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Charlton Athletic F.C.

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Charlton Athletic
Full nameCharlton Athletic Football Club
Nickname(s)The Addicks, The Valiants, Red Robins
Founded9 June 1905; 119 years ago (1905-06-09)
GroundThe Valley
OwnerSE7 Partners
ManagerNathan Jones
LeagueEFL League One
2023–24EFL League One, 16th of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Charlton Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London, England. The team compete in EFL League One, the third level of the English football league system.

Their home ground is The Valley, where the club have played since 1919. They also played at The Mount in Catford during the 1923–24 season, and spent seven years at Selhurst Park and the Boleyn Ground between 1985 and 1992, because of financial issues, and then safety concerns raised by the local council. The club's traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks, and their most commonly used nickname is The Addicks. Charlton share local rivalries with fellow South London clubs Crystal Palace and Millwall.

The club was founded on 9 June 1905 and turned professional in 1920. They spent one season in the Kent League and one season in the Southern League, before being invited to join the newly-formed Football League Third Division South in 1921. They won the division in the 1928–29 season, and again in 1934–35 following relegation in 1933. Charlton were promoted out of the Second Division in 1935–36, and finished second in the First Division the next season. Having been beaten finalists in 1946, they lifted the FA Cup the following year with a 1–0 victory over Burnley. The departure of Jimmy Seed in 1956, manager for 23 years, saw the club relegated out of the top-flight the following year. Relegated again in 1972, Charlton were promoted from the Third Division in 1974–75, and again in 1980–81 following relegation the previous season.

Charlton recovered from administration to secure promotion back to the First Division in 1985–86, and went on to lose in the 1987 final of the Full Members' Cup, though they won the 1987 play-off final to retain their top-flight status. Having been relegated in 1990, Charlton won the 1998 play-off final to make their debut in the Premier League. Though they were relegated the next year, manager Alan Curbishley took them back up as champions in 1999–2000. Charlton spent seven successive years in the Premier League, before suffering two relegations in three years. They won League One with 101 points in 2011–12, though were relegated from the Championship in 2016, and again in 2020 after they won the 2019 League One play-off final.


Early history (1905–1946)[edit]

Charlton Athletic F.C. was formed on 9 June 1905[1] by a group of 14 to 15-year-olds in East Street, Charlton, which is now known as Eastmoor Street and no longer residential.

Contrary to some histories, the club was founded as "Charlton Athletic" and had no connection to other teams or institutions such as East St Mission, Blundell Mission or Charlton Reds; it was not founded by a church, school, employer or as a franchise for an existing ground. Charlton spent most of the years before the First World War playing in local leagues but progressing rapidly, winning successive leagues and so promotions eight years in a row. In 1905–06 the team played only friendly games but joined, and won, the Lewisham League Division III for the 1906–07 season. For the 1907–08 season the team contested the Lewisham League, Woolwich League and entered the Woolwich Cup. It was also around this time the Addicks nickname was first used in the local press although it may have been in use before then. In the 1908–09 season Charlton Athletic were playing in the Blackheath and District League and by 1910–11 had progressed to the Southern Suburban League. During this period Charlton Athletic won the Woolwich Cup four times, the championship of the Woolwich League three times, won the Blackheath League twice and the Southern Suburban League three times.[citation needed]

They became a senior side in 1913, the same year that nearby Woolwich Arsenal F.C. relocated to North London.[1]

At the outbreak of World War I, Charlton were one of the first clubs to close down to take part in the "Greater Game" overseas. The club was reformed in 1917, playing mainly friendlies to raise funds for charities connected to the war and for the Woolwich Memorial Hospital Cup, the trophy for which Charlton donated. It had previously been the Woolwich Cup that the team had won outright following three consecutive victories.

