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March 1951 - October 2014 (RIP @March51)

Saturday March 31st, 1951. The day George Phippen took his five year old son to The Valley for the first time.

Despite suffering a 0-1 defeat to Portsmouth, it didn’t put young Terry off. He grew up going with his dad, then his pals, then his future wife, and then me, his son.

He told me tales of being chased by hooligans, and being accosted by stewards for carrying an offensive banana. Then there's the infamous incident that saw thieves break into his car, parked near The Valley, to steal the stereo, while taking the time to find the fascia under the seat, place it on the stereo and eject Tel’s favourite Dwayne Eddy tape. The villains tossed it to the floor in a move that Tel found more offensive than the theft itself.

He first took me to a game in 1985, the last at The Valley. I remember him being an embarrassing dad, telling everybody who would listen about my first game being Charlton’s last. But in hindsight I realise he was just excited to introduce the next generation.

He liked to be different, he didn’t want to be like every other family. He liked that my first game was the last at the Valley, it was a nice story to tell. Being a Charlton fan in the 80s, surrounded by Liverpool glory hunters was character defining. We had a funny old car, lived in a funny old house and supported a funny old team, a club who couldn’t afford to throw shirts into the crowd, as Lennie Lawrence once said.

We went to many games at Selhurst, travelled to Wembley for the Full Members Cup final, and he made sure we were made it to the first game back at The Valley. We saw Leaburn fight a referee on the goal line, regretted booing Kim Grant together, witnessed Garry Nelson hit the first hat trick since my hero Jim Milsop Melrose did the same.

His first illness, in the late 90s, decimated our attendance. I went to one game in that promotion year, as I couldn’t bear to go without him. Turned out he wasn’t dying; he just had coeliac disease. Once off the gluten, he was back in action in time for the play-offs. We were among the very last to leave Wembley, and subsequently hardly missed a minute of the Premiership adventure.

As Charlton plummeted, we rarely lost interest in the team, although we both struggled to deal with the negative atmosphere that had taken over the crowd. His serious health issues arose on the day Nicky Bailey fired a penalty into orbit. He recovered enough for us to get season tickets again, and for the last four years I’ve been conscious of the fact that time was going to run out on us sooner or later, and I made a point of enjoying the time we had, giving him a big hug when we scored. Which clearly. wasn't often enough!

I’m not sure what our last game together was, probably the Birmingham draw. I asked him last week, but neither of us could remember clearly. I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Dad passed away this morning. When people refer to a loved one's passing as 'peaceful’, I now know what they mean. We knew it was coming, but that hasn't dulled the shock. Knowing I can never speak to him again. We had a moment, just the two of us on Saturday night that I'll always cherish. I don’t know how the hell I’m going to find a way to go back without him but I know he’d want me to.

He managed just shy of 54 years of solid, unwavering support, and I think Charlton were lucky to have him.




  • Sorry to hear of your lost Jimmy. I never met him but he was one of my favourite posters on this forum.
  • Very sorry to hear that, he'll be sorely missed.
  • So sad, so young, sorry for your loss.
  • RIP.

    So sorry for your loss.
  • That's a very moving tribute to your dad, Jimmy. They say grown men shouldn't cry, particularly in an office, but that bought a tear to my eye. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. RIP Terry. Gone but not forgotten.
  • Thoughts are with you and your family.

    A very moving post.
  • Fantastic tribute Jimmy...genuinely got a tear in my eye in the office.

    Thoughts with you right now. RIP
  • Very sorry to hear of your dad's passing Jimmy. That piece that you just wrote was heart warming and a tribute to both you and your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
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  • So sorry to hear that Jimmy.

    What an absolutely wonderful tribute to your dad.

    Rest In Peace fellow Addick.

  • RIP

    Lovely tribute Jimmy
  • edited January 2015

    Thoughts are with you and your family Jimmy
    a very nice tribute as well
  • RIP

    great tribute from which you can tell he was a top man and a top dad.

  • RIP

    Nice post Jimmy
  • RIP great tribute.
  • A very sad day, Jimmy - thank you for posting such a touching tribute to a thoughtful, kind hearted man.

    Dear Terry,
    I'll miss our warm little exchanges on Charlton Life.
    And thank you for your kindness to me.

    I'm so glad we had the chance to meet.

    Cheerio, mate,

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  • Yes, a lovely tribute to your dad Jimmy. Condolences to you and your family :-(
  • The best obituary you could write Jimmy. So sad for your loss.
  • Lovely tribute Jimmy - very moving.

    RIP Terry.
  • Thank you for sharing your dad's story with us.

    He seemed a lovely man and i'm very sad to hear of his passing.

    My condolences go out to you and the rest of his family and friends.

    I hope there is still time to add his name to the annual tribute on Saturday.
  • Sad to hear of your loss.
  • Very very sad. I'm sure he would be very proud of "his" son for writing such a lovely loving tribute. All the best mate, and of course too your family. RIP March51
  • A lovely tribute to your Dad. So sorry for your loss. R.I.P. March51
  • Very moving

  • Very sad but beautifully written. RIP.
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