We opened the doors to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as Chelsea fans had the opportunity to rub shoulders with current players and legends.
David Luiz, Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic, as well as Gianfranco Zola, Carlo Cudicini, Tore Andre Flo and Chelsea Women’s legend Katie Chapman were out in force at the Bridge to sign autographs and pose for pictures with supporters, who had travelled from as far as Northern Ireland to meet the stars.
The 250 lucky fans were chosen at random from an online ballot we announced last month, which had thousands of entries, and were also able to gain a glimpse of the pitch while they queued for the opportunity to see their heroes.
‘It is fantastic for us to be able to meet the fans, especially the kids, and take photos with them,’ said David Luiz.
‘For me, it is so important that we show our love back to them, they support us through everything on the pitch so it is nice that we can say hello and have a selfie. I hope we can do more of this in the future!’
One Junior Blue lucky enough to meet the Brazilian and his team-mates was Bevan (above), who alongside dad Bradley had come from Surrey after being picked out in the ballot.
‘We spoke to David Luiz and he was really nice, so we will put the picture on the wall,’ he said afterwards. ‘It’s really good to have met some of the players.’
For Bradley, it was one of the legends in attendance that made him smile the most. ‘For me, obviously it’s Zola, growing up and watching him play was great, so it was a real honour. It’s been an amazing experience,’ he said.
Long-term season ticket holder Philip Seaman was just as pleased to come face to face with some of the Chelsea stars.
‘I’m a season ticket holder in the Matthew Harding upper and have been for a long time,’ he said. ‘I receive club emails, and I like entering competitions, so I thought I would give it a go.
‘This is a great thing for the club to do, with more interaction with the players. It all seems like a family, and all these players are my favourites, once they’ve pulled on the blue shirt they become a hero.’