We went along to the new kit signing yesterday at the Adidas store in Oxford Street.
As I had anticipated due to school summer holidays it was heaving!! Graeme and I are quite experienced in this kind of thing so had got to the store early which was just as well as the queue outside had already started around 10.30am with the players not expected until 3pm. Vouchers were handed out to the first 150 in the line as guaranteed entry into the signing and I guessed most of those were gone by the latest midday, so if you had arrived any later you were likely to be disappointed.
The premiership trophy was inside which was drawing a good bit of attention for free photo shoots, so a good lot of Chelsea fans were pouring in and out while we waited.
It was a nice surprise to find from the staff in the Adidas store that the players would be signing pretty much anything that you had brought along, ie. home and away kit, books, flags and balls, so there was no need to have to purchase the new away strip it you didn’t want to. This was really refreshing as in the past it has sometimes been a big promotional “new kit or nothing” event. So for example if you had taken a couple of youngsters along it cost a fortune in decking them out to get signatures done on shirts that once signed you were never likely to let them wear.
The crowds outside Adidas were growing huge as it got near the time for the Chelsea boys to arrive and there was a bit of agitation when they weren’t on time. “Hey ho”, they are coming from a training session in Cobham and it’s hardly their fault it they get stuck in London traffic. Graeme and I have learnt you just need to sit these things out and patience will always be rewarded.
We got led into the store just ahead of them all, as we had suspected they had been snuck in somewhere around the back. Anelka, Kalou, Daniel S, Kakuta and bonus for me “H”!! Malouda and Ivanovic had been due to attend but as they weren’t there we could only assume they might have picked up niggles in training and stopped behind for treatment. Again this kind of thing happens and you have to be prepared for it. To be honest it never bothers me or Graeme as we are always happy to meet with any of the boys.
We duly made our way along the line and it was very relaxed, there was no rushing you through from the staff as we have sometimes found which meant time to congratulate the players on recent performances and goals scored. I handed out a couple of letters from the kids at school to Salomon and Nico and they looked genuinely touched and promised to keep an eye out for them on the West Wall next Saturday. Graeme was particularly impressed with Daniel and how mature he came across.
So away we came, Graeme with 4 new sigs on his home kit and me with (yes I did succumb) the new fluorescent shirt. Oh and our new Kent Blues “Champions” flag with 5 neat signatures. Nice to have got that one started with some names for the children to see when we get back to school next week.
Gill and Graeme – CSG and Kent Blues.