With the draw a fair result yesterday, perhaps the only disappointment from an emotional afternoon in SE7 was the absence of Alan Curbishley from the pre-match celebrations as Charlton marked 20 years since the club returned to the Valley.
In his programme notes, Chris Powell urged us to "take a moment to look around this afternoon", before stating our return was an 'amazing story'. He is quite correct, of course. The good thing about Charlton fans is they make no attempts to forget the dark days. In life you have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs and surviving through tough times does make you stronger. Charlton fans will never forget those who fought so hard against all odds for us to go home.
How nice it was to hear Richard Murray address the Valley faithful. What a man.
Last weekend I had began to circulate via twitter the idea of fans standing to applaud at 3:07pm, which was the time of Colin Walsh's goal in the first game back at the Valley 20 years ago. Before the week was out the idea had gathered momentum to such an extent that the club had taken up the idea and even Sir Chris himself pledged to join in from his dugout! You'll have to excuse me if this seems a little self indulgent, but I was totally blown away when Walsh's image appeared on the big screen and 19,000 fans on all 4 sides of the Valley stood in unison to cheer a goal scored two decades earlier. Soon enough, the Covered End started a rousing rendition of 'Valley Floyd Road' to top off the moment. On Saturday morning I had received numerous messages from Brighton fans promising they would join in, and to a man, they did. Full credit to them. My idea was a simple one, and I am certain someone would have came up with it soon enough, but to all those who sent me messages of support whilst the idea built, thank you. I greatly appreciate it.
And whilst we're on supporting ideas, I noticed a tweet from Louis Mendez just before the game stating that 'The words "The Covered End" should be written on the front of the stand, like the Jimmy Seed End'. That is an idea that needs to happen...
As far as the game goes, I don't really do match reports. Sorry. If you want that, go here.
What I will say is that there was some considerable criticism around me yesterday of the performance of referee, D. Sheldrake. He wasn't great (but then what ref is?), but I still remember him fondly for that amazing decision he made a couple of years back verses Colchester. Remember this?