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New Article: The Charlton rollercoaster continues....

If Charlton was a girlfriend I would have got shot of her many moons ago.

In fact I would have probably sworn off relationships altogether and resigned myself to a life of non- iron shirts, pot noodles and paying over the odds for high speed broadband.

If i wanted to spend my weekends thoroughly depressed and frequently humiliated in an environment of misery and despair I wouldnt bother leaving the office on Friday evenings.

Unfortunatley this football club is like no woman or job that I have have encountered in my relatively short time as an adult. No matter how much misery it has bestowed upon me I haven't been able to give it the Spanish Archer, cant fathom the possibility of changing it for another and to be honest dont think I ever could keep myself away for any sustainable period of time.


Whilst not yet wed myself I view marriage as a commitment entered into by both parties voluntarily with the obvious exceptions of certain cultural arrangements or those prompted by unexpected pregnancies and encouraged by shotgun- wielding fathers in Rednecksville.

Even in those scenarios there is usually a get out clause when one or both parties decide to call time on their union.

When it comes to your football team you don't necessarily have the luxury such of such deliberation.

You may luck- in and happen to be born into a family with roots in supporting a consistently successful club and legitimately enjoy the rewards of that particular silver spoon.

Alternatively you may decide to declare alleigance to a glamour club of your own election and whilst this spoon may be plastic in its compostion it is as equally shiny.

However for many of us your football club is something you inherit from your old man either out of blind, misguided loyalty or sheer insistence of your elder and supposedly wiser. A stigma which can often cause the same resentment and shame as a hereditary thrid nipple.  Thanks Dad.

The start of a long and oft painful lifelong bond is entered into as a child without suitable knowledge or any understanding of the full facts, implications and consequences. And without any real chance of escape. You would get slaughtered for giving your 7 year old son a crafty sup of your pint when  his mum's not looking. Yet take him to Selhurst to see them annhialated by Liverpool, sparking an unquenchable addiction to Charlton Athletic thus condemning him to a lifetime of ups and downs, cheers and tears and no one blinks an eyelid. What a sick world we live in.

I was a privileged young Addick. My marriage to the club was formalised with us on the up returning to The Valley and my blushing bride was the radiant Curbishley who took me on a whirlwind romance through the football leagues and taught me how to love. He certainly knew a trick or two. I was spoiled and although he sometimes bored me I was happy and knew he was a keeper.

Unfortunately we grew too comfortable and the unthinkable happened.... he left our happy home. We didnt give him what we wanted and we parted amid emotional scenes.
The Charlton ship started sinking and we were left clinging like Kate Winslet to her makeshift raft with only memories to see us through the storm.  And what choppy waters they turned out to be.

The age old adage of you dont know what you've got til it's gone rang true with deafening ferocity as our slow descent commenced. Dalliances with posible replacements proved tumultuous. We stumbled into the grasp of Ian Dowie, not the greatest looker but hey we were desperate and we greeted him with all the enthusiasm of a lonely, frustrated drunk in a kebab shop at ten to two eyeing up the ropey chubby bird ordering double chips.

It was unsatisfying and somewhat unpleasant and we awoke from our drunken slumber to an almighty hangover and called her a taxi.

Desperate for comfort and reassurance we fell into the arms of Uncle Les, a familiar figure at a time of uncertainty. But it didnt feel right and we agreed to just stay friends.

Then as we continued to mourn for our great lost love, along came a silver fox whose charm knocked us bandy. He splashed the cash and flattered to deceive but there was no substance there and he was dangerous, damaging even and so he got the boot.

This left us with Phil, his nice mate. A great man. Perfect for Charlton on paper and an absolute gentlemen. But it just didnt feel right. The spark wasnt there and it didnt seem like the Curb's magic we so longed for could be renewed under his tenure.

Just as we thought we would never love again a short, dark, (not much of a) stranger emerged from the tunnel to a spine- tingling roar of the voiciferous Valley faithful. Appearing as if he had just walked off a catwalk this dapper young pretender was instantly cast into the role of the would be hero in the Charlton fairytale.

A five game winning streak singalled that we were in Disneyland and the good times had finally returned. Unofortunately fairytales tend to contain a Brothers Grimm element of horror and this was played out in the remaining games of the season leaving us once again feeling bewildered.

Time will tell if Chris Powell will be the Prince Charming to lead us to a life of happily ever after.

The impressive activity in the transfer market in recent weeks and fervent reaction and speculation has certainly ignited flickers in the hearts of many addicks.

The new board, whilst still somewhat obscured in dark shadows of their own choosing, have offered a suggestion that they are more well- intentioned knights on white steads rather than the money- hungry, smoke- blowing dragons some of us fear.

Whilst there will no doubt be chinks in their armour their actions of the past months should speak louder than their words including those both said and left unspoken.

We are being wooed and seranaded and there is a lot of love in the air around all things Charlton at the moment it seems . A seed has been  planted and it is now down to Powell, his players and us to nuture it and ensure that it bears fruit in 9 months.

