Make It Snappy

Our feature digging into the photo archives to showcase past Chelsea images picks out one marking the 40th anniversary today of the conclusion of a season dear to many supporters’ hearts.

The 1976/77 campaign was an unexpected delight for all but the most optimistic Blues fan. With the glory years still a recent memory but the club wracked by financial strife and down in Division Two, we had finished the previous season mid-table following relegation. However an almost entirely homegrown side with many young players, under the command of our former full-back Eddie McCreadie in his first manager’s job, restored our top-flight status and gave the support reason to believe again.

Promotion had been secured the week before away at Wolves but the photo above shows a fan’s-eye view of the final game, played at home on 14 May 1977 when the season’s success was celebrated in style at Stamford Bridge. Hull City were defeated 4-0 with Ian Britton, who was sadly lost to us last year, on target and that season’s top scorer Steve Finnieston bagging a hat-trick.

The photo is taken from the most westerly part of the old north terracing, close to where it met ‘the benches’ at the front of the previous West Stand, where for a little extra payment fans could enter to sit down.  

- Next weekend, on Saturday 20 May, the Under The Bridge venue at the stadium will host a special night to honour Eddie McCreadie 40 years on from that promotion season. Many of the 1976/77 squad will attend and there are a few tickets remaining.