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New Article: End of season thoughts ....

On a pleasant Spring evening we gathered at The Valley to salute the Player of the Year and to celebrate what we as a club are all about. As Diego Poyet, every inch looking the young samurai and an absolute star in the making, received the first modest accolade of what we all hope for him will be a glittering career, it gave the chance to reflect not only on what has been a turbulent few months but also to consider some wider perspectives. As a card-carrying member of the CL nostalgic wing I hope the young 'uns (anyone under 65) will indulge me.

It was a pleasure to see a disgracefully young and fit looking Keith Peacock going about his business. A half-century and more he has been around, and what changes there have been. To look out across the modern Valley, perhaps a little weather-beaten these days but still to us the proudest of stadiums, the backdrop behind the JS now beautiful trees instead of an old tip as in years gone by, looking over a youth tournament in full swing on our poor old battered pitch and with a nice scattering of onlookers in the West - it's still a wonderful experience. KP is our link to earlier days, when the ground was gently declining into its rust-belt years, and we have a picture not of youth on the pitch but a spindly John Hewie beetling along the touchline, wing-nut ears wind-assisted on a damp and squally Valley winter's afternoon ....

From those times on, football then met a most formidable challenge which blighted it for years and might even have proved terminal - violence. This culminated in the events at Heysel in 1985. To recall those moments in the absolute depths of the abyss, the words of an Italian newspaper : " Italy and England have confirmed themselves as the shabbiest countries in Europe, those which pour all their hopes, their ideology, their faith. their thirst for revenge not into football as a game, but into the fight at the edge of the pitch, the fight in the stands, the fight at the stadium gates. But Belgium has sealed the day with her shameful inefficiency. Brussels was a truly European display. The dead fell in the name of this Europe, medieval once again." Far indeed have we come since those days, but this journey still has far to travel.

The year 1985 also brought our exodus from SE7 to SE25, and one way and another to where we are today, via the BTTV campaign, Lennie, Alwen and Norris, Murray and Simons, 25 May 98, Curbishley (and not forgetting Gritt or Day or Peacock), Pardew, TJ and MS, Powell, and finally to RD and a new European dimension. All the intervening events have helped to shape our Club, and the multitude of strands go to make up what is the great game of Football.

The modern game, alas, is beset by a threat even greater than that posed in the violent times. The overt cartelisation of Big Football and its domination by a handful of self-appointed, self-perpetuating clubs, aided and abetted by the football authorities, TV and other commercial interests, will be to its great detriment. I for one have declining interest in the laughably-named Champions League - how can you be called a champion if you come fourth ? - with the same old, same old teams exchanging the same old players at ever-increasing cost, the clubs themselves becoming ever more alike : Real Milan vs Barcenal .... At the moment I can't even find much enthusiasm for the World Cup, but then as I've so often said (forgive me again), I was at Wembley in '66.

I for one will begrudge every single cent that RD spends in the transfer market and on agents - home-grown is for sure the way to go for clubs such as ours, most certainly if FFP duly shows itself to be like the dog with no teeth - it can't bite, but only give you a nasty suck. And that brings me to a close, back at The Valley on Sunday evening, proud to be amongst the faithful, our engaging and talented young players, our stalwarts such as JJ and MM every bit the equal of our heroes in days gone by, and certainly our new Belgian friends. Following Charlton has always been a blessing and a curse - long may it remain so. UTA !!
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Comments

  • Thanks GHF, enjoyed that
  • "Blessing and a curse" sums it up perfectly.
  • great read
  • Very nicely written, enjoyed reading especially your comments about K.P.
    Supporting Charlton a blessing and curse, excellent and so very true.
  • A nostalgic romantic, you very much appear to be. Deluded, you are not. Great post.
  • Keith Peacock: top bloke. If it wasn't for Sam Bartram he'd have a statue outside the West Stand and a close named after him.
  • Keith Peacock: top bloke. If it wasn't for Sam Bartram he'd have a statue outside the West Stand and a close named after him.

