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New Article: Fate

I'm a great believer in fate.

When Baldrick carved his own name on a bullet - it wasn't funny, it was a sensible thing to do.

I've followed CAFC over land and sea for many a year. I've had loads of 'ups', but on balance, probably more 'downs'. I've inflicted the addiction on my poor son - who has suffered the same fate with me following this club of ours. His reaction to the defeat against Birmingham, made me feel really guilty of give him this addiction. But we've had some trully fantastic times together and it's only made that father/son bond stronger. He's an Addick. Always has been and always will be.

However, my new life commenced in late 2008 and into this came a nine year old Chelsea fan. He loved his football, even though he was as bad as me at playing the game. After taking him to The Valley a few times - with the main intention of getting him out of his mothers hair for a few hours - he started to show signs of being 'Charltonised'.

One fateful day he said "Addickted, can I go to an away game with you?". I looked at the fixture list and found a suitable away to take him to. It was Wycombe Wanderers away, back in January 2010. A 2-1 away win (God knows how many away games I went to before seeing us actually win one). He was hooked.

Despite missing the night games and some of the weekends when he was away with his Dad, I decided to get him a Season Ticket for 2011/12 as it made life easier when I took him - and thanks to Airman's wonderful work on getting kids to The Valley, it was cheap.

We went on to achieve our best season ever - in his first season as a ST holder. He went home and away and a Charlton defeat was fairly rare. He saw us win six away games on the trot. I've seen some great seasons following Charlton, but this was something else. This was football and it was easy. Chelsea? Rubbish, compared with our record.

And he let his father know - regularly.

Then last season. Despite an 'average' start to the season, we put on a brilliant run during early 2013, which almost took us to the play offs. We also went to Oakwell where we won 6-0. 6-0 away from home. I'd never seen that before (and probably won't ever again). 31 years of following Charlton and he saw six away goals in his second full season.

He's seen the real Charlton this season. More downs than ups. And my son and I have both thought 'welcome to our world'.

Then in comes The Magic of The Cup. The third round draw and he's sitting on the edge of his seat. He can't wait and, like me 35 years earlier, he's dreaming of a big tie, the possibilities, the chance to see the stars, to talk as an equal with the Man Utd/Liverpool/Arsenal/Chelsea fans at school (very few of whom actually go).

Charlton Athletic V Oxford United.

Never mind - always a good chance to go through. So we went. In the cold and rain and for his first visit to The Covered End. What a pile of poop. And once again I thought 'welcome to my World'.

Still we were in the draw for the fourth round and once again he was on the edge of his seat. Huddersfield V Oxford United/Charlton Athletic. 'Typical' he said. After three seasons of being an Addick, the disappointment caused by this draw was shining through. He was definitely becoming Charltonised.

I went to Oxford and saw us win. He was waiting up when I got home. "Can we go to Huddersfield"? Work commitments meant it wasn't possible. That didn't stop him nagging me, his mother and anyone with in ear shot to allow him to go. He's already been to The John Smiths Stadium (or whatever name it was called when we went) but this was 'The Cup'.

I couldn't be more surprised when we actually won the tie. To him, it was fate. We were always going to win. We'd let him down by not letting him go.

Edge of the seat time again. Arsenal away? Man City away? He saw the ball being drawn out before the tie was announced and he walked out of the room.

Sheffield Wednesday V Charlton Athletic. He couldn't have been more disappointed. 'Welcome to our World' I thought yet again.
Still, we got our tickets and headed north. His disappointment at the postponment subsided when I told him that at least we'd be in the draw for the next round.

Edge of the seat time again. Again he saw our number being drawn out before the tie was announced. He stayed in the room this time.

"Sheffield again"! He said. He was convinced that's where we were going. Sod Wednesday. Sod Forest, either of whom could (and probably would) shatter his illusions. To his mind, we are going to Bramall Lane. And we are going to win.

Now I could start to talk about the innocence of youth. But what's the point? This is football and this is Charlton.

If we can have our most successful season ever in his first season as a ST holder. If he can see us have our record away win in his second season. Then a trip to Wembley is perfectly feasible in his third season.

After all, it's fate.

Isn't it?


Comments

  • Quality post addickted. Quality.
  • If carlsberg done charlton life posts addicted

    Brilliant
  • niiiiiiiiiiiice

    like it a lot
  • In order to achieve we have to believe.
  • edited February 2014
    Lovely tale Addickted, will be thinking of you if by some miracle this all comes off
  • Great post Nick, what footballs all about
  • Spot on...what it's all about...anyone can be a glory hunter but takes something special to follow us lot through thick and thin
  • Great article. For my sins I have Charltonised both my sons. They know what real life is - in real life you don't win every time and sometimes things don't go your way - important lessons you don't get supporting the big four (whoever they are this season).
  • Great tale that. I have 4 sons, 3 of whom are Charltonised. Mind you 2 of them live over in California so their true allegiance is to the SF 49ers and Giants. We'll all be taking in Derby, Leeds, Reading, Yeovil and Brighton though when we're visiting in March/April.

