Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Thursday 27 May 2010
  Heatwave What heatwave? You Brits do get excited about a bit of sun don't you? It was bloody freezing at Gatwick airport this morning and it was drizzling. The bloke stood next to me on the train to London Bridge had a ruddy scarf on.

Today is a work day mostly. Then tonight we have our annual fantasy football drinks and prize giving that a mate and I have organised since the mid-nineties. Both of us have worked and lived abroad and it has been a great way to keep in touch with old work friends so I am looking forward to that.... standing outside the pub getting pneumonia no doubt!

I'm going to avoid all football this weekend, I truly don't mind whether Swindon or Millwall win, and likewise Daggers and Rotherham. I have a soft spot for Ronnie Moore ever since I bought his left pinky but Dagenham would replace Southend as a sort of local derby. Was Shaun Newton's injury time winner in that FA Cup replay really 9 years ago? Depressing. 
Monday 24 May 2010
  Bermuda Day We have our short work-week this week as today is a national holiday and the island comes out to celebrate Bermuda Day. The highlight being the traditional running of the 'Derby' a 13-mile road race from Somerset in the west of the island to the capital of Hamilton that includes a lot of steep climbs and dips. The 1,200 or so runners will start to pass by our house at around 10.15, and we will be down there to see who we recognise and cheer them on.

A parade takes place later in Hamilton, as well as a cycle race plus the peculiar and often hilarious Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Racing begins its annual season. The dinghies are 14 feet long, with 40 foot masts but with more sail than any other vessel of similar length.

Despite their small sizes, the dinghies are each normally crewed by six people, necessary to handle the large areas of sail, and also to continually bail water from the dinghies that are often capsized by powerful gusts. A unique rule to racing states that the number of crew to finish a race can be less than the number that started. This can encourage boats to have crew dive off into the water to help lighten the boat and increase performance. Today's first regatta is at St George's Harbour.

May 24th also marks the traditional start of the Bermudian summer, i.e the heat moves from warm to hot. Also for most locals today is the first day they venture into the water, the sea not the bath. Happy bank holiday Monday.
London celebrates Bermuda Day
Sunday 23 May 2010
  Thumb I spent three hours in emergency this evening after slicing the top of my thumb off!

Using a mandoline to slice beetroot and carrots to make pancakes (honestly they would have been scrummy), the top of my right thumb plopped into the dish followed by a gush of claret. Neither of which were in the list of ingredients!

Sat in the emergency ward, fortunately before the pubs closed, I was thinking that I have spent more time in Bermuda's one hospital than I have in any hospital wherever I have lived before.

The care was good and I am all bandaged up and my thumb will be sore for while but it will heal. 
Saturday 22 May 2010
  9 Beaches closes Bermudian travel blogger David Lahuta led me to this story of another Bermudian hotel closure. 9 Beaches was an ageing but idyllically situated hotel with rooms perched on stilts over the water and reached by boardwalks. This news added to the shuttering of the main Elbow Beach hotel at the end of last year represents a 11% reduction in total hotel rooms on the island in a little over a year.

Trying to put my natural scepticism aside, the 9 Beaches hotel does have plans for a $80m redevelopment, with investment by Canadian developer Nordica (which strangely doesn't have a website). The land is government owned and the plan is for 150 units on the property, which is twice as many as there are now. Work won't begin until year-end with plans to re-open in May 2011. You can why I am sceptical.

I have only seen 9 Beaches from the water and it's position at Daniel Head in Sandys Parish is beautiful but on closer inspection the property was crumbling. Named due to the number of talcum powder coloured coves in it's vicinity, 9 Beaches originally opened it's doors in 2003 as an eco-resort, and then was revamped and re-opened again in 2005. The eco-bit was probably a mistake and I note there is no plans for eco-anything in the renovation.
  Blackpool Tower Congratulations to Blackpool and Ian Holloway, what a fantastic achievement, and one that breathes hope into every unfashionable 'small club' everywhere.

It was a terrific game, with all five goals scored in a topsy-turvy first half but Blackpool thoroughly deserved their season amongst the big boys for the first time since 1971. Blackpool's 111-year old Bloomfield Road will be the smallest ever stadium to grace the Premiership and I look forward to seeing away fans sat on the open away terrace in the rain and sleet!

