Two more sleeps
Well, well. It’s finally Friday, and here it’s Bermuda Day so I get to think about Sunday all day long today as it’s a holiday and I have the day off!
Friday was raw emotion, for every minute I hated it through the game, I treasured the videos, photos and stories from Addicks after. The excitement has built this week, and although I am shielded from most of the media here, I’ve also purposely tried hard to not get too wrapped up in it. Fortunately work has been a bastard.
The ticket sales this week have been something else. The groundswell of support for Lee Bowyer and his team has warmed all of our red hearts, even those who will stick to their self-imposed exiles. I’ve always been proud to be an Addick, but that pride has been close to bursting this week.
39,000 of us will be at the western end of the new Wembley on Sunday, with a crowd expected to be over 80,000 making it the largest ever for a third tier final. And possibly anywhere in the world? Our game with Sunderland in 1998 already holds the record for the largest ever play-off final attendance at the old Wembley. Right, now I’m nervous..
There has been some great debate this week to what games saw the largest ever collection of Addicks. Post war there were some huge Valley crowds. A fair number in the 1950’s and those my age will remember being squeezed shoulder to shoulder, or shoulder to waist, in the late 70’s at home to Spurs, Chelsea, West Ham and QPR. The official attendances from those days were laughable, but unofficially they must have pushed 50,000, even though there was many, many thousands of away fans in home areas.
Sunday will be the biggest ever post war band of Addicks together away from home and I can’t wait to be a part of it. Thanks again to those mates who helped with tickets. I fly tonight arriving at Gatwick tomorrow morning. G
My lasting memory of 21 years ago was how drained emotionally I was after the game, after Doncaster away two weeks ago I was exhausted. Last Friday night I was broken. But proud. Always. Bring it on Charlton. Come on you Addicks.
Allez, Allez, Allez.
I sent you an email a couple of days ago, have you seen it?
I did. Just responded. Are you coming with fellow Swedish Addicks?
My main emotion 21 years ago was exhaustion, the game with its ups and downs and then the penalty shootout stripped every bit of energy from me and then along with everyone I queued for an hour or more to get back to the tube station. Finally I wandered around Covent Garden and here and there were knots of Charlton fans and the look on every single on was the same – no-one was talking and their faces said the same story, we were all knackered but there was also pride that in a match that had been a test of footballing skill, athleticism and above all termperment that my team had not been found wanting in any department. I’ve no idea what will happen on Sunday, but I know that we’ll see the same commitment.