    I wonder if there will ever be a Loic Nego Close? (:
  • Wonderfull GHF what halycon days I can clearly see John Hewie & Brian Tocknell majesticaly playing the ball out of defence ie wacking the ball into the main stand ! Whilst Brian Kinsey & KP would be shouting for a short pass .
  • Great post. Thanks.
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  • Many thanks indeed for the kind remarks. Regarding Keith Peacock, he looked as fit as the proverbial butcher's dog, good for many years to come. Loic Nego Close ? I think you'll find it just round the corner from Cory Gibbs Crescent. And Fossdene - mention of John Hewie must bring back the time when he took over as goalkeeper for four games : we drew two and won two. Timeless memories ....
  • Love your musings, GHF

    "Wing-nut ears wind assisted" - what memories that must evoke in the more mature Addicks !

    I agree with your emphasis on a mainly home grown policy as long as it's accompanied by a smattering of "older" heads to guide the young 'uns through those difficult times ...think JJ & Hughsey.

  • edited May 2014
    Marvellous thoughts - and gorgeously written as always, GHF. You know Henry Irving went to meet your hero and mine, Matt Tees, in retirement recently. He had one of the very best sporting qualities - courage. Matt won every header, and when he was knocked down he "unfolded his limbs" - as you beautifully put it - and rose again. Yes, 1968. And the ref from Ipswich, shuffling in his black habit, with the curious lop-sided hair-do, white and piled up to one side...
  • You get a sense of relief when the season ends and after a couple of days you can't wait for it to begin again. Football!!!
  • edited May 2014

    Keith Peacock: top bloke. If it wasn't for Sam Bartram he'd have a statue outside the West Stand and a close named after him.

    I wonder if there will ever be a Loic Nego Close? (:
    There already is. Runs parallel with Tom Hovi Avenue. There is a block of flats at the top -Ruben Agboola House.


  • Thanks VF - as always the pleasure's mine. Yes, I was most envious of young Irving's meeting with Matt Tees. And to continue the Hewie theme, he was himself a bag of bones, of course. When he played in goal he was watched intently - in particular the match against Plymouth, which was an important one - and it looked like quite a job of co-ordination when he stooped to gather the ball. He handled it as gingerly as if it were a new-born babe .... oh Gawd, got me started again !!

  • Thanks VF - as always the pleasure's mine. Yes, I was most envious of young Irving's meeting with Matt Tees. And to continue the Hewie theme, he was himself a bag of bones, of course. When he played in goal he was watched intently - in particular the match against Plymouth, which was an important one - and it looked like quite a job of co-ordination when he stooped to gather the ball. He handled it as gingerly as if it were a new-born babe .... oh Gawd, got me started again !!

    GHF mention of John Hewie I have a confession to make. In them dark selhurst days when the Voice of the Valley was in full swing we were asked to submit our best & worst all time Charlton 11.my worst team had a Charlton team with John Hewie down in every position ! I dont think I had the courage to submit my correct name but used an alias of david nicholson boy did I get some stick in the next edition . So after all these years I apologise to anybody I offended and beg forgiveness

  • Thanks VF - as always the pleasure's mine. Yes, I was most envious of young Irving's meeting with Matt Tees. And to continue the Hewie theme, he was himself a bag of bones, of course. When he played in goal he was watched intently - in particular the match against Plymouth, which was an important one - and it looked like quite a job of co-ordination when he stooped to gather the ball. He handled it as gingerly as if it were a new-born babe .... oh Gawd, got me started again !!

    Oh, that's fantastic, GHF! Hewie was slightly before my time, so I missed those wonderful contortions. I blame Harry Gregory for my incorrigible cynicism. As a nipper, I was standing on that odd bit of terracing between the stand and the open end: Gregory fluffed a corner and a bloke yelled: "My old lady could have done that" - and Gregory, trotting back to the midfield, flicked him a V-sign behind his back...






  • edited May 2014
    Fossdene - well it's all coming out now, you scoundrel !! I remember reading that in VoTV coming back from Derby, the first Voice I had ever seen, and I honestly thought it was brilliant. "Worst Charlton team of all time : Hewie; Hewie, Hewie; Hewie, Hewie, Hewie; Hewie, Hewie, Hewie, Hewie, Hewie" in the notation of the time, because of course he was the first Charlton player to cover all 11 positions on the pitch. Apology quite unnecessary !!

