Chelsea originally played in Eton Blue
The great names in English football can trace their roots back to humble beginnings as local organizations representing a particular community or group of people. Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham began as works' teams, Everton and Manchester City as parish teams to provide diversions for poor youth. Chelsea can have no such claim.
Relative latecomers, Chelsea were essentially put together as a plan B.
In 1896 26 year old entrepreneur Gus Mears purchased the Stamford Bridge Athletics Ground. His plan was to turn it tinto Britain's leading football venue. When the freehold became his in 1904, Mears tried to persuade local club, Fulham, to move to the ground . Fulham wouldn't match Mears' rent demands, so he considered selling to the Great Western Railway Company, who wanted to use the land as a coal yard.
Having reconsidered Mears set about forming his own club. Chelsea FC came into being on 10th March 1905. A number of names were considered, including London FC, Kensington FC and Stamford Bridge FC .
Chelsea applied to the Southern League, but were denied entry following opposition from Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, who didn't want the competition for support. The Football League, who at this time were keen to extend their catchment area, welcomed an application from a London club, even though they had never played a game!
John Tait Robertson
Chelsea's first league match took place away at Stockport County on 2 September 1905, where they lost 1-0. This was Chelsea's line up for the first game. In brackets are the clubs that the players signed from:
Willie Foulke (Sheffield United )
Bob Mackie (Airdrieonians)
Bob McEwan (Bury)
George Key (Heart of Midlothian)
Bobby McRoberts (Small Heath)
Tommy Miller (Falkirk)
Marty Moran (Celtic)
Jacky Robertson (Glasgow Rangers)
David Copeland (Tottenham Hotspur)
Jimmy Windridge (Small Heath )
Jack Kirwan (Tottenham Hotspur)
Other players to feature prominently in Chelsea's first season were:
Dougal Watson (Sunderland)
Tommy McDermott (Everton)
Frank Pearson (Manchester City)
Jimmy Robertson (Small Heath)
In their first season Chelsea finished third in the Second Division (but 9 points adrift of a promotion place).