The Boys from the Village: Charlton Athletic at War walk and seminar

Charlton Athletic museum
The event begins at the Charlton Athletic Museum

Thanks to Charlton Athletic fan and war historian Steve Hunnisett for letting us know about an interesting event on Tuesday 6 August exploring the history of the Addicks during both world wars. The Boys from the Village starts off at the Charlton Athletic Museum, and includes a walk up the hill led by Steve and the museum’s Clive Harris to the White Swan, where there will be talks about the club and its players during both wars, including the youths from some of the earliest Addicks sides who were conscripted into the First World War. The event is free, so you can dip in and out of it as you please, and it is also a chance to visit the fantastic volunteer-run museum inside The Valley, which has flourished despite the ownership problems surrounding the club.

Poster for Charlton Athletic at War event

The museum is open to visitors from 4pm, the walk starts at 6.15pm, and the talks at the Swan begin at 7.45pm.

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Wembley triumph brings Charlton fans a season ticket dilemma

Charlton Athletic at Wembley
The Charlton team pick up the trophy (not the big one on the pitch)

Charlton Athletic’s play-off triumph at Wembley on Sunday will have landed thousands across south-east London with hangovers yesterday morning. Now the many fans who have been boycotting home matches in protest at Roland Duchâtelet’s disastrous ownership of the side now face a dilemma – to buy a season ticket for Championship football next season or not?

The Addicks’ run to promotion back to the Championship – three years after a relegation caused directly by the instability caused by Duchâtelet’s calamitous running of the club – brought crowds flocking back to The Valley, with 25,428 seeing the semi-final win on penalties over Doncaster Rovers.

More than 38,000 filled the Charlton end at Wembley on Sunday to see the side come back from a disastrous early own goal, when goalkeeper Dillon Phillips misjudged a backpass from defender Naby Sarr and was help running helplessly as the ball dribbled into his own net, giving Sunderland an early advantage.

Ben Purrington equalised for the Addicks towards the end of the first half, setting up a tense second half. Just as it looked to be going to extra time, Patrick Bauer’s late, late winner saw scenes of pandemonium.

Why not watch it again?

Now season tickets are back on sale for two weeks at last season’s prices. Crowds have slumped under Duchâtelet’s reign, with an average of just 11,846 through the turnstiles last season, compared with 17,402 seven years ago, when the Addicks were last in League One.

Being in the second-tier Championship should make the club more attractive to potential buyers, but Duchâtelet is still reported to be insisting that new owners repay the money he has lost while trying – and failing – to run the club as part of a European “network” of teams. Even now, manager Lee Bowyer, credited with transforming the team on a small budget, does not have a contract for next season, and nor do many of his squad – risking the first season back up being a disaster.

Thousands of Charlton fans will be watching the news carefully in the coming days before deciding whether to commit their hard-earned cash to watch the team next season.


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Addicks on their way to Wembley after play-off thriller at sold-out Valley

Valley pitch invasion
A night to remember at The Valley

The first sell-out crowd at The Valley in seven years saw Charlton Athletic beat Doncaster Rovers after extra time and penalties to make it to the League One play-off final at Wembley.

Charlton will play Sunderland on Sunday 26 May – 21 years after the two clubs met at Wembley in a play-off final to reach the Premier League. Back then, the Addicks won 7-6 on penalties after drawing 4-4 after extra time in one of the greatest games the national stadium has seen.

The 25,428 crowd was the biggest since eccentric Belgian electronic magnate Roland Duchâtelet took over the club in 2014, precipitating a decline which has seen the Addicks marooned in the third tier of English football, with attendances slumping as longstanding fans boycotted the club.

It was an even more dramatic day for Charlton captain Patrick Bauer, who became a father in the afternoon before leading his side to victory in the evening.

Many fans set aside their boycott to come to The Valley last night as promotion back to the second-tier Championship should make the club more attractive to potential buyers – although Duchâtelet is still reported to be insisting that new owners repay the money he has lost in his disastrous spell in charge of the club.

Charlton took an early lead when Krystian Bielik’s second-minute header made it 3-1 on aggregate, after the Addicks won Sunday’s first leg in South Yorkshire by two goals to one. But Rovers fought back amid a hesitant second-half performance from Charlton to lead 2-1 after 90 minutes – 3-3 on aggregate.

Former Millwall striker John Marquis scored for Doncaster after 100 minutes, but Darren Pratley capitalised on an error by Rovers keeper Marko Marosi just a minute later to make it 2-3 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate.

After the match went to penalties, Charlton sealed the win when Doncaster captain Tommy Rowe missed the fifth spot-kick of the shoot-out, sparking a joyous pitch invasion at The Valley. The last pitch invasion was three years ago, when Charlton were relegated, in protest at Duchâtelet’s ownership.

The Addicks now have over 36,000 tickets for Wembley – sale details are available on cafc.co.uk.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at patreon.com/charltonchampion
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