Visiting Stamford Bridge is a dream for every Chelsea fan. Poojan Panchal, a die hard Blue from India, got a chance to do just that in 2017 and then again 2019!
For Poojan his love of Chelsea started while he was in school.
“I was never really into football until one day I was just surfing channels and I stumbled upon my first ever football match - Chelsea vs Spurs. It was the first season of the Roman Abramovich era and Claude Makélélé was playing for Chelsea. They ended up winning the game 4-2 and I had this desire to learn more about this club and the players. That's when I realized I had fallen in love with it all. Supporting the club from so far felt so good that it made me think about how amazing it would be to actually be there in person."
Poojan's dream of visiting Stamford Bridge turned into a reality in 2017, when him and his family made a trip to London to see his sister.
"I had a great time finally getting to visit Stamford Bridge and doing the stadium tour. But it just made me want to visit again one day and watch a game live from the stands!"
He made sure he got the chance when he next visited London a couple of years later!
"I planned my trip to make sure I could watch a match at Stamford Bridge. As it was my first time at a live game at the Bridge, a few friends helped me with tickets, and recommended watching the game from the East Upper Stand."
"As I made my way to the stands, the ticket checker asked for our tickets. For some reason, the barcode reader wouldn't read my sister's ticket. With just 15 minutes until kickoff, I even had the thought of leaving my sister behind, to make sure I didn't miss the game! But luckily the issue got resolved and we were both able to watch the match.”
Safe to say, it was a match neither of them will ever forget.
"When Chelsea won a penalty in the 49th minute, I was in two minds about whether I should watch it live or record it. In the end I chose to do both! I held the phone at the right angle to make sure it would capture the moment while I watched. As Jorginho scored the penalty, the whole of Stamford Bridge lit up! There was so much energy inside the stadium, it gave me goosebumps. It was absolutely crazy!"
And it sounds like Poojan doesn’t plan to stop at just the two visits to Stamford Bridge!
"As I made my way back to where we were staying in London I couldn’t stop thinking about that match and being able to watch even more games at Stamford Bridge. One thing I was absolutely sure about is that it was an experience I would love to have, not once, not twice, but an infinite number of times. So hopefully I will be able to do that one day. Until then, I'll keep the Blue flag flying high, all the way from Ahmedabad!"