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Annual General Meeting 2018

 Chelsea Supporters Trust logo

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea Supporters Trust will be held at 14:00 on Sunday 19th August 2018 in the Hollins Suite, Millennium Reception, West Stand, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS.

All members are welcome to attend the AGM but we must have confirmation that you will be attending no later than 10.00 pm on Thursday 16th August as Chelsea FC require us to provide a list of attendees for security. If you turn up without having confirmed your intention to attend by the time above you will not be admitted to the meeting.

To attend the AGM Members need to have paid their annual membership subscription. If you are unsure whether you are paid up or think that your membership has lapsed please check by emailing membership@chelseasupporterstrust.com

Light refreshments will be provided.

Directions to the Hollins Suite can be downloaded here.

The agenda is reproduced below and can also be downloaded here.

The standing orders for the AGM can be downloaded here.

Candidate manifestos are available to download here.

The draft accounts and annual report will be circulated to members by email in advance of the meeting.

Chelsea Supporters Trust logo

Chelsea Supporters Trust 2018 AGM

Registered office 11, St. Catherine’s Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 0PP

Registered with the FSA: 31940R

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea Supporters Trust will be held at 14:00 on Sunday 19th of August 2018 at the Hollins Suite, West Stand, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS.

AGENDA (please see accompanying notes for further information)

        1. Welcome and apologies
        2. Chairman’s Report – overall report on Trust issues and accounts (to be circulated, with accounts, to members by email in advance of the meeting)
        3. Secretary’s Report
        4. 2018 Annual Survey – summary of results
        5. Board Elections
        6. Motions from the CST Board
          6.1 Board Elections
          6.2 Approval of 2017/18 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
          6.3 Chelsea Supporters Trust affiliations
          6.4 The Future of Stamford Bridge
          6.5 The Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
          6.6 Safe Standing
          6.7 Atmosphere Concerns
          6.8 Ticket Pricing and Availability
          6.9 Fixture Scheduling
          6.10 Membership of Safety Advisory Group
          6.11 Ticket Touting
          6.12 Stakeholder Engagement
          6.13 Football in the Community
          6.14 Club Heritage
          6.15 Supporters Club Ticket Allocations
        7. 6.16 Supporter Liaison Office
        8. 6.17 Supporter Safety
        9. Any Other Business
        10. Close 

By order of the CST board Paul Jeffrey, Secretary 

ACCOMPANYING NOTES TO THE AGENDA

Voting

No voting will take place at the AGM itself. Instead, voting for both the board elections and motions raised at the AGM will take place in the two weeks following the conclusion of the AGM. The voting will take place online through SurveyMonkey. On the next working day following the AGM (Monday 20th August 2018), members will receive an email containing a unique link to SurveyMonkey where they will be able to vote in the Board elections, and in favour or against motions raised at the AGM. Voting will close on

Elections

The board elections will be contested as there are 10 candidates standing and 9 positions available. Individual positions on the board will be agreed by the board following completion of the election process. Voting will take place online in the 2 weeks preceding the AGM. By agreement of the candidates, the contents of a candidate’s manifesto are their sole representations. The candidate manifestos can be found at appendix 1 to this document and here [LINK]. They will also be available online for the duration of the election process. The manifestos will not be read out at the AGM, however, should a candidate wish to clarify any of the contents of the manifesto, they will be given the opportunity to do so.

Motions from the Chelsea Supporters Trust Board

Motion 1. Board Elections

As per paragraph 8.2 of the CST Election Policy, the highest placed candidates in terms of total votes as equal to number of places available for election declared by the Board shall be deemed elected. There are 10 candidates standing for 9 positions on the Board. The 9 candidates to receive the most votes will be elected.

The prospective Board Members are as follows (in random order):

  • Paul Hay
  • Theresa Magee
  • Chris Rayburn
  • David Chidgey
  • Robert Palmer
  • Henry Fowler
  • David Johnstone
  • Isabella Hislop
  • Cliff Auger
  • Dan Silver

Motion 2. Approval of 2017/18 Accounts and Use of Independent Examiner
The Chelsea Supporters Trust accounts for the year ended 31/5/18 are approved.  Provided revenue remains below £100,000 p.a., in line with accepted practise the Chelsea Supporters Trust Board should continue to appoint an independent examiner at the end of each financial year, rather than an auditor.

