Friday, December 05, 2008

Remember, Remember the 5th of December

5th December 1992 will always be one of the most special dates in the history of Charlton Athletic. No-one who was at The Valley that day will forget it.

After seven depressing nomadic years traipsing across South London and East London, we finally returned to our spiritual home.

Those fans heading up the M6 to Blackpool tomorrow should recall the nostalgic relevance of a three-sided ground.

I don't recall exactly why, but I managed to procure a seat in the Jimmy Seed Stand whilst my Dad was in the Covered End.

He thus had a better view than I did of Darren Pitcher's lay off to Colin Walsh, and the Scot's clinical finish into the bottom left-hand corner. There is no other Charlton goal that I can picture more vividly.

It's somewhat painful to note that the current side is worse-placed than that one was, despite the 14 years of near linear achievement that occurred thereafter. Our present predicament does however deserve a proper perspective.

It's thus an appropriate time to acknowledge the likes of Roger Alwen, Lennie Lawrence and all those involved with the Valley Party, whose unwillingness to give up the faith ensures we have a team to support today.

Even those mere fans like us (who eventually quite literally 'optimised' the horrendous journey from Hertfordshire to Selhurst Park) deserve some credit. And to think this was before the days of sat-nav.

At one point, we owned four season tickets there. The inevitable spare seats were occasionally occupied by my inflatable gorilla called Colin, this during that brief football supporters' obsession with all things blown up. Knowing Charlton, he was probably included in the attendance.

Their impact (less so Colin's) is often inappropriately forgotten given what has happened since. The present stewards of the club were handed a powerful legacy.


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you, no other Charlton goal has ever been embedded in my mind quite like that one. I was only 16 at the time but remember walking up and down the streets of CHarlton posting leaflets through doors for the Valley Party for days before the my opinion they were some of the best days of being a Charlton fan, when you really knew that you counted!


Post a Comment

<< Home