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in Allgemeines 07.03.2019 01:19
von lebaobei123 • 300 Beiträge

In all my decades of attending Stamford Bridge, players, managers and owners have come and gone whilst the only constant was Lord Richard Attenborough. Honorary life vice-president, shareholder, club director, Stamford Bridge host to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen: If someone had have asked him, Attenborough would willingly have accepted the role of Chelsea FCs chief cook and bottle washer. The connection to the club for the highly acclaimed actor, film director and producer can be traced back over 75 years when as part of his preparations to play the role of a gangster in a movie Attenborough got to train with the players. He is famously quoted as saying throughout his life he had two love affairs - his wife of seven decades and Chelsea Football Club. His lasting legacy occurred in 1982. After decades of neglect, the then-club owners had embarked on overly ambitious plans to completely rejuvenate Stamford Bridge. This coming at a time of volatile oil prices, Middle East tensions and the globe in an economic freefall. All combined with extremely high interest rates construction costs spiralled out of control. Stamford Bridge began to resemble an abandoned construction site, more than it did a soccer venue. The club flirted with bankruptcy. Property developers spotted an opportunity it could not resist they began purchasing from distressed shareholders their holdings in the valuable land Stamford Bridge was situated ona€“ this for a club which had been formed in a pub across the street in 1905. The only news coming out of Chelsea in those troubled days was discussion of demolishing the ground and turning it into a residential area for the super-wealthy. Stamford Bridge borders one of the most expensive postal codes on the planet, and the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington. I recollect it vividly. The Mears Family who had formed the club in that pub back at the turn of the 20th century, began losing control. Brian Mears, the chairman and grandson of the club founder was ousted in a boardroom coup. Speculation was rife on what minority shareholder Richard Attenborough, would do with his shares. In the end, Attenborough got a promise from Ken Bates - who would buy the club in late 1982 for the princely sum of ?£1 plus all its debts a€“ that he would not move the club out of the community that meant so much to the man who won an Oscar for that years Hollywood Blockbuster, Gandhi. Simply put if Attenborough had sold out to the property developers, a wholly different Oscar would not be running out at Stamford Bridge in the number 8 shirt today. Nor would Roman Abramovich be taking in matches form the luxury of the owners private box. For that matter Chelsea, if it had survived, would most likely be playing in the second or third tier of English football and not competing for yet more Premier League or Champions League titles. We certainly wouldnt be seeing the abundance of Chelsea jerseys in the football pubs and city streets worldwide. Its reason why Chelseas supporters have begun a petition to rename the East Stand at Stamford Bridge in the memory of a man who was friends, and on first name terms with Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers and Presidents. No one outside of players, the coaching and medical staffs are allowed into the fabled Stamford Bridge dressing room pre-game, not even Abramovich. Such is the stature of the man: Attenborough was welcomed with open arms. There was no better sight at Stamford Bridge than witnessing Attenborough taking his seat, next to his wife in the directors box, surrounded by his own a€?private security that came in the irresistible form of the Chelsea Pensioners. Those retired military serviceman - who reside in the Royal Hospital Chelsea and who come resplendent in bright red military jackets - you will often have often caught a glimpse of from Stamford Bridge TV broadcasts. Youd often see Attenborough driving his very distinctive Rolls Royce around the streets which surround Stamford Bridge. My own favourite personal memory came in 1998. Attenborough was in Montreal to film his movie Grey Owl, with the man who would go on to become James Bond, Pierce Brosnan in the lead role. Filming took place in a small Quebec town some 200 km outside Montreal. The name of that town was Chelsea, population 6,500. You couldnt make it up. Sunday, Mar. 29 was deemed an off day and Chelsea were playing Middlesbrough at Wembley, it was the League Cup Final. There were no digital satellite channels back in 1998. You wanted to watch any live football you had to go to one of very few sports bars which had old school bulky satellites which didnt always pick up the signals. Most often they would just provide grainy pictures and no commentary. Not this day. Taking up my usual spot with the other four Montreal-based Chelsea supporters 15 minutes before kickoff Attenborough walked in. Amiable and approachable Attenborough was like a kid who had just had a drop off from Santa Claus. He somewhat resembled him too. Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 2-0, their second coming from the man who in 2012 led them to Champions League Glory, Roberto Di Matteo. Attenborough was in no rush to leave. There was a lap of honour on the hallowed Wembley Stadium pitch to take in. On what would today have been Lord Attenboroughs 91st birthday, Chelsea announced earlier that in consultation with his family, they plan a lasting memorial for Stamford Bridge. Saturday afternoon Chelsea will trot out at Goodison Park wearing black arm bands in memory of a man everyone connected to Chelsea owes an immense debt of gratitude to. As English football has evolved into the multi-billion dollar global business it is today we can be sure we will not witness the likes of a€?Dickiea€? Attenborough ever again. Hes cut from a cloth not even Abramovich could afford. Listen to Everton v Chelsea a€“ Live on the TSN Radio Network Saturday 12:30pm et / 9:30am pt Noel Butler can be reached at: Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter Asics Clearance Shoes Australia . Last July, F1 teams held in-season testing sessions at Silverstone to assess new tires provided by Pirelli after several blowouts on the same circuit at the British Grand Prix in June prompted a furious response from drivers and even a boycott threat the following week. 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