October 22 fell on a Tuesday in 1996. Vice-chairman Matthew Harding and a few of his friends were traveling back to London from Bolton via helicopter, having just watched Harding's beloved Chelsea Football Club lose 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the League Cup (then known as the Coca-Cola Cup).
Before take-off, Harding had talked with Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson. The "eternal enthusiast" had already put the disappointment of the night behind him and set a new goal of winning the FA Cup. "Oh dear, we've lost; well, we've now got to win the FA Cup" recounts Hutchinson, editing Harding's words in the process for a bit of "colorful" language. It would be the last time the two of them would talk.
Hutchinson, who served as director from 1989 to 2002 is just one of the interviewees in Chelsea's emotional tribute video to Matthew Harding. Glenn Hoddle and John Dempsey also feature, as do three of Matthew's now grown kids, all of whom remain season ticket holders. Two of their kids will serve as mascots for Sunday's match in fact, a fourth generation of Hardings growing up as Chelsea fans.
Oh, and Chelsea did indeed win the FA Cup later that season, beating Middlesbrough 2-0, and kick-starting the modern era of sustained success at Chelsea Football Club.