Fans of two of Britain's biggest teams can get their summer football fix when Chelsea legends take on their Glasgow Rangers counterparts at Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane home in June.
The match, which aims to raise funds for the victims of the Croydon tram crash, will feature some of the greatest names ever to have pulled on a shirt for the Blues and the Gers in what promises to be great occasion.
Some of those appearing in the match, such as Gordon Durie, Mark Falco, Derek Johnstone and Ray Wilkins, have been fortunate to wear the shirt of both teams, even if it was just for a handful of games in some cases.
For fans and players alike, it’s a chance to turn the clock back, relive some great memories and enjoy the banter, and Wilkins is one of those who cannot wait.
Affectionately known as Butch during his time at Stamford Bridge, Wilkins played for Chelsea from 1973 to 1979, a period of mixed fortunes far removed from the club’s current table-topping exploits but a time that he looks back on with great fondness.
“I loved my time at Chelsea. It was like playing with a group of mates for a Sunday football team in a way.
“We were a set of lads who had come through the youth system and the reserves, it was lovely to play together.
“I played alongside my brother Graham and we had the likes of Ian Britton, Tommy Langley, Clive Walker, Kenny Swain and David Hay in the side.
“It was a bit of an up and down time for Chelsea back then. If we went up, we deserved it. If we went down, we deserved that, too. But generally speaking, the good outweighed the bad.
“Things have obviously changed so much and for the better. Stamford Bridge back then was nothing like it is now.”
In 1975, Wilkins was handed the captaincy of the side aged just 18 and quickly became an integral part of the Chelsea midfield.
A year later he was called-up to the England squad by Don Revie and would go to earn 84 caps for the national side over ten years, featuring in the World Cups of 1982 and '86.
Wilkins signed for Manchester United in 1979 and won an FA Cup winners’ medal, memorably scoring a stunning goal in the 1983 final against Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley Stadium.
After spells at AC Milan and Paris St Germain, he moved to Glasgow Rangers under Graeme Souness and speaks about his time at Ibrox in glowing terms.
“I had amazing times at Rangers.
“It was great to have a load of English guys up there together with all the Jocks. There was a great bond between all the players then.
“Our team had the likes of Ally McCoist, Ian Durrant, Richard Gough, Chris Woods, Trevor Steven and Gary Stevens – with all these guys we would have been a top four side in England. There is no doubt about it.
“I adored my time in Scotland. The feeling of scoring a goal at Ibrox and hearing the roar of the crowd was hard to beat.”
Wilkins scored only twice for Rangers but one of those happened to be a 25-yard volley against Celtic at Ibrox in 1988. It put Rangers 2-1 up against their bitter rivals on their way to a memorable 5-1 success.
“That was a sweet shot. I didn’t even feel it leave my boot.
"If that happens, it’s a bit like golf or tennis, then you know the ball is going to end up exactly where you intended. In my case, it was the back of the net.
“I didn’t score many but when I did, it meant something. I didn’t have to score many actually, McCoist did all that.”
Wilkins went on to have numerous coaching roles, including spells at Queens Park Rangers, Fulham and Watford. But it was at Chelsea where we enjoyed being part of the coaching set-up under Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti.
He is still a familiar face at Stamford Bridge where he loves watching his beloved Blues and is full of praise for current manager Antonio Conte and his team.
“Chelsea are flying. They are wonderful to watch. Changes are kept to a minimum and the team that playes together, wins together. It’s the other teams in the division that need to improve.
“Chelsea are helped this year by not having the distractions of the Champions League or Europa League and I really can’t see anyone else taking the title this year.”
It’s a different story for Rangers who have battled back to Scotland’s top flight having been demoted to the fourth tier in 2012 after falling into financial difficulties.
The team has since battled back to retake its place in the Scottish Premier League but is well off the pace of runaway leaders Celtic who are more than 30 points ahead of third-placed Gers.
Despite the recent loss of manager Mark Warburton, Wilkins is optimistic for the club’s long-term future.
“They’re in turmoil at the moment but I am sure they will sort it out.
“Rangers is a global club with huge support.
“It wasn’t until I joined the club that I felt the depth of feeling and passion around the place.
“I would go back there as a coach in an instant if I was given the chance.”
The legends game at Sutton will give supporters the chance to watch their heroes of yesteryear.
A whole host of fine former players will grace Sutton’s 3G surface including Kerry Dixon, Tore Andre Flo, Dave Beasant and Pat Nevin for Chelsea.
Rangers’ fans can expect to see the likes of Charlie Miller, Derek Johnstone, Gordon Durie and Marco Negri pulling on the famous Gers’ jersey.
It’s an event Wilkins is very much looking forward to.
“There was a Rangers legends game at Derby County a few years ago which drew a huge crowd.
“I have no doubt the Rangers fans will pack out Sutton in June. They are so loyal and will follow their team – be it a legends team or otherwise – to the ends of the earth.
“The players will love playing on that surface, too. It should make for a great game.”
CHELSEA LEGENDS v GLASGOW RANGERS LEGENDS at Sutton United FC, Gander Green Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 2EY on Saturday June 17. Kick-off is 3pm and doors open at midday.
Tickets for adults are £15 seat, £12 terrace, children under 16 half price. Call the ticket hotline on 07376 255307.
For further details email email@example.com and for hospitality packages call Stuart on 07867 787402.
Funds will be raised to support victims of the Croydon Tram Crash.