Frank Lampard scored one of his best Chelsea goals against Hull City. Here’s a reminder of that strike and some other magic moments against our next opponents.
Our history with the Tigers stretches way back to the beginning of Chelsea Football Club’s existence; indeed, they were our first-ever opponents in a league game played at Stamford Bridge, which they Blues duly won 5-1.
Despite that, Saturday evening’s fixture will be only the 47th competitive meeting between the sides – although there have been some standout moments along the way.
After the glory years of the early Seventies, there wasn’t much for Blues fans to shout about for the rest of that decade as the Kings of the King’s Road abdicated the throne and gave way to a young group of players who looked to bring the good times back to Stamford Bridge.
However, against Hull City at the end of the 1976/77 season, all the emotion came pouring out as there was a promotion party like no other.
Our return to Division One had been secured a week earlier against Wolves, who also went up, so it was celebration time in west London.Steve ‘Jock’ Finnieston bagged the only hat-trick of his Chelsea career and the late Ian Britton was also on target as we hammered the Tigers 4-0.
‘It’s probably one of the best trebles ever seen at Stamford Bridge – the first two were tap-ins and the third was a penalty,’ joked Finnieston years later.
But the enduring image for many from that day was the sight of manager Eddie McCreadie, who had been on the pitch as our left-back throughout that glorious era which preceded this, barking at the fans to get off the pitch as the game was twice held up.
This game and many others are available to view in the Retro Blues box set on The 5th Stand
Meetings between the sides were few and far between for the remainder of the 20th century, although the last one before we ushered in a new Millennium was memorable for several reasons.
Firstly, it was an FA Cup third-round tie played in December instead of January a move which was reportedly to ease fixture congestion but has never been repeated since.
So, a month earlier than usual we began our campaign in the world’s oldest domestic club competition by travelling up to Boothferry Park, Hull’s former home which must have felt a million miles away from the Stadio Olimpico, where we earned a Champions League point a few days earlier.
It was a stroll in the park which featured two rare events: a Gustavo Poyet hat-trick – a perfect one at that – and a Chris Sutton Chelsea goal, the last of three he would score for the Blues. We eased to a 6-1 win and went on to lift the trophy in the last final played at the old Wembley Stadium, with Poyet’s treble helping him to the top scorer crown in the competition that season.
Just shy of nine years later, the Tigers were in the Premier League for the first time, but the first time they hosted us at the KC Stadium gave them an idea of the quality chasm that exists between the Championship and the top tier.
Less than three minutes were on the clock when Lampard scored one of the most underrated goals of the 211 he netted for Chelsea, setting us on the way to a 3-0 win.
A cheeky chip over the keeper from the edge of the box is a pretty tough technique to master using your strongest foot – so to leave the man between the sticks red-faced with your so-called weaker foot takes some doing.
Step forward Super Frank, whose exquisite lofted touch left Boaz Myhill watching in disbelief as the ball sailed over his head on its way to finding the back of the net.