Healthy?

Prior to last nights disappointment I found myself in the company of a nurse.

“Wey hey” you may say, we’ll don’t as my partner in crime on Charlton Live, Pete Finch, was also in tow, with a microphone.

NHS Greenwich, in partnership with Charlton Athletic Community Trust, were inviting Greenwich based Charlton supporting men to have a health check. The caveat being that your age was in excess of 35. Being slightly in excess of that figure I fell right into their target category. OK I don’t live in Greenwich anymore, so a little fiddling of the address (sorry Mum and Dad) and I was in.

You can hear the results on this coming Sundays show, including Nurse Tina stabbing me twice. Needless to say most of my “so called” friends and colleagues had a field day at my expense, as will many others when the package is played out. The main thing for me is that it highlighted a few home truths.

Yes I am overweight, yes I need to exercise more. Hopefully it will focus me a bit more, eat even healthier and go for more swims.

So if you are a bloke over 35, find out if your local NHS are running a similar scheme (they probably will), face up to your demons and take action. You’ll be doing yourself a favour.

A bit of a change

I’ve not used this blog for sometime, as you can probably see, so i thought it time for a spring clean and a revamp.

I’m not going to solely concentrate on Charlton, other people write far better blogs on the subject. So I’ve decided to write about any old thing that takes my fancy.

One thing I am going to do is to publish some pictures I took the day after the Great storm of 1987. There from the Plumstead Common area, so look out for them in late October as we remember that horrific night 25 years ago.

In the meantime, here is a Photo I took back in the 80’s – The place has changed a bit.

EPSON012

Buy that man a watch

I’m not usually one to criticise but I thought the referee got it spectacularly wrong today.

There should have been at least another 3 minutes added time and what about that shove on BWP in the box?

Still, at least we’ve kept the five point gap between us and the Wendies after Huddersfield fought back to draw at Hillsboro’. Shades of Dec 2009 when we faced Millwall?

I was proud to have been able to lead the minutes applause for a true gentleman and Charlton Legend, Peter Croker.

We interviewed his son’s Paul and David for Charlton Live. They spoke so warmly about their father, it really was great to speak to them. They were both saying what a humble man he was.

They brought in clippings from papers and letters from Jimmy Seed to their father. A complete world away from modern football. One thing they did say was how much their father rated Chris Powell.

The cherry on the top was when they produced their fathers FA cup winners medal. Have to say that Terry, Pete and me were like kids in a candy store.

It was an honour to hold that medal.

Oh and the less said about halftime the better. OK?

20111217-192512.jpg

Back home

Somehow the gloomy weather over London hasn’t bothered me today. I’ve walked with a spring in my step and had a big smile on my face. It could have snowed, Southeastern Trains could have had another crisis, I wouldn’t have cared. Chris has come back home.

Suddenly the clouds have lifted over the Valley and for the first time in probably five years we have a reason to feel optimistic. Charlton fans have a reason to smile again. One of our heroes has returned.

I hope that fans are patient though. Not expecting miracles and the team to go and thrash the opposition by six or seven goals. Certainly not expecting champagne football week in week out.

We know the squad we have is capable of great things in this league, look at the aways games against Peterborough and Swindon. However we’ve yet to see that form at home.

Sitting and reflecting on todays events it’s kind of like how I felt after we beat Ipswich in the play-offs all those years ago. Excited, proud but that feeling of a little knot in the stomach, we’re almost there.

Patience is the key.

Keeping it Live

Lennie Lawrence being interviewed by Pete and Terry for Charlton Live

Tonight’s Charlton Live has a special interview with Lennie Lawrence. We didn’t get as much time as we would have liked, so we’ll try and get him back at a later stage.

The team had also hoped to interview Robert Lee, but traffic problems around the Valley meant he only got to the ground shortly before kick-off.

Hopefully we’ll have some news soon about another exiting development for the show.

Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback, overwhelmingly positive it has to be said.

Happy Sir Clive Mendonca Day

Today is the second greatest day in Addicks history (sorry returning home on the 5th December 1992 was the number one). Sir Clive got a hat-trick, the very Reverend Richard Rufus scored his first goal for the club. Oh and the small matter of promotion to the Premiership for the very first time.

The greatest game ever at Wembley, the emotions of a rollercoaster ride like no other. Tears, songs, cheers and about 37000 lost voices across the southern part of England. For some strange reason I was let loose with a microphone and wandered onto the Wembley pitch to proclaim that it was our year, our destiny to win. Cue 38000 Mackems booing and questioning my parentage. One of those surreal, you had to be there moments. As Charlie Connelly said this afternoon in a tweet, the Big Loon was on the pitch. Pity this is the only photo I’ve ever seen. Never mind I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

So as a treat, head on over to the Valley Sounds page and there you will find four separate MP3 files from the fantastic commentary provided by Mark Mansfield and Colin Powell on Millennium 106.8fm.

Enjoy them and make sure you have some tissues handy to wipe away those tears. I guarantee you WILL well up!

