but he switched from 17 in the 2001/02 season to allow Manu Petit to have his preferred number. He won the European Cup with hometown team, Barcelona, and helped us reach the Champions League for the first time, playing an underrated role as we finished third in the Premier League in 1998/99.
Who could ever forget Bridgey’s late winner against Arsenal to settle the first all-London Champions League tie? With extra time looming at Highbury, our left-back sauntered forward and exchanged passes with Eidur Gudjohnsen, who slipped the ball through Kolo Toure’s legs, before firing home an 87th minute winner.
Another left-back to wear 18 for the Blues, the Russian may have struggled with injury throughout his two years with the club, but he played a useful role in our Double-winning squad of 2009/10. His only goal for Chelsea was a fine half-volley against Spartak Moscow.
Remy moved to Chelsea early in the 2014/15 campaign, taking the No18 shirt from the recently departed Romelu Lukaku, and the Frenchman provided a useful back-up option for the Blues up front. His seven goals came at a rate of one every 99 minutes and directly contributed to us securing an extra 10 points on our way to winning the title for the fourth time.