Make It Snappy Special

A traditional London bus carrying Chelsea Pensioners as guests of the club will be heading to Wembley for the big match tomorrow, and to mark the occasion we have a special edition of our regular feature digging photos out from the archives.

The Chelsea Pensioners are residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a home for retired soldiers of the British Army, who are famous for their eye-catching red uniform coats. The association between Chelsea Football Club and the Pensioners is long-established. It gave rise to the team’s original nickname and a group of Pensioners together is a feature of our home matches. They have been part of trophy presentations and our Remembrance commemorations, and club events have been held at the Royal Hospital, from where tomorrow's 50 guests for the game will come.

Here are a collection of images highlighting us together from down the years….

A Chelsea Pensioner in traditional uniform with his medals holding a 1997 FA Cup final programme. The Blues beat Boro.
 

A Chelsea Pensioner chats with left-back Joey Jones in a bar at Stamford Bridge shortly after promotion back to the First Division is secured in 1984. 
 

A quintet of Pensioners take in their Stamford Bridge surroundings on a sunny day during the 1996/97 season. 
 

Pat Nevin on the left is joined by actor and Chelsea fan Dennis Waterman and a Pensioner to launch the Chelsea Collection, an in-house clothing range, in April 1986. 
 

At the ticket office, ahead of Stamford Bridge's hosting of the Women's Champions League final in 2013.
 

A Chelsea Pensioner gets to his seat in the East Stand early to survey the scene ahead of a home fixture in the 1991/92 season. 
 

An excited Pensioner wears blue and white ribbons in support of the local club. This picture was taken during the 1930s. 
 

A group very visible in the Director’s Box during a game between Chelsea and Stoke City in March 2012. They saw a 1-0 win that day. 
 

The Pensioners was the club’s nickname for many decades and here the cover of the programme for an FA Cup sixth-round game in 1915 alludes to Chelsea’s poor record in the competition up to that point. We would reach our first final the following month even if it would be another 55 years before we’d actually get our hands on the trophy.