The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, in full co-operation with Chelsea Football Club, staged their latest Big Sleep Out on Saturday.
With nearly 100 supporters signed up, they arrived with sleeping bags, pillows and cardboard boxes to settle down in the concourse of the East Stand at Stamford Bridge for a night of rest, all to raise money for the Stoll Foundation, who are based next door to our stadium and carry out vital work enabling vulnerable and disabled veterans to lead fulfilling, independent lives.
Mark Robinson, Chelsea’s development squad coach, and Dion Rankine, Dylan Williams, Ethan Wady and Alfie Gilchrist from his Academy team made a special appearance, speaking with supporters and hearing first-hand about the experiences of veteran and Stoll resident Terry Cyrille, who became homeless in 2019 after 15 months in hospital with a rare form of blood cancer. Stoll helped him to find housing, where he still lives today.
There were messages from former players, including Colin Pates, John Bumstead, Pat Nevin and Kerry Dixon, and everyone who attended was entered into a raffle draw to win a fully signed men’s squad shirt from this season! The development squad also kindly provided vouchers for all sleep out attendees to come along to their upcoming Under-23s fixture against Crystal Palace on Monday 3 April.
The Stamford Bridge lights were turned off at 11.30pm with supporters out by 8.30am the next day after breakfast provided by the club.
Mark Meehan, chairman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, said: ‘The Big Stamford Bridge Sleep Out is now in its fourth year and it has gone from strength to strength.
‘Saturday was a special evening and demonstrated what happens when Chelsea supporters come together.
‘We have raised an enormous amount for Stoll, and we are delighted to be supporting their vital work that supports our veterans.’
Fundraising efforts have already surpassed last year’s total and money is still coming in. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust will be announcing the final amount raised at an upcoming Chelsea FC men’s fixture.