It was with great sadness that Chelsea Football Club lost David McKnight, one of our dedicated ground staff, at the weekend.
David was taken ill while working before Sunday’s game between Chelsea Women and Manchester City Women and passed away in hospital later in the day. Everyone at Chelsea sends our heartfelt condolences to David’s family and friends.
David was a volunteer on AFC Wimbledon’s ground staff at Kingsmeadow when in 2017, Chelsea’s current usage of that stadium began. He played a major part in welcoming and looking after the club’s staff there and with his extremely helpful nature, ensured our ground staff operation bedded in well.
He continued to work on match days at Kingsmeadow and became part of the Stamford Bridge matchday ground staff as well, where his true passion for that work was clear to see. He relished the opportunity of being involved at a Premier League stadium.
Jason Griffin, Kevin Fowler and Luke Martin from the Chelsea ground staff pay tribute:
‘Dave was a true, true gentleman. He was very humble, kind, honest, helpful. He was all that and more.
‘He went above and beyond his normal duties, he would come in on Christmas Day if you wanted him to! He was more than willing to take any new staff under his wing, he had a welcoming personality, and we were all friends outside of work. Dave was so proud to work here. To wear a uniform representing Chelsea meant a lot to him.
‘He is a major loss to the club and he will be sorely missed, especially in the grounds department.’
Emma Hayes, manager of Chelsea FC Women, who play home games at Kingsmeadow, added:
‘On behalf of everyone at Chelsea Women, I’d like to send my condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of David McKnight. What a wonderful man he was. We always talked about the game, our team, his love for our team and the pride he had in making it the best possible pitch for us. We are all truly devastated.’
David and those close to him are very much in our thoughts at this difficult time. The players and ground staff will wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s silence ahead of Wednesday evening’s game versus West Ham Women at Kingsmeadow.