Chelsea. Nick. St. Marc/De Maisonneuve, Montreal, 2013

Why Chelsea? I asked.

“It’s my team ever since I was a kid.”

For a few blocks we were overtaking each other at intersections, Nick on his skateboard and I on my bicycle. Finally, we were stopped by a red light and I asked him about his jersey. Nick was just visiting, for a weekend, from Toronto, and doesn’t have much time for soccer. Then the lights turned green.




Chelsea & Montreal Impact. Nick. Sherbrooke/Melrose, Montreal, 2013

Chelsea & Montreal Impact. Nick. Sherbrooke/Melrose, Montreal, 2013

Why Chelsea? I asked.

“My uncle lived in England in the 80’s and became a fan. So it’s in the family now.”

Agonizingly long winter is finally over and the time has come for football/soccer fans to come out in their jerseys. So today I walked my dog, the camera in my bag, wearing my LFC shirt only. I was walking by a group of young man when one of them, wearing Impact shirt, gestured ‘thumbs down’ towards me. He was obviously commenting on my jersey so I approached him to see how could I help the poor soul. Only when I came closer I noticed he is also wearing Chelsea shorts. That explains it, I though, no help.

Born in Montreal, Nick is Chelsea fan by chance (his uncle could have fallen in love with any other club while in England) but he likes Montreal Impact too. Football identities on this continent are complicated. He went to watch Impact game, live, only once, but ‘now that they are in MLS’ he plans to go more often.


Chelsea. Ebby. Côte Saint-Antoine/Murray, Montreal, 2012

Why Chelsea? I asked.

“I like Chelsea and Michael Essien.”

Ebenezer Adu Twum, or Ebby, is everything this blog is about. He was born in Ghana, lives in Italy, supports an English club and is currently on a few weeks student exchange in Montreal (so we could meet). I suspect he supports Chelsea primarily because Michael Essien plays there. He is not alone in following a team because a certain player plays for it. It used to be the other way around, one supports a team and, consequently, likes the players wearing the team colours. But footballers became celebrities, and fandom has changed.

This wonderful young man, Ebby, lives in a small town Malnate, in the province of Varese, and plays football for the local FC Aurora Induno juniors team. I had to look it up but Google performed poorly. However, as soon as Ebby mentioned FC Aurora Induno I remembered reading a wonderful book The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss. You should read it too.


Chelsea. Daniel. Monkland/Old Orchard, Montreal, 2011

Why Chelsea? I asked.

“I was 11. Man United won a title and the day after all my friends in school were Man United fans. I went home that day and told my father ‘I like Manchester United.’ My father looked at me and said ‘No, you like Chelsea!'”

And Daniel does like Chelsea to this day. I would like to meet his father; Daniels’ reply to my question is of the kind I am after. He comes to Montreal from Sweden, to study. He quickly found other Chelsea fans (see Jason) and watches the games with them. Daniel calls Montreal his temporary home but you never know with this city. He might just stay here. Regardless, welcome to Montreal Daniel Isaksson.

Chelsea. Daniel. Monkland/Old Orchard, Montreal, 2011


Chelsea. Jason. Monkland/Old Orchard, Montreal, 2011

Why Chelsea? I asked.

“Back in school days, my French teacher was a Chelsea fan, and somehow I got into supporting them as well.”

This Sunday I walked into a local pub to watch Chelsea-Liverpool. There was already a group of guys with the same idea, some in LFC and some in Chelsea shirts. It was a particular pleasure, at halftime, after Maxi gave Liverpool a lead, to get out for a smoke with a Chelsea fan. Jason’s started Chelsea supporter’s club here in Montreal and goes to watch a game at Stamford Bridge twice a year. He was born in Montreal but his parents come from elsewhere. His mother is from Croatia and Jason described his father’s roots as ‘Irish/English’. And just as it happens often, Liverpool beat Chelsea, and David Luiz, Jason’s favourite player, didn’t really have a great match.

Chelsea. Jason. Monkland/Old Orchard, Montreal, 2011.


Chelsea, Eric, St. Catherine/Guy, Montreal 2011

Why Chelsea? I asked.

“I don’t know, I just like Chelsea.”

Sometimes we simply don’t know why we favour a particular team over all the others. Especially if that team is Chelsea; I would imagine it can be hard to come up with a good reason, unless one was born around Stamford Bridge. This nice fellow Eric is from Toronto though, and only visiting Montreal. When we parted I looked behind me to check if there was Torres written on his back, and it was not.