    Come to think of it we'll have to give Brighton a miss as we'll be at Wembley that day. You did say fate didn't you. :-)
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  • Who does the other son support Rob , I have 4 young lads and I'm worried about any one of them straying
  • Nice story, my son decided to support Chelsea and when he became ill I got us front row seats with season tickets. Happily he saw them win both the FA Cup and the Cup Winners Cup, with a team that included Osgood, Hollins, Chopper Harris and co. I was just showing that when it comes to the crunch you love your kids more than your team, and these days I hate Chelsea, or more accurately what the Russian guy has done to English football. Now I have turned my eldest Grandson Tom into a commited Addick, while Harry is I think a closet Chelsea supporter. The best thing I have done is to make them love football, the greatest game on earth, where people like me as I was can play and feel the excitement of waking up and getting ready to play, even if it is for Rottingdean Reserves !
  • Excellent article! Very touching. Especially love the last bit.
  • what a great article ... excellent
  • Great stuff, Addickted. And what a great little lad.
  • Great article, my 8 year old son too is completely Charltonised, his favourite player is Simon Church for god's sake! Wears the kit all the time, talks about the contract situations while I'm walking him to school and says don't worry dad if we go down we'll just have to win League One again. He was crying in the back of the car as I turned around at Northampton on Saturday he was that desperate to beat the massives. Very proud of myself.
  • I do wonder about saddling my son with supporting Charlton. As we all know, it's a blessing and a curse. Yet it's unthinkable that he could support anyone else.

    Not sure if I posted my struggle with burdening him with the my team from my blog on late fatherhood - apologies if so:
    http://livingdad.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/talisbaby.html

    He has since met Chris Powell, so that's that.
  • Who does the other son support Rob , I have 4 young lads and I'm worried about any one of them straying

    Unfortunately oohaah, my other son was hit with mental illness when he was 19 (now 27) so he's in his own world. A sad story but that's for another time. :-) No worries though. COYR!!!
  • Love hearing that the virus that is Charlton is still very virulent
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  • Sorry to hear that Rob
  • Love it.

  • Both of my sons (aged 18 & 13) have absolutely no interest in football. I told them both it's Charlton or nothing. They've seen the misery I've had to suffer throughout the years, so chose the latter.

    The buggers..................

  • My son's 12 going on thirteen. One of his middle names is Charlton. I told him it's the Addicks or nothing until his mother came home with ManUre tickets given away by her employer. Now he's decided he was named after Bobby Charlton. Grrrrr ... Anyone need a child's season ticket!
  • Great post Addickted - I should say that you passed your addiction onto me via your son. You probably have a better memory than me but I reckon my first season ticket was 95-96, and even though my dad was a gooner he seemed to massively support me going to see football at a nearby stadium on a regular basis.

    My season ticket coincided with a rise in our fortunes - we made the play-offs that year (if only to be seen off by Palarse) and finished mid-table the season after, by which time your son and I knew pretty much all of the words to all the club songs off by heart. And of course we all know what happened in 1998 - still hands down the best game of my life, made even more special that my dad came along too, and I can still recall every major point of that match, from Mendonca's hat-trick to the thrilling shoot-out that sent us to the Prem for the 1st time in our history. That will always be a special day in my history and even though I joke to my soon-to-be-wife that our wedding will have to compete with that match as the happiest day of my life, I have no shame in admitting that there is actually truth in that sentiment!

    For most of the time I held a season ticket at the Valley I saw Premier League football, but cancelled it the season we got relegated. Not sure if that's fate or not, but considering when I bought a season ticket we went up not too long afterwards, and we went down the season I cancelled, any of you superstitious types will probably be cursing me now! Our time will come again, and I sincerely do hope we get to Wembley, even if it's just for the semi-finals. The magic of watching cup football at the national stadium cannot be underestimated in its ability to inspire passion and lifelong support in the hearts of the young fans. I was lucky enough to have experienced some of Charlton's bad times before they got promoted, as it made the good times just that extra bit more meaningful. I feel bad for the dads who tried to get their sons and daughters into CAFC as we slid from the top tier to tier 3. If my dad took me to Arsenal every week when I was first starting to show interest in football and within 3 years they were finishing mid table in League 1, I wouldn't be blamed if I lost interest in football or, even worse, supported a more successful team (glory hunter!). Saw something similar happen to one of my relatives - took his son a year before they went down to the Championship, and 2 years later his son became a Man City fan. Straight red, surely?

    Whatever happens in the cup, the fact we're in the 6th round draw is something special, and we can only count on the team to make sure they inspire the next generation of Addicks.
  • edited February 2014
    Great post. I've been going with my Dad since the age of 5, my first season being the year we went back to The Valley.

    I'm 26 now and we have had the same season ticket seats for 20 years. I hope one day I get the chance to take a little one with us and extend the chain!
  • I'm not sure which would be worse - my boy supporting another team, or not liking football at all. The latter, I think. Looking forward to getting him his first season ticket the season after next, while he's still young enough not to object!

    Football - and Charlton in particular - is pretty much the only thing me and my old man have in common. He started taking me when I was 6, in 1967. I'd have to stand on a stool he'd made to see the game. It's still the only thing we can talk about without an argument! It's bought me more woe than joy but I wouldn't change a thing and I'll always be grateful he's the kind of man who supported his local club.
  • I was my Dad's last hope for a football fan, as my older brother and sister showed no serious interest.

    Lucky for him my first real season ended with the 98 Play-off final, i was 8 and that was the day Charlton became the most important thing in my life.

    The League 1 winning season a couple years later was my first season ticket, great days.

    Im confident of converting my 3 nephews and niece to the Charlton cause once they are a bit older.
  • My son is working tonight. He had to listen to the radio commentary, but within a minute of the final whistle, he texted me one word.

    FATE.
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