Charlton Athletic F.C.
|Full name||Charlton Athletic Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Addicks, Red Robins, The Valiants, Red Army|
|Founded||9 June 1905|
|2013–14||The Championship, 18th|
|Website||Club home page|
The club was founded on 9 June 1905. This was when a number of youth clubs in the south east London area, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission combined to form Charlton Athletic. The club play at The Valley in Charlton, where they have played since 1919, apart from one year in Catford, during 1923–24, and seven years at Crystal Palace and West Ham United between 1985 and 1992. Charlton share local South London derbies with rivals Millwall and Crystal Palace.
The club's traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks and their most commonly used nickname is The Addicks. Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four separate periods in the top flight of English football: 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999 and 2000–2007. Historically, Charlton's most successful period was the 1930s, when the club's highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up of the First Division in 1937. After World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947.
- 1 History
- 2 Stadium
- 3 Supporters
- 4 Nicknames
- 5 In popular culture
- 6 Colours and crest
- 7 Rivalries
- 8 Players
- 9 Club officials
- 10 Honours
- 11 Records
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Charlton Athletic F.C. were formed on 9 June 1905 by a group of 15- to 17-year-old boys in an area of Charlton which is no longer residential, near to the present-day site of the Thames Barrier. Charlton spent the years before the First World War playing in local leagues. They became a senior side by joining the Lewisham League. After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season (1919–20) before becoming professional, appointing Walter Rayner as the first full-time manager. They were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season (1920–21) before being voted into the Football League. Charlton's first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, which they won 1–0. In 1923 it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support. In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of "The Enders", light and dark blue vertical stripes. However, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process. Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful. Three years later the Addicks won the Division Three championship in 1929 and they remained at the Division Two level for four years. After relegation into the Third Division south at the end of the 1932/33 season the club appointed Jimmy Seed as manager and he oversaw the most successful period in Charlton's history either side of the Second World War. Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of poison gas in the First World War, remains the most successful manager in Charlton's history. He is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley. Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. He later recalled "a simple scheme that enabled us to pull several matches out of the fire" during the 1934–35 season: when the team was in trouble "the centre-half was to forsake his defensive role and go up into the attack to add weight to the five forwards." The organisation Seed brought to the team proved effective and the Addicks gained successive promotions from the Third Division to the First Division between 1934 and 1936. Charlton finally secured promotion to the First Division by beating local rivals West Ham in front of 41,254 fans at the Valley, with their centre-half John Oakes playing on despite concussion and a broken nose.
In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division, in 1938 finished fourth and 1939 finished third. They were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War. This continued during the war years and they won the "war" cup and appeared in finals.
Charlton reached the 1946 FA Cup Final, but lost 4–1 to Derby County at Wembley. Charlton's Bert Turner scored an own goal in the eightieth minute before equalising for the Addicks a minute later to take them into extra time, but they conceded three further goals in the extra period. When the full league programme resumed in 1946–47 Charlton could finish only 19th in the First Division, just above the relegation spots, but they made amends with their performance in the FA Cup, reaching the 1947 FA Cup Final. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, with Chris Duffy scoring the only goal of the day. In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only thirteen English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season. The Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000. However, in the 1950s little investment was made either for players or to The Valley, hampering the club's growth. In 1956, the then board undermined Jimmy Seed and then sacked, and Charlton were relegated the following year.
From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, Charlton remained a mainstay of the Second Division before relegation to the Third Division in 1972 caused the team's support to drop, and even a promotion in 1975 back to the second division did little to re-invigorate the team's support and finances. In 1979–80 Charlton were relegated again to the Third Division, but won immediate promotion back to the Second Division in 1980–81. Even though it did not feel like it, this was a turning point in the club's history leading to a period of turbulence and change including further promotion and exile. A change in management and shortly after a change in club ownership led to severe problems, such as the reckless signing of former European Footballer of the Year Allan Simonsen, and the club looked like it would go out of business.
