Those were the days: Emma Hayes

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For the large number of fans who will be at Stamford Bridge for Friday’s big WSL match when Chelsea host Arsenal, there is an opportunity to visit the next in the series of special heritage events being held this season, this time celebrating the career of Emma Hayes and her place in the history of women’s football. 

It follows two very successful Those Were the Days matchday gatherings earlier this season, when Gianluca Vialli was remembered ahead of the Legends game in September, and Chelsea’s past against Sheffield United fell under the spotlight in December.

Those Were the Days are free events organised by the Chelsea Heritage Partnership, a group within the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust which researches, records and shares our history.

With this week’s London derby being the last WSL match at the Bridge for Emma Hayes as Chelsea Women manager, her massively successful 12 years at the helm will be marked with an appearance from former Blues captain Katie Chapman, who will be there to meet supporters informally from 5.30pm.

There is added poignancy with both Emma and Katie having been at Arsenal earlier in their careers and video clips and photos of past meetings between Chelsea Women and the Gunners, dating from way back, plus a collection of past Chelsea Women shirts, will be on display.

The event will take place in the Tea Bar (located behind the Shed End Stand between Frankie’s and the ticket office) between 5pm and 6.45pm on Friday. It is free and open to match ticket holders. Refreshments will be on sale.

As well as a chance to chat with members of the Chelsea Heritage Partnership, Tony Farmer, who began a new Chelsea Ladies team in 1992 and managed what eventually developed into the current Chelsea Women, will be there armed with lots of memorabilia and will be happy to talk with supporters.

There will also be an on-screen presentation from Chelsea club historian Rick Glanvill, looking back on Emma’s impact at Chelsea and some of the major milestones in the story of women’s football in general, and look out for a full-size cut-out image of Emma – an ideal photo opportunity.

In addition, there will be an opportunity to purchase Chelsea Pitch Owners shares signed by members of the Chelsea Women team.

Please do drop by and chat with the Chelsea Heritage Partnership about your own stories and memories. You are welcome to take photographs and share them using the hashtag #CFCHeritage.

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Dominic Rosso


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