Motion 3. Chelsea Supporters Trust Affiliations

The Chelsea Supporters Trust should continue to affiliate to Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation, work with these organisations as appropriate to further the interests of Chelsea supporters, and football supporters in general and take part in national and local campaigns as deemed appropriate.

Motions 4-17 are submitted to the membership following issues which arose in the 2017/18 season and/or were raised in a review of the results of the April 2018 membership survey. The background to a number of these issues, and details of progress in the past twelve months, will be contained in the 2017/18 Chelsea Supporters Trust Annual Report, to be circulated to voting members in advance of the AGM.

Motion 4. The Future of Stamford Bridge
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board notes that the Stamford Bridge redevelopment project has been put on hold indefinitely. The CST board is mandated to continue to work with the club and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a commitment that supporters are at the centre of any further discussions about the future of the ground and that supporter opinion is properly and openly taken into account, with particular emphasis on the continued enjoyment of the match day experience, facilities and ticket pricing going forward.

Motion 5.  The Future of Chelsea Pitch Owners
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board re-affirms its support of and commitment to the aims and importance of the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) in the continuation of Chelsea Football Club at its home, Stamford Bridge. With recent developments relating to the postponement of the development of a new ground on the site of Stamford Bridge, the ‘Board’ actively encourages all members of the ‘Trust’ to buy shares and become a Chelsea Pitch Owner, to safeguard its long-term future. It is mandated to continue to work with the CPO board, and other appropriate bodies, to ensure that the CPO remains relevant to future generations of supporters and to encourage the increasing accessibility of shares to supporters of all ages and backgrounds to expedite this.

Motion 6.  Safe Standing

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board congratulates the work of the Football Supporters Federation and other Supporters Trusts in the developments around the introduction of safe standing this year. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue to support and contribute to the united effort of fans groups to see the introduction of safe standing in the top three tiers of English football. With particular emphasis on Chelsea the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to press the Club to take a leading role in the support of safe standing and to introduce safe standing sections at Stamford Bridge as soon as is practicable, in line with national developments on the introduction of pilots for safe standing.

Motion 7. Atmosphere Concerns
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue to work with the club and other supporters groups looking to improve the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, as appropriate and to encourage the club to continue dialogue with supporters in respect of ‘singing sections’, flag and banner displays and other supporter driven initiatives to encourage atmosphere in the ground.

Motion 8. Ticket Pricing and Availability
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to pursue the issue of fair ticket pricing and ticket allocation for home and away, as well as matters including, but not limited to, rearranged fixtures, away fan travel and stewarding/policing, through whichever channels they deem appropriate. These channels include, but are not necessarily limited to, Chelsea FC; the Premier League; the Football Association; relevant television companies; other Supporters Trusts; the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct.

Motion 9.  Fixture Scheduling

Due to the increasing cost and inconvenience to match going supporters caused by the short notice of Premier League games rearranged to suit the television companies, more notice needs to be given for such rearrangements, published announcement deadlines need to be strictly adhered to and the potential for away supporters to use public transport should be a key consideration when compiling fixtures and anomalous fixtures (e.g. midweek trips to the other end of the country) need to be minimised or eradicated. 

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to work with the Football Supporters Federation, other supporter’s trusts and appropriate bodies, inside and outside football, to vigorously campaign for supporter impact to be a key criterion when Premier League fixture schedules and television picks, are drafted.

Motion 10. Membership of Safety Advisory Group
The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is a statutory council-led committee set up under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975. The Chelsea SAG has representation from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Metropolitan Police Service. British Transport Police, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, London Ambulance Service, St John’s Ambulance Service, the Sports Ground Safety Authority and Chelsea FC. It meets twice a year to discuss relevant issues with regard to Chelsea Football Club. After representations to the local council in late 2015, the Chelsea Supporters Trust now have the opportunity to review the SAG agenda, submit items for discussion and review the meeting minutes. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board believe, while this is progress, there is no valid reason whatsoever why full membership should not be granted and are mandated to push for this.

The Chelsea FC SAG Terms of Reference can be downloaded here

Motion 11.  Ticket Touting
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to use its involvement with the relevant authorities with a view to reducing the activities of ticket touts in the Fulham Broadway area before Chelsea home games and to participate in campaigns designed to achieve this. It is also mandated to work with organisations represented on the SAG to assist in educating potentially vulnerable groups in the perils of purchasing tickets in this way, or through using unofficial on-line ticketing organisations.

