Unreliable History

Charlton had a sticky time of it when they were first formed in 1905, playing on Siemens Meadow. They went rough and made Woolwich Common their home, before a big money move to Pound Park and then the hardest pitch on Horn Lane. They even managed to win two leagues in one season – Division Two of both the Woolwich League and the Lewisham League. It wasn’t until 1919 that they moved into the old chalk pit that became the Valley. It was one of the biggest grounds in the country for many years with vast, steep, mountainous terraces, packed with fans every other week, but it could have been very different had a move to Catford been successful. However, the home ground was to play a big part in their future. In 1921, The Addicks (a nickname taken from a local fish and chip shop in the vicinity) made it to Division 3 (South) and this preceded a period when they were one of the most feared sides in Britain under the leadership of former Spurs player, Jimmy Seed. They took the odd step of moving out of the Valley to Catford in the middle of the 1923-24 season, but soon moved back at the end of the season. In 1935, they came second in their league and in ‘36 were runners-up in Division 2, the same position they filled the following season in the top flight.

Their FA Cup zenith was reached after the War, when they featured in consecutive Finals – losing 1-4 to Derby County in 1946 (with Bert Turner scoring for both sides) and winning in 1947 – a 1-0 win over Burnley. Seed managed to break the lid of the trophy when celebrating and that is why they now have the ribbons tied to it – to stop the top falling off. In their victorious run to the final, their 5th round tie against Blackburn Rovers was the first to be shown live on television. The ball burst in both finals too!

Famous Sam Bartram was a loyal servant to the club. So much so, that during one game when fog descended and enveloped the pitch, he remained at his post thinking the match was continuing. It was only when a Policeman threatened to arrest him for loitering with intent that he realised all the other players had departed. Staying the course seemed to agree with the South Londoners – trailing 5-1 with 28 minutes left against Huddersfield Town in 1957, Charlton came back to win 7-6 !!

Relegated from the top division in 1957, a few “original” ideas were considered to spice up the old club. 1959 saw a push to become London Athletic and in 1966, when football was at it’s peak in this country, Charlton became home to the London Broncos rugby league side!! This bucked the current trend of the times.  Another innovation Charlton took to was that of substitutes, when Keith Peacock became the first one use din the Football League in 1965.  In 1972 the Valiants were sent down to Div. 3, but by 1986 they were back in Division 1, with Lennie Lawrence leading them in their annual relegation fight. Before that had happened, Athletic had scooped the world by signing Barcelona and Denmark star Allan Simonsen – 44 years after they nearly scooped the football world by trying to sign Stanley Matthews.

Having to leave their home ground in 1985, meant that they were forced to share Selhurst and Upton Parks until the Valley Party won votes in the local elections and inspired a return to Greenwich in 1992. The new Valley was a breath of fresh air and the team won the 1998 promotion play-off on a penalty shoot-out after an exciting 4-4 draw with Sunderland. Unfortunately, Charlton returned to Division One the next season. Without wanting to become a yo-yo club, the Addicks raced to the 1999-2000 First Division Championship with a terrific run of results from Christmas to Easter.  Manager Alan Curbishley had his work cut out to keep the team up in the top half, but by floating the club on the Stock market, money should be available to produce purchases to share in the benefits of the Premier League.  His side have floated accordingly, despite some fans concerns about end-of-season slumps.

Having decided to call it a day at the Valley in 2006, Ian Dowie, Les Reed and finally Alan Pardew all tried to keep the Addicks up once more, but failed in the end and then could not rise back to the top flight at the first attempt, leaving them a tough task to get promotion and the side slipped even further down the ladder with relegation to League One, where they have found it tough to escape from.

Under manager Chris Powell, the team powered to promotion back to the Championship and celebrating 30 years back at the Valley in December 2012, the Addicks drew against Brighton & Hove Albion to sit comfortably smack in the middle of the division  … with some home comfort too.  Since then the new old ground has seen some ups and downs and changes on and off the pitch, with fans angry at the owner Duchatelet, getting red in the face and throwing assorted soft items onto the pitch (pigs, stress balls, taxis, beach balls) and some more dangerous items (packets of crisps) in an attempt to put the crunch on the club’s unpopular owner.

