SWXX Special Report. By guest editor Salina Christmas
On 20 May 2012, thousands of Chelsea football fans lined up New King’s Road, which stretches from Chelsea to Fulham, to give Chelsea Football Club, the UEFA Champions League winner, a heroes’ welcome. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich at the latter’s home stadium in Munich on Saturday, 19 May 2012, through a penalty shoot-out.
The Chelsea Football team on the victory parade bus, greeted by fans opposite Parson’s Green, on New King’s Road. Photo: © Salina Christmas
This victory meant a lot to the club and its supporters, not least because the former’s previous double win of the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Footballer Didier Drogba, who sealed the victory for Chelsea with his penalty kick, was warmly cheered by the fans. Photo: © Salina Christmas
The sought-after UEFA Champions League cup is, according to El Pais photojournalist David Salas whom we accompanied at the parade, “a trophy of a very elite football competition. It is considered the creme de la creme of football, possibly bigger than the World Cup. Europe has the strongest clubs with a high level of sportsmanship, compared with other regions. Winning the UEFA Champions League cup is a significant achievement for Chelsea.”
Local residents from Fulham, who normally kept to themselves during home matches, went out to join the celebration, proud of the club’s first UEFA win in its 107-year old history.
Two fathers from Fulham, with their toddlers, went out to celebrate the homecoming parade. It is common to see fathers in the area spending time with their children outdoors at the weekend. In the background, Chelsea supporters rushing towards New King’s Road to see the victory parade bus. Photo: © Salina Christmas
Fans cheered the victory parade bus from above the Aragon pub on New King’s Road, opposite Parson’s Green. Photo: © Salina Christmas
A married couple, long-time supporter of Chelsea, celebrated the auspicious day together. Photo: © Salina Christmas
A little girl waited for the bus to arrive. Photo: © Salina Christmas
The tree at Eel Brook Common provided a great vantage point for some supporters. Photo: © Salina Christmas
A family celebration. Photo: © Salina Christmas
The two friends would not miss this event for the world. Photo: © Salina Christmas
A chef from one of the local Asian restaurants on New King’s Road took a break to catch a glimpse of his local football team. Photo: © Salina Christmas