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!