...a message from Mandy
Saturday 14th August
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion
When I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma for the second time in May 2010, Chris Ham and Kerry Michaels presented me with this amazing opportunity not only to go and watch Chelsea play, but to watch the first game of the season as a Corporate Guest! My Husband (Brian) and I had an amazing day and for the day we were able to forget that I was having treatment for Cancer. I cannot thank Kerry or Chris enough. I am one half of the Welfare Officer Role (the female one).
06.00 I was far too excited to sleep most of the night, but I eventually gave in and got up at about 6 am
07.00 I spent a couple of hours messing about, trying to waste time; not much to do really, shower, make-up, getting dressed.
09.00 Appointment at the hairdressers and the last ditch attempt at making me blend in with the W.A.G.S.!!
10.00 Round to my manicurists/crèche (aka Mum’s house) to hand over the children for the weekend and to stick on my £1.99 false nails! Pack the car up and off we go. Stamford Bridge here we come!
12.30 We book into the Chelsea Copthorne Tara Hotel. I think this VIP trip got to our heads and we found a really good deal on the internet so decided to treat ourselves slightly. What a hotel! No time to stop though, quick change, dump bags and let’s go!
13.00 Arrive at Stamford Bridge and go to the designated corporate area. This is something else other than the grunts you normally get when handing in your ticket at the turnstiles. “Good Afternoon Sir, Good Afternoon Madam”.
Up the stairs we trot to a huge open plan space that stretched the length of the East Stand. We were shown to our table where we were offered a seven course menu with free drinks. I could easily get used to this!
The food was exquisite. I was excited about the match so it didn’t matter that the food looked lost on the plates. I think Bri was a little disappointed though! He does enjoy a 16 oz steak.
Surrounded by people who obviously buy this package as part of their season tickets every year and who have become accustomed to this way of living, I realise how lucky I am to witness this – me a humble supporter!
15.00 Kick off and we had the best seats in the house. Right on the half way line and even spongy seats!! What a first half, just constant attacks from the Chelsea players I almost felt sorry for West Brom!!
Chelsea were 2- 0 up at half-time.
At half time I needed a comfort break and thought I ought to go and check on my drink. We immediately had an offer to set down for another course and another drink. Well, it would be rude not to!
16.00 Second half: even better than the first and the game finished at 6 – 0 but that wasn’t the end of the treats.
After the game we knew the bar was open for another hour so we thought we’d make the most of the free drinks and along came some gorgeous cheese and biscuits (not just ordinary cream crackers) but proper cheese and biscuits with more gourmet cakes too!
Just about as I was trying to decide where I could hide for two weeks to get this treatment again for the next home game I spotted someone walk in.
Bri had his back to me and he is always winding me up so he thought I was winding him up; “Don’t look now” I said for fear of him expressively chucking himself in a 180 degree angle across the table behind us ................ “but Michael Essien has just walked in.
There was a look on Bri’s face “is she winding me up” – “I don’t want to look in case she is”. Eventually he did turn around and his face looked like a 4 year old’s on Christmas morning!
Michael made his way round nearly all the tables in the room, socialising and having photos taken with everyone who wanted one. However, he was perfectly charming to all and his family all waited patiently for him while he made small talk with Brian, had a photo with me and even spoke to Kyle (my eldest son) on the phone who was all the way at home in Weston-super-Mare with his Nan. What an unbelievable day topped off with a cherry aka Michael Essien!
We will never forget our special day at Chelsea, thanks to Chris Ham for arranging it with Kerry Michaels via the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust. I don’t know how to ever thank you both for providing me and my amazing hubby a very special memory that we will treasure forever.