In 2020, a new owner ousted the Belgian and but Dan Thomas Sandgaard’s ownership of Charlton was being questioned by previous owners.  While the wrangling went on, the club limped into League One during lockdown and found themselves manager-less when Lee Bowyer got out to another of his former club’s Birmingham City, leaving the Thames-side club in decidedly unclear waters.

FAMOUS PLAYERS : – Sam Bartram, Allan Simonsen, Norman Brothers (one of the Charlton Brothers), Derek Hales, Harry Dale, Richard Rufus and Chaka Khan, Mark Fish, Keith Peacock, Mike Flanagan and Bradley Allen, Norman Smith and Steve Jones, Steve Gritt and Bob Bolder, Phil Chapple and Simon Church, Peter Reeves and Paul Mortimer.

FAMOUS FANS : – Michael Grade (TV Executive), Carl Howman (TV Actor – Babes In The Wood), Jim Davidson (Comedian), Steve Ryder (TV Presenter – Grandstand); Bjorn Borg (Tennis star); Glenn Tilbrook (Musician – Squeeze).

Club Records

Formed 1905

Turned Professional 1920

Became a Limited Company 1919

Former names

Previous grounds 1905-1907  Siemen’s Meadow
1907-1908  Woolwich Common
1908-1913  Pound Park
1913-1920  Horn Lane
1920-1923  The Valley
1923-1924  Catford (The Mount)
1924-1985  The Valley
1985-1991  Selhurst Park
1991-1992  Upton Park

Nickname “The ADDICKS”, “The VALIANTS” or “The ROBINS”

Club Colours HOME : AWAY :


Record Football League Win 8-1   v  Middlesbrough     Division 1      12.9.1953

Record Premier League Win 5-0   v  Southampton  (Home)     22.08.1998

Record Football League Defeat 1-11   v  Aston Villa      Division 1       14.11.1959

Record Premier League Defeat 1-6  v  Leeds United  (Home)       05.042003
0-5  v  West Ham United  (Away)      26.12.2000

Record Cup Win 8-0   v  Stevenage   (Away)   Football League Trophy      09.10.2018

Record Fee Paid £5.38 million to Ipswich Town for Darren BENT (June 2005)

Record Fee Received £16.5 million from Tottenham Hotspur for Darren BENT  (29 June 2007)

Record Appearances 623  –  Sam BARTRAM  (1934-1956)

Record Football League Appearances 583  –  Sam BARTRAM  (1934-1956)

Record Premier League Appearances 187  –  Chris POWELL  (1998-2006)

Record goal-scorer in a season 32  –  Ralph ALLEN   (Division 3 South)    (1934-35)

Record all-time League goal-scorer  153 – Stuart LEARY  (1953-62)

Record all-time goal-scorer  168 – Derek HALES  (1973-1976 & 1978-1985)

Record goal-scorer in a Premier League season 13  –  Darren BENT  (2006-2007)

Record Premier League goal-scorer 34  –  Jason EUELL  (2001-2007)

Most goals in a match 5   –  Wilson LENNOX  v  Exeter City  Division 3 (South)     02.02.1929
5   –  Eddie FIRMANI   v  Aston Villa  Division 1         05.02.1955
5   –  John SUMMERS  v  Huddersfield Town     Division 2     21.12.1957
5   –  John SUMMERS  v  Portsmouth     Division 2     01.10.1960

Record Attendance (all-time) 75,031  v  Aston Villa    FA Cup  Fifth Round          12.02.1938

Record Premier League Attendance 25,893  v  Ipswich Town     01.01.2002

Record total of goals in a Premier League season 51  –  2003-2004

Record total of goals in a League season 107  –  Division 2   1957-58  (42 games)

Record League points total 2 points for a win :  61   Division 3 (South)   1934-35
3 points for a win :  101   Division 1   2011-2012

Record Premier League points total 53  –  2003-2004

Most Capped player while at club 42 –  Radostin KISHISHEV  (Bulgaria)

Youngest player Jonjo SHELVEY  –  16 years and 59 days  v  Barnsley  (Away)   26.04.2008

Oldest player Sam BARTRAM  –  42 years and 239 days


Stadium details 

Address :  The Valley, Floyd Road, London SE7 8BL

Telephone :  020 8333 4000
Ticket Office : 03330 14 44 44

Capacity :  27,111
Pitch size :  111 yards  x 73 yards

Official website :  cafc.co.uk



There are good directions to the Valley on the Charlton Athletic website in a visitors guide.