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, Charlton became "giant killers" in the FA Cup beating top flight sides Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, and Preston North End before losing to eventual winners Bolton Wanderers in the Quarter-Finals. Later that year, it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support.[2]: 30  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.[2]: 33 

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[3] and they remained at the Division Two level for four years.[1] 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 World War II. 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.[4]: 19  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."[4]: 66  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, becoming the first club to ever do so.[1] Charlton finally secured promotion to the First Division by beating local rivals West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground, with their centre-half John Oakes playing on despite concussion and a broken nose.[5]

In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division,[6] in 1938 finished fourth[7] and 1939 finished third.[8] They were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before World War II.[1] This continued during the war years and they won the Football League War Cup and appeared in finals.

Post-war success and fall from grace (1946–1984)[edit]

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 80th 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.[9] 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.[10] In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only 13 English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season.[1] The Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000.[1] 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 asked for his resignation; Charlton were relegated the following year.[1]

Chart showing Charlton's table positions since joining the Football League

From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, Charlton remained a mainstay of the Second Division before relegation to the Third Division in 1972.[11] It caused the team's support to drop, and even a promotion in 1975 back to the second division[12] did little to re-invigorate the team's support and finances. In 1979–80 Charlton were relegated again to the Third Division,[13] but won immediate promotion back to the Second Division in 1980–81.[14] 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.[2]: 141-150 

The "exiled" years (1985–1992)[edit]

In 1984 financial matters came to a head and the club went into administration, to be reformed as Charlton Athletic (1984) Ltd.[1] although the club's finances were still far from secure. They were forced to leave the Valley just after the start of the 1985–86 season, after its safety was criticised by Football League officials in the wake of the Bradford City stadium fire. The club began to ground-share with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park[1] 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,[15] 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.[1] 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.[2]: 156  Eventually, Charlton were relegated in 1990 along with Sheffield Wednesday and bottom club Millwall.[1] 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.[1] 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, while club fans formed the Valley Party, nominating candidates to stand in local elections in 1990, pressing the local council to enable the club's return to the Valley – finally achieved in December 1992.

In March 1993, defender Tommy Caton, who had been out of action because of injury since January 1991, announced his retirement from playing on medical advice. He died suddenly at the end of the following month at the age of 30.

Premier League years (1998–2007)[edit]

In 1995, new chairman Richard Murray appointed Alan Curbishley as sole manager of Charlton.[16] Under his sole leadership Charlton made an appearance in the play-off 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 play-off 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,[17] with the match described as "arguably the most dramatic game of football in Wembley's history",[18] 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.[19]

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 seventh place,[20] which was still the club's highest finish since the 1950s. Charlton were unable to build on this level of achievement and Curbishley departed in 2006, with the club still established as a solid mid-table side.[21]

In May 2006, Iain Dowie was named as Curbishley's successor,[22] but was sacked after 12 league matches in November 2006, with only two wins.[23] Les Reed replaced Dowie as manager,[24] 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.[25] Although results did improve, Pardew was unable to keep Charlton up and relegation was confirmed in the penultimate match of the season.[26]

Return to the Football League (2007–2014)[edit]

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,[27] 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. Pardew left on 22 November after a 2–5 home loss to Sheffield United that saw the team fall into the relegation places.[28] Matters did not improve under caretaker manager Phil Parkinson, and the team went a club record 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; Parkinson was hired on a permanent basis. The team were relegated to League One after a 2–2 draw against Blackpool on 18 April 2009.[29]

After spending almost the entire 2009–10 season in the top six of League One, Charlton were defeated in the Football League One play-offs semi-final second leg on penalties against Swindon Town.[30]

Former Charlton player Chris Powell returned to the club as manager between 2011 and 2014

After a change in ownership, Parkinson and Charlton legend Mark Kinsella left after a poor run of results. 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. This was Charlton's first league win since November. Powell's bright start continued with a further three victories, before running into a 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 play-offs. 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.

In the first season back in the Championship, the 2012–13 season saw Charlton finish ninth place with 65 points, just three points short of the play-off places to the Premier League.