The "wilderness" years
In 1984 financial matters came to a head and the club went into administration, to be reformed as Charlton Athletic (1984) Ltd. But the club's finances were still far from secure, and they were forced to leave the Valley just after the start of the 1985–86 season, in the wake of the Bradford City stadium fire after its safety was criticised by Football League officials. The club began to groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and this arrangement looked to be for the long-term, as Charlton did not have enough funds to revamp the Valley to meet safety requirements.
Despite the move away from the Valley, Charlton were promoted to the First Division as Second Division runners-up at the end of 1985–86, and remained at this level for four years (achieving a highest league finish of 14th) often with late escapes, most notably against Leeds in 1987, where the Addicks triumphed in extra-time of the play-off final replay to secure their top flight place. In 1987 Charlton also returned to Wembley for the first time since the 1947 FA Cup final for the Full Members Cup final against Blackburn. Eventually, Charlton were relegated in 1990 along with Sheffield Wednesday and bottom club Millwall. Manager Lennie Lawrence remained in charge for one more season before he accepted an offer to take charge of Middlesbrough. He was replaced by joint player-managers Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt. The pair had unexpected success in their first season finishing just outside the play-offs, and 1992–93 began promisingly and Charlton looked good bets for promotion in the new Division One (the new name of the old Second Division following the formation of the Premier League). However, the club was forced to sell players such as Rob Lee to help pay for a return to The Valley, which eventually happened in December 1992.
There was a tragedy at the club late in the 1992–93 season. Defender Tommy Caton, who had been out of action due to injury since January 1991, announced his retirement from playing on medical advice in March 1993 having failed to recover full fitness, and he died suddenly at the end of the following month at the age of 30.
Back to The Valley
In 1995, new chairman Richard Murray appointed Alan Curbishley as sole manager of Charlton. Under his sole leadership Charlton made an appearance in the playoffs in 1996 but were eliminated by Crystal Palace in the semi-finals and the following season brought a disappointing 15th place finish. 1997–98 was Charlton's best season for years. They reached the Division One playoff final and battled against Sunderland in a thrilling game which ended with a 4–4 draw after extra time. Charlton won 7–6 on penalties, with the match described as "arguably the most dramatic game of football in Wembley's history", and were promoted to the Premier League.
Charlton's first Premier League campaign began promisingly (they went top after two games) but they were unable to keep up their good form and were soon battling relegation. The battle was lost on the final day of the season but the club's board kept faith in Curbishley, confident that they could bounce back. Curbishley rewarded the chairman's loyalty with the Division One title in 2000 which signalled a return to the Premier League.
After the club's return, Curbishley proved an astute spender and by 2003 he had succeeded in establishing Charlton in the top flight. Charlton spent much of the 2003–04 Premier League season challenging for a Champions League place, but a late-season slump in form and the sale of star player Scott Parker to Chelsea, left Charlton in 7th place, which was still the club's highest finish since the 1950s. Charlton failed to build on this level of achievement and Curbishley departed in 2006, with the club still established as a solid mid-table side.
In May 2006, Iain Dowie was named as Curbishley's successor, but was sacked after twelve league matches in November 2006, with only two wins. Les Reed replaced Dowie as manager, however he too failed to improve Charlton's position in the league table and on Christmas Eve 2006, Reed was replaced by former player Alan Pardew. Although results did improve, Pardew was unable to keep Charlton up and relegation was confirmed in the penultimate match of the season.
Charlton's return to the second tier of English football was a disappointment, with their promotion campaign tailing off to an 11th place finish. Early in the following season the Addicks were linked with a foreign takeover, but this was swiftly denied by the club. On 10 October 2008 Charlton received an indicative offer for the club from a Dubai-based diversified investment company. However, the deal later fell through. The full significance of this soon became apparent as the club recorded net losses of over £13 million for that financial year.
