A Moment in Time

Today marks 21 years since the passing of the club's vice-chairman Matthew Harding in 1996.

Just four days later we faced Tottenham, a game which is the focus of a feature looking back on memorable matches in our history through a selection of images...



It was an emotionally charged afternoon as the Blues welcomed our London rivals to SW6 for what was our first fixture since Harding's passing.

Both sets of supporters, as well as the players, paid their respects prior to kick off [picured below], and what followed was an entertaining contest, with the Blues producing a fitting display... 

Chelsea player-manager Ruud Gullit gave us the lead after 27 minutes, the Dutchman reacting quickest to drill a left-footed strike beyond Ian Walker after Mark Hughes had headed against the post from a Roberto Di Matteo cross. After a bright start, it was no more than we deserved.

Tottenham striker Chris Armstrong headed the visitors level four minutes before the break following a defensive mix-up in the Chelsea penalty area, but it proved to be a temporary reprieve.

Early on in the second half Dan Petrescu's trickery was too much for Sol Campbell, who brought the Romanian down inside the box, leaving the referee with no option but to point to the penalty spot.

David Lee opted for power over precision, and although Walker got a hand to the ball, he was unable to keep it out and the Blues were back in front.


Scott Minto went close to extending our lead with an effort which would have surely been a contender for the Goal of the Season award had it gone in.

His left-footed strike, hit on the run at the end of a brilliant team move, had Walker well beaten but crashed against the bar.

Much like the opening 45 minutes, the Blues were well on top during the second half and we wrapped the game up 10 minutes from time thanks to our Italian connection.

Gianluca Vialli was released down the right-hand side, his cross was a good one and Roberto Di Matteo did the rest, sliding in to guide his low strike past Walker at the near post.

It was a classy goal and a fitting way to round off a day which will live long in the memories of those supporters inside Stamford Bridge.