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Gunshots at Cobham: A decade on from one of the darkest days in Chelsea’s history

Ten years ago today, an act of sheer stupidity at the Chelsea training ground brought into sharp focus how detached some players are from reality.

The Blues had played out a goalless draw against west London neighbours, Fulham, on Valentine’s Day 2011, a Monday, a result which left them fifth in the Premier League table and some 12 points behind leaders Manchester United.

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The following Sunday, the first-team were undertaking a training session at Cobham, and Ashley Cole decided it would be a great idea to brandish an air rifle around the changing room.

The Guardian reported at the time that the left-back even arrived at the training ground holding the gun, which had a muzzle and nightscope attached.

It was always going to end in tears, and that it did when Cole shot 21-year-old work experience intern, Tom Cowan, in the leg from just five feet away.

It beggars belief that the likes of John Terry and others didn’t warn Cole in the first instance, but thankfully Cowan made a full recovery.

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