Few, if any, football clubs are a more natural fit for the celebrity than the Boys in Blue from west London. Taking up residence close to the prosperous Kings Road area on the north bank of the Thames, invariably rolling in money – particularly in the modern era – and assemblers of one of the most expensive squads in the history of the game, it is no surprise that Chelsea FC have attracted more than their fair share of support from the well-heeled and mega-famous over the years – Raquel Welch and Steve McQueen being amongst the star names of yesteryear associated with the club.
Of course, the fact that the side has experienced consistent success (6 league titles, 8 FA Cups, 2 Champions Leagues) over the years doesn’t hurt either. Not that we would ever accuse a celebrity of attempting to bask in the limelight of reflected glory. Even bearing the prosperous image and success in mind, the list of celebrities who have either pledged allegiance to the Blues, regularly attended matches, or been sighted sporting a Chelsea cap in the park is extensive.
Wearing a hat whilst out for a stroll is one thing (how many fans would the New York Yankees have if cap-wearing was a legitimate criteria) but attending games during the good times and the bad is another. Having sifted through the Yellow Pages of supposed die-hard famous Blues, skimming over the names of luminaries such as Vidal Sassoon, Madonna, Busta Rhymes, and Lil Wayne, we now present 10 Famous Chelsea fans, who have done a little more than throw the shirt on for a few photos.
Lord Richard Attenborough
We are closing in on 10 years since Richard Attenborough departed this earth, but his sheer dedication to the Stamford Bridge cause makes it impossible to leave him off this list. Brother to natural historian, David, Richard made his name in the movies, counting Gandhi, Chaplin, and Shadowlands amongst his directing credits, in addition to his memorable role in Jurassic Park as the inspired doctor who started it all. First attending a game in his youth, Richard served as a director at the club between 1969 and 1982 before being awarded the honour of Life President in 2008.
Lord Sebastian Coe
Two entries into our list, and we are already onto our second Lord. Those Blues certainly have fans in high places! Sebastian Newbold Coe on his birth certificate, Seb Coe to athletics fans during his 1980s era of domination, Lord Coe is now a life peer of the Conservative party. We shouldn’t hold that against him though, and, to his credit, he played an instrumental role in bringing the 2012 Olympic Games to British soil. A winner of four Olympic medals (two gold and two silver) and a former 800m world record holder, Coe is a lifelong Blues fan and a regular Stamford Bridge attendee.
How might a former President of the United States of America end up supporting a football club in London you might well ask? A perfectly reasonable question, but not only is Clinton a Blues fan, he has also attended a decent number of games. Clinton’s presence in the Stamford Bridge stands came before his time in charge of the most powerful nation in the world, with the Arkansas native reportedly developing a soft spot for Chelsea during his time at Oxford University in the late 1960s. How strong that love was, or whether it lingers, remains unclear, but he has at least been to a game and famous names don’t come too much bigger.
Whether as lovable rogue Alfie, crook Charlie Croker in the Italian Job, Alfred in the Dark Knight incarnation of Batman, or countless other roles, Michael Caine’s unmistakable delivery has been lighting up the silver screen for decades. When not keeping us all entertained and inspiring endless “My name is…” imitations, the octogenarian actor can regularly be sighted cheering on his beloved Blues, either in the stands or on his “big high-def” TV as he famously told an Australian newspaper.
A key player in the golden era of British music in the 1990s, Blur frontman Damon Albarn proved to be no one-trick pony by going on to even greater success with his Gorillaz creation. When not penning chart-topping tunes, Albarn can be found amongst the Stamford Bridge crowd, where he has held a season ticket since 1991 – a period which encompasses the releases of Girls and Boys, Parklife, Song Two, Clint Eastwood and more.
Born in Yorkshire, Jeremy Clarkson ignored the local sides to grow up as, in his own words, “Doncaster’s Only Chelsea supporter”. Putting up with the predictable abuse which came his way, Clarkson’s love of the west London club has remained with him throughout his time as host of Top Gear, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Grand Tour. These days, when not careering around in the latest vehicle or running his Farm Restaurant, Clarkson and his son can often be spotted at Chelsea home games.
Sir Steve Redgrave
A Gold medallist at every Olympic Games between 1984 and 2000 and winner of nine Rowing World Championship titles, Sir Steve Redgrave needs little introduction to British sports fans. A winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2000 and the Lifetime Achievement honour in 2011, the Buckinghamshire native is one of the all-time great British sporting legends. Legendary status or not, Steve is no stranger to mixing it with the locals in the stands at Stamford Bridge, having been a staunch Blues supporter since his youth.
Moving back across the pond, one of Hollywood’s funniest men has recently developed a love of all things Chelsea-related. The genius behind Anchorman is said to have first been bitten by the Blues bug when the club toured the US in 2012. Far from being a passing fancy, Ferrell continues to voice his support for the club more than 10 years on and has attended both Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea training ground.
Or Suggs to you and me. The Madness lead singer has decent claims to be the most hardcore Chelsea supporter on our list. A regular at Chelsea fixtures, both home and away, during the 1970s, Suggs and co would often sit with the home fans at Chelsea away games in order to enjoy the thrill presented by the threat of violence. Seemingly supporting his side in a more conventional manner these days, the Our House crooner remains a died-in-the-wool Blue.
Whether former Prime Minister John Major has ever burst into a rendition of “We Are the Famous C-F-C” whilst surrounded by Millwall fans seems unlikely. However, there are far more sensible ways to back your side than those employed by Suggs. Sports-mad Major – who also counts cricket and gymnastics amongst his passions – has been a keen supporter of the Blues since long before the Abramovich glory days and continues to attend fixtures with his Chelsea-supporting son, James.