Duchâtelet's ownership (2014–2019)[edit]

In early January 2014 during the 2013–14 season, Belgian businessman Roland Duchâtelet took over Charlton as owner in a deal worth £14million. This made Charlton a part of a network of football clubs owned by Duchâtelet. On 11 March 2014, two days after an FA Cup quarter-final loss to Sheffield United, and with Charlton sitting bottom of the table, Powell was sacked, private emails suggesting a rift with the owner.[31]

New manager Jose Riga, despite having to join Charlton long after the transfer window had closed, was able to improve Charlton's form and eventually guide them to 18th place, successfully avoiding relegation. After Riga's departure to manage Blackpool, former Millwall player Bob Peeters was appointed as manager in May 2014 on a 12-month contract. Charlton started strong, but a long run of draws meant that after only 25 games in charge Peeters was dismissed with the team in 14th place.[32][33] His replacement, Guy Luzon, ensured there was no relegation battle by winning most of the remaining matches, resulting in a 12th-place finish.

The 2015–16 season began promisingly but results under Luzon deteriorated and on 24 October 2015 after a 3–0 defeat at home to Brentford he was sacked.[34] Luzon said in a News Shopper interview that he "was not the one who chose how to do the recruitment" as the reason why he failed as manager.[35] Karel Fraeye was appointed "interim head coach",[36] but was sacked after 14 games and just two wins, with the club then second from bottom in the Championship.[37] On 14 January 2016, Jose Riga was appointed head coach for a second spell,[38] but could not prevent Charlton from being relegated to League One for the 2016–17 season.[39] Riga resigned at the end of the season.[40] To many fans, the managerial changes and subsequent relegation to League One were symptomatic of the mismanagement of the club under Duchâtelet's ownership and several protests began.[41][42]

After a slow start to the new season, with the club in 15th place of League One, the club announced that it had "parted company" with Russell Slade in November 2016.[43] Karl Robinson was appointed on a permanent basis soon after.[44] He led the Addicks to an uneventful 13th-place finish. The following season Robinson had the team challenging for the play-offs, but a drop in form in March led him to resign by mutual consent. He was replaced by former player Lee Bowyer as caretaker manager who guided them to a 6th-place finish, but lost in the play-off semi-final.

Bowyer was appointed permanently in September on a one-year contract and managed Charlton to third place in the 2018-19 EFL League One season, qualifying for the play-offs. In their first visit to the new Wembley Stadium and a repeat of their famous match in 1998, Charlton beat Sunderland 2–1 in the League One play-off final to earn promotion back to the EFL Championship after a three-season absence.[45] Bowyer later signed a new one-year contract following promotion, which was later extended to three years in January 2020.[46]

Multiple changes of ownership (2019–present)[edit]

ESI (2019–2020)[edit]

On 29 November 2019, Charlton Athletic were acquired by East Street Investments (ESI) from Abu Dhabi, subject to EFL approval.[47] Approval was reportedly granted on 2 January 2020. However, on 10 March 2020, a public disagreement between the new owners erupted along with reports that the main investor was pulling out,[48] and the EFL said the takeover had not been approved.[49] The Valley and Charlton's training ground were still owned by Duchâtelet, and a transfer embargo was in place as the new owners had not provided evidence of funding through to June 2021.[50] On 20 April 2020, the EFL said the club was being investigated for misconduct regarding the takeover.[51] In June 2020, Charlton confirmed that ESI had been taken over by a consortium led by businessman Paul Elliott,[52] and said it had contacted the EFL to finalise the ownership change.[53] However, a legal dispute involving former ESI director Matt Southall continued.[54] He attempted to regain control of the club to prevent Elliott's takeover from going ahead, but failed and was subsequently fined and dismissed for challenging the club's directors.[55] On 7 August 2020, the EFL said three individuals, including ESI owner Elliott and lawyer Chris Farnell, had failed its Owners' and Directors' Test, leaving the club's ownership unclear;[56] Charlton appealed against the decision.[57] Meanwhile, Charlton were relegated to League One at the end of the 2019–20 season after finishing 22nd.[58] Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the final games of the season were played behind closed doors, which remained the case for the majority of the following season.

