On this day: Chelsea play their first game at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea FC’s road to existence was a bumpy one.
Having already been denied entry into the Southern League following protests from Fulham FC and Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea had to apply to the Football League for permission to play.
And after their bid was endorsed at a league meeting in May 1905, Chelsea FC formally came into existence.
Despite having never kicking a ball, Chelsea were able to attract some big names to sign for them.
Scottish international John Robertson was hired as player-manager, and man-mountain William Foulke was convinced to move down south as well.
And Chelsea’s first ever league campaign started away at Lancashire Combination champions Stockport County on 2nd September 1905.
Despite Foulke saving a penalty, the rebound was finished by George Dodd and Chelsea eventually lost 1-0.
But the grand-opening of Stamford Bridge was just two days away.
On Monday 4th September 1905, Chelsea hosted Liverpool – eventual First Division champions – in a friendly at their new home of football.
Despite only existing for a few months, the Blues battered Liverpool, with Robertson scoring twice on the way to a 4-0 rout.
And this was played in front of a crowd of 5,000 people – quite a change from the 41,631 capacity of the modern day Bridge.
And Chelsea’s first competitive home league game of the season came on the following Monday, where they once again won by a four goal margin, beating Hull City 5-1.
In its early years, Stamford Bridge was used for many different sports, including rugby.
And in fact, on 4th October 1905, the New Zealand rugby team played Middlesex rugby club at Stamford Bridge, winning 34-0.