Residents talk of parking nightmares and drunks in their gardens
The entrance to Chelsea’s home ground Stamford Bridge
Residents have revealed what it is like living next to Chelsea FC’s stadium, from parking nightmares to drunk people falling into front gardens.
Stamford Bridge re-opened its gates to over 40,000 supporters in August after lockdown restrictions were lifted.
Sylvie Lyon-Lee, who lives a two-minute walk from the Fulham Road stadium said thousands of football fans pass by her home on match days.
She has seen all types of chaos outside her home of eight years.
She said, “You have the drunks coming in now and again. The other day a drunk lady just fell over into the garden.
“All the neighbours got together and were like ‘what are we going to do with this lady, do we call the police?’
“We didn’t know what to do because she was unable to stand up. It was hilarious.”
The 45-year-old mum said people often chuck their rubbish into the street on their way to and from the stadium.
She added, “They don’t always leave it on the street, they sometimes chuck it in our garden as well.
“It’s really not nice. We were actually quite happy with Covid when we had no Chelsea fans.
“It was amazing, there was no one here.”
Sylvie said she usually stays home with her family on game days to avoid the crowds.
She said, “The parking is a problem because I have kids so I need to be able to park here. So although there are restrictions they’re not strong enough.
“You just have to drive around until you find somewhere to park and we sometimes try to talk to people but they get quite angry with us.”
She continued, “You can’t go out. It must be worse for people who don’t have children who want to move around because you can’t go to restaurants, you can’t go anywhere because it’s awful.”
Fulham resident Sylvie Lyon-Lee
Keith Watson, who has lived near Stamford Bridge for almost a decade, agreed parking can be difficult on game days but he does not drive and the traffic has never bothered him.
He said, “They do shut the road off a good hour and a half before and an hour afterwards so there’s no traffic.
“So if you’re parked here you’re stuck here.”
Unlike Sylvie, Keith, who lives even closer to the stadium, said he has not had any bother outside his home.
He continued, “I’ve never seen any trouble whatsoever.
“The only really interesting item is when they march the away fans past the front gate about an hour before kick-off and it gets a bit lairy because they’re all cheering.”
The Leeds United fan said the noise from crowds is also not as bad as you might expect.
He added, “I used to live about a mile and a half away in Earl’s Court and on match day you could hear everything but being so close to the stadium you don’t because you’re too close.
“If I’m watching it on TV, as long as I’ve got the windows shut and there’s a 20 second delay, I don’t know if they’ve scored yet.“
Keith Watson, has lived near Chelsea's Stamford Bridge for years
Adam Burt who lives nearby said he has seen some tension outside his home, such as the protest against the Super League on 21 April.
He said, “It has been a bit violent sometimes, like with the protest.
“All the horses came down and there were riot shields out there.
“That was really quite bad but aside from that it’s not really too much.
“You have to consider it when you’re coming to live right near it.
“It’s a bit noisy but it’s not too bad.”
The Wolves fan added, “When they’re in the stadium you can’t hear them.
“It doesn’t bother me too much. We did worry about the cat a little bit but he stays indoors when there’s all the noise.”
He also said he tends to stay home when there is a match on.
He said, “If I need to pop to the shops I wouldn’t go just before the match because it’s absolutely hammered outside, there’s lots of people.
“You know, football fans have lots of drink so they can be a bit rough and noisy. So I wouldn’t want my partner walking out there just after the game because there’s so many people.
“Not that she’d feel like she’s in danger but there’s just a lot of people, which is to be expected living here.”
Adam Burt stays at home when Chelsea are playing
Chelsea fan Magdy Taher, who lives close to Stamford Bridge, said although parking is a free-for-all on match days, having quick access to the stadium is worth it.
“I am a Chelsea fan and I attend the matches so that’s the best thing.
“If there’s a five o’clock finish, by ten past five I’m home.”
Like other residents, he tries to avoid leaving the house on game day if he is not attending a match.
Chelsea FC fan Magdy Taher has lived by the ground for 35 years
He said, “Going out during match day is a little hard as you can’t find anywhere to park.
“If I’m out for whatever reason in the morning and come back in the afternoon there’s no place for me to park my car. That’s the main thing for me.
“Bu I’ve been living here for the last 35 years. We get used to it and it doesn’t affect our lives very much.
“It comes with the package of living in this area.”
Hannah Neary - Local Democracy Reporter
October 18, 2021