Later in August, Thomas Sandgaard, a Danish businessman based in Colorado, was reported to be negotiating to buy the club.[59] After further court hearings,[60][61] Elliott was granted an injunction blocking the sale of ESI until a hearing in November 2020.[62]

Thomas Sandgaard (2020–2023)[edit]

On 25 September 2020, Thomas Sandgaard acquired the club itself from ESI, and was reported to have passed the EFL's Owners' and Directors' Tests;[63] the EFL noted the change in control, but said the club's sale was now "a matter for the interested parties".[64]

On 15 March 2021, with the club lying in eighth place, Bowyer resigned as club manager and was appointed manager of Birmingham City.[65][66] His successor, Nigel Adkins, was appointed three days later.[67] The club finished the 2020–21 season in seventh place, but started the following season by winning only two out of 13 League One matches and were in the relegation zone when Adkins was sacked on 21 October 2021.[68]

After a successful spell as caretaker manager, Johnnie Jackson was appointed manager in December 2021,[69] but, after Charlton finished the season in 13th place, he was also sacked.[70] Swindon Town manager Ben Garner was appointed as his replacement in June 2022,[71] but was sacked on 5 December 2022 with the team in 17th place.[72] After the club was knocked out of the FA Cup by League Two side Stockport County on 7 December,[73] supporters said Charlton was at its "lowest ebb in living memory", with fans "losing confidence" in owner Thomas Sandgaard.[74] Dean Holden was appointed manager on 20 December 2022,[75] and Charlton improved to finish the 2022–23 season in 10th place.[76]

SE7 Partners (2023–present)[edit]

On 5 June 2023, the club announced that SE7 Partners, comprising former Sunderland director Charlie Methven and Edward Warrick, had agreed a takeover of Charlton Athletic, becoming the club's fourth set of owners in under four years.[77] On 19 July, the EFL and FA cleared SE7 Partners to take over the club,[78] and the deal was completed on 21 July 2023.[79] On 27 August 2023, after one win in the opening six games of the 2023–24 season, Holden was sacked as manager,[80] and succeeded by Michael Appleton.[81] On 23 January 2024, following a 3–2 defeat at The Valley against Northampton Town - and no wins in 10 League One games - Appleton was sacked.[82][83] He was replaced on 4 February 2024 by Nathan Jones,[84] under whom Charlton lost one and drew three of their next four games as they matched the club's longest winless streak of 18 games.[85] The winless run ended with a 2–1 win away to Derby County on 27 February 2024.[86] Charlton then went on a 14 match unbeaten run, the club's longest in 24 years. However, Charlton finished the season in 16th place, their worst finishing league position in 98 years.[87][88] Despite a disappointing campaign for the Addicks, Charlton striker Alfie May won the League One Golden Boot award for the 2023-24 season, with his tally of 23 goals.[89]

Club identity[edit]

Colours and crest[edit]

Crest of the former Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich Council, used by Charlton briefly in late 1940s and early 1950s

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.[90]

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.[90] 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.[90]

With the exception of one season, Charlton have always played in red and white – colours chosen by the boys who 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.[2]: 8  The exception came during part of 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.[2]: 32  However, after the move fell through, Charlton returned to wearing red and white as their home colours.

The sponsors were as follows:[91]

Year Kit manufacturer Main shirt sponsor Back of shirt sponsor Shorts sponsor
1974–80 Bukta None None
1980–81 Adidas
1981–82 FADS
1982–83 None
1983–84 Osca
1984–86 The Woolwich
1986–88 Adidas
1988–92 Admiral
1992–93 Ribero None
1993–94 Viglen
1994–98 Quaser
1998–00 Le Coq Sportif MESH
2000–02 Redbus
2002–03 All:Sports
2003–05 Joma
2005–08 Llanera
2008–09 Carbrini Sportswear
2009 Kent Reliance Building Society
2010–12 Macron
2012–14 Nike Andrews Sykes
2014–16 University of Greenwich Andrews Sykes Mitsubishi Electric
2016–17 BETDAQ ITRM Emmaus Consulting
2017–19 Hummel Gaughan Services
2019–20 Children with Cancer UK Cannon Glass
2020–21 KW Holdings (home)
Vitech Services (away)
2021–2022 KW Holdings (home & third)
Walker Mower (away)
2022– Castore RSK (home)
University of Greenwich (away)
Generous Robots DAO


