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Remembering Matthew Harding

Saturday marks 20 years since the death of Matthew Harding and the club will be remembering our late vice-chairman at this weekend’s game against Manchester United.

Harding was travelling back from watching our League Cup match away at Bolton when his helicopter crashed on 22 October 1996, killing him as well as fellow passengers Ray Deane, Tony Burridge and John Bauldie, and pilot Mick Goss.

A lifelong supporter, Harding joined the board and played a significant role to finance reconstruction of the North Stand at Stamford Bridge, which was renamed the Matthew Harding Stand after his death at the age of just 42.

His family still have season tickets in the stand and regularly attend matches alongside Deane’s sons Greg and Tom. Several family members have been invited to today’s game as guests of the club.

General admission tickets for this afternoon’s fixture and today’s matchday programme are also marking the anniversary. The one-off retro cover takes its inspiration from the programme issued for the first match after Harding’s death, a 3-1 win over Spurs.

He will be further remembered at this match, most notably in the Matthew Harding Stand, where there will be a special flag displayed by fans before kick-off. A new banner and perimeter hoarding will also pay tribute to our vice-chairman.