Sunday, 18 January 2009

Curbs and Murray ruined my life

As most of my Charlton friends know I started life being a Chelsea fan and at around 13 years of age became a Charlton supporter, the distinction here between supporter and fan is someone who follows a team, goes to matches and is there through thick and thin while a fan is someone who follows from a distance and watches on Match of The Day.

I converted from a team of Osgood and Bonetti to a team of Wright and Crawford. Top tier to 2nde tier, most people go the other way - what is the opposite of a glory hunter - whatever it is thats me.

I began watching Charlton the season after the were pipped by the Selhurst crew for promotion and in a season - one of many - when we avoided relegation by the skin of our teeth.

Any fans who supported Charlton around this time will remember a team that was exciting to watch in matches that were exciting to watch, the team may not have been very good - even with Alan Campbell - but the games were fun and there was always the peanut man and we would see lots of goals, I saw us beat Swansea Town 6-1, lose to either Bristol or Blackburn Rovers 2-4, but I did not really care because we had no expectations of grandeur top flight, there was the brief encounter with Simonsen when what looked like naked ambition turned out to be just a brief interlude in the pursuit of mediocrity.

Then in the 80's Uncle Len with a ragga muffin band of players got us into the top tier, we loved it but we never really thought we should be there, each and every season we expected it to be our last and eventually it was,but we had enjoyed our stay at the top and really never expected to be there again. Sorry when I say we, I mean me, it was nice while it lasted.

Then came Curbishley, Gritt and Alwen, to be succeeded by Curbishley and Murray and what did they do, they gave us hope they got us into the Prem, they bought half decent players and over a decade they gave us results and positions that we could be proud of and we came to expect.

So now when we get beaten, which is an all too frequent occurence it hurts, when as yesterday I see an inept performance by a forward like Grey (who's idea of attacking the ball is to stand still and hope it bounces off his head to one of his mates) instead of thinking of Dickie Plumb or Barry Endean, I think of Darren Bent and Andy Hunt (Ok Clive Mendonca too), when I see inept loan players as we have had too many of lately, I don't think of Mike Small, I think of Jorge Costa - when we put in an inept performance like we did yesterday, when our Championship life depends on it, I don't think "well thats Charlton- thats what we are like, thats what life for a Charlton supporter is all about." I think "I've been short changed, my team don't care, I am gutted."

After the Owls fans chanted "We've got our Wednesday back", our fans chanted "We want our Charlton back." Well maybe we've got our Charlton back, but thanks to Murray and Curbishley there is no turning back, they have given us expectations and its like opening Pandoras box and it hurts.


Anonymous said...

Poignant stuff. I must be pretty much an exact contemporary of yours and it`s as clear now as it was forty years ago: fag-smoking Charlie Wright,the would-be silky skills of Graham Moore and Harry Gregory. What misery I sometimes experienced on those glorious empty terraces. But I doubt if the players of yesteryear were driving away in the kind of motors that the current lot own.Sour grapes? Not really. More a nostalgic yearning for a time when it was easier to feel sorry for the blokes who had ruined your weekend.

Anonymous said...

KK you have managed to encapsulate in a (pea)nutshell all my own feelings. Ironically I also started as a Chelsea fan too.

And its not just the hope and expectation that Curbs and Murray gave us. It is the speed with which our fortunes have changed. Apart from Leeds there are few to match it in recent years.

Like my most hopes and dreams I suppose, they quickly get flushed down the carsi.

Wonder if the Peanut man will make a comeback soon? We need a new striker, and Andy Grey needs to come out of his shell..

Pembury Addick

Ken Shabby said...

This must be catching I was also a Chelsea follow in my innocent youth, but after demanding to be taken to a football match, my dad took me not to the Bridge but the Valley. It's easy to look back and see the past in a rosy glow (Colin Powell, Arthur Horsfield and Dick Tydeman) but it's even easier after a weekend like the last one. Bring back our Charlton, and don't take it again.

Ken Shabby said...

This must be catching. I too grew up a Chelsea fan, but when the time came to move into the world of football, my dad took me not to the Bridge but the Valley. I grew up on Colin Powell, Dick Tydeman, Arthur Horsfield and abject poverty, but I never expected to revisit my youth in such rapid fashion. Could we at least have the ild type of players if we're gong to suffer the old type of Charlton.

charlton north-downs said...

At the age of nine it was Manchester United then a schoolmate told me about Charlton and I asked my dad to take me and that was it. Great days with Len Glover, Keith Peacock, Alan Campbell, Paul Went. I am probably fitter now than most of the players then, but there was a honesty about the whole thing and it was exciting.
Expectation never came into it. Great read and you have put exactly in words what us olden supporters have wanted to say. Cheers.

johnny73 said...

...and fans from the 30's and 40's would have a different view of the yo yo ride. They would say we belong in the top flight.

Anonymous said...

I too was a Stamford Bridge "convert" although a little later than some others who have posted here.

My mother, god rest her, after much bullying, finally persuaded my football-loathing father to take me to a few matches, though he refused point blankly to travel to West London from our home in North Kent. He even got season tickets eventually!

This was 1975, Hales, Peacock, Powell, Flanagan et al! No, we weren't really very good but I did at least look forward to Saturday afternoons then. Hey Ho!!