Fire up the tandem, clean your teeth, put on the cycle helmet — we are heading to Stamford Bridge!
Last mile of the journey had to be by cab. Present at the ready, including a book about how Richard III’s reburial sparked Leicester’s success on the pitch
Meeting our new friends. Charlotte and her father Colin Hood. Lunch at the Bluebird, down the end of the Kings Road. A chance for me and Martha to quiz two Leicester fans about their incredible team — find out how they did it — and congratulate them
The only problem — do we sit outside? The day was such a scorcher. We held our nerve, just like Leicester, and stayed at the table in the sun. Charlotte, 8, and Martha, 12, seemed to get on really well — they kept going off to look in clothes shops
Colin catches up with his wife Diane on Facetime. It was Diane who put the Hoods’ name into the draw after I said I’d love to celebrate the Premiership win with a Foxes dad & daughter who go to the footie just like me and Martha. Colin and Charlotte say it’s team spirit and great footballers that clinched it for LCFC — and Colin had a lot of praise for the last manager, Nigel Pearson, who put the players in place and got them out of the relegation zone last season
Two fashionistas on their way down the Kings Road. I explained how, in its far more grubby days in the 70s, it was the headquarters of punk. Elvis Costello’s ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea’ was a repudiation of the way punk seemed to be like a clique centred here (ok, it’s true, I can bring music into anything)
Nearly there. Colin is a stonemason whose first career was as a turf expert, with a special focus on sports pitches: so he explained a lot of fascinating things about the progress we’ve made in laying good turf. Ignore the pub name
We’re close to the Chelsea turf now, and Colin’s friends have arrived with the tickets they need for the game. This is a relief: he will see the game!
The most eccentric Leicester fans are the biggest stars. Everyone wants to say well done. A Leicester shirt is now an invitation to be spoken to and congratulated. That’s what 5,000-to-one odds do for you
I have never seen a welcome like this for an away team in 20 years of going to the Bridge! The start of the game. Chelsea’s players form a receiving line to congratulate the Foxes. Claudio Ranieri (who was our manager and a fine, interesting, gentle guy) gets a massive roar
He used to stand in the rectangle on the left. Now he’s an away manager he is in the space on the right. But it hardly matters. I took this from my seat, delighted to see Ranieri there
Leicester pull one back — a scorcher from Drinkwater. This is actually good because he’s a player that Colin, Charlotte, Martha and I spoke about over lunch. Martha was convinced Drinkwater was a made-up name. I also enjoyed seeing Mahrez play: very light and lithe for a striker, but with a delicate touch
All in all it’s been an incredible day — heart-warming that Chelsea fans felt so good about Leicester’s league victory. We have our own rebuilding job to do now! Martha and I had a great time speaking to Colin and Charlotte, and a memorable lunch in the sunshine … and yes, we have promised to support Leicester in the Champions League next season. For as long as our own team aren’t present!
Congratulations to all Foxes fans