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Bridget explains... Boxing Day Matches!

26/12/2018

Hey BridgeKids,

It's almost Christmas, and you know what that means: the Premier League fixtures are coming thick and fast!

One of the biggest days in the English football calendar is Boxing Day, when all ten teams play at once!

This year, the Blues travel to Watford on the 26th, but why do Premier League teams play on that day and why is it even called Boxing Day?

Let's have a look at the history of Boxing Day football!

Why is it called Boxing Day?

No one knows for sure, all we know is that it started in the UK, but there are a few possibilities:

1. Way back in the 1600s, tradesmen and servants used to be given boxes of gifts to reward them for their hard work throughout the year.

2. Some think it refers to the 'alms box' in churches, which collects donations for the poor.

Did the Football League always play on Boxing Day?

No. In fact, they used to sometimes play on Christmas Day! Great for us football fans, but hard on the poor footballers who couldn't spend the day with their family.

In Chelsea's first ever season, way back in 1905, they played on both Christmas and Boxing Day. They drew with Manchester United 0-0 on Christmas Day, and beat Glossop North End 4-2 on Boxing Day.

When did the Boxing Day fixture become so big?

Chelsea played their last ever Christmas Day game in 1958, beating Blackburn Rovers 3-0. From then on, it was all about Boxing Day.

The season after, the Blues drew their Boxing Day match 2-2 with Newcastle United.

Keep an eye out for more stories about Christmas football!

KTBFFH!

Bridget