charlton athletic F.c. in S.E. London
|| 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
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
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
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.
| The Valley
| Floyd Road, Charlton, London,
| 020 8333 4000
|020 8333 4010