Big Dave Lockwood's voice is synonymous with the matchday experience at The Valley, but sadly no more. The position he has held for 24 years will be filled by somebody else next season after Dave resigned from his position.
Big shoes to fill, in every respect.
I have never met Dave, but we occasionally exchange comments via social media. I gather from some of the things he has said over the years he may well drop by this blog occasionally, which is nice to know.
When I happened to mention over Twitter that I was talking my young son to his first ever Charlton game, Dave was kind enough to contact me direct and ask for the lad's name so he could give him a mention. It was a wonderful gesture and I will never forget how the boy's face lit up when he heard his name! When I took my daughter to her first game only a few years back, Dave found the time to give her a shout-out as well. I was able to record both as sound-bites on my phone.
In one of his half-time addresses when we played Southampton in 2002 he thanked my wife on my behalf for allowing me to attend the game...the day after my wedding!!! He won't recall any of those moments, but they are all cherished memories for me. His passionate, accommodating and inclusive nature, coupled with his professionalism (particularly evident in the last few seasons) is to his great credit.
Dave is clearly a man with principles and I can have no greater respect for that - take note Mr. Duchatelet and Katrien Meire. He could have 'gone quietly' with an official announcement from the Club and a few words of thanks. Instead he has made the reasons for his departure very public and in doing so, has added further weight to the protests.
This club needs to be rid of Duchatelet and Meire to allow 'proper Charlton' characters like Dave to develop once again. God knows we need them...
The memories are numerous. Seeing Dave on the pitch at Wembley in '98, those glorious Premiership years when, in particular, I recall Dave would often be alert enough to credit those assisting goals as well as the scorer, and the now legendary shout of 'CHAMPIONS' a few years back to name but a few.
One things for sure, Big Dave shouldn't need to buy a beer in the pubs around the Valley on a matchday for a good few years.