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NEW ARTICLE: Coming home

After much angst I was persuaded to stop boycotting and go to the game last night. I understand why people continue to stay away and I have nothing but admiration for them. However I couldn't carry on, I've missed the Valley, the Red Red Robin and that fabulous old ground. I am so glad that I caved in and went. Thanks to those who have helped me, you know who you are.

Going back was an extremely emotional experience. The walk up Charlton Church Lane, turning into Floyd Road with a huge mass of people. Seeing people I hadn't seen in a couple of years since I walked away, to be greeted like an old friend, no animosity. Thank you. It was great to be home.

The game was typical Charlton, heart stopping, frustrating and just sheer agony. However something has changed, a buzz, a belief. Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson have managed to build up that link between the team and it's fans. They've repaired some of the damage and given fans hope. When we conceded, heads could have dropped, but they didn't. Fans just got louder and louder. Even When Doncaster took the lead on aggregate the noise levels rose. The fans swept the team forwards. It was somewhat inevitable that we would end up with penalties.

I bet everyone who was there 9 years ago when Mr Bailey sent a match ball into orbit thought here we go again. No, not this Charlton. It has the grit of Gritt, the effervescence of the Welsh Wizard on the Wing Johnny Robinson, the calmness of Chris Powell, the assured stature of Morrison and the sheer lunancy of Hreidarsson. This is a Charlton of old and it's connected with me.

When Tommy Rowe skewered his shot into the covered end time seemed to stop, it seemed that everyone was thinking is that it? Have we done it? The players in the centre circle charging forwards sparking abject pandemonium. A proper full on joyous pitch invasion, a collective mass of europoric celebration engulfing the hallowed turf. So different to the one three years ago. I cried tears of pain then, last night there were tears of joy.

Don't get me wrong, Duchatelet continues to present a clear and present danger to our future. The fact Bowyer hasn't been given a contract yet, that the team could easily be broken up.

So long as the manager and coach are there we have a chance and we have our Charlton back.

The heart is still beating, we have a dedicated team working at the Valley still, people who through thick and thin did not give up. They deserve our gratitude.

For me, I'm a fan again, I can enjoy my football with a pint and a moan if I want. I've reconnected.

Thanks Jacko, thanks Lee, thanks Charlton.

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Comments

  • Very well put.

    Good job Roland has secured the services of Lee and Johnnie for the future.
  • "So long as the manager and coach are there we have a chance and we have our Charlton back".

    It's sounding very much like some people said all along then, it's actually about results!
  • Agreed. Last night was my first game this season due to my boycott. But, I can really feel the pull back to the club. I will be getting a season ticket as soon as they go back on sale.
  • Glad you came along Dave!
  • se9addick said:
    cafckev said:
    Agreed. Last night was my first game this season due to my boycott. But, I can really feel the pull back to the club. I will be getting a season ticket as soon as they go back on sale.
    Good grief, some of these boycotts don’t sound very boycotty! 
    What was ‘right’ at one point might not necessarily be ‘right’ at another. No one should feel tied to anything, no one is judging anyone. It’s not life or death stuff, not even close. 

    Welcome home BDL. You’ll never get a first love buzz like that down Gravesend :-)
    Exactly this, everyone has different situations, thresholds etc.
  • Is that really 9 years ago since Bailey missed that pen ? Unbelievable 
  • se9addick said:
    cafckev said:
    Agreed. Last night was my first game this season due to my boycott. But, I can really feel the pull back to the club. I will be getting a season ticket as soon as they go back on sale.
    Good grief, some of these boycotts don’t sound very boycotty! 
    What was ‘right’ at one point might not necessarily be ‘right’ at another. No one should feel tied to anything, no one is judging anyone. It’s not life or death stuff, not even close. 

    Welcome home BDL. You’ll never get a first love buzz like that down Gravesend :-)
    Absolutely - people are entitled to do as they please. I just find it interesting that people were boycotting in protest at Roland’s ownership and some are now ending that boycott despite the one critical factor that promoted their boycott not changing. 
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  • Welcome home Brain and to anyone else who succumbed.

