Twenty teams and more than 200 colleagues competed in this year’s colleague pitch tournament, with the Loans & Legal team emerging victorious after a penalty shoot-out against fellow finalists, the Player Activation team.
The evening pitch event was hosted at Stamford Bridge by the Chelsea Foundation, who supplied medals and a trophy to the winning team. A number of departments also gave their support to the event, including Tours, Events, Matchday safety and security.
‘We had teams from across the club compete – from Ticketing to Tours, and colleagues from Levy’s and Chelsea TV – all areas of the club were represented,’ says the Foundation’s Michael Cornall, who organised and led the event alongside Andy Ottley and Christopher Woodward.
‘We were so pleased with the number of colleagues who applied to take part, especially as we gave only a week’s notice of the event. I think it showed that everyone needed something to come together for. The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing’
The matches were refereed by local refs with whom the Foundation has a relationship.
To make the atmosphere even more momentous, the two teams in the final walked onto the pitch from the tunnel, led by their captains, before posing for a line-up ahead of the match.
‘Petr Cech (Loans) had been playing in goal for the final but decided against playing between the sticks for the penalties to make it a bit fairer for the other team,’ adds Michael. ‘The Loans & Legal team won 3-1.’
International development manager Ian Woodroffe adds: ‘Bringing everyone together under the Stamford Bridge lights was such a fantastic opportunity for colleagues to experience, something many of us have never had chance to do before. Seeing the smiles, goal celebrations and feeling the atmosphere was uplifting’.