Remembrance weekend is always a poignant time at Chelsea, as the minibus which picks up Chelsea pensioners and brings them to the match closest to November 11 is not only transporting war heroes from the Royal Hospital – just up the road – but is also bringing with them the memories of fallen comrades.
This year, the Saturday lunchtime match – the London derby between the Blues and Palace – was marked by a simply magnificent poppy cake, above, decorated with the silhouettes of First World War soldiers marching along the skyline.
Accompanying the cake in the media lounge of Stamford Bridge was a field of poppy-decorated cupcakes.
On the pitch, wreaths were laid in the centre circle and the players, officials, club staff and 40,525 fans observed the traditional silence before kick-off.
A century ago this weekend, the very first remembrance events were held around the country, one year after the end of The Great War. On that occasion, the two-minute ‘silence’ was filled with tears from those who attended, as the raw emotion was so strong as the country tried to come to terms with the scale of the loss of life in the previous years.