The Story of Stamford Bridge

Chelsea is currently one of the biggest clubs in all of England and Europe. As a matter of fact, Chelsea is the club with the fourth highest number of fans all over the world.

The club came into existence in the year 1905 and the man who found it was Gus Mears. Let us look into the roots of the club and learn a few things about its history and how the club was started.

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Who Was Gus Mears?

Gus Mears was an English Business Man and sports enthusiast who was born in 1873 to Joseph and Charlotte Mears. Gus and his brother Joseph Mears purchased a ground on Fulham road called Stamford Bridge in the year 1896. Gus and his colleague Fred Parker took the initiative to start a football club in the year 1905 and named it Chelsea FC. Gus started the club but couldn’t live long enough to see the club achieve any significant success and passed away on 4th February, 1912 .

Club’s Inception and the Story behind Stamford Bridge

Gus Mears and Joseph Mears purchased a ground in West London on Fulham road in the year 1896. Gus’s main aim was to make Stamford Bridge one of the best football grounds in England, It had to be a ground that had the capacity and quality to host high profile matches. His starting few years as the ground owner were rough as he failed to persuade the chairman of Fulham FC Henry Norris to relocate the ground and considered selling the ground to Great Western Railway Company, who wished to use the ground as a coal yard.

Ultimately, after few years of struggle, Gus Mears decided to start his own football club on that ground and named it Chelsea Football Club. On the evening of 10th of March, 1905 in an upstairs room at the Rising Sun Pub, Chelsea FC was formed. Among the founding directors were the millionaire owner Henry Augustus “Gus” Mears, his brother Joseph, his brother in Law Henry Boyer, publican Alfred Janes and his nephew Edwin who ran the pub.

Fredrick Parker appointed famous architect Archibald Leitch, Scotland international Jacky Robertson was appointed as Chelsea’s first player and was also a manager. In collaboration with Parker, who also admitted Chelsea in English League Division Two, Robertson began the search for players and also hired 23 ball boys. The giant goalkeeper William Foulke was the first player signed by Robertson.


1. The name Chelsea FC was was finalized after the names London FC, Stamford Bridge FC, and Kensington FC were rejected by England FA.

2. The first ever game hosted at Stamford Bridge was a Friendly game against Liverpool in which Chelsea won with a comprehensive margin of 4-0.

First Kit

For the first few seasons the Chelsea’s color wasn’t the current shade of blue. The color was Eton Blue which was the color dedicated to the horse racing colors of club President Cadogan, a much lighter shade than the current one.

Managers and Key Players During Gus Era

Three different managers were appointed for Chelsea during Gus’s era and those are John Tait Robertson (1905-06), William Lewis (1906-07) and David Calderhead (1907-33). Whereas William Foulke, George Hilsdon and Jimmy Windridge were the key players who played for Chelsea in that era.

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Edited By: Ojas Tripathi

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