Motion 12. Stakeholder Engagement
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board has made some progress since its inception in terms of building relationships with relevant stakeholders at a local and national level. The board is mandated to build on this work and to develop relevant effective working relationships with Chelsea FC; Hammersmith and Fulham Council; Local Members of Parliament; Metropolitan Police Service; British Transport Police; Premier League; Football Association; relevant broadcasting organisations; the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and other bodies as deemed appropriate. Where deemed to be more effective (e.g. with the Premier League, FA, broadcasting organisations and DCMS), these relationships are to be built working in conjunction with other supporters trusts or other appropriate organisations.

Motion 13. Football in the Community
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to participate in and support appropriate activities designed to promote football, Chelsea FC and its supporters in the community local to Chelsea FC. This could, for example, take the form of charitable work or through supporting specific supporter based campaigns as they arise.

Motion 14. Club Heritage
Building on the Brompton Cemetery Chelsea Graves project, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to work with the club, club historian Rick Glanvill and other appropriate bodies/individuals to identify appropriate projects to reflect and enhance the club’s heritage.

Motion 15. Supporters Club Ticket Allocations
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board has had representations from supporters clubs in the UK and abroad with regard to the perceived unfairness of the ticket allocation by the club to different categories of supporters club. They are mandated to work with affiliates, and other supporters clubs.

Motion 16. Supporter Liaison Officer

In the UEFA Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) Handbook, the SLO role includes the following responsibilities: being a bridge between the fans and the club; informing supporters of club decisions and communicating the fans’ point of view to the club; and building relations with fan groups and initiatives as well as with police and security.  At many Premier league and Football league clubs the role is independent and effective, seen as representing the supporter perspective in dialogue with the club.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board firmly believes that a fully-independent SLO, with no conflict of interest, representing supporter interests and no other, is essential in properly fulfilling the UEFA remit and optimising effective supporter dialogue. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to continue dialogue with the club, and other appropriate bodies, to encourage Chelsea FC to look at making the SLO position independent in line with other Premier League clubs.

Motion 17. Supporter Safety

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Board is mandated to engage in dialogue with the club to ensure that the safety of our supporters traveling abroad is adequately considered and of an appropriate level. By doing so we hope to allow shared experiences from other supporters’ trusts from their trips to similar locations so that lessons can be learnt on issues such as travel arrangements, ticket collection, policing, stewarding, security, as well as access and egress of stadium.

FA Cup Final Ticket Pricing

Chelsea Supporters will be looking forward to the FA Cup Final on May 19th; a competition in which we have been very privileged to be at the conclusion of many times over the last 20 years.

However, while the team may have fought long and hard to get there, the supporters have had to dip their hands in their pockets repeatedly during an arduous season, arguably an even greater commitment.

Coupled with season ticket renewals in the middle of May to the tune of (on average) £800, the prospect of paying up to £145 for a FA Cup Final ticket is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

While we certainly do not hope that this is Chelsea’s last visit to a FA Cup Final for the foreseeable future, this must be the last time the FA gets away with such extortionate ticket prices.

In April, the FA met with Supporters’ Trusts from all four semi-finalists and agreed a number of concessions for the Final including reductions in prices for concessionary tickets; a commitment to review the pricing of tickets behind the goals and introducing an accessibly priced family area going forward and keeping future ticket prices in line with inflation.

However, we believe that this is too little, too late and does not go far enough.

The FA Cup Final remains a very special occasion for football supporters, as a chance to see their team triumph in the most historic club competition in football. While demand always exceeds supply; no supporter able to go should be priced out of the Final.

The FA’s specious argument that the pricing reflects the fact that it is one of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar and that every penny of profit is reinvested in to the grass roots of the game is subterfuge for blatantly profiteering from the very people whose interests they should serve: the loyal supporters who support the game week in, week out.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, together with the other Supporters’ Trusts, vows to keep the pressure on the FA by any means possible, until the FA agree to change their pricing policy and make ticket prices affordable to the long suffering and ordinary supporter.

We have been taken advantage of for long enough and it’s time for this to stop.

David Chidgey, Chairman, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

Chelsea FC invites fans to a Club organised trip to Auschwitz

Chelsea Supporters Trust logo

As part of the Club’s ongoing ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign, Chelsea FC are inviting fans groups to join the Club’s trip to Auschwitz on 5 June.

The trip is free of charge and open to all members of the Chelsea Supporters Trust. However, please note that due to the layout of the site there is limited accessibility at the Auschwitz Museum.

