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The Special Ones: Chelsea By The Fans

John King, Martin Knight

Regular price £18.99

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From the publisher:

This new book, compiled and written entirely by long-term Chelsea fans, turns Jose Mourinho’s The Special One moniker on its head by asserting that the real special ones are the supporters; those people who have followed the club through the bad times as well as the good. Many of these fans have now been pushed out of the club by high ticket prices, and the book is their answer to the gentrification that has killed the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.

The Special Ones focuses on the memories of thousands of fans, moving from the 1930s through to the present day ¬ from watching a British pilot shoot down a German plane over Stamford Bridge to seeing Chelsea clinch the Premiership, via relegation, promotion and the essential goals of Clive Walker. These memories belong to the REAL fans, and come from the heart, so a long midweek journey North in the late Seventies to see Chelsea lose in the pouring rain feature, while prawn sandwiches and a heated VIP box do not.

Penetrating interviews with the all-time greatest team, as chosen by the fans, follow. Gianluca Vialli, Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, John Terry, Eddie McCreadie, Charlie Cooke, Frank Lampard, Alan Hudson, Dennis Wise, Gianfranco Zola and, most poignantly, Peter Osgood, are all included, and make for entertaining and revelatory reading.

A section entitled Blue Is The Colour records the songs that have been sung at Stamford Bridge over the years, and as there is no censorship in The Special Ones, no rewriting of history, decades of Shed lyrics are included in all their blue-and-white glory. The culture of the Chelsea fanzines is considered in Having A Say, Having A Laugh, and is another outspoken section that provides a twenty-year overview of the club/supporter relationship.

The book is already enjoying cult status among the Chelsea faithful, who appreciate the honesty and humour of the book. Many feel that the club’s 100th anniversary celebrations have neglected the ordinary fans, and that this book fills the gap.

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London Books
24 x 16 cm
Hardback
240 pages
August 2006
English
9780955185106