  • se9addick said:
    se9addick said:
    cafckev said:
    Agreed. Last night was my first game this season due to my boycott. But, I can really feel the pull back to the club. I will be getting a season ticket as soon as they go back on sale.
    Good grief, some of these boycotts don’t sound very boycotty! 
    What was ‘right’ at one point might not necessarily be ‘right’ at another. No one should feel tied to anything, no one is judging anyone. It’s not life or death stuff, not even close. 

    Welcome home BDL. You’ll never get a first love buzz like that down Gravesend :-)
    Absolutely - people are entitled to do as they please. I just find it interesting that people were boycotting in protest at Roland’s ownership and some are now ending that boycott despite the one critical factor that promoted their boycott not changing. 
    I get that,  and that's always going to be a worry for me and (hopefully) every other Charlton fan, BUT it's about having a manager and a team we can buy into. Since the Gaffer left, with the possible exception of Jose in his first term, I don't think there has been a manager that has been proper Charlton. Bowyer is.

    For the record, I'm still working down the road and have loved that, despite recent difficulties. But when I can get there I'll be at the Valley again.
  • BDL said:
    se9addick said:
    se9addick said:
    cafckev said:
    Agreed. Last night was my first game this season due to my boycott. But, I can really feel the pull back to the club. I will be getting a season ticket as soon as they go back on sale.
    Good grief, some of these boycotts don’t sound very boycotty! 
    What was ‘right’ at one point might not necessarily be ‘right’ at another. No one should feel tied to anything, no one is judging anyone. It’s not life or death stuff, not even close. 

    Welcome home BDL. You’ll never get a first love buzz like that down Gravesend :-)
    Absolutely - people are entitled to do as they please. I just find it interesting that people were boycotting in protest at Roland’s ownership and some are now ending that boycott despite the one critical factor that promoted their boycott not changing. 
    I get that,  and that's always going to be a worry for me and (hopefully) every other Charlton fan, BUT it's about having a manager and a team we can buy into. Since the Gaffer left, with the possible exception of Jose in his first term, I don't think there has been a manager that has been proper Charlton. Bowyer is.

    For the record, I'm still working down the road and have loved that, despite recent difficulties. But when I can get there I'll be at the Valley again.
    It’s totally fine - and I don’t want to create the impression that I’m digging you (or anyone else who chooses to end their boycott now) out, I’m really not. 

    I think as much as Bowyer being “proper Charlton” it’s also about the results on the pitch, I doubt people would have been breaking their boycotts had we finished mid-table, even with Bowyer at the helm. 
  • edited May 18
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  • edited May 18
    BDL said:
    After much angst I was persuaded to stop boycotting and go to the game last night. I understand why people continue to stay away and I have nothing but admiration for them. However I couldn't carry on, I've missed the Valley, the Red Red Robin and that fabulous old ground. I am so glad that I caved in and went. Thanks to those who have helped me, you know who you are.

    Going back was an extremely emotional experience. The walk up Charlton Church Lane, turning into Floyd Road with a huge mass of people. Seeing people I hadn't seen in a couple of years since I walked away, to be greeted like an old friend, no animosity. Thank you. It was great to be home.

    The game was typical Charlton, heart stopping, frustrating and just sheer agony. However something has changed, a buzz, a belief. Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson have managed to build up that link between the team and it's fans. They've repaired some of the damage and given fans hope. When we conceded, heads could have dropped, but they didn't. Fans just got louder and louder. Even When Doncaster took the lead on aggregate the noise levels rose. The fans swept the team forwards. It was somewhat inevitable that we would end up with penalties.

    I bet everyone who was there 9 years ago when Mr Bailey sent a match ball into orbit thought here we go again. No, not this Charlton. It has the grit of Gritt, the effervescence of the Welsh Wizard on the Wing Johnny Robinson, the calmness of Chris Powell, the assured stature of Morrison and the sheer lunancy of Hreidarsson. This is a Charlton of old and it's connected with me.

