The Valley’s East Stand is no more – as of today it bears the name of one of Charlton Athletic’s most successful managers.
With the Addicks’ season now over, work was nearing competition this afternoon on renaming the East Stand after Alan Curbishley, who led the club into the Premier League in 1998 and again in 2000.
The South Stand has long been named after Jimmy Seed, the man who transformed the Addicks into a footballing force in the 1930s and won the FA Cup as manager in 1947. Earlier this year, fans launched a petition to have the East Stand – the first to be built after the club returned to The Valley in 1992 – named after Curbishley.
Now 63, Curbishley spent two spells at the club as a midfielder in the 1980s and 1990s, and managed the side between 1991 and 2006. He also played for and managed West Ham United, and played at both Aston Villa and Birmingham City as well as Brighton and Hove Albion.
But it was in his 15 years as Charlton manager that he achieved his greatest successes, winning the first division play-off final in 1998. While the team were relegated from the Premier League the following season, Charlton then won the division in 2000, leading to a seven-year Premier League stay.
The club announced six weeks ago that the stand would be named after him, marking 30 years since he first became manager.
At the time, Curbishley told the club website that he was “stunned” to hear the news. “When I was told, I started thinking about other people that have had stands named after them – both players and managers,” he said. I know that Billy Bonds and Trevor Booking have at West Ham – they were delighted when the stands were named after them. Then you’ve got Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish – there are not a lot of people who have had stands named after them, for me to be one of them is a great honour.”
Local residents getting their Covid-19 vaccinations at The Valley have been able to see a sneak preview of the the new signage – but the official unveiling is not due to be until August, when the Addicks have their first home game.
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