The Club would particularly welcome applications from fans aged 18-30 and all attendees would need their own valid travel insurance. The Club will also be extending the invitation to members of Chelsea staff.

Timings are to be confirmed however the trip will depart from Gatwick early on the morning of the 5th returning to Gatwick from Poland the same evening. The Club can arrange transport from Stamford Bridge upon request.

The trip is an important part of the Club’s work tackling Antisemitism. Space, however, is limited and in the event of oversubscription the Club will allocate spaces accordingly. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 15th May.

Should you be interested in participating in this trip please contact Simon Taylor at Chelsea (simon.taylor@chelseafc.com) and copy in membership@chelseasupporterstrust.com to confirm you CST membership, with your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number

Club to Host Say No To Antisemitism Event

 
As part of the Chelsea Football Club’s ongoing Say No To Antisemitism campaign, the Club is hosting a Holocaust survivor at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 27th March to meet supporters’ groups. The Club is delighted that Mala Tribich MBE has agreed to share her experiences, followed by a question and answer session.
 
The event will be held in the Champions Club from 6pm to 8pm and the Club would like to invite members of fan groups to the event. Food and a drink will be provided.
 
If you would like to attend, please email enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com with all requests for tickets no later than Thursday 22nd March at 5pm. Please include the name of any guests you are bringing as well as any dietary or accessibility requirements. Those who are allocated tickets will be contacted by representatives from the Club.
 
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Pat Nevin Q&A

Full recording of the Pat Nevin Q&A at the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust SGM held in October…

After the recent Chelsea Supporters’ Trust SGM, we were delighted at have former Chelsea player, Pat Nevin as our special guest.

Pat Nevin is one of Chelsea’s most loved former players and graced the Stamford Bridge pitch with his style and flair in the 1980’s. 

Pat is now a respected and insightful football pundit working predominantly with BBC Radio 5 Live and many Chelsea supporters will have read his erudite blogs in ChelseaFC.com.

Pat talked about his career with Chelsea and gave us his thoughts on the current Chelsea side, modern football and working in the media.

The full Q&A can be heard here:

JACK WHITLEY MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED

On Saturday 30 September a short service will take place to mark the placing of a memorial stone on the grave of Jack Whitley at Brompton Cemetery. The grave for Whitley, who died in 1955, was previously unmarked and funding for the stone was raised by a crowdfunding campaign organised by the Chelsea Supporters Trust.

Before the unveiling ceremony, there will be a guided tour of Chelsea related graves at 11.00 am held by  Chelsea Historian Rick Glanvill.  If you want to go on the tour meet at the North Entrance to the Cemetery (nearest to West Brompton tube).

The ceremony to unveil the memorial and inscription will be held at at 12.00 pm at the grave. Everyone is welcome to attend both the tour and ceremony.

Jack Whitley’s grave can be found at the north-east corner of Brompton Cemetery and is a 5 minute walk from West Brompton station. The  74 and 430 bus’ stop just outside of the cemetery entrance.

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of Chelsea supporters – and those of other clubs, including Everton and Manchester United –  the target of £5,500 was raised within weeks.

Descendants of Jack were traced and several family members will be present at the service, as well as the match later that day against Manchester City, the special guests of Chelsea FC.

For almost half of his life Jack was a wonderful servant of Chelsea FC. He signed as a goalkeeper from Lincoln in 1907 and kept a clean sheet on his debut against Newcastle United 110 years ago this month – the new club’s first win in the top flight.

After retiring as a player in 1914 he became “Mr Chelsea”: the first team trainer, responsible for all areas of coaching and fitness, with a big role in player liaison and transfer negotiations. He was also trainer of the England team on several occasions – the de facto manager of the national side.

After 32 years at the Bridge, new manager Willie Birrell decided to freshen up the back room staff and Jack was let go in 1939. He eventually moved to Hertfordshire, where he was to die in 1955 – a few months after his beloved Blues won the league championship for the first time. Having committed so much of his life to the Stamford Bridge club it was fitting that he should be buried just across the tracks from the stadium – a fact that only came to light recently as a result of new research by official Chelsea historian Rick Glanvill. 

Jack has earned a unique distinction in Chelsea history. Not only did he serve the club for more than three decades, but he is the only known footballer to be buried at Brompton Cemetery.