    When Tommy Rowe skewered his shot into the covered end time seemed to stop, it seemed that everyone was thinking is that it? Have we done it? The players in the centre circle charging forwards sparking abject pandemonium. A proper full on joyous pitch invasion, a collective mass of europoric celebration engulfing the hallowed turf. So different to the one three years ago. I cried tears of pain then, last night there were tears of joy.

    Don't get me wrong, Duchatelet continues to present a clear and present danger to our future. The fact Bowyer hasn't been given a contract yet, that the team could easily be broken up.

    So long as the manager and coach are there we have a chance and we have our Charlton back.

    The heart is still beating, we have a dedicated team working at the Valley still, people who through thick and thin did not give up. They deserve our gratitude.

    For me, I'm a fan again, I can enjoy my football with a pint and a moan if I want. I've reconnected.

    Thanks Jacko, thanks Lee, thanks Charlton.

    Good to have you back, BDL.  When I met LB in January - he was watching his daughter play football, I told him how much him and Jacko have brought to the fan base and he seemed genuinely touched .

    You’ve had more reason than anyone to stay away and it’s great to hear that you have been inspired by what’s going on 
  • Superb scenes last night.

    I have spent the last few years in mourning for all the hundreds of wonderful hours that my football club had given me over the years and that includes the many, many ball achingly bad ones!

    Pure joy on the pitch after, a common release after what has been a horrible period in our history, Well done to Lee and the lads for giving us that.

    As for Dutchelet?  he does not deserve to even feature in this post, it is only my disgust of the man and his machinations that leads me to drop the daft old Belgian twat a mention...
  • This is difficult to say, but I don't think it is quite so black and white now as a couple of years ago. 

    After the memorable Pompey away game in April 2018, I remember saying to my older lad that the positive stuff happening is all despite Roly.

    But now, I think this stance slightly undermines the cause. Ultimately Roly is the one paying the wages of the players Bowyer, Jackson and Gallen have recruited, as well as older ones that they inherited, trust and have developed (ie Bauer, Sarr etc.).

    In my opinion, the dissatisfaction towards Roly should now be focused on him seemingly loading outgoings onto the asking price, not renewing contracts and not replacing Grant properly.  As has been said multiple times, the real worry is that the whole thing is a house of cards that is a side step away from collapsing.

    Most importantly, Bowyer is clearly a real talent who is making stuff happen and I simply cannot fathom (like with Yann) why Roly has not given him and Jacko a new big fat contract. If promotion does not happen this year, who does he think could do a better job than them two (plus Marsh) for another go at it next year? 
  • I am perfectly happy with people boycotting or not boycotting or being 'returnees' but I must say I get a bit fed up with them going on about it all the time. Just do it or don't do it or whatever but why do you feel it is so necessary to tell the world about it?
  • I've only done one game this season (Luton) as I done the UpBeats walk. Enjoyed that game so much and realised how much I missed it, (done a few away games). Would have gone last night, if I wasn't seeing the undertones in Bexhill, a Christmas present. I'll be at Wembley next week, regardless of the result, I won't be getting a ST next season, if Roland is still the owner. We have a team with a lot of players and a manager who's contract finish next month and the richest owner we have ever had. If we go up, will he want more money for the club or will give it away for free, as he once said?
  • edited May 18
    I've only done one game this season (Luton) as I done the UpBeats walk. Enjoyed that game so much and realised how much I missed it, (done a few away games). Would have gone last night, if I wasn't seeing the undertones in Bexhill, a Christmas present. I'll be at Wembley next week, regardless of the result, I won't be getting a ST next season, if Roland is still the owner. We have a team with a lot of players and a manager who's contract finish next month and the richest owner we have ever had. If we go up, will he want more money for the club or will give it away for free, as he once said?
    Bet you wish you hadn’t ‘gone on about it’ now ;-)
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Roland Out!