TEAM HISTORY - 1940s

War-time football saw normal competitions abandoned for regional versions and guest players turning out for sides. In Chelsea's case that meant games for Matt Busby, future England captain George Hardwick and future England manager Walter Winterbottom plus Scotland legend Billy Liddell and former Arsenal star Eddie Hapgood.

Chelsea appeared at Wembley for the first time in the Football League South Cup Final in 1944, losing to Charlton, before winning in front of the king in the same competition 12 months later against Millwall.

At the end of the World War II, Stamford Bridge had survived the bombing and just six months after Victory in Europe was declared, the 40 year-old stadium hosted what remains one of its most momentous occasions - Dynamo Day.

London was desperate to see top level football once more and there were few bigger draws than the mystery of a team travelling over from war-time allies Russia. Moscow Dynamo opened a tour of Britain against Chelsea and it seemed the whole city came to watch.

The turnstiles were closed with a recorded 74,496 having passed through but the shut gates proved no obstacle to the football-starved masses. Just how many gained illegal entry will never be known - although estimates put the total crowd at 100,000.

Such were the scenes around the pitch that the 3-3 result seems incidental but scoring Chelsea's third was a new centre-forward by the name of Tommy Lawton. Fast of foot, powerful of shot and a legend at heading for goal, Lawton was England's number nine, keeping Chelsea firmly in the spotlight.

In his first full season he broke a club record with 26 goals in 34 First Division games, yet the team finished 15th. By the summer, cracks between player and club had appeared. After an all-too-brief two years, he was gone.

Two months after Lawton's transfer, Chelsea spent just over half of the British record £20,000 they had received on a new striker. Again Newcastle were raided, this time for Roy Bentley.

Once again devastating in the air, Bentley was more mobile than his predecessor - and more long-lasting. In each of his eight full seasons at the Bridge he was club top scorer.