Well the summer season is well and truly upon us and to compound things even more England are not in the Euros, so my enthusiasm for all things football is at an all time low.
Do I renew my season ticket, or consider paying for match tickets which last season proved to be better financially . Friday is deadline day and as I have a hunch that next season will not only be very exciting and successful leading to promotion -there the optimism in me has started already, renewal it has to be.
Pardew -tough job
Looking back on previous promotion campaigns the managers of their day- Sir Lennie and Curbs had a number of big factors in their favour
1 The players they accumulated in their squads were a right motley crew of hungry, do or die young and old players, journeymen striving to better themselves -on salaries which would be considered a joke today .
Lennie had players like
Hard man Aizlewood , A hard man who could play football -we could do with him now
Honest George Shipley-Never stopped running Mr 100%
Mr perfect- John Humphrey one of the best full backs to wear a red shirt-did he ever put a foot wrong
Baby face- John Pearson He was very brave and great in the air
Ice Man- Mark Reid Mr Cool never looked flustered under pressure
Gunner Steve Thompson In a battle I would want to be on his side.
The Board -Survival in 85/86 was all it was concerned with -The supporters were just grateful to still be in existence
The team of Gypsies played with such determination they all seem to give an extra 10%
Carlisle United 2 Charlton Athletic 3 -Where were you
It is not always easy to remember where you were when great events happen in your life be they sad or joyful- The first man on the moon -Kennedy's assignation, England winning the World cup, The state funeral of Churchill -which incidentally really upset me, not because of the occasion for which my dad hugged me and said never mind he had a good innings, but someone decided Saturday Morning pictures should be cancelled as a mark of respect. Saturday morning pictures was very popular in the early sixties- no 24 hour telly in those days, for 3d old money, it was the highlight of the week. You wore your ABC cinema membership badge with great pride and if by any chance your birthday fell on a Saturday you would receive a certificate on stage and a free Jamboree bag full of sweets. We never knew of anyone getting on stage when it wasn't their birthday but I suppose it must have happened. Our parents dropped us off at 8am to watch Flash Gordon, Laural and Hardy, The Brash Street Kids and loads of cartoons in a packed Cinema. My Dad would collect us six and seven year olds outside the Cinema five hours later, sometimes he would arrive 30 minutes late, happy as Larry and smelling of cigarettes and beer. Everyone seemed to smoke in those days and secondary smoking had not been discovered and another thing, you could park your car anywhere in the high street without a getting a ticket . Those were the days.
Anyway back to Carlisle and I certainly remember where I was then. Unfortunately on the big day and because of my illustrious playing career on the local playing fields of South East London my club was involved in a cup semi final which eventually had to be cancelled because the referee failed to turn up- things like that happened all the time.
My girlfriend at the time had just arrived to watch me play when the cancellation was announced, so she quickly suggested we go to Selhurst park to watch her beloved Palarse. You may well ask how could you go out with a Palace supporter but my excuse was she was bloody good looking and also worked for the FA which enabled me to watch my only ever cup-final Liverpool 3 Everton 1 in the FA box directly below the Presentation area. My memory of that game was watching a young Lineker tear Liverpool apart for the first 20 minutes and score (for a big man he was quick) . Liverpool went on to achieve a deserved double.
At Selhurst the tension was unbearable- for me only that is, the match we were watching was a so meaningless the biggest cheer of the day was the tannoy announcement that Charlton were 2-0 down which was quickly corrected to 2-1 . The second half is a great entry in the Chronicles of Charlton history and because I was in the midst of Palarse supporters my celebrations were muted to say the least , but I certainly made up for them later in the evening. One last thing, how many Charlton fans in our moment of glory, the biggest match for 11 years, had to endure a match at Selhurst watching Palace.
Looking back I should have been at Brunton Park but I loved playing football so much and women can make you do some strange things.
So much has been written about the side that made the play-offs but there were so many players with something to prove like
Hit Man Mendonca -So clinical
Home grown Rufus One of the best from the academy
Gentleman Jones Keith Jones so underrated
Ruthless Kinsella No prisoners taken always will be in my first eleven of all time greats.
Johnny Rotten Robinson Always played with an edge and a strop but so effective
For the Board and supporters all their dreams came true
Expectations are so high now, we have been to the promised land and we want and expect to get back there next season -Pardews last stand.
Come on you Reds.