Three top Chelsea stars lit up the centre of Kingston last Wednesday as they turned out for the grand opening of the new Chelsea FC store.
The players were also there to sign copies of a new book, ‘Play Like Chelsea FC’, and were happy to take the time to speak to supporters and pose for photographs.
Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and John Terry, all previous Fifa World Player of the Year nominees, were the stars of the show. However, their identities were kept secret until the last minute, so fans were delighted to see three of the biggest names in world football.
Crowds gathered outside the store on Clarence Street from around 10am, despite the players not being due to arrive until 2.30pm. The event was also scheduled for half-term week, giving schoolchildren the chance to meet their heroes.
Fifteen-year-old Katie Pugh was one of the first in line.
“I’m in love with John Terry, and he just signed my book, I can’t breathe, words can’t describe how happy I am,” she said.
“It’s really good there’s a store in Kingston. I live near here so I don’t need to go to the store at Stamford Bridge every time I need to get something.”
The store, which opened for business on Monday 25 October, sells a wide variety of merchandise as well as match tickets and tours of Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea FC Museum.
The Premier League and FA Cup Trophies were also on display there on Saturday. In proportion to its population, Kingston has one of the largest numbers of Chelsea fans in the UK and the football club are clearly keen to tap into this market.