Blackpool avaraged just over 8,000 last year but this final has been monikered the £90m one-off game and I sure the Oyston family will be looking to improve their famous stadium. Last week we were reminded that Charlton were due a further £250,000 from the Mark Hudson transfer if Cardiff won promotion so not a good day for the Charlton board, but I found it very hard to root for Cardiff and that sandbagger Peter Risdale and am as pleased as punch for Ian Holloway, Jason Euell and the people of Blackpool. 
Friday 21 May 2010
  Honest communication now needed How are you all doing? Feeling better?

Clearly this isn't going to be much of a fun-filled summer for us Addicks. Other clubs will be sniffing around our better players looking to get them on the cheap and the crap ones we won't even be able to air-lift out of the building. Then of course there will be the mind-blowing rumours of our transfer targets. It was only a few years back that we were all over Matt Dawson, Dean Ashton and James Beattie during the summer hiatus. Fast forward half a decade and we have the humdrum news of Akpo Sodje signing on a permanent contract, another year then in watching the fabled art of not being able to flick on a lofted forward hoof.

Richard Murray and others in the boardroom will be hurting as much as the rest of us. More. More because they seriously now see their life investments being turned into 1p in the pound.

I have one plea to the club this summer after we dust ourselves down and finish drinking away the memories (perhaps that's just me). Can we please have some open and honest communciation from Richard and the board please and the sooner the better?

We know we are up shit creek. But do we have a paddle? Even a small one? Is administration even an option? Is Parky going to be retained? If so, then come out and support the bloke. Tell us what the plan is for the squad, we don't want buzzwords and fluff, we want honesty. Seriously we are big boys and girls and (most of us) long smelt the coffee and can take it. Blimey, we have been taking it good and proper for a few years now.

I would love to hear of a long-term plan for the grass roots restoration of the club. No more short-termism and budgeting for promotion and then coming up short, very short. Do we think Swindon budgeted for promotion? No.

Let's promote the benefits of youth and talk up players like Wagstaff, Solly, Tuna, Jenkinson, Davisson and Mambo and make them important members of our squad. Actively seek long term loans of young players from the Premiership and not has beens or never beens to plug holes. Give us something to cling onto Charlton, give us some honest dialogue. Please. 
Tuesday 18 May 2010
  Unity Charlton Athletic 2 Swindon Town 1
I still feel numbed by last night's events. Numb but distinctly proud. I can't bring myself to think beyond today, not yet. Like Parky and the players I'll take a little break and collect my thoughts.

If nothing else the season ended in unity between players and fans. A quality that we have to take into next season especially knowing how rocky the road is going to be. But nothing changes one jot. I remember my brother and I having many very serious conversations 20-years ago about who we'd support if Charlton were no longer. The answer was and still is nobody.

I perversely like the idea of a struggle, a call to arms, a rebirth. Fuck Millwall let them go up and join Palace for a season and let us get on with it.

This morning was tough, I didn't sleep well and then I had to re-live the game with my son. He was very quiet on the phone. He hasn't enjoyed many good times as a Charlton fan and the re-birth story needs a better plot.

I'm still coming home next weekend, strikes and ash clouds allowing. I had conveniently arranged a work trip around it, and, well Saturday at the museum will I am sure be a nice day out for both of us! Has to be a million times better than losing to Millwall at Wembley. I'm not sure I could have coped with that.

Charlton 'til I die.

Proud Addicks: Blackheath Addicted; Charlton Casual; Drinking During the Game; Doctor Kish; Deepest Darkest; Addicks Diary; Charlton Athletic Online; Kings Hill Addick
Monday 17 May 2010
  Not now I felt so sick. I wish I was there I really do. The togetherness is what I miss the most. I've drunk a fair bit and now is not the time for soul searching. I'm proud, I've always been proud even in darker days. Wherever, whenever.. Charlton 'til I die. 
Sunday 16 May 2010
  Huge My pre-game thoughts were somewhat lost in this Mail on Sunday non-story today and then the aftermath post on Charlton Life. Like many issues this one can be saved for either Tuesday morning or May 30th.

