Chelsea playing a pre-season game on a hot summer’s day at Kingsmeadow is a source of nostalgia for many people.
And it proved a pleasant trip down memory lane for Blues skipper and former England captain John Terry, who scored two goals – one a 90th minute winner – as his side beat League Two AFC Wimbledon 3-2 the Cherry Red Records Stadium, as it is known by the Dons, last Saturday.
It was in the same stadium for a large part of the 1990s that Chelsea opened up their pre-season programme, usually to a packed ground of fans.
The opposition every year back then were then Conference outfit Kingstonian as they gave Blues fans the chance to see their latest signings or young professionals making their first steps in the game.
“It used to be packed,” Terry told the club's website.
‘It was always boiling hot and it was a chance for us younger players to get 45 minutes because it was too early for a lot of the first team players to play the whole 90 minutes. So they are good memories for me.
“It was always a good pitch down there and always a big turnout – a large Chelsea following with the game being local.
“Everyone from the coaching staff was there, and like all pre-season games the matches were taken seriously and it was an opportunity to express yourself and stand out. We all felt that at the time and five or six of us young players did get an opportunity to do that.
“But I also played all my home reserve games at Kingstonian, so that ground was a kind of stepping stone for me when I was coming through at Chelsea.
“We used to get a decent turnout for the reserve games too and with the big pre-season first-team match there every summer as well, I have good memories from the stadium when growing up.”
Terry’s time in Chelsea’s reserves was a short period, with his rise from the youth team to the first team squad being a rapid one.
But even before he was impressing in the second string he was required to attend games in Kingston.
“I was a ball boy for a lot of reserve games. When we were first year trainees we had to be around certain sections of the stadium and as soon as the ball went over the top of one of the stands, away you go," he added.
“But by the time you got round there, often kids were running away with the ball and then you had to answer to the youth team coach and explain why we were two balls short at the end.
“It was part of my football education growing up.”