Now that the dust has settled

After Monday nights heart wrenching season finale, it’s taken me a few days to recover from the multi layered depression that engulfed me at about 10.45 pm. Thankfully Tuesday was spent away from the Office and amongst a group of people with no connection, love of Football. Wednesday was slightly different. The commiserations of the plastic Premiership fans, lightened by the two Brentford fans – Ah ya cocked it up!! Thanks Dave and Kieran and yes I look forward to seeing you for that pub crawl round Griffin Park.

Some say that being a football supporter can be likened to driving along a rocky road, so that must mean that being a Charlton supporter is like driving along the Yungas Road.

It’s not been an easy four years since Alan Curbishley’s departure. Double relegation has been a hard pill to swallow for many fans. The plastic premiership fans have departed leaving a hard core of Addicks. Fans that have stuck with the club through one of our lowest ebbs.

Many travelled to such exotic places as Prestfield, Senegal Fields, Boundary Park following Parky’s Read and White Army as we battled to get out of League One. For some 15 glorious minutes on the 8th May we had made it, escaped, one foot in the Championship. Life isn’t that easy though, It wouldn’t be Charlton would it?

So the play-offs came, at least we finished fourth and had second leg advantage, a home fixture. Having managed to not lose by more than one goal at the County Ground the return leg was eagerly anticipated.

Most of us will admit to not sleeping much over that weekend, nerves kicked in early Monday morning. Work dragged. Finally we assembled at the Valley on a balmy May evening. Memories of a similar May evening some 12 years previous.

Down by the tunnel we could sense the tension, sense the eager anticipation , the willing of the fans to get on with it. The crowd were in fine voice, for once everyone was pulling together, backing the team.

Never has a Valley crowd been so loud, so passionate. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having goosebumps. The support was tremendous, actually it was truly awesome. For 120 minutes you kept going.

Football once again she proved that she is a cruel mistress, our dreams snatched from us and a chance to visit the new Wembley for the first time gone. Tears flowed, even I shed a few. It just wasn’t meant to be.

We can debate over why it went wrong, games lost or drawn. Penalties not given. Though to me it’s irrelevant, if you continue to worry about the “what if’s” it will drive you mad.

So next season, we need the same again. It’s going to be so important that the Valley faithful return and back their club.

As it’s the end of season I need to thank a few people. Matt Wright, Ria Hopkinson, Tom Harvey and Gary Haines from the Charlton Media Team. Four of the best people you could wish to meet, even if two of them are Wet Spammers (you can work out which two!) Steve Crooks for his hard work nursing the big screen through it’s final season. Andy Judd for all the technical support. Dan Bream for the excellent Fishbowl software. Tom Perfect for operating the screen. Jon Lucas for keeping me guessing what music he’d come up with next! Pete Finch for stepping in last Monday when Jon wasn’t able to join us.

Finally you, the dedicated Addick. Thank you. Throughout the season you’ve supported your team. On Monday night you really did back the boys, You really did make some noise.

Have a great summer – KEEP THE FAITH!

Come on you Reds!

When things go wrong….

….they really go wrong.

At about 1.00pm this afternoon this could have been me in the picture above picking up the Valley Music Playout Computer and smashing it. Only I’m not as slim as that and it’s a tower not a laptop. I suspect you get the point though.

When technology fails, it usually does so in a spectacular way. Well today the old PC decided to reboot itself every five minutes without being asked. So very quickly we managed to find an alternative system from the bowels of the Valley, load up the music, software and away we went! Unfortunately we didn’t have back ups of all the music. So James that’s why Guru Josh didn’t make an appearance this afternoon.

Jon Lucas continues to multi task and play the music and DVD’s you see on the screen. Tom Perfect operates the software we use for the screen and I sit down between the dugouts watching the match and keeping my eye on the fourth official.

Huge game on Tuesday night now. The Seagulls will be confident after their draw today at Leeds, hopefully our lads will have given themselves a boost after our victory this afternoon. With Norwich having a wobble and Leeds having a crisis of confidence we need to start taking advantage and turn the Valley back into that fortress it once was. The Crowd were fantastic today, backing the team and making lots of noise. Much more of the same from 7.45pm Tuesday please!

Forced break

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of the snow and cold weather. Not only has it played havoc with the trains (have a read of Darryl’s excellent piece on 853 about SE Trains) it’s managed to do something that even Adolf Hitler failed to do and virtually wipe out sport. OK so nine clubs managed to get games on this weekend in the English leagues, but the majority of us had to endure a free weekend.

So what did you get up to. I imagine many of you went out sledging and building snowmen. Yesterday when I should have been at the Valley I found myself at that cathedral of capitalism, Lakeside. OK it was a necessary trip to buy some thermal socks at Marks and Spencer. You have to ask, though, who in their right mind visits these places on a Saturday when they could be at their local stadium?

As usual, the place was full of Wet Spammers with a smattering of Spudz and the occasional Woolwich Reject. You could tell by their faces that they were there under protest. Out of their natural habitat and forced to follow their “better” halves around. It’s that bad I’m tinkering with the idea of going to Wycombe on Saturday, just to get my fill of football. Given my recent record at away games, namely Northwich, I think I should be persuaded not to.

I should add that it wasn’t my wife’s suggestion to go to Lakeside!