No sugar coating needs to be added to justify how important tomorrow night's game is. I accept that our financial situation may not be much better if we win promotion and the season could be spent in a relegation battle but this has been a tough and troubling campaign for most Addicks and another dose of Division 3 would be hard to swallow.

The aftermath again can wait. What we need at 7.45pm tomorrow night is a crowd and team bound by togetherness and a spirit that makes us all proud to support our special club.

I was surprised that Parky changed the team on Friday night after the performances that came before it but he has to change it again tomorrow as we need to pursue goals, without forgetting how important it is to keep it secure and sensible at the back especially noting how quick Swindon were on the counter. I wonder if Sodje will be bandaged up again and will start?

A huge, huge night then and I wish I could be there. I'll be watching though. Come on you reds, let's go. 
  Adios amigo Back last night from Mexico, rested and more in awe of Rosewood Hotels than ever before. We did curtail some of our touring plans that involved some distances and concentrated our time around by the pool and hotel room. It was a good time although I could do without looking another avocado in the eye again for a while. I'll write more on the 75 mile coastline of the Mayan Riviera soon. 
Friday 14 May 2010
  Half time but must do better Swindon Town 2 Charlton Athletic 1
I don't know about you but the game didn't fill me with an awful lot of confidence. We looked very lucklustre from the off and Swindon were finding all manor of holes in a rearguard that gave Darren Randolph little protection. Swindon should have been ahead at half-time but they weren't and I took encouragement from that thinking that we had to be better in the 2nd half.

Sure enough we started the 2nd half much brighter and I thought Bailey had scored with our first shot on goal, only to see the ball bounce back from the post. Much better I am sure we all thought until Alan Sheehan had all the time in the world to send in a fine cross and simply Charlie Austin just wanted it more than Borrowdale and Sodje. 1-0.

This did spark our best bit of the game up until that point but we lacked any edge (again). Sam just wasn't being utilised and Mooney and Burton played like strangers. Out of the blue we were one against two on a counter-attack. Why we left ourselves so exposed I'll never know and the impressive Ward scored a goal that Lloyd Sam can only dream off.

My brother text me and suggested it was all over, certainly even with 120 minutes of the tie left I had to agree with him but five minutes later a brave Deon Burton beat Swindon's keeper to a huge clearance from Randolph and we were back in it. Burton on his knees in front of the away end rallied Addicks everywhere. Minutes later he really should have got an equaliser but he just couldn't get his head on what was to be fair a swirling powerful cross.

At that point Parky's side which according to him is packed with experience and character should have taken the game to Swindon with the home crowd silent and fearing the worse but despite some decent possession and good midfield sweep-up play led by the inspirational Semedo we never looked like scoring again despite Forster, Akpo and Waggy all coming on.

The clock ticked down but a goal in the last few minutes either way would have been pivotal and three times Swindon nearly scored at the death, and Pericard should have booked their Wembley tickets for them when he headed against the post with Randolph well beaten.

My heart is out of my mouth and back in it's rightful position but it is half-time and we have not been the better side. The Valley needs to be rampant on Monday and we have to get goals from somewhere. Just two shots on target today despite a stack of well positioned free-kicks and 13 corners. Time for Nicky Bailey to move into the middle and to start with Kyel Reid. Come on you reds let's have it.

At the County Ground: Addicks Diary; Kings Hill Addick; Many Miles; Drinking During the Game.
Tuesday 11 May 2010
  Ah bien It has been a mixed beginning to our holiday. We are on the Rivieria Maya in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula off the Caribbean Sea and we chose this spot because of how 'easy' it was to get to from Bermuda, and sure enough it was, although immigration at Cancun Airport frustratingly took longer than the flight from Miami!

We picked this hotel in Mayakoba because it would provide a good base for us and the baby, and so it does and the property is beautiful. However selfishly we also picked this area because it's near to the historic Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, but when I say near I mean a 3-hour drive. What has become abundantly clear to us in the three days we have all been here is that a 3-hour drive, remembering Bermuda is 21 miles long, is not near and then add to this the 90-degree heat and our 6-month old getting heat rash as soon as we go outside, then we have learnt some valuable lessons already about picking future vacation destinations.

