Monday, 3 December 2012

Heaven & The Valley...

Wednesday will mark the 20 anniversary since the club came back from the dead, reemerged from exile and returned to it's spiritual home, The Valley. The club will be marking the occasion when Brighton visit SE7 this coming Saturday. The opponents couldn't be more appropriate, having themselves faced a couple of desperate years of exile towards the late 90's before finally settling back in the city and then winning the right to build a much-needed new stadium. Empathising with their plight, Charlton fans offered support to the Seagulls in those dark days and that support has never been forgotten from our friends on the south coast.  
It is a great personal disappointment that I never attended the 'old' Valley, especially when I consider the irony that it was that crumbling, neglected old stadium that I fell in love with as a very young lad that ultimately lead to me becoming an Addick. Falling for a club that was on it's knees and heading for an agonising death is something that I've never quite been able to explain but I wouldn't change a single thing. I wasn't at The Valley on the day Charlton returned home, but I can remember the excitement leading up to the occasion. I was a teenager working for an electrical wholesalers at the time and had deliveries around Plumstead and Erith in the week before the game. Charlton fans were instantly recognisable as they were walking a foot taller than anyone else! I was so jealous of those privileged few who had a ticket.

Below is an extract from Garry Nelson's 'Left Foot Forward' that describes the moment Colin Walsh scored that first goal back at The Valley on the 5th of December 1992 that ultimately proved to be the winner. Of course, Garry actually got the time of the goal wrong (it was 3:07pm), but he can easily be forgiven for that as he played his part on the day. Reading it always brings a lump to my throat...

'Heaven and the Valley were one and the same place'. Wonderful words.
I had a thought that I've been trying to promote via Twitter. Wouldn't it be nice if Charlton fans stood and cheered Walsh's goal at 3:07pm against Brighton? Steven Mummery (aka @CAFC_Toilet) took the idea a stage further and suggested we then roll into a rousing rendition of 'Valley Floyd Road'. I just feel it would be a fitting way to mark the occasion. 


  1. Spot on Ted ( and Steven ) -let's make it happen

  2. Thanks for the comment, Blucher. Spread the word!

  3. The Only Way Is Woolwich4 December 2012 at 23:16

    Really great read and as for that "before" pic, wow, the place looks brilliant now.

  4. Thanks for the comment, T.O.W.I.W! Greatly appreciated. Totally agree ref. the before and after pictures. It is truly amazing!