On 22 November 2008 Charlton suffered a 2–5 loss to Sheffield United at home, which meant that the club had gone eight successive games without a win and had slipped into the relegation zone—particularly disastrous considering they were among the pre-season favourites for promotion. Hours after the game, Alan Pardew left Charlton by mutual consent. Matters did not improve under caretaker manager Phil Parkinson, and a 3–1 defeat at Sheffield United saw the Addicks four points adrift at the bottom of the Championship as 2009 dawned, under threat of their first relegation to English football's third tier for 29 years. Charlton continued their poor run of form to go 18 games without a win, a new club record, before finally achieving a 1–0 away victory over Norwich City in an FA Cup Third Round replay. They then went on to beat Crystal Palace 1–0 at the Valley on 27 January to achieve their first league win under Phil Parkinson, whose contract was made permanent despite the lack of progress in the league. Charlton's relegation from the Championship was all but confirmed on Easter Monday (13 April) when, despite picking up a point in a 0–0 draw at Coventry, they found themselves 12 points from safety with four games remaining. With a vastly inferior goal difference and with the two teams directly above them (Southampton and Nottingham Forest) still having to play each other, it was effectively an impossible task for Charlton to avoid relegation. The following game saw Charlton's relegation to League One become a reality after a 2–2 draw against Blackpool.
After spending almost the entire 2009/2010 season in the top six of League One, Charlton were defeated in the Football League One play-offs semi-final second leg on penalties to Swindon Town, condemning Charlton to another season in the third tier of English Football. Parkinson had spent less than any other manager on purchasing players since Lennie Lawrence in the 1980s and was able to maintain a top six status despite only having the opportunity to bring in lower level players on loan. At that time, Charlton went through a change in ownership. The new owners decided to remove both Parkinson and Charlton legend Mark Kinsella after a poor run of results, intending to replace them with an as yet unknown team. Another Charlton legend, Chris Powell was appointed manager of the club in January 2011, winning his first game in charge 2–0 over Plymouth at the Valley, Charlton's first win since November. Powell's bright start continued with a further three victories, before running into a dreadful downturn which saw the club go 11 games in succession without a win. Yet the fans' respect for Powell saw him come under remarkably little criticism. The club's fortunes picked up towards the end of the season, but leaving them far short of the playoffs. In a busy summer, Powell brought in 19 new players and after a successful season, on 14 April 2012, Charlton Athletic won promotion back to the Championship with a 1–0 away win at Carlisle United. A week later, on 21 April 2012, they were confirmed as Champions after a 2–1 home win over Wycombe Wanderers. Charlton then lifted the League One trophy on 5 May 2012, having been in the top position since 15 September 2011, and after recording a 3–2 victory over Hartlepool United, recorded their highest ever league points score of 101, the highest in any professional European league that year.
Return to the Championship
In the first season back to the Championship since the 2008–09 season, the 2012–13 season of the Championship saw Charlton finish ninth place with 65 points, just three points outside of the play-off places to the Premier League.
In early January 2014 during the 2013–14 season, Belgian businessman, Roland Duchâtelet took over Charlton Athletic football club and immediately after doing so brought in several new players from Belgian Pro League team, Standard Liege – another club he owns – such as Iranian international striker Reza Ghoochannejhad and former Liverpool player, Astrit Ajdarević. Charlton players Yann Kermorgant and Dale Stephens (footballer) left the club soon after. On 11 March 2014 – two days after a disappointing FA Cup quarter-final loss to Sheffield United, and with Charlton sitting bottom of the table, Chris Powell was sacked by Roland Duchâtelet, who was unhappy with Charlton's poor form all season. New manager, Jose Riga, despite having to join Charlton late into the season, was able to help Charlton survive relegation with a 3–1 Home win against Watford and ended the season in 18th place with eight wins, three draws and six losses as Manager and thirteen wins, twelve draws, and twenty-one losses overall combined with Chris Powell's record this season.
The club's first ground was Siemens Meadow (1905–1907), a patch of rough ground by the River Thames. This was over-shadowed by the now demolished Siemens Telegraph Works. Then followed Woolwich Common (1907–1908), Pound Park (1908–1913), and Angerstein Lane (1913–1915). After the end of the First World War, a chalk quarry known as the Swamps was identified as Charlton's new ground, and in the summer of 1919 work began to create the level playing area and remove debris from the site. The first match at this site, now known as the club's current ground The Valley, was in September 1919. Charlton stayed at The Valley until 1923, when the club moved to The Mount stadium in Catford as part of a proposed merger with Catford Southend Football Club. However, after this move collapsed in 1924 Charlton returned to The Valley.
