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Programme Notes Part 7

With the war in Europe now over, competitive football returned after a seven year break, and for the start of the 1946-47 season a familiar feature was back on the front cover of the Chelsea Chronicle. Percy the Pensioner was back in the usual cartoon form for the fold out four page issue that cost 2d to the working man.

Once again I have been unable to identify the artist who simply signed his work as “Skit”, but as with previous artists I hope to find this out. The adventures of Percy that adorned the cover of the Chelsea programme lasted just the one season. After that, the cartoon feature that had lasted since the 1906-07 season was no more, but their appearance will always be much loved by Chelsea supporters. William Grogan, Bernhard Hugh, Charles Shaw Baker and the largely anonymous “Reilly’, “Mac” and “Skit”, I thank you for the contribution you have made to the history of Chelsea Football Club.

For the start of the 1947-48 campaign, visitors to Stamford Bridge were greeted by a standard heading on the front cover of the programme with Percy featuring in the top right hand corner with his medals. Supporters were also greeted with a price 3d a copy!!!

This format only lasted for one season before it was changed to a more austere composition at the beginning of the 1948-49 campaign, but changes were afoot and a young man would soon appear in the Chelsea story, revolutionise the design of football programmes and become an inspiration to ‘anoraks’ everywhere.

By Paul Waterhouse, Bygone Chelsea 1905-99

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