We were due to drive to Chichen Itza tomorrow but we have abandoned our plans and will take it easy by the shaded pool instead. We do hope to visit Tulum on Thursday though, which is less than an hour south of us and also one of the 3,000 Cenotes in the Peninsula, the magical and sacred underground sinkholes.

Our perspective was not helped at all by us spending 3 hours roped stupidly into a 'presentation' at a Private Residences resort nearby on Monday. I am normally so savvy of these scams that I have a good radar for avoidance but like an idiot I/we got reeled in at the car hire place at Cancun Airport and thus we, baby and all, spent most of the afternoon yesterday at the Grand Mayan resort being aggressively sold a 'holiday home' that we had no intention of buying.

In my experience nice does not cut it in these situations so after approaching three hours in a oxygen filled room with the utter lowest of the low 'salesmen' I turned it nasty and we pretty much got thrown out, but not after another 3 or 4 wankers tried to downsell us as we seeked the exit door. We were then left stranded outside in the heat, but I wasn't going to leave without our promised goodies (one of which was free entrance to Chichen Itza!) and made sure we at least left with more (not less) money in our wallets.

Please don't let me see that very nice Mexican lady at the car rental office when we take the car back on Sunday because that experience will stay with me for a while. "Can we not just draw a line underneath it," says other-half. Hmmm. Anyway another lesson learnt and it came as no surprise that googling Grupo Mayan earlier brought up dozens of websites such as this one citing complaints.

Meanwhile I notice that the Swindon away tickets went like hotcakes, which is obviously fantastic but I wonder why the club didn't offer priority to regular travellers as they have done most of the season? Friends have also told me of many an hour sat in front of their PC's trying to book home-leg tickets. One can rely of course on Charlton cocking up ticketing for big games. It reminded me of a Sunday night spent outside The Valley for the remaining few hundred Old Trafford cup tickets that went on sale on a Monday morning in 1984. The club had put the entire allocation (15,000) on sale Saturday morning with no restrictions but some of us were following the team at Bolton and only found out when we got back to London that they had almost sold the entire lot!

Anyway my laptop is working and the direction our new lazy holiday is taking should include an afternoon sat by the computer on Friday afternoon. I was thinking today that I was also away for the play-off semi-finals in 1998. Different woman, different continent but let's hope for the same outcome. Buenas noches. 
Saturday 8 May 2010
  Dream on. Oldham Athletic 0 Charlton Athletic 2
And it was on for 13 minutes this afternoon when Millwall and Swindon were level at the New Den and inconceivably Bristol Rovers were one-up at Elland Road. Leeds were down to 10-men and it looked again if the pressure was going to get too much and they were about to implode but two goals in five minutes secured them promotion in front of 38,000. Around about the same time with us now two goals to the good Millwall also scored twice to lead Swindon. They eventually won 3-2.

Meanwhile down in the West Country Exeter beat Huddersfield despite going behind early, a result that kept Huddersfield in 6th and sent Gillingham down. Tranmere will also spend another season in the third tier after beating Stockport. John Barnes oversaw a disastrous spell in charge up until the end of November but it was the club physio Les Parry who kept Rovers up. A lesson to all money-bags chairmen everywhere.

Back to us then and we did what we had to do at Boundary Park and won to continue our nice little vein of form. It was the first time we have scored more than a solitary goal for a while and by all accounts Bailey put wide of an open goal to make it three, but the travelling 1,300 Addicks sounded like they enjoyed it and it was a comfortable win.

Because of Swindon's defeat we jumped above them to gain home advantage in the 2nd leg of the play-off semi final. In fact we occupied 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th during the 90 minutes but we avoid Millwall and go to the County Ground on Friday when I will be in Mexico.

Today for 13 minutes after Bristol Rovers took the lead I felt all of my breath squeeze out of me and my heart was racing sat in front of the computer. Heavens, it's only the beginning!

At Boundary Park: Blackheath Addicted; Doctor Kish.
Friday 7 May 2010
  Maya beauty Some of you might think I am always on holiday *removes sand from in between toes*

But we haven't been on what I would call a real holiday for quite some time, the real definition of a holiday, you know relaxing, sleeping in, exploring, eating and drinking.