During the 1930s and 40s, significant improvements were made to the ground, making it one of the largest in the country at that time. In 1938 the highest attendance to date at the ground was recorded at over 75,000 for a FA Cup match against Aston Villa. During the 1940s and 50s the attendance was often above 40,000, and Charlton had one of the largest support bases in the country. However, after the club's relegation little investment was made in The Valley as it fell into decline.
In the 1980s matters came to a head as the ownership of the club and The Valley was divided. The large East Terrace had been closed down by the authorities after the Bradford City stadium fire and the ground's owner wanted to use part of the site for housing. In September 1985, Charlton made the controversial move to ground-share with South London neighbours Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. This move was unpopular with supporters and in the late 1980s significant steps were taken to bring about the club's return to The Valley.
A single issue political party, the Valley Party, contested the 1990 local Greenwich Borough Council elections on a ticket of reopening the stadium, capturing 11% of the vote, aiding the club's return. The Valley Gold investment scheme was created to help supporters fund the return to The Valley, and several players were also sold to raise funds. For the 1991–92 season and part of the 1992–93 season, the Addicks played at West Ham's Upton Park as Wimbledon had moved into Selhurst Park alongside Crystal Palace. Charlton finally returned to The Valley in December 1992, celebrating with a 1–0 victory against Portsmouth.
Since the return to The Valley, three sides of the ground have been completely redeveloped turning The Valley into a modern, all-seater stadium with a 27,111 capacity. There are plans in place to increase the ground's capacity to approximately 31,000 and even around 40,000 in the future.
The Covered End
The Valley's North Stand which is known by locals as "The Covered End" to this day and is where the more vocal fans gather. The title comes from the original design of the north stand before it was redeveloped. The Valley Club (CAFC Supporters Club) was situated in Harvey Gardens behind the North Stand, and was managed by licensee Ray Donn from 1970–1984 the club had a full club licence supplying food and drink to its members and guests during match days and live entertainment, with cabaret and dancing every night of the week. The Valley Club was one of the most popular club venues in South London at this time, featuring named entertainers popular today.[when?]
The bulk of the club's support base comes from the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley and also north-west Kent, As well as support from numerous countries around the world stretching as far as the U.S and Canada. Charlton benefited from the many former Londoners moving out to the new housing in the suburbs of Welling, Mottingham, Sidcup, and New Bexley in the early '30s, travelling to the ground via the tram from New Eltham to Lewisham and over the heath to Greenwich. Charlton were rare among football clubs, in that they reserved a seat on their directors' board for a supporter. Any season ticket holder could put themselves forward for election, with a certain number of nominations, and votes were cast by all season ticket holders over the age of 18. The last such director, Ben Hayes, was elected in 2006 to serve until 2008, when the role was discontinued as a result of legal issues. Its functions were replaced by a fans forum which met for the first time in December 2008 and is still active to this very day.
Charlton's most common nickname is The Addicks. Among the theories on the origin of the Addicks name are that it was the south-east London pronunciation of either "haddock > ' addock" or "athletic". However, the most likely origin of name is from a local fishmonger, Arthur "Ikey" Bryan, who rewarded the team with meals of haddock and chips.
The progression of the nickname can be seen in the book The Addicks Cartoons: An Affectionate Look into the Early History of Charlton Athletic, which covers the pre-First World War history of Charlton through a narrative based on 56 cartoons which appeared in the now defunct Kentish Independent. The very first cartoon, from 31 October 1908, calls the team the Haddocks. By 1910, the name had changed to Addicks although it also appeared as Haddick. The club has had two other nicknames, The Robins, adopted in 1931, and The Valiants, chosen in a fan competition in the 1960s which also led to the adoption of the sword badge which is still in use. The Addicks nickname never went away and was revived by fans after the club lost its Valley home in 1985 and went into exile at Crystal Palace. It is now once again the official nickname of the club.
