Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The return of the flying pig!

That nickname was reserved for the famous Tommy Lawrence of Liverpool, but at times in his career it could equally be applied to Nicky Weaver, our returning former keeper. Even before he joined us Weaver was associated with Charlton fans emotions going back to our promotion season, when he was a young immature keeper he took the rise out of the North Stand, my recollection is that Kinsella tried to get to him when he was on the coach home. In our first season in the Prem. We met Weaver early on and trounced them comprehensively, Weaver at fault for our first goal fly kicking a Johnny Robinson shot and then giving away a penalty. Following the conversion of the penalty Kinsella went over to Weaver and gave him a hell of a mouthful. On the positive side at Maine Road Weaver assisted a Charlton goal by kicking his clearance mid way in his own half against a Charlton player only to see it loop over his head and back into his own goal. His final appearance at the Valley as an opposition player came a few years later when he was merely the second choice keeper for Man City. He had matured by then and accepted the abuse from an unforgiving North Stand with good grace and a smile.

Joining on a freebee, was never totally accepted by all the Charlton fans, for his antics as a youth, for his alleged £20,000 per week for his reputation as a fatty and for, during his latter stages, keeping Elliot out of the team, until Elliot replaced him after injury and he never appeared in the home short again. Between 2007 and 2009 he made 70 appearances for us.
He recently opened his career scoring account with a penalty in a shootout in the Johnstone Paint Trophy. One would hope that this is one returning player who won't be scoring against us on Saturday, although he could do equal damage by keeping a clean sheet and I fear that maybe our fate on Saturday.
I know it irritated Pardew but I always applaud former players and enjoy seeing them play well, as long as they are on the losing side. Unfortunately for Weaver he plays in a position where I cannot hope he plays well, we are due a good win at home and it would be nice to do it against one of the promotion favourites. A win on Saturday puts us back into the promotion frame, if we can keep pace with the leading pack then we could end this season in the place from which Weaver helped take us!!