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Charlton through and through

Tuesday 16 January 2024

News yesterday that Chem Campbell’s loan has been terminated and he has returned to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Showed some good touches and scored two goals but didn’t get a long run in the first team. We’ll never know what went on at the training ground and elsewhere and, why he didn’t realise the potential he arrived with in the summer.

A prime draw for the women’s team in the Women’s F A Cup 5th Round, away to Tottenham. The game is scheduled for Sunday 11 February at 2.00 pm but that is subject to change if the game is selected for TV coverage.
I saw a graphic that suggested the game might be played at Brisbane Road which is a decent stadium but not the home of Tottenham Hotspur. Let’s hope they look to move the game to Tottenham’s stadium. The men’s team play at home on the Saturday which might mean it difficult to hold another game there the very next day. Will have to see what happens there.
I’ll be enjoying a short break in Barcelona when the game takes place but will keep a keen eye on the game’s coverage on social media.

When I was a teenager in the early 1970’s and had bought my first Charlton season ticket my football watching took place mainly at the Valley. An occasional visit to other grounds in London, sometimes for games not involving Charlton. Crystal Palace 0 Everton 0 on a Wednesday October evening was my first trip to a different ground. There was no Charlton Women’s team in those days and football was, like most other contact sports, seen as a male prerogative only. I was into all things Charlton, however, and went to my first reserve team match in February 1970, a 1-1 draw with Brighton. & Hove Albion. This was in the ‘London Midweek League’ which seemed to extend across a good deal of the south east of England. Season 1970/71 had me going to regular first team, reserve and even a few youth team games (South-East Counties League Division One) when games were played after the first team had finished their fixtures, at the Valley. My first two youth team matches both resulted in 2-1 defeats for Charlton against Ipswich Town and Brentford. Unperturbed by these defeats I was back watching youth team games the following season with a first visit to the Unilever Ground at New Eltham where home matches were played. These usually took place at 11.00 am which meant once the game finished I would hop on a bus to the Standard, buy myself a bag of skate and chips and some fizzy pop at the chippy there and walk to the Valley in good time to take in the atmosphere before the main event of the day, the first team’s game. Watching two Charlton games on the same day provided opportunity for at least one good result and occasionally two. Of course there were also days when both the youth team and first team were beaten and my only solace then was the delicious skate and chips consumed in between!
By the 1972/73 season the Valley played host to a number of youth matches and I had the pleasure of watching London Boys beat Liverpool Boys 2-0 (InterCity match) and Blackheath Schools under 15s beat Guildford Schools under 15s 9-2 (English Schools Trophy 3rd Round). I even went to Craven Cottage to watch the 4th Round tie in the English Schools Trophy where West London under 15’s prevailed 2-0 over Blackheath. Ben Odeje was the main draw to watch Blackheath schools as he was seen by many as the next Pele. I had visions of him playing in the number 10 vest for Charlton one day. I had a very vivid imagination in my younger days, more of that in later blogs!
Suffice to say I was now an avid follower of the Charlton youth team, who in that season at least enjoyed considerable success, compensating somewhat for Charlton playing 3rd division football after relegation the season before.
I’m sure that if Charlton had operated a women’s team or indeed any other team at that time I’d have made an effort to go along and support them. Some would say I must have been a glutton for punishment!