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In Memory of Matthew Harding


This Sunday 22nd October is the 10th anniversary of the death of Matthew Harding, Chelsea's Vice-Chairman.

Matthew died in a helicopter crash shortly after take-off whilst travelling back to London after watching Chelsea lose to Bolton Wanderers in a League Cup match.

In addition to losing his own life that terrible night, four others died including the pilot.

Matthew Harding first started to support Chelsea in 1962. He met his wife Ruth while following his passion and his passion never ever waned even though he started his working life as a tea-boy in a reinsurance firm and then eventually owning the company that he started work for.

Matthew Harding was one of the 'boys,' albeit a very rich boy he couldn't face or stand the protocol of the director box and had to learn the etiquette in his own quiet way. At every Chelsea home game he was always in The Imperial Arms Public House, a stone's throw from Stamford Bridge, drinking Guinness, his favourite drink.

The North Stand end of the ground was re-named the Matthew Harding Stand and Tottenham were the first visitors to Stamford Bridge after that dreadful, dreadful accident. The result that day saw Chelsea win 3-1, not that any result mattered.

That day was the day that thousands of Chelsea supporters were able to pay their respects to a Chelsea fan (A REAL CHELSEA FAN) and a fan who put his money where his mouth was.

At the time of his death, Matthew had invested a total of £26.5m into Chelsea Football Club and to this day his ex-wife Ruth is a season ticket holder in the Matthew Harding Upper Tier.

It is such a shame a tragic accident that killed Matthew denied him the pleasure of seeing Chelsea win the Premiership not once, but twice.



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