India

Memories of the Bridge: Anuj Shah

For a Chelsea fan, there is nothing better than making the trip to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea play. A diehard Blue from Ahmedabad got the chance to do just that in 2016. 

Like a lot of Chelsea fans, Anuj started following the club because of our current manager and Chelsea’s all-time top scorer, Frank Lampard. “I was always someone who was into tennis, so when I would occasionally switch to a football match, I wasn’t able to connect to what was going on,” Anuj recalls. “But I remember one match, which Chelsea went on to win 6-1 against Derby County in 2008/09, in which Frank Lampard scored a screamer. The quality of that goal was enough for me to start following football, and more importantly Chelsea.” 

Anuj had the privilege of watching Chelsea’s memorable win against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in 2016. When asked about his favorite memory from that game, Anuj gleefully replied, “It has to be the Eden Hazard goal! He scored at a buzzing Stamford Bridge and it gave me goosebumps.”

Watching one of the most beautiful goals ever scored, live at Stamford Bridge, was an unreal moment for me. What was even more special about that goal was that it ended up sealing the title for Leicester City in the Foxes’ dream season. After the goal was scored, people were jumping, hugging each other and celebrating as if we had won the title. It was surreal.”

"To see more than 40,000 Chelsea fans stand up in unison within a couple of seconds for the last few minutes of the game, and chant a special chant for Tottenham Hotspur again and again, gave me goosebumps."

Along with recalling his experience at the game, Anuj also shared a few memories from his tour of Stamford Bridge. “We’ve all seen it on our televisions, but to actually walk down the tunnel, with the lights coming in from the outside and the anthem playing, was an amazing feeling for me,” he said. “Sitting in the dugout, and in the manager’s spot, helped me realize what it would be like to be in this position.” 

“It was at that moment when I realized how much of a privilege it is to play for Chelsea and walk down the tunnel. The ‘pressure’ I felt was insane,” he said. “Seeing the logo at the front, the same logo that Chelsea players would touch on their way out of the tunnel, was such a great feeling.” 

Anuj also told us of how he hopes to one day be able to make his visits to Stamford Bridge a regular occurrence. “Maybe in five or six years, when I have settled down, I would love to travel to Stamford Bridge annually, and watch at least one Chelsea game live every season. That’s what I am working towards now and I hope to achieve it quite soon.”

When asked about what makes Stamford Bridge so special for him, Anuj said, “It’s home. Being at Stamford Bridge brings back memories which have made me celebrate the good times even more, and also provided me the strength to endure the bad ones. That is priceless.”