Five years ago we spent a memorable holiday in Cabo at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. On Sunday we are going to the opposite coast and Riviera Maya, a kind of made up name for the coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

It is a short flight down to Cancun, Mexico's equivalent of Torremolinos from Miami then less than an hour's drive to where we are staying just north of Playa Del Carmen at Mayakoba.

A Chicago Addick family holiday wouldn't be complete without some exploration (now with pram) and two and half hours away are the most famous of all Mayan sites at Chichen Itza. Much closer is Tulum, where Mayan ruins perch atop cliffs overlooking the ocean. Playa Del Carmen is a hip looking place although is swarming like Bermuda, with American cruise-line tourists.

We leave Sunday morning and return on Saturday and I'm very much looking forward to reacquainting myself with Mexico's tequila charms. 
Thursday 6 May 2010
  Election Day Vote early and vote often as they say in Chicago.

Like all ex-pats the UK Election Day will be viewed by me through a window and although I have found the whole campaign engrossing, although thank heavens it is only a month and not a couple of years like the American election, most of the issues don't directly affect me as I live abroad.

However it is still the place I call home, my son is educated there and we do have property in London, so therefore I naturally get drawn towards different themes than I'm sure I would if was still living and working there.

I watched a couple of the debates and have followed the campaigns avidly. As an original Lib-Dem cheerleader (SDP before that) I too was swept up with Clegg-mania but you can drive a bus through their manifesto and I'm not convinced Clegg is just David Cameron with a different colour tie.

The thought of a hung parliament both excites and scares me, but living overseas opens your eyes to how other people view us and our government and with a critical few years laying ahead, what is really needed is strong leadership and not an egoistical committee.

I have lived most of my life under Labour rule, but Gordon Brown's bigot gaffe last week surely proved to even the staunchest of followers that they are completely disconnected from the majority of people in the country. Actually ditto the majority of all MP's.

For shits and giggles I had a go at the Who should I vote for Questionnaire and astonishingly I came out Labour, in fact it wasn't even close with the Lib Dems trailing behind in a distant second!

Anyway I was unable to vote even though I tried to. I registered as an overseas voter but put the wrong address on the form of where I thought I was last registered. Then I couldn't remember the address of where I probably was registered, I think it was Paddock Wood but the house number and postcode escaped me. So I ran out of time and interest and will watch the events unfold on the BBC tonight when I get home as a fascinated neutral.

Oh and the very best of luck to Charlton fanatics Rick Everitt (Lab) and Darryl Chamberlain (Green) who are both standing today. 
Wednesday 5 May 2010
  The Valley Party 20 years ago this month The Valley Party contested local elections in Greenwich fielding 60 candidates in all but two of the seats. In a stupendously original and clever campaign The Valley Party collected 14,838 votes and won a very respectable 10.9% of the ballot causing Chair of the Planning Committee, Simon Oelman to lose his seat.

The upshot was that on Tuesday 2nd April, 1991 at Woolwich Town Hall planning permission for the redevelopment of The Valley was granted. That cold night my brother and I joined hundreds of others inside and out of the Town Hall celebrating the decision like we'd won the Champions League.

I don't know if you visit Charlton Life or not but they are running a series of interviews, stories and memories of The Valley Party to celebrate the 20 year anniversery and it is a must read. Click here for a trip down memory lane.
Photograph courtesy of Charlton Life.
  Ex Addicks lead ESPN's World Cup coverage. I was reading an interview with my old Kent neighbour Shaun Bartlett the other day and saw that he is doing some well received television work in South Africa. He is also slated to be one of ESPN's World Cup reporters in South Africa this summer alongside Robbie Mustoe.

ESPN and sister network company ABC will have 300 people working in South Africa this summer, more than the BBC. I remember when I first lived in Chicago and the best football coverage was on the mostly Spanish language channel and now defunct Fox Sports World. How the beautiful game has infected the Americans. Next you'll know, a sleepy Chicago based global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage will spend $100m to sponsor Manchester United!

Anyway in 2002 ESPN commentated on half of the World Cup games from a studio in Connecticut, this time they are shipping over a live set and will be at every game as well as the opening ceremony. That's 250 hours of couch potato beer supping football magic.

