Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge: Martin Tyler’s guide to the ground
At a time when football grounds have closed their doors, we’ve asked Martin Tyler to share some of his favourite facts and memories of the homes of the 20 Premier League clubs.
In part six of the series, Sky Sports’ Voice of Football takes us on a virtual visit to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge as he recalls an infamous clash with Tottenham which decided a title race.
Martin has also recorded some of his much-loved Tyler’s Teasers videos from his home. Hit play for a tricky question about Chelsea goalscorers in the Premier League.
Stamford Bridge: How I get there
By car or local train to Wimbledon and then the Underground’s District Line to Fulham Broadway, which is right by the stadium.
What’s it like to commentate there
Climbing the steps to the back of the East Stand is a great way of testing fitness levels. They tell me there is a lift but I have never found it and using it would feel like failure.
The gantry used to be on the West side. I commentated on Kanu’s famous hat-trick for Arsenal from that side, back in 1999. But the space for a legion of broadcasters these days is at the top of those testing stairs!
- Emirates Stadium
- Villa Park
- Vitality Stadium
- Amex Stadium
- Turf Moor
Did you know?
Chelsea were founded in 1905 and Stamford Bridge has been their only home. The ground is actually in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, along with Fulham FC and Queens Park Rangers.
My most notable memory of Stamford Bridge
I have to go for the “Battle of the Bridge” in May 2016.
You remember the scenario, I am sure. Tottenham Hotspur, the visitors, were chasing Leicester City for the Premier League title. Only a Spurs victory would extend the race, though they had never won at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era.
Yet with almost an hour gone they led 2-0. Gary Cahill got one back and then with seven minutes to go Eden Hazard equalised – the same Eden Hazard whose goal a year earlier against Crystal Palace had clinched the crown for Chelsea. Now he had done it again but this time to confirm Leicester as champions.
As Spurs lost their grip on the game they also lost the plot with nine of their players booked. It took all Mark Clattenberg’s lengthy experience as a referee to keep 22 players on the pitch.
The match ended with chaotic scenes around the dugouts and at the mouth of the tunnel and champagne being cracked open in the East Midlands.
It was a night that was both brilliant and brutal in equal high measure.
What I like about Stamford Bridge
I have seen great changes to Stamford Bridge down the years. It has decreased in size but grown in atmosphere from being an open bowl with a greyhound track between the fans and the pitch to being properly “squared off”, as a football stadium should be.
Fans from other parts of the country often decry London grounds as lacking in atmosphere, but that accusation cannot be levelled at the noise level from Chelsea fans on their own territory.
Also the matches we broadcast from Chelsea always seem particularly relevant. Invariably trophies are at stake. Roman Abramovich’s backing has elevated considerably the club’s competitive status.
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