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The opposition view

Charlton Athletic 1 Franchise FC 0
Phew. As I have often done, I switched to the away commentary team on CAFC Player once I heard Emma open up her gob on the Charlton link, and I have to say I enjoyed listening to two blokes, slightly biased but knowledgeable and to hear them give an  unblemished perspective on our individual players and team.
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Robert Lee

I got some feedback from Rob Lee’s family (only us Addicks call him Robert) following his day at The Valley on Saturday to commemorate the 25-year anniversery of the ‘last game.’

Rob took his Mum and Dad and two sons Oliver and Elliot, who are both on West Ham’s books to the game. According to Rob he thoroughly enjoyed the day and the reception he got, the only downer was the result, which I think anyone connected with Charlton viewed as a defeat and not a draw.
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Charlton Athletic 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
I don’t know what Lennie Lawrence and Robert Lee thought at the end of Saturday’s game but at least they won’t have to go again on Tuesday. And I worry that a lot of other Addicks will be thinking the same this morning as a dark realism descends upon us. That stark realism is that for the first time in four centuries this could be our level for a few years.
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I dreamt last night that I was at the game tomorrow, and in the excitement I got lost confusing the Covered End with the Jimmy Seed Stand. Strange, but I was excited, I was, it’s a London derby after all.

Dagenham & Redbridge are surely the most merged football club in the country with the Daggers roots being in Ilford, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Redbridge and Dagenham. Quite different from next Tuesday’s opponents who had their identity stolen and not combined.

As others have more eloquently said our season so far sits on a precipice. If we look down then it has been a season lacking in creativity, goals and continuity. If you look upwards then the season smells of a promising work in progress with no serious barricades in our way.
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My knee

Oh my knee! I had completely forgotten about that.

Well after completely ignoring my surgeon’s advice of doing nothing but keeping my knee up for 3-4 days, it’s doing pretty well. I saw the physio on Tuesday and my recovery is advanced compared to normal. I suppose it was either going to go one way or the other after my exploits Sunday night, but it feels strong and I hardly use the crutches to get around because frankly it is quicker walking.

The physio has given me a whole programme of exercise, which builds up to walking, swimming, gym work, cycling, running and then sports but unfortunately they advise no contact sport or skiing for 12 months.

I have been at home on my own these last two days and struggle to sit and do nothing, but my Mum comes to visit tomorrow for 10 days, so at least I have someone to make me a cup of tea!

Hurricane Igor photos

Photos complimentary of the superb

From top, left to right: Beach erosion afterwards at Elbow Beach; Power cables down on Monday morning; The South Shore as Igor approached; The ‘Bermudian’ ferry breaking free at St Georges; The square at historical St Georges flooded the night of the hurricane; The Causeway that leads from St Georges and the island’s airport to the rest of the country almost hidden by driving rain; The tide comes over high cliffs at Smiths Parish; The Pink Beach Club 6 hours before the hurricane passed.

25 years ago today

Rarely do you attend a game and have no real interest in the outcome of it but that was how I felt as my Dad drove us to our regular parking spot at The Heights 25 years ago today.

Rick Everitt wrote in his magnificent book ‘Battle for The Valley’ that the atmosphere that day was poisonous and the whole afternoon was a shambles of discontent, and they’re exactly what my memories of the day are. The anger and absolute helplessness had built inside me from a fortnight before when we were handed that extraordinary piece of paper entitled ‘Message to our Supporters.’

Many would argue that 21st September, 1985 was the day that Charlton fans united and that jointly going through the pain of leaving The Valley was the springboard to a new and brighter chapter in the club’s history. It was, but at that moment 25 years ago there wasn’t the slightest glimmer of what the future held.
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Hurricane Igor update – Monday evening

That was some night but Hurricane Igor eventually packed his huff and puff and headed back out to the Atlantic this morning leaving the island to lick it’s wounds.

There was a fair bit of damage such as at Hamilton’s main ferry terminal but most of it appears superficial although some areas were badly flooded including the historical town of St George’s. A lot of the south shore beaches will take a while to recover after suffering erosion due to the huge waves. We went along to Elbow Beach today, where the Weather Channel was reporting from, and the steps leading down to the beach had disappeared and the restaurants were closed.

The strongest measured wind gust was 94 mph and one can only imagine what a Category 4 or 5 storm would be like (Igor was officially a Cat 1). Personally I never want to find out and having ticked the box will take the family and bugger off island at the slightest sign of another one.
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Hurricane Igor update – Monday 1.45am

We have just spent the last 90 minutes hanging onto a set of french doors in our living room as Hurricane Igor threatened to invade us. The wooden boarding that once protected the door was flying around the patio and it was scarying the shit out of me as it turned in every direction. Fortunately it settled at the foot of the door but I made damn sure I kept my flashlight on it.

The winds have subsided a bit now and I’m bloody hoping Igor has moved down the island to give someone else some fun and games.

