Tributes to former West London resident Sir Richard Attenborough have flooded in following the legendary filmmaker’s death on Sunday (24) - with the loudest voices coming courtesy of Chelsea FC.

The club had already announced its players will be wearing black armbands when they take on Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday (30) but now a petition is also gathering support online to re-name the East Stand of Stamford Bridge in honour of the actor who was a life-long supporter of the Blues.

The wording reads: “Lord Attenborough, who sadly passed away, was not just a giant on the silver screen, but a giant in the shaping of Chelsea Football Club.

‘Dickie’ who had trained with the club before filming Brighton Rock, was responsible for bringing many Hollywood greats to Stamford Bridge during the 1960s.

“Most importantly, Lord A refused to sell his shares to the freehold of Stamford Bridge in the 80s with many property developers waiting for some prime real estate in London’s fashionable west end.

“Lord A became the club’s life president (in 2008), and Chelsea has always had the biggest part of his heart.

“In recent years, illness had kept Lord A away from Stamford Bridge. Renaming the East stand would cement his legacy and would be a fitting tribute to a man that epitomised what it was to be Chelsea.”

A statement from the club on its official website reads: “He led a long and successful life and always found time for the things in life he loved most, one of which was Chelsea FC. He will be greatly missed.”

The fans plan to submit the petition, which currently has 1,541 signatures, this Thursday (28) and they are hoping it will have 10,000 by the time they do.

Lord Attenborough has many other links to West London; just like his younger naturalist brother Sir David Attenborough he was a resident of Richmond where he had moved with his actress wife Sheila Sim in 1949.

In 1993 he was made a life peer as Baron Attenborough of Richmond-upon-Thames and then in 2004 his eldest daughter, Jane Holland, her mother-in-law and his 15-year-old granddaughter Lucy were all killed by the Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand while they were on holiday.

Mike Holland, son in law of Lord Richard Attenborough, who lost his wife and daughter in the Tsunami, seen here with Lord Attenborough and his surviving daughter Alice at the Oil Aid Charity Football tornament at Chelsea FC.
 

A service of remembrance was held in March 2005 and a commemorative plaque placed on the floor of St Mary Magdalen's parish church in Richmond. Also that year a charity match for Oil Aid was played at Chelsea and attended by Sir Richard, his son-in-law Mike Holland and granddaughter Alice.

In 2012 and suffering ill health he sold his family home, Old Friars and Beavers Lodge, for £11.5 million and moved into Denville Hall, the care home for retired actors in Ducks Hill Road, Northwood.

Both he and his wife had an affinity for the hall, and in 1967 had joined other famous names in campaigning to raise £200,000 for a refurbishment which took place in 1969.

Sir Richard held the post of President of the charity which manages the hall until his death.

He would have been 91 years old this Friday (29).

The Chelsea petition can be signed via the following link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/name-the-east-stand-in-memory-of-lord-attenborough#