Wednesday, 6 June 2007

My First Charlton Match- more than 40 years ago

1966 what a year , the World Cup Finals and my love of football took over my life that summer, which led me to become a Charlton supporter the following season. The Final is remembered by most people in the same way as, -where were you when Kennedy was assassinated, or the first moon landing . Mind you the capacity of Wembley must have doubled that day, with so many people claiming to have been there. My most vivid memory of that day, is diving behind the sofa and crying my eyes out after West Germany equalised in the dying minutes. All the family and some friends were glued to our little black and white telly on that scorching July day and my outpouring of emotion was met with stony silence and I felt like a complete idiot. Even then, the pessimism that is an English trait rose its ugly head and we thought that was it. Alan Ball my man of the match & Co did the business in extra time and the rest is history as they say.
Why are we Charlton fans, it cannot be explained easily. We certainly can't be accused of glory hunting . My first match at the at Valley was Charlton Athletic v Preston North End
11th March 1967, the attendance was 11,840, and the team
Charlie Wright- Main claim to fame was having played 3 games for Glasgow Rangers- prone to the odd error, but a good shot-stopper
Billy Bonds What can you say- went onto to become a great West Ham legend
Bob Curtis Personally I thought he could have been as good as Bonds, but lost his way.
Ron Saunders Left soon after, went onto greater things, as a manager
Ian King Not a first team regular
Colin Appleton Again better known as a manager -later
Keith Peacock Charlton Legend and my mum's favourite player
Matt Tees Skinniest footballer I have ever seen, great in the air, useless with his feet
Eddie Firmani A great Charlton favourite, a good player, past his best when I became a supporter.
Alan Campbell Thought he was useless to start with, but how wrong can you be, magic in 68/69
when Charlton finished third behind Derby and Palace
Len Glover Ever improving and one player who really fulfilled his potential, eventually went on to play for Leicester in the 1969 cup-final after being transferred for £80,000. at the time a record for a winger. Those were the days.

Best Memory The ground -very much like looking down into the Grand Canyon when on top of the old East Terrace -Love at first sight.

The Match Matt Tees mis-hitting his second goal so much so, that it seemed to take half -hour to enter the net . One lad behind the goal almost ran on to the pitch to help propel the ball in.

One Match that's all it took -crazy, but I wouldn't change any of it.

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