The Royal Parks green-space, adjacent to Stamford Bridge, is also the final resting place of former directors, supporters, a chairman, and a manager of the club. All the graves there are tended by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust’s cemetery clean-up group, run by Cliff Auger, and the Trust has overseen the process of placing a stone on the Whitley grave in conjunction with Glanvill.

Chelsea Supporters Trust Chairman, David Chidgey said: “We are proud to be associated with the campaign to provide a fitting memorial to Jack Whitley, a loyal servant of Chelsea FC. Furthermore we are very grateful for the generosity of Chelsea supporters who donated to the campaign so readily. It proves unquestionably that the bond between supporters and players remains as strong as ever.”

We would like to thank all those who kindly donated money towards the fund, whatever the amount, and express our gratitude to Milestone Memorials, Royal Parks, the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, and Chelsea FC, for helping to make this happen.

Click here for a breakdown of how the £5,500 was spent. 

Good Sense Prevails

Many Chelsea fans, and the wider football community, will have read about the case of an autistic lad, a passionate Chelsea supporter, who was recently caught in possession of two flares on his way to see Chelsea play at West Ham. More of the background to the story can be found here.

David Hislop QC, acting for the young lad, has asked us to pass on his thanks, as the next stage of the process continues….

Good Sense Prevails

The support from Chelsea fans all around the world in answer to a plea for assistance by an autistic Chelsea fan who faced a Football Banning Order was immense. Hundreds of emails, over two thousand tweets. Together with that support, the support of the Chelsea Supporters Trust and the Football Supporters Federation the court today was persuaded to conditionally discharge our young fan for six months and the Police and Crown Prosecution Service were further persuaded to withdraw their application for a Football Banning Order on the basis of a voluntary agreement to counselling from the Football Supporters Federation and an agreement to supervision at future matches. Our fan and family are overwhelmed by the support from the Chelsea supporters community. A special thank you.

The battle now continues to deal with the ban the CFC have imposed pending further investigation and representations. We hope that ‘good sense’ continues to prevail.

David Hislop QC

KTBFFH

A Fitting Memorial to Jack Whitley

Weʼre raising £5,500 to recognise former Chelsea FC player, Jack Whitley, with a memorial on his grave in Brompton Cemetery

Go to our Just Giving page to donate.  Read below to find out more about the background to the project or a short piece endorsing the project on the official Chelsea FC web site.

In summer 2015 a chance rereading of the Albert Sewell book ‘Chelsea Champions!’ led official Chelsea historian Rick Glanvill to discover that Whitley had specifically requested to be buried at Brompton Cemetery and, with the help of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, Jack’s grave was ‘unearthed’.

Sadly, at the moment it is a common grave with no stone to acknowledge Jack’s presence and his long association with the club just across the railway line.

As he is the only occupant of the grave, we aim to obtain the relevant permissions and place a ledger (or flat slab) with a suitable inscription on, repaying the commitment Jack showed to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea Football Club.

To do this we need to raise around £5,500, and that is where the great Chelsea family comes in.

The aim of this crowdfunding project is to raise enough money to erect a memorial marking the final resting place of one of Chelsea Football Club’s most loyal servants, Jack Whitley. He is the only Chelsea footballer we know to have been buried in the cemetery next door to Stamford Bridge.

Jack served the club loyally and with distinction from the age of 29 to 61, as first-choice goalkeeper (1907-1914), then as first team trainer (1914-1939).

He had died at Tring in Hertfordshire on 5 July 1955, a few months after the club won the league title for the first time in 1955, aged 77.

As well as chipping in what you can afford yourself, please help make every Chelsea supporter you know aware of the crowdfunding exercise. 

Thank you very much,

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

Go to our Just Giving page here to donate.

 

Jack Whitley – Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Jack’s grave located, and what is there to see at the moment?

Jack’s grave is just off the main path, east of the new Brompton Cemetery visitor centre, close to the north wall. We believe it could become a place of pilgrimage for match-going fans and the perfect place for supporters to begin the tour of the many Chelsea FC-related graves in this beautiful and historic cemetery. The grave is currently marked by nothing except grass, carefully tended by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Cemetery Clean-Up Group.

Are you actually entitled to erect a headstone on his grave?

The grave is a common one – not privately owned and paid for. Luckily Jack is the only occupant of this particular plot, so with the correct permissions obtained and an appropriate memorial selected we can go ahead and set a stone on Jack’s grave.

Why did the family not erect a headstone?

