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Soccer players never get tired of playing the game.

That’s what this page is all about.

Where your FIRST TOUCH SOCCER book ends, the FREE KICK page begins.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about Chelsea … and for me to talk about some of the great stories I couldn’t squeeze into the book.

Scroll down to get the latest news … and to learn more about English soccer. And check out some of the cool collectibles I have in my home.

If you have any questions about my work, please EMAIL me and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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John Terry
© Panini

 

What’s up with Chelsea F.C.

May 21, 2017: John Terry played his 717th and final game for Chelsea. He left the field in minute 26—the same number he wore for the club for more than 20 years.   

May 12, 2017: Chelsea defeated West Bromwich Albion F.C., 1–0 in the 36th match of the season. The victory guaranteed the club its fifth Premier League title, and sixth English championship overall.

     
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Team Spirit Extras

FA Cup
Photo by Carlos Yo)

 

Chelsea plays in England’s Premier League. The Premier League has 20 clubs. Each club plays 38 matches—one home and one away against each of the other 19 clubs. At the end of each season, the team with the best record is crowned champion. The teams with the worst record are moved down (or “relegated”) to the English Football League Championship, the second-highest level of play. These teams are replaced by the top-finishing clubs in the English Football League Championship, which are promoted to the Premier League.


Every team in England is invited to enter the Football Association Challenge Cup, or FA Cup. It is soccer’s oldest tournament. The FA Cup was first played during the 1871–72 season. The tournament is held all season long. The final is played in Wembley Stadium.

 

     
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Roy Bentley
© World Sports Magazine

 

Team Spirit Extras

Bobby Tambling
© Football Monthly

 

Team Spirit Extras

Frank Lampard
© Rafo d.o.o.

 

More treasures from the author’s collection!


Roy Bentley — Forward
1948–1956
Roy Bentley was club captain in the 1950s. In 1955, he led Chelsea to its first first-place finish. Bentley was one of the sport’s top center-forwards. He scored more than 100 goals for Chelsea.


Bobby Tambling — Forward
1959–1970
Bobby Tambling was Chelsea’s all-time scoring champ for 47 years, with 202 goals. His record was broken by Frank Lampard in 2013. Tambling scored the club’s only goal in the 1967 FA Cup final, which Chelsea lost, 2–1.


Peter Bonetti— Goalkeeper
1960–1975 & 1976–1979
Peter Bonetti played in 729 matches for Chelsea. He was the team’s Player of the Year in 1967 and starred in goal during the 1970 FA Cup and 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup. Fans called him “The Cat” because of his quick reflexes.


Ron Harris — Defender
1961–1980
No one played more games for Chelsea than Ron Harris. He was the star of the club’s defense and was known as one of the roughest players in soccer. Fans nicknamed Harris “Chopper.”


Gianfranco Zola— Forward
1996–2003
During the 1990s, many international stars joined English soccer clubs. Chelsea fans fell in love with Gianfranco Zola. He was the team’s Player of the Year in 1999 and 2003. Zola was a talented scorer and smooth all-around player. Zola scored many amazing goals on the way to Chelsea’s FA Cup victory in 1997.


Marcel Desailly — Defender
1998–2004
French star Marcel Desailly helped Chelsea win the FA Cup in 2000. He was the heart of the club’s defense and also set a fine example for young John Terry, who went on to be one of the all-time greats.


Frank Lampard— Midfielder
2001–2014
Frank Lampard scored 211 goals for Chelsea as a midfielder. He is the only player in the history of the Premier League to score more than 150 goals from that position. Lampard played 106 matches as a member of England’s national team, including three World Cups.

     
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Tore Andre Flo
© Panini

 

 

Did You Know?

• In 1928, Chelsea was one of the first two clubs to wear uniform numbers. Arsenal was the other.

• In 1971, Chelsea played Jeunesse Hautcharage F.C. in the Cup Winners’ Cup tournament. Hautcharage was Luxembourg’s unexpected “Cinderella” league champion. But the glass slipper didn’t fit. Chelsea won 13—0 and 8–0. The two-game total score of 21–0 is the most lopsided in the history of European soccer.

• In 1997, Chelsea played a match against Tromso I.L. in Norway. The field was located 100 miles above the Arctic Circle. A blizzard made the game almost impossible to play, and Chelsea lost 3–2.

• In 1999, Chelsea became the first English soccer club to field a starting lineup of 11 players who were born outside the country. Tore Andre Flo scored twice in a 2–1 victory over Southampton F.C.

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