The event enjoyed plenty of support from Blues goalkeepers past and present with Eduardo and Hilario joined by youngsters Jamal Blackman and Nathan Baxter as well as coaching staff from the first team, Academy and Chelsea Foundation. Also there supporting were Serbian pair Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic, while Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni and former West Ham and England custodian Phil Parkes were also in the audience.
On the night, Begovic, Cech and James discussed a number of goalkeeping themes with compere Max Rushden from Sky Sports, including the old adage that they are all mad, what it’s like to prepare for a penalty shootout and how they celebrate an important save.
Each shared a number of anecdotes, with James in particular raising a laugh when discussing his short career as an emergency centre-forward at Manchester City.
Begovic, whose dad was also a professional goalkeeper, also explained the reasons why everybody was gathered at the Bridge.
‘We’re here to raise funds for my Foundation, which has been running for three years now. Our goal is to get as many kids as possible involved in sport,’ he said. ‘We want to build sports facilities from scratch or rebuild current ones, especially in Bosnia and also in the UK.
‘Back home, with what happened in the war, it’s a huge need and a lot of kids want to play sports. What’s missing is the opportunities for them to do what they love. Being able to turn a car park into a multifunctional sports facility is amazing for us and gives so much joy to the kids and ultimately gives them opportunities.’