Not convinced that the growing soccer followers will be happy just to watch the games live, ESPN have also hired some proper commentators. Believe me the last bloke, an actual baseball reporter called Dave O'Brien, was shocking. So what have ESPN's owners Disney done? Well they have opened up their dollar bank accounts to Martin Tyler, Ian Darke and Adrian Healey. I wonder if they will offer subtitles like they do on most British television programmes that get shown on American telly?

Scottish ex-pat Derek Rae will join Tyler, Darke and Healey on the box which fortunately means Tommy Smyth, who I can't abide joins JP Dellacamera on the radio.

In South Africa ESPN have also hired the services of various ex-players including Bartlett, who spent a couple of seasons in the MLS before he found his way to The Valley via Switzerland and Robbie Mustoe who had one season (2002/03) with us after being signed by Curbs on a free. Ruud Gullit, the sagacious Efan Ekoku, Steve McManaman, John Harkes and the instantly recognisable Alexi Lalas will join them. More surprising is Wigan manager Roberto Martinez who will also provide expert analysis.

Not a bad line up and more than comparable to the BBC team which adds Emmanuel Adebayor, Jurgen Klinnsmann (they'll appeal to Arsenal fans!), Gordon Strachan and Clarence Seedorf to Lineker, Shearer, Hanson and Lawrenson. The smug Colin Murray will also play a big role unfortunately.

ITV as far as I can make out have yet to announce their World Cup team to support big new signing Adrian Chiles.
Tuesday 4 May 2010
  Bulls fire coach after play-off failure In practice for play-off fever I have been keeping an eye on my Chicago teams in their end of season endeavours. The Bulls eventually succumbed to a LeBron James inspired Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 1 in the 1st Round of the NBA Championship play-offs. As a word of warning to Phil Parkinson, Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro was last night thanked for his efforts and then fired.

Meanwhile the cities hockey team are doing better and are involved in a Conference Semi-Final with the Vancouver Canucks. On Saturday I tuned in to see the Blackhawks get stuffed at home by the Canucks 5-1 following an absolutely listless performance, but in Game 2 last night with the game heading to overtime with just 90 seconds left first Kris Versteeg and then Patrick Kane scored for the Bulls to take the game 4-2 and level the best of 7 series.

The winners will play San Jose Sharks or Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Final. Don't worry the NHL play-off's might just be finished by the time the World Cup Final kicks off. 
  New airline lands in BDA Some good news yesterday for the flagging Bermudian tourism industry as the first WestJet plane landed at Bermuda airport just after 2pm. Every seat was taken, all 130 of them arriving on the new daily flight from Toronto.

WestJet is a low cost Canadian carrier and has modelled itself on SouthWest and already the Calgary based company has grown to number two behind the countries flag carrier, Air Canada in just 14 years of existence. Flights are advertised on WestJet's website one-way to Bermuda for just $99.

Toronto has some close ties with Bermuda and 3,000 Canadians live and work here due to a favourable income tax treaty. However despite a passport not being required until recently only 10% of Bermuda's visitors come from Canada. Hopefully WestJet will improve that and certainly it has reminded me that I need one day to spend some quality time (I've only been once with work) in Toronto.
Monday 3 May 2010
  Knees down As I have long suspected the MRI scan I had last week has shown the ACL to be torn in my right knee. The most frustrating thing is that I'd wish I had found out in January when I did it playing football. The ruddy doctor here said all I needed was some anti-inflammatory tablets and to raise my leg up and down every night when I was watching television!

Fortunately I finally found a specialist physio, who has helped me strengthen the medial and lateral ligaments but something inside wasn't right as my body busily tried to counteract the injury.

As one of my mates said to me, that does make me sound very sporty and an option is to do nothing and change my sporting activities to fishing and snooker but I want to get it repaired, the question is just when I do it and by whom.
Sunday 2 May 2010
  Dailly wins POTY Congratulations to Christian Dailly, who won Charlton Player of the Year tonight. The 36-year old fully deserved the accolade and gained just 1% more than my vote Jose Semedo, although I was very torn between Dailly and Jose and either would jave been deserving winners. Last year's winner Nicky Bailey was 3rd with my son's vote Sam Sodje (purely on the basis of his ridiculous neck muscles) not featured!

Scott Wagstaff beat Jonjo Shelvey to the Young Player of the Year award and the wonderfully intricate passing move that led to Lloyd Sam's goal at home to Brentford, which my son and I were fortunate to see won the Goal of the Season.

