APRIL 2006 – CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING MONTH

Chelsea would win their first Championship title in 50 years by the end of April, and anticipation was growing around Stamford Bridge as we closed in on the title. Immediately in focus was a trip to Southampton’s St. Mary’s stadium where a win would see us within 12 points of victory and put our opponents in deeper relegation trouble. Geremi and Paulo Ferriera were battling to overcome injuries but the mood was positive as a momentous month began.

JIMMY IN TROUBLE

1 April 2004’s news concerned Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink, who was cleared by the FA from a charge of violent conduct arising out of the FA Cup victory over non-league Scarborough. Jimmy was in his final season at Stamford Bridge before his transfer to Middlesbrough. Purchased for a then club record £15,000,000 from Athletico Madrid, Jerrel (“Jimmy” was actually a nickname given to him by the chairman of one of his former clubs, Portugal’s Campomaiorense to put reporters off the scent of a transfer, the name being chosen for no discernable reason) spent 4 seasons at Chelsea and scored 87 goals in 176 starts and 21 substitute appearances.

CARLO THE PENALTY KING

In our last game played on this day, Carlo Cudicini’s third penalty save of the season ensured a goalless draw against Ipswich at Portman Road in 2002. Carlo dived to his right to palm Marcus Bent’s first half spot kick around the post for his third penalty save of that season, after John Terry’s clumsy tackle had seen Alun Armstrong tumbling in the box. A close range header from Mario Stanic, which flashed narrowly wide was as good as it got for Chelsea in a season where we were to finish in 6th position and secure a UEFA cup place.

Opponents Ipswich ended the season on 36 points, four below Sunderland and Bolton and relegated back to Division One.

LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD

In 2000, Jon Harley’s goal gave us a 1-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road.

UNSTOPPABLE DIXON

Kerry Dixon scores 4 against Barnsley as the Blues progress towards the Division Two Championship continues unabated. Gordon Durie adds the other goal in a 5-3 win at the Bridge in 1989.

A STEP TOWARDS PROMOTION

Goals from Tambling (2) and Blunstone secure a 3-1 win in front of 21,211 fans at home to Luton on the way to another promotion from Division Two in 1963

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