'The happiest day of my life... maybe we'll win the Cup next'

Chelsea 3 - Sheffield Wednesday 0 (A version of this article appeared in the 'Sunday Pictorial' on 24 April 1955)
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The Independent Football

After 50 inglorious years as football's laughing boys, Chelsea are League champions. Their defeat of relegated Sheffield Wednesday assured them of their first major honour in the Golden Jubilee year of the club. No wonder manager Ted Drake bubbled over with pride and joy when I spoke to him after the game.

After 50 inglorious years as football's laughing boys, Chelsea are League champions. Their defeat of relegated Sheffield Wednesday assured them of their first major honour in the Golden Jubilee year of the club. No wonder manager Ted Drake bubbled over with pride and joy when I spoke to him after the game.

"This is the happiest day of my life," he said. "We have had a wonderful response from every member of the staff. I've had my share of honours. That is what makes me so happy for some older players."

Men like Johnny Harris, Roy Bentley and Ken Armstrong must have seen their chance of winning anything big slipping away. "Now we have started it's up to the youngsters to keep us at the top. Maybe we can win the Cup next year," Drake said.

There's no doubt that Drake, a former Arsenal and England centre-forward, has injected Chelsea with a never-say-die spirit. Yesterday's match that crowned Drake's triumph in his third year as manager was, however, hardly worthy of the occasion.

For the record, Eric Parsons scored a goal in each half and right-back Peter Sillett showed how a penalty should be taken. Wednesday played without goalkeeper McIntosh for most of the second half, conceded a penalty that should never have been given and substitute keeper, left-back Curtis, gave away a gift goal.

But no more of this game in which football struggled against the overpowering atmosphere of grim excitement and nervous tension. These detached yet delirious Chelsea fans wouldn't leave until Drake and his boys took their curtain calls in front of the stand.

Well, they have waited a long time. There will be scenes like a theatre opening night when they attend a civic reception at the Fulham Town Hall.

Chelsea (2-3-5): Thomson; Sillett, Willemse; Armstrong, Wicks, Saunders; Parsons, McNichol, Bentley (capt), O'Connell, Blunstone.

Sheffield Wed (2-3-5): McIntosh; Martin, Curtis; McAnearney, McEvoy (capt), Jay; Finney, Quixall, Froggatt, Sewell, Marriott.

Referee: W Ling (Stapleford).

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