"I put a lot into my football, and it's a big part of my life - Charlton has become a big part of my life, so to get appreciation like that means an awful lot."

"it's so nice to be at a club like Charlton - I feel like I've here here for ages. It makes me very proud."

Christian Dailly.... what a great fella. (more)
  A tale of two ex-Addicks It was the tale of two ex-Addicks earlier as Crystal Palarse stayed up following a pivotal moment when Luke Varney was unable to tuck away a one-on-one with the scores equal, then minutes later Darren Ambrose scored his 20th goal of the season to give the cheese rolls an unassailable advantage.

Darren Purse made it 2-2 to set up a tense last five minutes but Wednesday didn't get as close again. Wednesday were nervous and went early with the long desperate punts despite being on level footing at half-time.

In all honesty if it wasn't for their finances then Palarse would have finished 8 places higher and the difference was there for us all to see. With Palarse's immediate future still in doubt, I expect they will be forced to cash Ambrose in, although after a faltering few years, he does finally have appeared to regained his confidence in a stripey shirt.

Wednesday meanwhile had Varney, Jeffers and Soares as their attacking options in the last 15 minutes and will drop back into the 3rd Division after a five-year absence with larger debts and an older Hillsborough. They are reported to have a Chicago based investment group (that I have never heard off) ready to step in with some invaluble investment however.

I was watching a live feed of the game and it ended with Palarse fans on the pitch getting slapped by upset Wednesday fans, which raised the spirits. 
Saturday 1 May 2010
  Akpo! Bless you. Charlton Athletic 1 Leeds United 0
I thoroughly enjoyed that. I was able to watch the game on an excellent live feed, I'm presuming the one that was relayed back to Elland Road.. thanks chaps!

Of course due to Millwall losing at Tranmere (a game as difficult as ours last week at Exeter, yet we got a point) promotion is still in Leeds' hands but incredibly we are still in the mix as are Swindon and Huddersfield, who grabbed a late winner at home to Colchester. Next Saturday's games:

Leeds v Bristol Rovers
Millwall v Swindon
Oldham v Charlton
Exeter v Huddersfield

We can dream can't we? Leeds' bottoms go and lose to Sir Lennie, Millwall and Swindon play out a nervous draw? When have we ever done anything the easy way?

It was an entertaining up and down first half but we showed no real creative edge. We did finish the half much stronger though and Burton had a well directed half-volley saved from a Forster flick on. In the 2nd half kicking towards the Covered End we took the game to Leeds although Gradel and Becchio did look a threat but oddly Leeds lost their way when Jermaine Beckford came on just after the hour.

Charlton had a lot of possession and were winning all of the second balls. We were busy down both flanks and Sam and Bailey were involved a lot with good support by Richardson and Borrowdale. The question was as it has been nearly all season, can we score and who an earth will get it?

Sam took a couple of pot-shots, one Forster interrupted on it's way in which produced a good save from Higgs. Randolph saved well from Snodgrass from a rare Leeds threat. Meanwhile in the Jimmy Seed dirty Leeds fans were celebrating Tranmere's winning performance where Leeds loan player Andy Robinson had netted a second against the Lions.

Charlton fans meanwhile were urging the Addicks on, Sam Sodje, a head I would trust above all others, headed over when it was easier to score. Parky then threw on three subs in a brave move with Forster, Burton and Racon making way for Mooney, Akpo Sodje and Reid. Each helped to up the tempo.

We had our tails up but as I was bemoaning the fact that none of our midfielders had a shot better than an 11-year old when as the clock ticked around to 88 minutes, Lloyd put a cross into the middle that Sodje (A) headed with power towards the goal. The live feed appeared to freeze as Leeds defender and keeper both jumped to prevent it crossing the line. The net bulged, I awoke the baby. Enough said.

Kyel Reid then hit the inside of the post with a terrific free-kick before Darren Randolph made an truly outstanding save from a close range header.

Well played Charlton, the dream is alive and just as importantly the momentum continues as we march into the play-offs.

At The Valley: Deepest Darkest; Charlton Casual; Blackheath Addicted; Drinking During the Game; Addicks Diary.
About Me
After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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