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Over Land and Sea: Chelsea FC in the Great War

498 pages7 hours


Chelsea Football Club had only been in existence for nine years when war was declared in 1914, but it already formed a vibrant new part of the community. At home they participated in their first FA Cup Final (dubbed the "Khaki FA Cup Final") in 1915, held recruitment drives at matches, debated over whether the league should continue in a time of war, and proudly published letters sent back to the club from the front. At the onset, 50 soccer balls were sent to fans who were regulars in the forces, or men who had scrambled to enlist. More fans followed them and tried to form companies of Chelsea fans in their battalions. Players joined up and left, most of them for the Footballers Battalion. Exchanging one game for another, they put aside their club differences and fought side by side with men from rival teams.

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