Charlton's most common nickname is The Addicks. The origin of this name is from a local fishmonger, Arthur "Ikey" Bryan, who rewarded the team with meals of haddock and chips with vinegar[2]: 10 

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 also have 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.

Charlton fans' chants have included "Valley, Floyd Road", a song noting the stadium's address to the tune of "Mull of Kintyre".[92]


One of Charlton's early grounds, Siemens Meadow

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 Siemens Brothers 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.[93] 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. However, after this move collapsed in 1924, Charlton returned to The Valley.

During the 1930s and 1940s, significant improvements were made to the ground, making it one of the largest in the country at that time.[93] 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 1950s 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,[93] 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[93] 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.[94]

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 which is the biggest in South London. There are plans in place to increase the ground's capacity to approximately 31,000 and even around 40,000 in the future.[95]

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

The bulk of the club's support base comes from South East London and Kent, particularly the London boroughs of Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley. Supporters played a key role in the return of the club to The Valley in 1992 and were rewarded by being granted a voice on the board in the form of an elected supporter director. 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,[96] 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,[97] which met for the first time in December 2008 and is still active to this day.[96]

Charlton and Millwall pay tribute to Graham Taylor at The Valley in January 2017.

Charlton's main rivals are their South London neighbours, Crystal Palace and Millwall. Unlike those rivals Charlton have never competed in football's fourth tier and are the only one of the three to have won the FA Cup.

In 1985, Charlton were forced to ground-share with Crystal Palace after safety concerns at The Valley. They played their home fixtures at the Glaziers' Selhurst Park stadium until 1991. The arrangement was seen by Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades as essential for the future of football, but it was unpopular with both sets of fans. Charlton fans campaigned for a return to The Valley throughout their time at Selhurst Park. In 2005, Palace were relegated by Charlton at the Valley after a 2–2 draw. Palace needed a win to survive. However, with seven minutes left, Charlton equalised, relegating their rivals. Post-match, there was a well-publicised altercation between the two chairmen of the respective clubs, Richard Murray and Simon Jordan. Since their first meeting in the Football League in 1925, Charlton have won 17, drawn 13 and lost 26 games against Palace. The teams last met in 2015, a 4–1 win for Palace in the League Cup.[98]

Charlton are closest in proximity to Millwall than any other EFL club, with The Valley and The Den being less than four miles (6.4 km) apart. They last met in July 2020, a 1–0 win for Millwall at the Valley.[99] Since their first Football League game in 1921, Charlton have won 11, drawn 26 and lost 37 league games (the two sides also met twice in the Anglo-Italian Cup in the 1992–93 season; Charlton winning one tie, and one draw).[100] The Addicks have not beaten Millwall in the last 12 league fixtures between the sides; their last win came on 9 March 1996 at The Valley.[99]

In popular culture[edit]

Film and TV[edit]

Charlton Athletic featured in the ITV one-off drama Albert's Memorial, shown on 12 September 2010 and starring David Jason and David Warner.[101]

In the long-running BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Rodney Charlton Trotter is named after the club.[102]

In the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who, the seventh Doctor's companion Ace (played by Sophie Aldred from 1987 to 1989) wears a Charlton Athletic badge on her black bomber jacket[103] and the club is mentioned in Silver Nemesis.[104]

The Valley and manager Alan Curbishley made cameo appearances in the Sky One television series Dream Team.[105]

