After the disappointing draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, Chelsea travel to the North East to face Hull City in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
No doubt this will come as welcome respite for Frank Lampard and the supporters after a run of wildly inconsistent league form which threatens to place Chelsea’s ‘top four’ aspirations in jeopardy.
But when it comes to the FA Cup there has always been much for Chelsea to love about the oldest and grandest club competition in football.
Chelsea had to wait 65 years for their first FA Cup trophy, having lost in the ‘Khaki’ Cup final of 1915 and the first ‘Cockney’ Cup final in 1967.
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But, 50 years ago, in 1970, relief came and Chelsea defeated Leeds United after a replay to win what was then a highly significant trophy in the domestic game.
Nearly 28.5 million people watched Chelsea win their first FA Cup trophy on television and this remains the fifth most watched television event in Great Britain of all time. Little wonder then that so many young boys became Chelsea supporters that day.
Many of those young boys in 1970 are in their fifties and sixties today. Many of them have been following Chelsea through thick and thin ever since, to the extent that Chelsea currently has the highest average age of season ticket holder in the Premier League.
In a rare moment of empathy with Chelsea supporters, the club released a special 50th anniversary kit resembling the much loved 1970 cup final winning kit of royal blue shirts and shorts with yellow flashings and yellow socks.
It made its debut in the third round when Chelsea defeated Nottingham Forest at home, 2-0. The attention and subsequent demand for this kit, especially from a demographic who wouldn’t be seen dead in a replica kit has been unprecedented.