    VF - many thanks once again. I have to say that of that special team of '68/69 H was not one of my favourites. Too often he would settle for winning a throw-in or a corner instead of trying for something a little more ambitious, and he could pull some sly tricks, too. There were so many wonderful players in that team, in pure football terms the best being Alan Campbell, I would say.

    Oh dear, folks, more deplorably self-indulgent reminiscences .... Whilst in old-timer mode may I digress to wish March51 all the best - it's a while since we heard the marvellous stories of his ex Bomber Command neighbour, and longer still since any word on that quintessential CL topic: trams !! I hope you are steadily on the mend, young man - please let us have some news.

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  • Keith Peacock: top bloke. If it wasn't for Sam Bartram he'd have a statue outside the West Stand and a close named after him.

    I wonder if there will ever be a Loic Nego Close? (:
    How about:

    Loic Nego close to being a replacement for Solly at right back, but not close enough
  • My end of season thoughts are that most of the time we were pretty awful and I arrived home in a bit of a foul mood having seen us lose again. Fortunately, there were enough reasonable-to-good performances to have me wondering about our forthcoming transfer activity and wishing the new season was here already.
  • Keith Peacock was my hero as a kid and I used to write to him. He always replied, hand written of course in those days. When I produced those same letters some 40 odd years later to show him at a POTY function, I think he was quite amazed that I still had them. To me he is Mr Charlton and his record is blemished only by that thankfully very short period at WHU.
  • Keith Peacock was my hero as a kid and I used to write to him. He always replied, hand written of course in those days. When I produced those same letters some 40 odd years later to show him at a POTY function, I think he was quite amazed that I still had them. To me he is Mr Charlton and his record is blemished only by that thankfully very short period at WHU.

    I'm guessing he had a family to look after and needed a job, so why should his time at another club, whoever it was, blemish his record? Or did he do something terrible whilst there?
  • Keith Peacock was my hero as a kid and I used to write to him. He always replied, hand written of course in those days. When I produced those same letters some 40 odd years later to show him at a POTY function, I think he was quite amazed that I still had them. To me he is Mr Charlton and his record is blemished only by that thankfully very short period at WHU.

    I'm guessing he had a family to look after and needed a job, so why should his time at another club, whoever it was, blemish his record? Or did he do something terrible whilst there?
    Oh chill out. I'm joking.

  • Keith Peacock was my hero as a kid and I used to write to him. He always replied, hand written of course in those days. When I produced those same letters some 40 odd years later to show him at a POTY function, I think he was quite amazed that I still had them. To me he is Mr Charlton and his record is blemished only by that thankfully very short period at WHU.

    Mr Peacock also managed Gillingham for 6 years (and later, at Maidstone Utd when they were a League club).


  • What a wonderful evocative article GHF. I'm guessing you started your Charlton adventures around about the same time as me 1957, the year we nearly made it back first season losing at home to Blackburn in the last game.
    Some wonderful characters playing for us then, apart from John Hewie, in my somewhat befuddled memory, The great (sometimes) Willie Duff in goal, Don Townsend, Gordon Jago, Stuart Leary, Sam Lawrie, Johnny Summers et al.
    I wonder how much our future would have changed if we had indeed gone back up at the first time of asking.
  • Oggy Red said:

    Keith Peacock was my hero as a kid and I used to write to him. He always replied, hand written of course in those days. When I produced those same letters some 40 odd years later to show him at a POTY function, I think he was quite amazed that I still had them. To me he is Mr Charlton and his record is blemished only by that thankfully very short period at WHU.

    Mr Peacock also managed Gillingham for 6 years (and later, at Maidstone Utd when they were a League club).


    And assistant manager at the Tampa Bay Rowdies under Gordon Jago. I can forgive him all those clubs, but WHU is an entirely different matter (I'd better add lol before AddicksAddick gets on my case again)

  • edited May 2014
    Thank you GHF, it's been a long long time time since my Dad left me at two months old outside Crabble football ground in a pram! So much in life has changed but change, as you rightly observe, does not necessarily mean advancement! A good read Mister!
  • I love the flicking the V story, it is what football is all about. The "product" has slowly been sanitised to the point where most of the fun has been taken out. Imagine if a player did it now days, he would be hung, drawn and quartered on MotD.
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