Footballers were nothing like as well paid in 1955 as they are now. It is unknown whether Jack’s widow Winifred was unable to afford the expense of a private burial plot and a marker for the burial, or Jack preferred a simple interment in a common grave.

We have attempted to research his family history and find close living relatives, but none has been confirmed to date. We would love to track down next of kin. We know that Jack married twice: firstly to Ellen ‘Nellie’ Edwards in 1897; secondly, in 1942, to Winifred Jessica Farrington. He had at least three children from the first marriage:

Nellie (1902-1983), Ruby (1915-2002) and another child who died young. Nellie married twice (first to tennis star Donald Butcher, then Chelsea footballer Albert Thain) but does not appear to have had children.

Ruby also married twice, to Sidney Upton, then Leslie Keeble, and likewise appears not to have had children. Perhaps someone reading this knew the Whitley family, or their descendants, and can shed more light? If so, we would love to hear from you: rick.glanvill@chelseafc.com.

How would marking Jack’s grave benefit supporters?

Happily, marking Jack’s grave will add a significant, easily accessible new reference point to the self-guided Chelsea FC Brompton Cemetery tour, which already includes many founding directors as well as former manager Bobby Campbell. Chelsea and Royal Parks co-produced a booklet ‘Final Whistle: The Chelsea Football Club Trail at Brompton Cemetery’ (http://www.chelseafc.com/the-club/history/style/brompton-cemetery-trail.html) in 2009, which will need updating.   

Why does Jack deserve a memorial?

Primarily because Jack Whitley is unique – the ONLY Chelsea footballer we know of buried at Brompton Cemetery. He also played a major role throughout the club’s early years.

Firstly, he played 138 times for the Pensioners between his debut on 23 September 1907 and his last match on 4 April 1914, keeping 39 clean sheets, including our first ever in the top flight, on his debut. He was the first goalkeeper to establish himself for longer than one season, and helped Chelsea win promotion to the First Division in 1912.

When his time between the posts came to an end in 1914 he became our first team trainer. Apart from responsibility for the players’ training regime and fitness, he attended to their injuries on match days. Generations of supporters fondly recalled the sight of Jack galloping onto the pitch to attend the fallen with a wet sponge, the tails of his tweed jacket flapping as he ran.

As a well-respected figure throughout the game he also played a part in negotiating some of the great transfers signings of the day, and was part sergeant-major, part father figure to the squad. He served Chelsea for 32 years, from 1907 to May 1939, when incoming manager Billy Birrell let all the coaching staff go.   

It is a rare and wonderful sign of his undimmed affection for the club that when he died in Hertfordshire, just a few months after the Pensioners’ longed-for first league championship win in 1955, he left specific instructions to his wife Winifred that he should be buried next to his beloved Stamford Bridge.

We believe an unmarked grave does not do justice to a man who had Chelsea in his heart for so many decades.

What kind of grave marker are you proposing?

There are regulations and conventions that must be adhered to. We have consulted various monumental masons who work closely with Brompton Cemetery and the most suitable memorial will be a subtle, ledger (flat slab) memorial.

We propose an inscription along the following lines:

 In affectionate memory of

JOHN ‘JACK’ WHITLEY
11 Apr 1908 – 5 Jul 1955

Loyal servant of Chelsea FC for 32 years
Goalkeeper and first team trainer
Who asked to be buried
next to his beloved Stamford Bridge.

Funded by Chelsea FC supporters 2017

How much do you need to raise?

There are three main expenses:

  • Administration fee to place 5’ by 2’ ledger on plot (Royal Parks).
  • 5’ by 2’ ledger, plus inscription and setting (local monumental mason).
  • 50-year lease on plot (Brompton Cemetery).

The total comes to £5,500.

Any donations above this will be given go towards the Cemetery Clean-Up Group, who tend all the Chelsea FC-related graves at Brompton and many elsewhere, and a new edition of the ‘Final Whistle’ cemetery tour booklet. 

Why doesn’t Chelsea FC just pay for it?

We have not asked them to. With support from the club, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has led the way in keeping the Chelsea FC-related graves free of overgrowth and in good condition.

We feel it would be nice to make this another fan-led project, and that this should be noted in the inscription. We know of no next of kin to Jack, so it falls to us, the great Chelsea family, to do right by him. Of course we welcome donations from anyone.

Go to our Just Giving page here to donate.

