TOWN boss Andy Ritchie is hoping to meet up with his old mate Gary Worthington when Town visit Chelsea in their big FA Cup fifth- round tie on Saturday week.
“We go back a long way,” said Ritchie of the 41-year-old who is Chelsea’s UK and international scout and a nephew of former Town favourite Frank Worthington.
Gary, whose dad Dave is Frank’s brother and a former Halifax, Barrow, Grimsby and Southend player, had a season (1986-87) at Town but was hit by illness and never made the first team.
He was signed from Manchester United, where he first met Ritchie, and left to join Darlington, later playing for Wigan, Exeter and Doncaster.
Since hanging up his boots, he has worked for both the Manchester United and Leeds academies.
“Gary and I are good mates, and it would be great to see him down at Stamford Bridge,” said Ritchie.
“Mind you, his job with Chelsea takes him all over the place, so he might not even be in the country!”
Chelsea have an expansive scouting network headed by former Nigerian international Michael Emenalo.
The much-travelled ex-Notts County defender played under Chelsea boss Avram Grant at Israeli club Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Ex-Danish international Frank Arnesen, the former Tottenham director of football, is in charge of co-ordinating scouting abroad.
Chelsea’s expert at weighing up opposing sides is former Sunderland and West Ham player Mick McGiven, who took in Town’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth last Tuesday.
McGiven has worked for Chelsea in various roles for the past 12 years.
Tickets for the big cup clash went on sale to first-priority customers at the Galpharm this morning.
Town have a 6,126-strong allocation.
Chelsea started selling tickets on Friday.
If a replay is needed it would be on Wednesday February 27 rather than Town’s usual Tuesday slot for home matches.
Chelsea are at home to Tottenham in a Premier League game the previous Sunday.
l Pompey stalemate – P36.