An unforgettable day
We’re on the way, we’re on the way….
Yesterday morning I woke bruised and weary. With a slight headache and a sense of bewilderment, but the red blood in my veins flowed like a gentle river.
Last night was another night of sweet dreams. I flew back to Bermuda yesterday and am back in the office today, and nothing, not nothing will take this massive smile off my face.
Sunday was a day to remember, the atmosphere the whole day, being amongst so many Addicks, the togetherness, Bauer’s goal, Jacko hurtling down the touchline, the trophy presentation, the celebrations, the relief, the happiness, the joy.
Promotion. Let that sink in. Back to where we belong. Twist and bloody shout.
I flew into Gatwick on Saturday morning, my brother later in the day from Mexico City. We were knackered and dinner, drinks and jet lag laid a foundation for a better than expected pre-match sleep. A big group of us met early in the Green Man up the hill from Wembley and the place was rocking. If the amount of Addicks in that pub and beer garden was improbable then the sea of Addicks in the stadium and the sheer wall of noise we created was overwhelming and unforgettable.
We got into the stadium at 2pm, We wanted to soak it in. If it’s another 21 years before I get to go again, I may have to sit down all game. It was my first visit to the new Wembley, and it was impressive. The noise before the game was incredible, but it was noticeable that there were banks of empty seats in Sunderland sections opposite the tunnel.
Yet those Sunderland fans were exceptional and they can make a lot of bloody noise. They always have. It is a proper football club, with terrific fans, and it is the worst way to lose a game, worst than penalties because at that point you know it’s simply a 50/50 fateful chance.
One of my endearing memories came when I left the stadium. After the post match celebrations, tears, hugs and smiles we finally broke away but all got split up in the dancing and singing going on in the concourse. Absolute scenes they were.
Walking out of the stadium on the walkway trying to get my bearings to get back to the pub, Sunderland fans lined the walkway and clapped us. One girl dressed in a Sunderland shirt was crying her eyes out. It broke me if I’m honest. Charlton and Sunderland fans embraced and swapped scarves. It was an incredible moment reminiscent of 1998. The very best of luck to them next season.
Back in the Green Man I was a hot mess. Drained, oh and very thirsty. All around there were smiles and drinks and songs. Then it rained, but it didn’t dampen a thing.
We are Charlton Athletic, and we’re on our way back.