In popular culture
Charlton Athletic featured in the ITV one-off drama Albert's Memorial, shown on 12 September 2010 and starring David Jason and David Warner. Jason's character, Harry, is revealed to be a Charlton Athletic fan. Harry later buries his friend Albert, played by Michael Jayston, draped in a Charlton Athletic flag, to which Frank says, "Hear that?". Harry replies, "No... What?" Frank says, "That's the sound of Albert turning in his grave. He hated Charlton Athletic." to which Harry replies, "Well, nobody's perfect."
Charlton Athletic has also featured in a number of book publications, in both the realm of fiction and factual/sports writing. These include works by Charlie Connelly and Paul Breen's work of popular fiction which is entitled The Charlton Men, and published by Thames River Press, an imprint of Wimbledon Press. This book is a work of fiction set against Charlton's highly successful 2011/12 season when they won the League One title with a club record breaking 101 points.
Colours and crest
Charlton have used a number of crests and badges during their history, although the current design has not been changed since 1968. The first known badge, from the 1930s, consisted of the letters CAF in the shape of a club from a pack of cards. In the 1940s, Charlton used a design featuring a robin sitting in a football within a shield, sometimes with the letters CAFC in the four-quarters of the shield, which was worn for the 1946 FA Cup Final. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the crest of the former metropolitan borough of Greenwich was used as a symbol for the club but this was not used on the team's shirts.
In 1963, a competition was held to find a new badge for the club, and the winning entry was a hand holding a sword, which complied with Charlton's nickname of the time, the Valiants. Over the next five years modifications were made to this design, such as the addition of a circle surrounding the hand and sword and including the club's name in the badge. By 1968, the design had reached the one known today, and has been used continuously from this year, apart from a period in the 1970s when just the letters CAFC appeared on the team's shirts.
With the exception of one season, Charlton have always played in red and white. The colours had been chosen by the group of boys who had founded Charlton Athletic in 1905 after having to play their first matches in the borrowed kits of their local rivals Woolwich Arsenal, who also played in red and white. The exception came during the 1923–24 season when Charlton wore the colours of Catford Southend as part of the proposed move to Catford, which were light and dark blue stripes. However, after the move fell through, Charlton returned to wearing red and white as their home colours.
Kit sponsors and manufacturers
|Year||Kit Manufacturer||Main Shirt Sponsor||Back of Shirt Sponsor||Shorts Sponsor|
|1998–00||Le Coq Sportif||MESH|
|2009||Kent Reliance Building Society|
|2014–||University of Greenwich||Andrews Sykes||Mitsubishi Electric|
According to a survey conducted in 2012, Crystal Palace are considered to be Charlton's main rivals. The rivalry with Crystal Palace grew substantially in the mid 1980s, when the Addicks left their traditional home at The Valley because of safety concerns and played their home fixtures at The Eagles' Selhurst Park stadium. The ground-sharing arrangement – although seen by Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades as essential for the future of football – was unpopular with both sets of fans. Indeed, the Charlton fans campaigned for a return to The Valley throughout the club's time at Selhurst Park.
Charlton left Selhurst Park in 1991, and the rivalry between the teams once again returned to a nominal level... Until two incidents 14 years later:
In 2005, having already lost 1–0 to Charlton at Selhurst Park earlier in the season, Crystal Palace were relegated at The Valley after a 2–2 draw. After the match there was a well publicised altercation between the two chairmen Richard Murray and Simon Jordan, which only served to renew old hostilities between the fans.
Then, in 2006, when Iain Dowie was appointed as Charlton manager just weeks after leaving the same post at Crystal Palace, tensions between the clubs grew still more. A writ was served on behalf of Palace chairman Simon Jordan claiming Dowie had breached their agreement, and that Dowie promised Jordan that he would move to a club in Northern England. Although legally this was a dispute between Jordan and Dowie, the case made headlines and relations between the two teams deteriorated once more.
The rivalry began when Millwall moved south of the river in 1910 to The Den in New Cross, South East London situated less than 4 miles from The Valley. Matches between the two sides are always fiercely contested.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.