Despite the hype for Chelsea fans tommorow is about remembering Matthew Harding tributes to him and not the return of Jose Mourinho.

Who Is Matthew Harding

Twenty years ago today a man that proved that Chelsea legends can be made off the pitch as well as on it died in a helicopter crash.

To the millions of Chelsea fans around the globe that started following the club after his death, the name Matthew Harding may only be known for the stand that bears his name.

A stand where his family still have season tickets and several family members have been invited to the Manchester United game as guests of the club to mark the anniversary of his death.

However, for those old enough to remember him, he will always be the iconic fan that used his fortune to help support his passion. He fought for his vision of what the club needed to succeed and had pitched battles with then chairman Ken Bates.

How Matthew Harding Changed Chelsea

He died on the way back from watching Chelsea lose in the League Cup to Bolton and the stand that he helped finance was named in his honour. Just months later Chelsea would go on to win the FA Cup for the first time in a quarter of a century.

His approach to football and the money he invested helped change the way that Chelsea Football Club operated and laid the foundations that led us to where we are today.

If there had been no Matthew Harding at Chelsea there would have been no FA Cup in 1997, no Champions League football and ultimately no Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea Mark The Anniversary

The club is using tickets for this afternoon’s fixture and the  matchday programme to show a visual tribute. The one-off retro cover takes its inspiration from the programme issued for the first match after Harding’s death, a 3-1 win over Spurs.

Fans will also be unveiling a banner in his honour.

 

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