Tens of thousands of Chelsea supporters flooded into the streets of West London to celebrate the club’s Premier League and FA Cup Double on Sunday.
Carlo Ancelotti led the celebrations with an impromptu sing-a-long with fans as the open-top bus parade snaked its way from Stamford Bridge, where it began at 1pm, down the King’s Road to Eel Brook Common in Fulham.
Chelsea became only the seventh club in the history of English football to complete the Double yesterday as Didier Drogba’s second-half free-kick saw them beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Wembley. Supporters cheered as the team, decked in scarves and flags and hoisting the two trophies aloft, were driven through the streets of London where crowds of fans, four or five-people deep in some places, continued the celebrations.
Petr Cech, the Chelsea goalkeeper, said he hoped the success this season was the sign of things to come. “I hope this is the first achievement of a long cycle, that we will able to defend the title and compete every year to win the double,” he said. “As well, you can’t forget there is still the Champions League missing for this club. I can see this club going forward again, this is a massive moment and it can give us a lot of confidence for next year.”
Looking back over the season, the Czech Republic international added: “Throughout the season there were so many things going on – we were eight points clear, we dropped that, we had to win at Old Trafford to win the title. We survived many difficulties, we managed to go through it and we won the Double.”
The normally reserved Ancelotti led the assembled Chelsea fans in song, backed by John Terry, the captain. Drogba had earlier, bizarrely, been seen sporting a bra on the bus’s front seat – presumably a reference to the “two cups” won by the club.
“A moment like that where you celebrate, that’s what it is all about – winning trophies and winning titles and celebrating with all the fans,” Florent Malouda said. “You have been working so hard from pre-season and now, look, we have won trophies.”
Joe Cole, whose contract runs out in June, refused to be drawn on his future with reports continuing to link him with a move away from the club. “This is always a lovely day for the fans and I’m so pleased for everyone – the players, the staff and fans – we deserve everything we got this year. It’s an incredible season,” he said. “My focus is the World Cup now. I’ve got an opportunity to go to South Africa, I want to go there and I want to play, so that’s where my full focus has to be.
“I’m going away with England Wednesday, so I’ll spend time with my family, and I’m 100 per cent focused on going to the World Cup.”