Date: 11th December 2020 at 10:03am
Written by:

Dear Chidge, Jonathan and whoever/ whomever ?? The wonderful guest is on the show this week.

I have been thinking of writing in for a long time now but have always put it off thinking that I haven’t really got anything to say that anybody would be interested to hear, but Cup draw this week has inspired me to writeinto you with my story.

Firstly I’d like to  thank  you all, especially Chidge, for all  the hard work you do year in year out, I live in Lancaster in the North West and due to my circumstances I can’t get to for games, listening to the fancast and the stories you all tell is the closest I get to the match day experience  and makes me feel involved in some way, although I’ve never met any of you I’ve listened to you all so much that you feel like my friends and I live the match day through your tales on the podcast. I hope you all realise how much the work you do on the fancast means to supporters like me.

I have been listening to the show since around 2011 and have not missed a show since, I work 12-hour nights in a papermill making toilet paper and the show is a great way for me to pass time on while at work. Some of my favourite emails are where fans tell how they started supporting Chelsea so this is my story. 

As a young boy I really didn’t like football, I couldn’t stand watching games on TV, although I did like to play and my dad who is only 5 ft 6″ was a very good goalkeeper, and he started to train me

I soon became one of the best keepers for my age in our area. My dad is a Chelsea supporter but he never really tried to get me involved with Chelsea when I was young because he knew I wasn’t really interested in watching games. I remember him going to games with my uncle when I was young but he never took me with him, but in 1991 he did take me to my first game, my local team Morecambe drew Hull City in .

We went and Hull won the game 1-0 but we enjoyed it and me and my dad started to go to watch Morecambe every week. In 1994 I started high school and my new mates would all talk about the so I started to take an interest, the team that stood out to me was my dad’s team Chelsea. I quickly became obsessed and started to learn everything I could about the club and its history, my dad was made up when I told him I was now a Chelsea supporter like him. He bought me books about Chelsea and we watched his Chelsea videos where I got to see players from the past. We watched the 1970 cup final and he told me all about Peter Bonetti “the cat” I said dad that’s what people call you, turns out my dad’s nickname “cat” was after this great Chelsea goalkeeper. My dad had similar cat-like reflexes as Bonetti.

Anyway, at this time although we still went to watch Morecambe most weeks, sometimes my dad would surprise me and say we’re not going to Morecambe today, were going to watch Chelsea. So, every season we’d go to Blackburn away, Sheffield Wednesday away, Bolton away, and Wigan away during their spell in the PL and any northern teams in the cup.

I loved watching Chelsea live and it was a real treat for me. But the best game I’ve seen Chelsea live was on a Monday night in September 1998, and it wasn’t with my dad, a good friend of mine who supported Chelsea asked if I wanted to go and watch Chelsea v Blackburn as him and his dad had a spare ticket. We went to the game and what a game it was, Chelsea took the lead with a trademark Zola free kick only for Chris Sutton to equalise, Frank LeBeouf then scored a penalty before Perez equalised again, Le Saux and Perez were then sent off. With 15 mins left Michael Duberry gave away a penalty and Sutton put rovers 3-2 up, then brought on Brian Laudrup and Tore Andre Flo.

Flo soon levelled the game again and then in the dying minutes Flo ran through on goal and poked the ball round Tim flowers and into the goal, 4-3 Chelsea. There were limbs everywhere, everyone was bouncing singing “TORE, TORE ANDRE FLO” this went on for a good 10 mins after the game and it carried on all the way out of the stadium and even in the car park, what a great moment this was, I’ll never forget it. Me and my mate were still singing it at school the next day.

I loved the FA cup win in 97 although I was jealous because my uncle got a ticket and went to the game. I really enjoyed the cup winners cup run in 98, these games were shown on channel 5 and we couldn’t get that in Lancaster at the time but my bedroom was in the attic and if I held my TV aerial out far enough, I could get a fuzzy picture, I was always freezing but it was worth it. Tromso away was not good on a fuzzy TV screen.

I’ve loved every minute of the Roman era. I was at work in 2005 when we won the league, my man u supporting boss called me to his office that morning and offered me a half day holiday so I could watch the game on TV. I snapped his hand off. When Frank scored the second goal I’d just let my dog in the garden and was stood under the door frame with one eye on the TV, I jumped up and punched the air only to break my hand on the door frame.

Fast forward to European cup final and Chelsea win a corner, I’m stood in the middle of my living room as Drogba powers a header home, I punch the air again, in fact I actually punch the light bulb hanging above my head and cut all my hand open, still what a great night that was. God knows what injuries await me in the future.

Anyway, since getting married at age 21 in 2004 and starting a family I haven’t really been able to attend games, I have 3 sons aged 14, 12 and 18 months, and my elder 2 are Chelsea mad and it’s the best part of our week when we watch the Chelsea game on TV. It’s not the same as being there live but it’s our way of watching the Chels and we are ok with it. I’d like to be able to go with my boys like what my dad did with me but it’s very expensive and very hard to get . We did go to a League cup game at Sunderland away in December 2013 but we’ve never been to a game at the Bridge. We have done the stadium tour a couple of times and were at the victory parade after winning the title in 2015. My boys loved watching Diego throwing celery back at the fans.

Our first game at Stamford Bridge should have been in January. I nearly fell over when Chelsea drew Morecambe in the cup. It’s game I never thought would ever happen but I had always dreamed of, now it is happening in the middle of a FUCKING pandemic and we cannot be there. It’s a real shame for Morecambe FC. I was at Wembley in 2007, the day after Didier Drogba scored the winner in the cup final Vs man u, when they won promotion to the football league for the first time and Morecambe took 10,000 fans, although they only average around 2000 for a home game. I’m sure they would have sold the full allocation for the game at Stamford Bridge, every football fan in Lancaster and Morecambe would have wanted to be there, and they would have sung their hearts out regardless of how much Chelsea are winning by.

Morecambe FC are in my heart for different reasons than Chelsea, I even played in goal for their youth team for a season when I was 15, playing my final game in a 6-1 win v Lancaster City at Morecambe’s then stadium “Christie Park”. This should have been the game me and my boys got to watch Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge, but it looks as though it isn’t to be and we’ll have to make do with the TV again.

I get asked regularly why I support Chelsea when I live up north, I always say “why the fuck would I want to support any of the teams up here” or simply “because my dad supports them” it was only a couple of years ago I found out why my dad and his brother started supporting Chelsea. I always thought it was because Chelsea were quite a fashionable team in the early 70s but it turns out it is because my dad and his brother collected some sort of tokens from Typhoo tea in the mid 60s and were sent a colour team photo of Chelsea so from that day they were . Two weeks after my dad told me this my father in law gave me a present he bought me from a car boot sale for £2, it was the photo my dad got in the 60’s, the photo that made my family Chelsea.

So that’s it really, I’d like to just mention JK, I play a little game in my head I call “Jonathan Kydd bingo” where I just make a mental note every time  I hear his friendly voice on TV or radio. The strangest place was while on holiday in Bulgaria a few years back I’m 99% sure JK’s voice was booming out of a speaker system advertising “Platinum Casino”. I could be wrong but I’m sure it was him. 

So thank you all again apologies for the long mail, I’ve never written anything like this before so could be a load of rubbish, I won’t be offended if it’s not read out, and if any of you know of any way I can get to the cup match I’d  be very grateful haha. Keep up the great work and keep the blue flag flying high. UP THE CHELS!!

Jon Parkinson

@JonCFC1 on .