How do I get there?
Our final hike of the season is a relatively straight-forward one. Leave the sunlit streets of the wonderful city of Sunderland and hit the A1 (M) until junction 35 near Doncaster to join the M1. Once you reach the glorious stretch of the M25 take junction 15 for the M4 heading into London passing the Hammersmith flyover. Follow the signs for Earls Court then take a right onto Fulham Road and you’ll see the ground.
Parking is kind of dog-eat-dog so give yourself enough time as you could be driving around the fashionable streets of Knightsbridge looking for a space that won’t cost your week’s wages.
If, however, you are a Sunderland-supporting big dawg you will naturally be taking the train. The nearest Underground station is Fulham Broadway. From Kings Cross St. Pancras take the Piccadilly line heading for Heathrow Terminal 5 and change at Earl’s Court for the District line to Wimbledon. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
Where can I get the sesh started?
As it’s our final Premier League game for some time it would only be right to go out in style - and in a haze of liquor [*EDITORIAL NOTE* Roker Report promotes responsible boozing]. Drinking around Stamford Bridge is a bit of a non-starter since a lot of the pubs still think it’s the 1980s and probably won’t let you in.
While the area around Fulham Broadway is a favourite for away fans, it too can be a bit iffy when it comes to admitting large numbers of our Sunderland brethren. My advice would be to take the Tube a couple of stops along to Putney Bridge. Here you’ll find The Rocket, one of the most charming Wetherspoons, overlooking the River Thames.
The Putney area is a veritable haven for decent pubs with The Star and Garter providing yet more delightful river views while the The Half Moon is a belting choice for all you rock and rollers. The pub has been host for the likes of The Who, U2 and The Rolling Stones down the years and may even take your mind off the ensuing walloping on the pitch.
Another watering hole for many away fans is The Eight Bells directly opposite Putney Bridge Underground station, an excellent place for a swift pit stop en route to the ground.
I’m staying owa - is there owt to do?
Since our final destruction takes place on a Sunday, this game is simply crying out for a weekend session and, boy, is there a show going on the night before. If you happen to be in London on Saturday evening get yourself down to WMS Live at SAFCSA London 50th Anniversary. Our good pals at Wise Men Say will be rocking the house at The Knights Templar pub in Chancery Lane to celebrate the SAFCSA London Branch’s 50th birthday.
There is already a stellar line-up including former Sunderland goalkeeper turned journalist supremo David Preece, Sunderland Echo’s Phil Smith and Football Manager obsessive, journalist and man-with-the-most-pleasant-sounding-voice-this-side-of-Essex Iain Macintosh. Tickets are available through the branch for just £5 for non-members, there’s even scran being laid on. Can’t say fairer than that.
If you want something that doesn’t involve listening about the travails of Sunderland AFC then head down to the London Palladium to scream the words of Zombie at The Cranberries. Maybe spit on some grown men at UK Subs at the 100 Club or scratch your head and say “oh yeah, they were a thing” at The Ordinary Boys at The Garage.
Or go and see a museum, I dunno, it’s London there’s loads of things there.
What is the ground like?
Once resembling some kind of weird speedway track, then they had electric fences (oh, Ken Bates you utter scamp), then it was dead trendy, now it’s starting to show its age - Stamford Bridge has had quite the history (unlike the club, lol).
Cramming in just over 40,000 supporters it has been somewhat of a mystery that Chelsea haven’t upsticks earlier but this year plans were approved to rebuild this grand old stadium. This could potentially be our last ever visit to the current incarnation of the Bridge before it is transformed into a, frankly, incredible looking 60,000+ arena.
We’re housed in the upper and lower tiers of one side of the Shed End with around 1,600 tickets already snapped up by our merry band of total idiots. The view from the upper tier is pretty decent with the added bonus that you can get a beer up there, unlike the lower tier.
Anyway, try and enjoy it everyone. This season has been horrendous so hats off to every single one of you that have travelled away to watch our complete shower over the past ten months. You are the real heroes.