As our supporters inside the stadium were able to enjoy, there was an emotive rendition of the Blue is the Colour song on Saturday afternoon.

Instead of the original version by Peter Osgood, Chopper Harris and co., on this special occasion singer James Vickery, deaf sign performance group Unify and signing choir Hands 4 Voices took to the pitch during half-time in our Premier League match to deliver a British Sign Language (BSL) performance of what has been the club anthem for over half-a-century.

Led by head chorister, Carol Cook, with partially deaf singer Vickery supporting on vocals, the uplifting moment saw our fans brought together in a shared moment to sing and sign the famous lyrics ‘We’re all together, and winning is our aim’, garnering a roaring reception from the crowd.

The on-pitch activities marked the ongoing commitment from Chelsea Football Club, Cadbury Fingers and the National Deaf Children’s Society to foster better inclusivity within football and support the 46 per cent of deaf people who feel the majority of sporting culture and matchday experiences are only suitable for hearing people and not inclusive for all.

Carol Cook from Hands 4 Voices said: ‘It was such an honour for us all to perform Chelsea’s iconic anthem at Stamford Bridge - everyone in the choir was a bit daunted by the size of the stadium and doing justice to the song we know means so much to fans, but the atmosphere was electric and the crowd were so supportive. It was a really special moment and hopefully just the start of more inclusivity within football both on and off the pitch.’

In recently released research, football is cited as the most popular sport amongst deaf people, with 93 per cent agreeing you cannot beat the thrill of watching a sporting event live in a stadium. However, more than half of deaf fans (55 per cent) believe their experiences at live sporting events are restricted due to a lack of deaf awareness, with 34 per cent saying they often feel lonely or left out as it is hard to interact with other fans, and a further 30 per cent saying they regularly struggle to understand on-pitch activity.

The partnership between Chelsea FC, Cadbury Fingers and the National Deaf Children’s Society forms part of Cadbury Fingers’ wider Sign with Fingers Big & Small campaign, which aims to encourage Brits to learn a little British Sign Language to help break down barriers between hearing and deaf people.

As part of the initiative, Chelsea has begun training all staff members in BSL, with Conor Gallagher, Armando Broja, Lauren James and Hannah Hampton getting in on the action by learning phrases including ‘What’s the score?’, ‘What a goal’ and ‘Nice to meet you’. This comes in response to the finding that 47 per cent of deaf people would like to see more widespread use of BSL within the sports industry.

Fifty-four per cent of deaf people said they think hearing people find it difficult to start a conversation with a deaf person due to a lack of confidence or knowledge but those surveyed admitted they would feel happier (43 per cent), more respected (37 per cent) and more included in everyday conversations (36 per cent) if more hearing people learned a little BSL.

In addition to providing deaf awareness training and introducing BSL for beginners throughout the organisation, Chelsea has also introduced quarterly club tours with a BSL interpreter to address the feedback from 30 per cent of deaf Brits who would like to see a better offer of inclusive experiences incorporating BSL.

Susanne Nowak, senior brand manager Cadbury Biscuits UK & Ireland, from Cadbury Fingers, comments, ‘Our goal - excuse the pun - is to bring more people together over the nation’s favourite game. This is the second year of our Sign with Fingers Big & Small campaign and we know there is still a lot of work to be done to improve inclusivity. We felt football was the perfect medium for driving better awareness and emotional connection over shared moments between deaf and hearing people given how integral it is to British culture.

‘By teaming up with Chelsea FC and our long-term partners the National Deaf Children’s Society, we are excited to enter a new era of inclusivity both on and off the pitch, and urge everyone to learn some British Sign Language they could use as a conversation starter to facilitate more shared moments of connection.’

Susan Daniels, chief executive at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: ‘We’re proud to be working in partnership with Cadbury and Chelsea FC on the Sign with Fingers Big & Small campaign. Together, we aim to raise awareness about the communication barriers deaf children and young people face and encourage more hearing people to learn some basic signs. We want to see a more inclusive world so that every deaf person can be part of the conversation.

‘We were thrilled to see Chelsea fans joining in with the choirs to sign and sing their beloved anthem. Occasions like this really bring home the message that, with a little bit of effort, everyone can become more deaf-aware.’