They call themselves the Mizo Chelsea Supporters’ Club (MCSC) — or simply “a group of hardcore fans” of the Chelsea football club. And on December 9, they organised a charity drive, giving out clothes, money and food at an orphanage home in Aizawl, as part of an annual tradition.
“This is not the first time we organised such an event to help the poor and the needy. Since the formation of our fan club, we have held charity drives every December,” says Lalfingfela Royte, general secretary of the fan club.
Formed in 2011, the fan club has a simple philosophy: charity in the name of Chelsea.
“Every time Chelsea wins a major trophy, the Mizo Chelsea Supporters’ club also has their own way of celebrating the success,” says Royte, “A victory for the club means we will organise a blood donation camp to celebrate. We want our success to bring a smile on the face of others too, not just ours.”
The loyalty has not gone unnoticed: England international and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, on the eve of Chelsea Mizo fans charity ride on December 9, urged the people, in a video message, to donate and to turn out in large numbers.
The result? A donation of Rs. 1,04,095, 10 bags of rice, two vegetable bags and 50 bags of clothes to Thutak Nunpuitu, the biggest orphanage home in the state.
“A current Chelsea player and international star urging Mizo fans is quite something. The fact that he even knows we exist is a big deal,” says Chawnglianmawia, who has supported Chelsea since childhood.
The club holds the distinction of being the only one among 119 Chelsea fan clubs across the world to be endorsed in this manner.
Mizoram is known to be a “football-crazy” state and a close follower of the European football. Apart from Chelsea, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Arsenal all have their own fan clubs in the state.
But the Chelsea fan club is charting their own story. In London, Chelsea FC has its own way of supporting charities through its official partners. But, this time around the English club, sent its merchandise directly to the Chelsea Mizo fans, free of cost.
In November, the Club also helped Mizo fans meet Didier Drogba, one of the game’s greats and a Chelsea legend, when he visited Delhi.
“To meet a legend, who helped us win the European Champions League, was a dream come true. Having the chance to let him sign his name on the back of my jersey — there is no better feeling than that!” says Lalnunzauva, who was among the Mizo Chelsea fans who met Drogba last month.
Currently, the fan club is registered officially with Chelsea FC, and has the highest honour ‘Gold’, ranked number 3 among the Chelsea supporters’ groups.
“To form a fan club is easy, but to keep the fan club going and to regularly organise charity drives is not an easy. Kudos to the Mizo Chelsea fans for their impressive work,” says Lalnghinglova Hmar, honorary secretary of the Mizoram Football Association.