Make It Snappy

In the latest instalment of our feature digging into the archives to pick an image to air once again, we've opted to choose two pictures of Stamford Bridge which were taken on the same day in order to illustrate how our stadium used to look both empty and full.

Both shots were taken on 24 April, 1920, when the Bridge hosted the FA Cup final between Aston Villa and Huddersfield Town.

The first of the two images shows the stadium before any supporters had arrrived, while the second catches some late arrivals making their way up the stairs at the Shed End in order to take their place at the back of a packed stand.

There are also advertisements which catch the eye, particularly the ones for Military Pickle on the left-hand side of the stairs which lead into the Shed, and for Bovril above the turnstiles. 

Robert Hayward, founder of the company which produced the pickle, came from Lambeth and his business was established in 1869. By 1905, the year Chelsea Football Club was formed, 200,000 bottles of Hayward's Military Pickle were sold in London and by 1911, it was the highest selling pickle in Britain.

Don't be confused by the advertisements for the famous hot drink Bovril, however. The entrance shown is inside the main gates at Stamford Bridge whereas what has come to be known as the Bovril Gate entrance is actually located further along Fulham Road.

Directly above the advert for Bovril, supporters are advised to 'Beware of Pickpockets,' which was perhaps quite literally a sign of the times in 1920.

Meanwhile, the 'Chelsea Football Club' signage which adorns the side of the old East Stand in the above images has been reincarnated and can be seen today inside the stadium, on the Shed End where it wraps around to meet the West Stand (image below).

Incidentally, the game, which Aston Villa won 1-0, was the first of three consecutive FA Cup finals to be held at Stamford Bridge.