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GO charlton athletic F.c. in S.E. London

Charlton Athletic FC Ask any Charlton Athletic supporter why they love their home team so much and many will answer that it's because the football club is built on the very support they offer.

It’s true to say that if it wasn’t for the fans Charlton Athletic would have never come to play at their beloved Valley Stadium, Floyd Road, Charlton.

It was back in 1919 that the struggling Charlton Football Club began to look for a new site to call home.

They found a site at Charlton Village – a disused sand and chalk pit. But how to change this pit into the kind of stadium that this forward-thinking club required, simple: they asked their fans to help.

The support came thick and fast and like a scene from a British war-time movie about determination and pride, those fans helped to dig their way to success and gave their team one of the biggest grounds in Britain.

After much sweat and tears the stadium was ready to host its first game – albeit without fencing, seating and with only rope to represent guidelines for players.

The sweat and tears paid off and for some time Charlton actually had the largest capacity ground in the UK. Unfortunately, Charlton were never quite able to match the record of other London clubs such as Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea.

The Valley Stadium remained largely unchanged – aside from essentials such as seating and ground lines – but in 1985 new safety regulations were brought in that meant many stadiums needed to be overhauled. This meant that the already debt-ridden Charlton ploughed money into making their fans safety a priority and ended up having to leave the stadium. Worse was to come as news broke that Charlton would have to share grounds with its bitter rival: Crystal Palace.

It wasn’t until 1988 that a new manager came to Charlton promising to reunite the club with the former glory of its stadium.

Fans flocked to the now rundown valley to restore it and implement the new safety measures.

Despite the home-coming celebrations it was clear that The Valley didn’t meet the safety guidelines and Charlton would have to move.

What could the fans do this time? They’d helped to save The Valley twice in its history and now it looked like it had all been in vain. Undeterred, supporters took to the streets with the idea of raising money to build a new stadium and on December 5, 1992, Charlton Athletic played its first game in The New Valley.

The power of supporters saved this club on three occasions in its long history and now the same dedication ensures that the Valley is packed whenever Charlton play at home.

The fortunes of the football team often fluctuate, but the fans will always be there to support the club that they built with their own hands.

Charlton Athletic information:  
Ground: The Valley
Address: Floyd Road, Charlton, London, SE7 8BL
Telephone: 020 8333 4000
Box Office: 020 8333 4010
Chairman: Richard Murray
Manager: Alan Curbishley

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