Football – 1936 / 1937 seasom – Chelsea Team Group
Back (left to right): George Mills, John O’Hare, Vic Woodley, Jack Whitley (trainer), George Barber, Jimmy Argue.
Front: Dickie Spence, Eric Oakton, Allan Craig (Captain), Mr. Joe Mears (Director/Chairman), Harold Miller, Sam Weaver, Harry Burgess.

 

The Jack Whitley timeline 1878-1955

–  11 Apr 1878 • John Whitley, known as Jack, is born at Seacombe, Cheshire, England

–  Aug 1907 • Signs for Chelsea from Leeds City aged 29, having played for the Pensioners’ secretary-manager David Calderhead at Lincoln City.

–  23 Sep 1907 • As goalkeeper, helps Chelsea to the club’s first ever top flight victory at home to Newcastle – and keeps a clean sheet on his debut.

–  1907-1914 • First-choice goalie and almost ever-present for first three seasons until the arrival of Jim Molyneux in 1910. Makes a total of 138 appearances for the Pensioners: 39 of them without conceding a goal.

–  1912 • Plays 26 of 38 games as the Londoners are promoted back to Division One.

–  1914 • Joins backroom staff as first team trainer aged 36, attending to the injured, assisting in transfer negotiations, and becoming father figure to generations of Stamford Bridge players.

–  1929 • Travels with rest of Chelsea team on the ground-breaking tour of Argentina, Brazil and Ururguay as trainer and emergency goalkeeper.

–  May 1939 • New manager Billy Birrell dispenses with his services as trainer, ending 32-year association with Chelsea FC.

–  5 Jul 1955 • Jack dies at Tring, Hertfordshire, aged 77, but has specifically requested to be interred next to his beloved Stamford Bridge.

–  11 Jul 1955 • Buried at the north end of Brompton Cemetery in a common, unmarked grave.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Statement – West Ham United v Chelsea 26th October 2016

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust note with disappointment the events surrounding the West Ham United v Chelsea EFL Cup tie on the evening of Wednesday 26th October 2016.

Clearly we would not wish to condone the behaviour of a minority of fans involved in unsavoury incidents.

Many Chelsea supporters, including young children, were subjected to coins and other missiles being thrown at them during the game and an intimidating and confusing walk back to various public transport hubs after the game.

In addition, procedures for the stewarding and segregation of opposing fans within the stadium appeared to be less than adequate, particularly given the nature and history of this fixture.

Issues of this nature were reasonably foreseeable given the number of well documented problems with stewarding, policing and the segregation of opposing supporters at the ‘London Stadium’ since West Ham took residency and it is clear that in failing to address this, those responsible for crowd management and safety continue to fail in providing a safe environment for football supporters.

We are currently collating an evidence based report from supporters caught up in any pre and post-match and segregation related incidents.  We will be meeting with representatives from Chelsea FC together with the Chelsea Supporters Group, and we will also meet with the Football Supporters Federation and the Metropolitan Police to determine how these issues might be resolved going forward.

In the meantime if you were at the game and wish to share your experiences with us, good or bad, then please email: enquiries@chelseasupporterstrust.com and we will include them in our report.

A PDF copy of the above statement can be downloaded here.

The continued search for Chelsea FC’s heritage

Our firmly established Brompton clean up group reconvened on 8 October 2016 during another international break.  The intrepid gardeners gathered at the Fulham Road gates of Brompton Cemetery and did the rounds of the final resting places of Messrs Janes, Kirby, Maltby and Mears, tidying up around the plots and leaving them clear and accessible for visitors and fans of Chelsea FC interested in learning about our heritage.

But before leaving Brompton Cemetery we headed to an area near to the main entrance where we found the unmarked common grave of former Chelsea player Jack Whitley, Here we worked on marking the plot for further work to be carried out at a future date.
Jack was very loyal to the club, he first played as a goalkeeper in 1907 then worked as a trainer, dedicating over 30 years to Chelsea FC. Jack specifically requested to be buried near his beloved Stamford Bridge when he died in 1955.

Satisfied our work was done at Brompton, three of us headed off to a small village church in Hampshire, invited to tend to the grave of Chelsea ‘godfather’ Frederick Parker, the man who came up with the initial idea to create Chelsea Football Club.

A satisfactory days work, an ongoing project to keep our heritage alive so that fans present and future can learn about our club’s roots.

Our grateful thanks to gardening stalwarts Steve, Adrian and Debs, Cliff for his dedication to the project and Rick Glanvill for the research and the inspiration.

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