It’s not every evening you are in the pub - and ex-Chelsea star Joe Cole turns up to say hello!
The English midfielder, one of the Blues’ biggest home-grown favourites, was a surprise guest at a fan event in Boston on Tuesday evening.
Joe won a host of club trophies and personal awards in his seven years with the Londoners, including a trio of Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup. But he also knows the football scene in America as he finished his career with three seasons at the Tampa Bay Rowdies in Florida.
‘The Night Before Party’ has become a tradition when Chelsea tour the States. Twenty-four hours in advance of a match, the local supporters’ chapter organise a gathering at their home base for both their members, and for those who have travelled in.
This year it was the turn of the Boston Blues to put together the festivities at The Banshee, an Irish bar in the Bayside area of the city that is their headquarters. President Ben Horner and vice-president Shawn Doherty, who run the group, set up the get-together to welcome the out-of-town visitors from the extended Blue Family.
They said they have around 170 members in their club, and they regularly have dozens of Blues followers packing out the place for big contests. In addition, Boston is a big college town, so every season they get a new influx of students who rotate through their chapter for the three or four years they are at university.
So it is one of the biggest groups in the country, despite the fact that, in common with many cities Stateside, there are strict Sunday licencing laws: sometimes they are in the Banshee at 7am - but cannot be served a beer until 10am!
Joe Cole’s appearance was the highlight of the night, and he met fans, posed for selfies, and addressed the crowd to thank them for their support, while the Boston Blues also raffled off a bunch of prizes donated by club sponsors.
As luck would have it, the Boston Bruins ice-hockey team were competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and every time they scored the locals in the rowdy crowd cheered. They won, and took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Chelsea supporters got to meet Joe Cole, and the Boston Bruins fans saw their team win. Everyone left happy as they headed into the drizzly chilly Massachusetts night.
Read: Joe Cole praises Callum Hudson-Odoi