Charlton Athletic assumes a pivotal role in the film The Silent Playground (1963). Three children get in to trouble when their mother's boyfriend 'Uncle' Alan (John Ronane), gives them pocket money to wander off on their own, so that he can attend a Charlton football match. There is some footage from the ground which Ronane is later seen leaving.[106]

A Charlton Athletic match against Manchester United in the 1950s is depicted in BBC Two television film United (released in 2011).[107]

A young Billy Butcher has a Charlton flag in his room in Amazon Prime Video series The Boys.[108]


Charlton Athletic has also featured in several book publications, in both fiction and factual/sports writing. These include works by Charlie Connelly[109] and Paul Breen's work of popular fiction which is entitled The Charlton Men. The book is set against Charlton's successful 2011–12 season when they won the League One title and promotion back to the Championship in concurrence with the 2011 London riots.[110]

Timothy Young, the protagonist in Out of the Shelter, a 1970 novel by David Lodge, supports Charlton Athletic. The book describes Timothy listening to Charlton's victory in the 1947 FA Cup Final on the radio.[111]

Records and statistics[edit]

  • Sam Bartram is Charlton's record appearance maker, having played a total of 623 times between 1934 and 1956. But for six years lost to the Second World War, when no league football was played, this tally would be far higher.[2]: 104 
  • Keith Peacock is the club's second highest appearance maker with 591 games between 1961 and 1979[2]: 320  He was also the first-ever substitute in a Football League game, replacing injured goalkeeper Mike Rose after 11 minutes of a match against Bolton Wanderers on 21 August 1965.
  • Defender and midfielder Radostin Kishishev is Charlton's record international appearance maker, having received 42 caps for Bulgaria while a Charlton player.[112]
  • In total, 12 Charlton players have received full England caps. The first was Seth Plum, in 1923 and the most recent was Darren Bent, in 2006. Luke Young, with seven caps, is Charlton's most capped England international.[113]
  • Charlton's record goalscorer is Derek Hales, who scored 168 times in all competitions in 368 matches, during two spells, for the club.[2]: 320 
  • Counting only league goals, Stuart Leary is the club's record scorer with 153 goals between 1951 and 1962.[2]: 112 
  • The record number of goals scored in one season is 33, scored by Ralph Allen in the 1934–35 season.[2]: 58 
  • Charlton's record home attendance is 75,031 which was set on 12 February 1938 for an FA Cup match against Aston Villa[114]
  • The record all-seated attendance is 27,111, The Valley's current capacity. This record was first set in September 2005 in a Premier League match against Chelsea and has since been equalled several times.[114]
Achievement Record (year, division)
Highest league finish Runners-up in 1936–37 (First Division)
Most league points in a season 101 in 2011–2012 (League One)
Most league goals in a season 107 in 1957–58 (Second Division)
Record victory 8–0 v. Stevenage, 9 October 2018
Record away victory 8–0 v. Stevenage, 9 October 2018
Record defeat 1–11 v. Aston Villa, 14 November 1959
Record FA Cup victory 7–0 v. Burton Albion, 7 January 1956
Record League Cup victory 5–0 v. Brentford, 12 August 1980
Most successive victories 12 matches (from 26 December 1999 to 7 March 2000)
Most games without a win 18 matches (from 18 October 2008 to 13 January 2009; and 2 December 2023 to 24 February 2024)
Most successive defeats 10 matches (from 11 April 1990 to 15 September 1990)
Most successive draws 6 matches (from 13 December 1992 to 16 January 1993)
Longest unbeaten 15 matches (from 4 October 1980 to 20 December 1980)
Record attendance 75,031 v. Aston Villa, 17 October 1938
Record league attendance 68,160 v. Arsenal, 17 October 1936
Record gate receipts £400,920 v. Leicester City, 19 February 2005

Player records[edit]

