Activities Sports & Athletics Celery Throwing: A Chelsea Tradition Share PINTEREST Email Print Chelsea fans have been throwing celery onto the field since the 1980s. Getty Images Sports & Athletics Soccer Soccer Culture Basics Playing & Coaching Soccer Players Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Stewart Coggin Stewart Coggin has written about the sport of soccer since 2002. He is an expert, and his articles appear on many sports websites. our editorial process Stewart Coggin Updated April 16, 2018 One of English soccer’s weirder traditions is the Chelsea fans’ ritual of throwing celery onto the field of play. Accompanied by a rather rude song, this peculiar act has been occurring on matchdays since the 1980s. As with many traditions, there is some debate as to how it started. Questionable Origins Some claim renowned Chelsea fan Mickey Greenaway (now deceased) heard the song and started singing it at Stamford Bridge. Others argue that the fans of lower league club Gillingham started the tradition when celery began growing on their pitch in pre-season. Either way, this act started in Stamford Bridge’s “Shed End,” with fans pelting players with celery as they took corner kicks. Ban Imposed Five supporters were arrested after throwing the vegetable at Villa Park in April 2002 during an FA Cup semi-final victory over neighbors Fulham. The fans, who all pleaded guilty to throwing celery, avoided a ban and saw their charges subsequently withdrawn after the defense successfully argued that it had been a tradition among Chelsea supporters for more than 20 years. In 2007 Chelsea released a statement warning that any fan found bringing celery into the ground would be refused entry and anyone caught throwing it risked a ban from Stamford Bridge. A few weeks earlier the Carling Cup final against Arsenal had to be stopped while celery was cleared from the field. Although celery isn't seen around Stamford Bridge so much these days, it can still be seen when Chelsea fans travel to away fixtures, meaning clubs hosting the Blues are not spared this bizarre ritual.