Welcome to Chelsea Legends, where we take a look at some of the greats of the past
In a first for our growing Chelsea legends series, we take a look at someone who never played for the club, but was instrumental in creating Chelsea’s famous terrace culture.
Micky Greenaway was a larger than life character, and every Shedite has a tale or two about the legendary leader of the Shed End.
Throughout the 60’s. 70’s and 80’s, Greenaway was an awe inspiring figure, leading the Shed End in some magnificent chanting that puts some of our current atmospheres to shame!
Legend has it that after a trip to see the blues play Liverpool at Anfield, Micky was inspired by the Spion Kop and chose to recreate something similar at Stamford bridge, a center for all of the most passionate supporters.
The Shed End was chosen because of it’s acoustics, the roof helping to direct the boisterous chanting towards the pitch, and despite the fact that the Shed was not the best place for singing and chanting due to it’s uncovered nature, the fans still pumped out magnificent atmosphere’s. Even West Ham’s Cass Pennant ended up admitting that we had the best singers in London.
Chelsea can attribute some of our most famous chants to Greenaway, indeed he gained his fame at home and abroad for his chanting of the Zigger Zagger song, which is now a Chelsea classic. He was truly a leader in terms of singing and chanting, when others around him got a bit quiet he would simply sing louder, encouraging more fans to join in!
Another terrace favorite of today was started by Mick, with Ten Men Went to Mow being created on a pre-season tour of Sweden. Chelsea fan Garry Jones explains the origins of the song…
‘In 1981 he took a childrens tape on the pre-season tour of Sweden. On that tape he played ‘one man went to mow’. What is extraordinary is that outside of childrens radio this song had never been heard. It was not a football song. We sung it in Sweden when we heard him playing it. It became a bit of a laugh. Most of us on the tour met up again, three days after returning home, for Chelsea’s pre-season friendly against Exeter. We sung ‘one man went to mow’ for a bit of a joke. From there it went to the pubs outside the ground, The Swan, The SBA and the Britannia. And then into the grounds, at first at away games, and by the end of the 81/82 season ‘Greenaway’s’ song was heard at home games. Just think, 60,000 Chelsea singing that song at the cup final of 97 – And all because of Greenaway.’
Despite many accusations that he was involved in some of the Shed End’s infamous firms, the general consensus amongst those who actually knew him was far different.
‘Micky liked people and he wasn’t in the business of hurting anyone,’ said a former acquaintance.
Indeed, there are even stories of Mick stopping fighting if there were children in the way. He often showed up at the bridge wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase, hardly the dress of a hooligan leader the Mirror painted him as!
Like most Chelsea fans on the Shed, he did steam in when it was unavoidable, but usually left it to the likes of Danny ‘Eccles’ Arkins and Steve ‘Icky’ Hickmott.
In the 90’s, Micky’s life was ruined by the press, who spun stories of him being a leader of a Chelsea firm and organizing riots, despite much evidence to the contrary. Because of the baseless accusations from the press, Micky lost his job and sadly was banned from the ground.
Without Chelsea in his life, many say he took a turn for the worst, and the Shed simply was not quite the same without our inspiring leader.
Mick passed away in August of 1999, and was buried in Hither Green. He was a true leader of the Shed, a man responsible for Chelsea’s famous terrace culture and if it was not for him our club would just not be the same.
Next time you sing Zigger Zagger or Ten Men Went to Mow, take a moment to remember Mick, a true terrace legend and a true Chelsea legend.
R.I.P. Micky Greenaway.