Many times bitten and many times shy we will proceed with cautious optimism taking tentative steps with our new suitors. Whilst they might make us feel eighteen again only time will tell if this will be a long and happy courtship.

But so far the signs are good.

Whilst we are not yet shopping at Harrods  we have appeared to have moved away from the discount bargain aisle at Liddles and Im sure our shopping cart is envy of many managers and fans up and down the country.

With all the talk of price tags and undisclosed fees the recent signings have provided an intangible feel good factor amongst fans which is priceless and hopefully the euphoria evident on the forums can be used to snowball the momentum at the club over the coming season.

Whether it be five or ten years another honeymoon in in the top flight seems to be a distinct possibility rather than the beyond reach flirtation as it did six months ago.


Whilst we are not yet dining out at The Ivy with Pippa Middleton I no longer feel like im sat across the table from Kerry Catona watching her devour a plate of egg and chips only stopping to light up another Sovereign in a Welcome Break somewhere near Scarborough.

Cheryl cole up the oxo tower perhaps is a good starting point on our way back to greatness.

Instead of wishing that the ground would swallow me up every saturday at 4.45pm I am looking forward to leaving The Valley this season on a Saturday, head held high with our dignity and pride restored and  a real belief that romance is no longer dead at Charlton.




  • Perfectly summed up. Here's to another Charlton romance......
  • Fook me how long did that take to type .....
    Nice words
  • "Cheryl cole up the oxo tower perhaps is a good starting point on our way back to greatness"

    We'd all take that!

  • Novelist in the making ...well put and like the Kerry and Pippa comparison
  • Really accurate metaphor for the last 10 years of charlton life. I started my "relationship" with charlton bullied by my dad to support cafc or he'd disown me, only to find that charlton were floating in the champsionship and that curbs was going to take over after gritt. I was at wembley in 1998 and that truely felt like a marriage.

    Last season was grounds for devorce but hopefully "shes" learnt her lesson after a stern telling off and I'm truely looking forward to a season with "my girl" on my arm and strutting through the high st like the good old days.

    Back the board!!! Long live King Chris!!!


  • Brilliant article RCT, well said pal
  • Cheryl Cole or Pippa Middleton?

    fook that's a hard choice!
  • Great read....summed Parky up very well.

    I'll gladly take Cheryl Cole up the Oxo tower!
  • I am looking forward to leaving The Valley this season on a Saturday,


    Good post, I looking forward to turning up expecting good football. The last few seasons trekking down to the Vleey has been like going to the dentists and praying that he will give you the all clear without too much expensive and painfull treatment. Two hours later and too often we've come away feeling disappointed.
  • edited July 2011
    Very good stuff and a well developed metaphor.  Funny but it made its point well.  Having had Charlton "inflected" on me by my dad I then "inflicted" it on my son.  Is that hard for him sometimes? Sure it is but such is life.

    Loving this spate of articles.  Tricky yesterday and now Rodney today.  Keep them coming guys (and others) as I honestly think they give a whole added dimension to what is already a great site.

    Who's next?
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  • Cheryl Cole or Pippa Middleton?

    fook that's a hard choice!
    Not hard at all, Pippa all day, would u want to go where Ashley Cole has been
  • Nice one Rodders, cushty!
  • Cheers for the comments
  • Great read! I enjoyed that!
  • Cheryl Cole or Pippa Middleton?

    fook that's a hard choice!
    Not hard at all, Pippa all day, would u want to go where Ashley Cole has been
    That and the accent does put me off Cheryl but still, say no to one in order to have the other?
  • nice one rodders you know it makes sense !

    why does henry irving sound so pompous and patronising ? or is it the pic ?

    or is it just me ?
  • edited July 2011
    nice one rodders you know it makes sense !

    why does henry irving sound so pompous and patronising ? or is it the pic ?

    or is it just me ?
    Charming.   So praising someone is patronising even though RCT thanked everyone for their comments.

    Maybe it was the big words you didn't understand
  • thats right henry must have been the big words ,,,you re so superior !

    coya !
  • edited July 2011
    "you say Tomato, I say ....."
  • edited July 2011
    thats right henry must have been the big words ,,,you re so superior !

    coya !
    And you're not worth the effort.  Bye bye troll
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  • troll ? thats only 5 letters surely you ve got longer than that !

    coya !!!

  • troll ? thats only 5 letters surely you ve got longer than that !

    coya !!!

    Please don't wreck or try & derail a serious thread.

  • damed good post by rodders back on it
  • loved the plastic spoon comment.

    young rodders not so much a plonker.
  • I think I love you, Rodney.
  • I think I love you, Rodney.

    Ha thank you ;-)
  • Tread carefully rodders, she's nothing but a charleton. She loved me once......
  • Ah, those were the days, AFKA .....
  • Good work rodders - nicely sums up our (hopeful) anticipation that things could finally be going our way once more!
  • nice one rodney.

    is taking cheryl cole up the oxo tower, a reference for giving one one up the back passage?
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