Division One Champions  (Second Tier) 1999-2000

Division One Runner-up  (Top Tier) 1936-1937

Division Two Runners-up  (Second Tier) 1935-1936, 1985-1986

Division Three (South) Champions  (Third Tier) 1928-1929, 1934-1935

League One Champions  (Third Tier) 2011-2012

FA Cup Winners 1947

FA Cup Finalists 1946

Full Member’s Cup Finalists 1987



Walter RAYNER June 1920 – May 1925

Alex MacFARLANE May 1925 – January 1927

Albert LINDON January 1928 – June 1928

Alex McFARLANE June 1928 – December 1932

Albert LINDON December 1932 – May 1933

Jimmy SEED May 1933 – September 1956

David CLARK  (Caretaker) September 1956

Jimmy TROTTER September 1956 – October 1961

David CLARK  (Caretaker) October 1961 – November 1961

Frank HILL November 1961 – August 1965

Bob STOKOE August 1965 – September 1967

Eddie FIRMANI September 1967 – March 1970

Theo FOLEY March 1970 – April 1974

Les GORE  (Caretaker) April 1974 – May 1974

Andy NELSON May 1974 – March 1980

Mike BAILEY March 1980 – June 1981

Alan MULLERY June 1981 – June 1982

Ken CRAGGS June 1982 – November 1982

Lennie LAWRENCE November 1982 – July 1991

Alan CURBISHLEY & Steve GRITT July 1991 – June 1995

Alan CURBISHLEY June 1995 – May 2006

Iain DOWIE May  2006 – November 2006

Les REED November 2006 – December 2006

Alan PARDEW December 2006 – 22nd November 2008

Phil PARKINSON 22nd November 2008 – January 2011

Keith PEACOCK  (Caretaker) January 2011

Chris POWELL January 2011 – March 2014

Jose RIGA March 2014 – May 2014

Bob PEETERS May 2014 – January 2015

Damian MATTHEWS/Ben ROBERTS  (Caretakers) January 2015

Guy LUZON January 2015 – October 2015

Karel FRAEYE October 2015 – January 2016

Jose RIGA January 2016 – May 2016

Russell SLADE June 2016 – November 2016

Kevin NUGENT  (Caretaker) November 2016

Karl ROBINSON November 2016 – March 2018

Lee BOWYER  (Caretaker) March 2018 – September 2018

Lee BOWYER September 2018 – 16 March 2021

Johnnie JACKSON  (Caretaker) 16 March 2021 –


League Record

Founder Member of Division Three (South)  (Third Tier) 1921

Division Three (South)  (Third Tier) 1921-1929

Division Two  (Second Tier) 1929-1933

Division Three (South)  (Third Tier) 1933-1935

Division Two  (Second Tier) 1935-1936

Division One  (Top Tier) 1936-1957

Division Two  (Second Tier) 1957-1972

Division Three  (Third Tier) 1972-1975

Division Two  (Second Tier) 1975-1980

Division Three  (Third Tier) 1980-1981

Division Two  (Second Tier) 1981-1986

Division One  (Top Tier) 1986-1990

Division Two  (Second Tier) 1990-1992

Division One  (Second Tier) 1992-1998

Premier League  (Top Tier) 1998-1999

Division One  (Second Tier) 1999-2000

Premier League  (Top Tier) 2000-2007

The Championship  (Second Tier) 2007-2009

League One  (Third Tier) 2009-2012

The Championship  (Second Tier) 2012-2016

League One  (Third Tier) 2016-2019

The Championship  (Second Tier) 2019-2020

League One  (Third Tier) 2021-