Today marks 22 years since the tragic helicopter accident which took the life of Chelsea Football Club vice-chairman Matthew Harding.
Harding was travelling back with friends and fellow supporters from a League Cup tie at Bolton when his helicopter crashed and along with him, Ray Deane, Tony Burridge, John Bauldie and Mick Goss were killed.
Already a passionate fan of the club, Harding joined the Chelsea board in 1994 and he made available millions of pounds towards the construction of the first new stand at Stamford Bridge in over 20 years. The new North Stand was renamed after Harding immediately after his death and it bears that name to this day.
His enthusiasm for the team was clear to all and Harding provided financial assistance for player recruitment. Tragically, he was denied the opportunity of witnessing the investment coming to fruition just a few months after the accident, when the team won our first major silverware for a generation, the 1997 FA Cup.
Chelsea Football Club will not forget the part Matthew Harding played in our history and in putting us where we are today.