Chelsea FC were founded in 1905 by Henry Gus Mears and made their debut in the Football League where they lost 1-0 away to Stockport County. Chelsea's first shirt colours were eton blue which switched to royal blue in 1920. The club were very unsuccessful in their early days which is the catalyst for the various jokes from opposition supporters about Chelsea having no history. The teams first honour came 50 years after their formation in with the Division 1 League title in 1955.
The late 60’s and 70’s saw Chelsea’s heyday in the 20th century culminating with the club’s first ever FA Cup success after beating Leeds United 2-1 in a replay of the final. Nevertheless, the 1980’s saw the team slowly decline and they ended up spending several seasons in division 2 before regaining their division 1 status in 1989. However, the latter part of the 1990’s saw a much more successful and groundbreaking period for the club. The arrival of Ruud Gullit as manager in 1996 saw the dutchman bring in the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Frank Leboeuf and Roberto Di Matteo to bolster the squad. Chelsea managed to win the FA Cup for the second time in their history during Gullit’s first season with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough which saw Di Matteo score what at the time was the fastest ever goal in an FA Cup final. This triumph is quite often remembered for the amazing 4-2 victory over Liverpool which saw Chelsea come back from 2-0 down at half time.
After Gullit was surprisingly sacked, fans favourite Gianluca Vialli took charge and led the club to the League Cup with another 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough and a Cup Winners Cup after beating Stuttgart 1-0 in the final. After several seasons of good league finishes which also saw another FA Cup triumph in 2000 over Aston Villa, the club’s financial position was beginning to look increasingly dire. In 2002/03, Claudio Ranieri led Chelsea into a final day encounter against Liverpool where a 2-1 victory for the blues saw them gain Champions League football which perhaps saved the club from financial meltdown.