Reece James is the cover star of the latest issue of Chelsea magazine, as our young right-back reflects on what has thus far been a superb maiden season in the senior Blues set-up.
The 20-year-old has excelled since returning to west London after a spell on loan with Wigan Athletic, where he swept the board at their end-of-season awards dinner.
In this interview, James discusses some of his best moments so far as he talks about growing up in a football family, the pride at playing for his boyhood club and why there is so much more to come from the Blues.
‘We grew up as a three,’ he tells Chelsea, discussing his siblings Lauren – who plays for Man United Women – and Josh.
‘Obviously, Josh learned from my dad and then it just passed its way down. I started playing because my brother played, and my sister played because I played.
‘We all used to play every day together at the park and over time we all gradually got better. There was a field behind my house, with two pitches, and every day I’d be playing football, either in the field or in the street.’
By that point he was already supporting the Blues, having grown up watching one of our most beloved sides of all time.
‘We moved to west London when I was about two, so I grew up in this area, not too far from Stamford Bridge, and it was natural for them to become my team.
‘My brother was a United fan and me and my sister were always Chelsea. When I first supported them, it would have been the team with Robben, Drogba, Petr Cech, Terry and the gaffer.’
Celebrating a Blues legend
Prior to his recent departure to take up a coaching role with Turkish side Trabzonspor, Eddie Newton spent the majority of the previous 30 years involved with Chelsea in some capacity or another.
The man who scored the clincher in the 1997 FA Cup final and then went on to help us to Champions League glory in 2012 as a coach is the latest focus of a photographical look at the key moments from a Chelsea legend’s career, from beginning to end.
A path less trodden
Pat Nevin was not your average footballer and while his recent career choices may seem fairly common for an ex-pro, given he works across various mediums in his role as a football analyst, he had quite a unique role in the days before he officially hung up his boots.
Player-managers were in fashion during the Nineties – particularly here at Chelsea – but there can’t have been too many player-chief executives. Step forward Pat, who filled that role at Motherwell. He reveals all about it in the magazine’s latest ex-player interview…
Pride of London
This season is the 20th anniversary of our first campaign in the Champions League and Chelsea magazine is marking it by reliving some of our best-ever matches in Europe’s premier club competition.
This issue the focus is on the first London derby in the history of the competition, as we met Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the 2003/04 competition.
Relive an epic tie and the incredible moment when – spoiler alert – Wayne Bridge helped us finally beat the Gunners again, earning us local bragging rights in the process.
There are interviews with Chelsea Women stars Bethany England, Ann-Katrin Berger and Hannah Blundell following the Continental League Cup triumph. Some of the club’s best Wembley moments are celebrated in the month that marks the 75th anniversary of our first cup triumph at the home of English football. Meanwhile, this month’s Academy Q&A is with Tino Livramento, who is hoping to help our Under-18s to Youth Cup glory this season.
The April edition of Chelsea Magazine is available to buy for £3.95 in the Chelsea Megastore at Stamford Bridge and all good newsagents. It can also be ordered online.