The History of Chelsea FC

With over a century of football played at a prime west London location so fundamental to the birth of Chelsea Football Club in 1905, there is a great story to tell, full of ambition, star players, dramatic quests for trophy success and fashionable style, and at times even a swagger too, and we tell that tale here.

There have been upsets and difficult challenges along the way as well that only add to the intrigue, and by visiting The Story of Chelsea below, each twist and turn is recalled chapter by chapter.

The rise of Chelsea Women to become one of the powers of the game is told in its own section and the Stamford Bridge story is in Stadium History. Our major silverware is collected together in the Trophy Cabinet and Classic Kits down the years are recalled in their own gallery. Head down to the bottom of the page for plenty more with a historical theme.

The History of Chelsea


Across nine chapters, the story of the Blues (or the Pensioners as the team was originally nicknamed) is revealed in words, images and videos - from the dreams of the founders realised in the best stadium in the land, to drawing big crowds with big stars, to modernising the club and winning trophies before a financial collapse and memorable recovery, and then the upward path to the current era. 


A 21st Century success story, Chelsea Women are big news on the domestic and world stages, but a line can be traced back to 100 years earlier with Stamford Bridge hosting female footballers before a nationwide ban. When that was lifted, a Chelsea team were quick out the blocks but it took a relaunch and then assimilation into the main club structure before really starting to move upwards. Read about it all here. 


The only stadium Chelsea Football Club's men's team have ever called home - the grass, terraces and stands of this corner of London SW6 have a colourful past in their own right, including development projects both realised and abandoned, and a long battle just remain at Stamford Bridge when property developers had other plans.  


When it comes to major domestic and European honours, our men's team have won it all, and our Women's and Academy sides have been lifting cups regularly in recent times too. View the collection here.  


View a selection of photos showing some of the classic kits Chelsea have worn down the years.


A different historical photo each day from our archive.  Visit The Shed for more details on today's picture.

More Chelsea History