By the sound of it the island has been banged up pretty good, although I am glad to hear there has been no casualties.

We’re now laying in bed listening to the wind whistling. That noise will stay with me for a while.

Hurricane Igor update – Sunday 11.10pm

We are now holed up in our front bedroom as Hurricane Igor moved to the south of us and our back garden around 10pm when the eastern part of the eye-wall hit the island. This is the most destructive part of the hurricane which measures an incredible 633 miles by diameter!

The power went out about an hour ago due I think to a lightning strike in the area. The howling of the burglar and smoke alarms was very eerie indeed.

Reports from the excellent are evidencing a lot of damage on the island including to the main ferry terminal in Hamilton. We are doing okay but the two french doors in our living room are squealing and bowing like crazy. Walking, sorry hobbling around downstairs a moment ago was quite scary.

It has been suggested that the eastern parishes (we are in the west) will suffer the storm a lot longer than we will as Igor slowly makes it way along the south of the island and back out into the Atlantic.

Our 10-month old daughter who has been fantastic all day has suddenly become like a frightened puppy at the onset of a thunderstorm. I suspect she senses our anxieties.

Hurricane force winds are expected for a couple of more hours yet, but by the early afternoon tomorrow we should be clear of Igor.

Thank you to all of you that have sent your thoughts and well wishes to us on here and on Twitter, they are much appreciated.

Hurricane Igor update – Sunday 5.45pm

We have had power back for a few hours now, so thank you BELCO for that. 16,000 homes remain without though, which is about half of the island. The power returning caused a bit of a shock as we were all napping at the time and then the various smoke alarms around the house screeched into action. I am sure scurrying up a ladder to loosen wires in the upstairs hallway was not what the physio had in mind yesterday when he told me I could start to put some weight on my foot today!

The winds are now around 100 mph and as I look outside of the kitchen window the rain is coming down sideways and as I type the front door has just blown open and one of the wooden boards on the french doors has come off. We need to move that.

Igor is now just 25 miles from passing the south-west of the island, which should be within the next 2 hours.

Hurricane Igor update – Sunday 9.30am

We lost power at around 3 this morning, which was strange as there really wasn’t much going on outside. It then came back intermittently but has now been off for about two hours.

According to reports 3,650 households in Bermuda are currently without power and BELCO are trying to restore it. I don’t hold out much hope.

The rain and winds are now lashing down outside and we have taped all of the windows. The good news is that Igor has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, so winds will be at a maximum sustained strength of 90mph. Igor was once not long ago a Cat 4.

Igor is around 250 miles away and is travelling in this direction north-north west at 12mph.

Hurricane Igor

On returning home from hospital this afternoon we were met by our landlord boarding up the windows and patio doors of our house in readiness for Hurricane Igor (photo) that is expected to deliver Bermuda a direct hit in the early hours of Monday morning.

Bermuda is taking no chances as Igor is expected to be the strongest hurricane to hit the island since 2003 when four people were killed during Fabian on the causeway that separates the airport from the main island. Total property damage was an estimated $300 million and it was widely considered Bermuda’s worst storm since 1926.

Igor has followed a similar path to Fabian and will have sustained winds of approximately 110 mph, with higher gusts when the eye comes closest at 3am on Monday. Tropical storm winds are expected tomorrow and up to eight inches of rain is predicted. 

The whole thing with my right leg bandaged and in a brace is a bit of a nightmare to be honest. My Mum was supposed to be flying in on Monday to spend 10 days with us but all flights in and out of Bermuda have been cancelled until Tuesday and worse than the hurricane will be the unquestionable loss of power after the storm has passed.

All is quiet tonight though with Igor 363 miles away but the trees outside one of our unboarded windows are starting to sway gently. More is to come and I will try to blog on the storm as it approaches us.

Rovers and out

Tranmere Rovers 1 Charlton Athletic 1
I got home too late from hospital to listen in to the game. From reading reports it sounded like we got off to a blistering start but couldn’t keep up the pace in the 2nd half and a point was probably fair.

How much we should read into this result after our 4-0 win at Prenton Park at around the same time last season I don’t know. What I do know is it’s proving more and more difficult for me to pass comment on team performances and our prospects for the season as unusually by this stage I haven’t even seen the boys play yet.

So I try not to be a fraud and take my leads from friends and other bloggers but then again hardly any one player is getting a run in the team at the moment and PP is making on average 4 to 5 changes a game. PP calls it “picking teams horses for courses.” I call it not knowing your best team and for me we still look like we are in an extended pre-season.
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Right old knees up

This morning I had surgery to reconstruct my anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee, torn whilst playing indoor football earlier in the year.

Mistakenly the nurses appear to think I am some kind of sportsman. Those that know me will not read the rest of this post because they will be on the floor wetting themselves.

I should also refer the polite nurses to my physio who when discovering the extent of my injury asked me if I warmed up before playing football.
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