Programme Notes Part 3
At the start of the 1908-09 season a new artist was on the scene who simply signed himself as ‘Reilly’. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to identify the artist, but his first piece of work was for the Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers F.A.Charity Shield game at Stamford Bridge on 29th August 1908 and the artwork for his first Chelsea front cover was the game against Bury on 12th September 1908. Chelsea won 4-1 in front of a 50,000 gate with Ben Warren, George Hilsdon, William Bridgeman and Percy Humphreys amongst the goals.
As with the previous incumbent, not every programme included a cartoon on the cover, but he continued to produce some excellent work right up until the end of the 1909-10 campaign.
His final contribution was the cover for the game against Bury at Stamford Bridge on 23rd April 1910 when 35,000 spectators witnessed a 2-0 win thanks to strikes from Bob Whittingham and Angus Douglas. At the time, Chelsea were fighting desperately to avoid relegation but a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on the final day sealed our fate. We could, however, take comfort by setting a new record attendance for a Football League game when over 70,000 watched the home game against Newcastle United on 27th December.
At the start of the 1910-11 season an old hand would return temporarily before the undoubted ‘star’ behind the cover of the Chelsea Chronicle arrived.
By Paul Waterhouse, Bygone Chelsea 1905-99