Peaks and Valleys.
I would like to take you down memory lane. In 1966, when England triumphed in the World Cup, Charlton`s season was overshadowed by big losses and their performance far from convincing. Big losses were followed by big wins. One such mauling came in 1966 when the country was still up the clouds from World Cup success. We were defeated by Bristol City at the Valley 5-0, on the27th September.
This was repeated almost to the day by the same club three seasons later at Ashton Gate when the score was a 6-0 defeat. However, sweetness after a taste of bad results is to win and the team who felt the full force of a rampant Charlton was Swansea City. We won 6-0 on August 29th 1972 at the Valley. In September 1977, playing at Luton`s Kenilworth Road, Charlton suffered their biggest ever defeat losing 7-1. Some good wins don`t tell the whole story, but certainly had a huge impact on the team`s future performances when in the 1985 we left our spiritual home the Valley to take up residence at Crystal Palace.
This was traumatic and might have diffused the passion. But on December 28th 1986 we hosted Manchester City and came out winners by an impressive 5-0 score. However, Charlton being Charlton and as unpredictable as our weather, prior to leaving the Valley we suffered our biggest defeat without reply at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion at the Goldstone Ground on the 1st October 1983 when the score was 7-0 we never lost by this margin again.
Charlton never make things easy for themselves. After the return to the Valley when our first game was against Portsmouth, where we came out 1-0 winners, things continued very much as they left off. West Bromwich where the visitors at the Valley and were given a footballing lesson losing 5-0 to their host. Many more losses and victories followed including teams such as Manchester City, Southampton, Sunderland in 1993. And then in the most remarkable game ever played at the Twin Towers in the play- off at the old Wembley for the right to play Premiership Football.
Unfortunately our Premiership stay was only one season and we suffered relegation in 1999, but bounced back to have a 7 year spell guided by Alan Curbishley who on a shoe- string budget did wonders and became Charlton`s longest serving manager. Fifteen years at the helm. With his departure in 2006/2007 things did take a downhill spiral and the club suffered two divisional drops to the third tier where we stayed until a complete managerial change took place by the one and only Chris Powell.
In 2010 and long before Chris Powell took over the reins, there was to be one last twist in Charlton`s ever increasing yo-yo goal scoring ratio. One more humiliation by Leeds United at the Valley on the 5th April 2003 when we went down 6-1.
Powell, like Curbishley, was Mr Charlton through and through, played for us and managed us to the highest level on hardly any money. The ups and downs of this club in the past have made us stronger. We have come through adversity from the time we vacated our spiritual home to the first ball kicked on our return to the Valley. Come on you Reds!