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Offside: RED ALERT!; Roman's true colours.

Byline: WILL STEWART

HERE IS the proof - billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich once supported the Reds.

Relax Chelsea fans. the object of Abramovich's affections isn't Premiership rivals Manchester United who play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today, but the Communists in his Russian motherland.

The tycoon is seen in this exclusive 1984 picture loyally celebrating the Soviet May Day festivities with friends in his remote home town of Ukhta, close to the Arctic Circle.

One of Abramovich's friends recalled: "The temperature was a chilly minus 20 degrees centigrade and we warmed ourselves up with some vodka."

The oligarch's first serious girlfriend Vika Zaborovskaya is in the front row on the right.

The Sunday Mirror revealed recently how she dumped Abramovich - because he didn't have enough money - leaving him 'broken-hearted and inconsolable'. Regrets, I've had a few!

Chelsea v Man United preview, see pages 92-95
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Title Annotation:The PREM
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2003
Words:143
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