Charlton Athletic F. C. is a professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London. The club currently plays in League One, the third tier of English football.
Their most common nickname is the Addicks, probably coming from the word “haddock”. They are also called Red Robins, because of their traditional colours: red shirts, white shorts and red socks. A hand holding a sword, depicted on the club’s badge, was inspired by their third nickname, the Valiants.
Charlton Athletic F.C. was founded on 9 June 1905 by several youth clubs playing football in south-east London who merged together to create a bigger club. In its first years of existence, the club had difficulties finding its permanent home. The home of the club is The Valley stadium a 27,111-capacity sports stadium located in Charlton, London. The stadium, that opened in 1919, used to be an abandoned sand and chalk pit. Enthusiastic Charlton supporters volunteered to make the pit into a flat playing surface and used the excavated material to build an improvised terracing. This hearty endeavour created a strong emotional bond between club members and their home ground that lasts until today. The Northern part of the stadium, the Covered End, is reserved today for the most avid fans of the club. Most of the club’s supporters come from South East London and Kent, particularly the London boroughs of Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley.
Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. The club’s highest league finishes were recorded during the 1930s. Club’s Golden Age started when legendary manager Jimmy Seed led Charlton Athletic to successive promotions between 1933 and 1936. In Seed’s honour, the South Stand at The Valley is named after him.
In 1936, Charlton finally secured promotion to the First Division by defeating local rivals West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground, with their centre-half John Oakes bravely playing on despite injuries.
The 1930s also saw record attendance at the Valley: 75,031 people attended Charlton v Aston Villa FA Cup 5th Round, February 12th, 1938.
During World War II, in 1943, Charlton reached a Wembley final for the first time. The club also reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947.
During the 1950s the club’s growth was hampered by the lack of investments. Seed was forced to leave and Charlton was gradually relegated to the Third Division. The 1970s and 1980s were thus the years of crisis and insecurity for the club.
Between 1985 and 1992 the club had to leave Valley and was temporarily moved to the Crystal Palace Football Club’s stadium at Selhurst Park. This is where the great rivalry between the Addicks and the Eagles originated.
After a great campaign (“Battle for the Valley”) by the fans and club’s fanzine, Voice of The Valley, Charlton finally and triumphantly returned home in December 1992.
1997–98 was Charlton’s best season for years. The battle against Sunderland, a thrilling game which ended with Charlton winning 7–6 on penalties and which was described as “arguably the most dramatic game of football in Wembley’s history”, brought Charlton promotion to the Premier League, where the club stayed until 2006.
Today, more than 100 years later, the Addicks are still rocking, together with their loyal fans, keeping the spirit and tradition, heart and soul of the club alive.
Basic Club Information (2016/17)
1. Declan Rudd – Goalkeeper
2. Lewis Page – Defender
3. Adam Chicksen – Defender
4. Johnnie Jackson – Midfielder, Captain
5. Patrick Bauer – Defender
6. Roger Johnson – Defender
7. Tony Watt – Striker
8. Andrew Crofts – Midfielder
9. Josh Magennis – Striker
11. Ricky Holmes – Striker
Manager: Karl Robinson (since 2016)
Owner: Roland Duchâtelet (since 2014)