Friendly - 13 November 1945
The highest official attendance for a game at Stamford Bridge is 82,905 for the visit of Arsenal in October 1935.
Yet on November 13, 1945 around 100,000 turned up to watch a friendly match against the Russian side Dynamo Moscow. After the deprivation and sacrifice of the war years the nation was desperate to be entertained, and in the glamorous footballers of our wartime Soviet allies, they found what they were looking for.
74,496 people paid to get in, some of them paying touts up to £5, the average weekly wage at the time, for a 10s (50p) ticket. The remainder of the crowd found their way in through gaps in the ground perimeter and inevitably thousands burst over the barriers and moved across the greyhound track.
The large crowd were not disappointed. New signing Tommy Lawton later described the Russians as, ‘one of the fastest teams I have ever seen. They should have been four goals up in 20 minutes.’
As it was we scored twice against the run of play through Len Goulden and Reg Williams before Soloviev missed a penalty for Dynamo.
Chelsea still led half way through the second half but two goals in four minutes through Kartsev and Archangelski tied the game. Lawton himself scored a brilliant header to restore the lead but with moments left Bobrov equalised. The Russian captain was clearly offside but perhaps in the interests of diplomatic relations, the goal was allowed to stand.