Achievement Player (record)
Most appearances Sam Bartram (623)
Most appearances (outfield) Keith Peacock (591)
Most goals Derek Hales (168)
Most hat-tricks Johnny Summers and Eddie Firmani (8)
Most capped player Dennis Rommedahl (126)
Most capped player while at the club Radostin Kishishev (42)
Oldest player Sam Bartram (42 years and 47 days)
Youngest player Jonjo Shelvey (16 years and 59 days)
Oldest scorer Chris Powell (38 years and 239 days)
Youngest scorer Jonjo Shelvey (16 years and 310 days)
Quickest scorer Jim Melrose (9 seconds)
Quickest sending off Naby Sarr (1 minute)


As of 21 June 2024[115][116][117][118]

First-team squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK England ENG Harry Isted
GK England ENG Will Mannion
GK Australia AUS Ashley Maynard-Brewer
DF Uganda UGA Nathan Asiimwe
DF England ENG Rarmani Edmonds-Green
DF England ENG Tayo Edun
DF Scotland SCO Josh Edwards
DF England ENG Macaulay Gillesphey
DF England ENG Lloyd Jones
DF England ENG Zach Mitchell
DF England ENG Lucas Ness
DF England ENG Kayne Ramsay
DF England ENG Thierry Small
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF England ENG Tennai Watson
MF Jamaica JAM Karoy Anderson
MF England ENG Luke Berry
MF England ENG Tyreece Campbell
MF Republic of Ireland IRL Conor Coventry
MF Scotland SCO Scott Fraser
MF England ENG Aaron Henry
MF Wales WAL Terry Taylor
FW England ENG Chuks Aneke
FW Sierra Leone SLE Daniel Kanu
FW England ENG Miles Leaburn
FW England ENG Alfie May

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
No. Pos. Nation Player

Under-21s squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF England ENG Toby Bower
DF England ENG Oliver Hobden
DF Czech Republic CZE Seydil Toure
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF England ENG Ryan Huke
MF England ENG Harvey Kedwell

Under-18s squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK England ENG Jude Sadler
DF England ENG Luke Ashburn
DF England ENG Ethan Brown
DF England ENG Ethan Cann
DF England ENG Keenan Gough
DF England ENG Mason Hunter
DF Fiji FIJ Josh Laqeretabua
DF England ENG Joshua Ogunnowo
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF England ENG Kai Enslin
MF England ENG Ibrahim Fullah
MF England ENG Alan Mwamba
MF England ENG Henry Rylah
MF England ENG Jacob Safa
MF England ENG Manu Wales
FW Republic of Ireland IRL Patrick Casey
FW England ENG Micah Mbick

Women's team[edit]

Player of the Year[edit]

Club officials[edit]

As of 4 February 2024

Coaching staff[edit]

Role Name
Technical Director England Andy Scott[119]
Manager Wales Nathan Jones[120]
Assistant Manager England Paul Hart
First Team Coach Republic of Ireland Curtis Fleming
First Team Goalkeeping Coach Republic of Ireland Stephen Henderson
First-Team Development Coach England Jon De Souza[121]
First-Team Lead Sports Scientist England Ben Talbot
First-Team Doctor England Toby Longwill
Head of Physical Performance England Josh Hornby
First-Team Head Physiotherapist England Adam Coe
First-Team Physiotherapist Hong Kong Alex Ng
First-Team Assistant Therapist England Steve Jackson
Head of Performance Analysis England Brett Shaw
First-Team Kit Manager England Wayne Baldacchino
Academy Director England Steve Avory[122]
Academy Head of Coaching England Rhys Williams
Senior Professional Development Phase Lead Coach England Jason Pearce
Lead U21s Coach England Chris Lock
Head of Academy Sport Science and Medicine England Danny Campbell
Senior Academy Scout England Bert Dawkins
Academy Performance Analyst England James Parker
Academy Physiotherapist England Andriana Tsiantoula
Kit Assistant England Ben Mehmet
Kit Assistant England James Simmons

Managerial history[edit]

Alan Curbishley managed Charlton between 1991 and 2006


Name Dates Achievements
England Walter Rayner June 1920 – May 1925
Scotland Alex MacFarlane May 1925 – January 1928
England Albert Lindon January 1928 – June 1928
Scotland Alex MacFarlane June 1928 – December 1932 Third Division champions (1929)
England Albert Lindon December 1932 – May 1933
England Jimmy Seed May 1933 – September 1956 Third Division champions (1935);
Second Division runners-up (1936);
First Division runners-up (1937);
Football League War Cup co-winners (1944);
FA Cup runners-up 1946;
FA Cup winners 1947
England David Clark (caretaker) September 1956
England Jimmy Trotter September 1956 – October 1961
England David Clark (caretaker) October 1961 – November 1961
Scotland Frank Hill November 1961 – August 1965
England Bob Stokoe August 1965 – September 1967
Italy Eddie Firmani September 1967 – March 1970
Republic of Ireland Theo Foley March 1970 – April 1974
England Les Gore (caretaker) April 1974 – May 1974
England Andy Nelson May 1974 – March 1980 Third Division 3rd place (promoted; 1975)
England Mike Bailey March 1980 – June 1981 Third Division 3rd place (promoted; 1981)
England Alan Mullery June 1981 – June 1982
England Ken Craggs June 1982 – November 1982
England Lennie Lawrence November 1982 – July 1991 Division Two runners-up (1986);
Full Members Cup runners-up (1987)
England Alan Curbishley &
England Steve Gritt
July 1991 – June 1995
England Alan Curbishley June 1995 – May 2006 First Division play-off winners (1998);
First Division champions (2000)
Northern Ireland Iain Dowie May 2006 – November 2006
England Les Reed November 2006 – December 2006
England Alan Pardew December 2006 – November 2008
England Phil Parkinson November 2008 – January 2011
England Keith Peacock (caretaker) January 2011
England Chris Powell January 2011 – March 2014 League One champions (2012)
Belgium José Riga March 2014 – May 2014
Belgium Bob Peeters May 2014 – January 2015
England Damian Matthew &
England Ben Roberts (caretakers)
January 2015
Israel Guy Luzon January 2015 – October 2015
Belgium Karel Fraeye October 2015 – January 2016
Belgium José Riga January 2016 – May 2016
England Russell Slade June 2016 – November 2016
England Kevin Nugent (caretaker) November 2016
England Karl Robinson November 2016 – March 2018
England Lee Bowyer (caretaker) March 2018 – September 2018
England Lee Bowyer September 2018 – March 2021 League One play-off winners (2019)
England Johnnie Jackson (caretaker) March 2021 
England Nigel Adkins March 2021 – October 2021
England Johnnie Jackson (caretaker) October 2021 – December 2021
England Johnnie Jackson December 2021 – May 2022
England Ben Garner June 2022 – December 2022
Republic of Ireland Anthony Hayes (caretaker) December 2022
England Dean Holden December 2022 – August 2023
England Jason Pearce (caretaker) August 2023 – September 2023
England Michael Appleton September 2023 – January 2024
Republic of Ireland Curtis Fleming (caretaker) January 2024 – February 2024
Wales Nathan Jones February 2024 –

List of chairmen[edit]

Year Name
1921–1924 Douglas Oliver
1924–1932 Edwin Radford
1932–1951 Albert Gliksten
1951–1962 Stanley Gliksten
1962–1982 Michael Gliksten
1982–1983 Mark Hulyer
1983 Richard Collins
1983–1984 Mark Hulyer
1984 John Fryer
1984–1985 Jimmy Hill
1985–1987 John Fryer
1987–1989 Richard Collins
1989–1995 Roger Alwen
1995–2008 Richard Murray (PLC)
1995–2008 Martin Simons
2008–2010 Derek Chappell
2008–2010 Richard Murray
2010–2014 Michael Slater
2014–2020 Richard Murray
2020 Matt Southall
2020–2023 Thomas Sandgaard






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  • Clayton, Paul (2001). The Essential History of Charlton Athletic. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7553-1020-3.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]