Monday, July 10, 2006

Anniversary thank you's

This week, this blog is a year old (not much older than Lennon pictured left!). It started out as Shouting from the Hop, but I quickly decided to maintain a separate football (Charlton) blog from that of the other stuff I wanted to blog about.

Initially, I was bought the URL ( as a Xmas present by my girlfriends parents. It took me about six months to do anything with it, and as I have little experience of creating a website, doing a blog (and linking it to the URL) seemed the best option.

I know I am not the first (All Quiet I believe...), the best (Frankie does take some beating...), or (hopefully) the worst, the most optimistic or downbeat, rudest, most arrogant, or full of rumour. I do get my content stolen by the English-Football website (sorry no link given, understandably), so maybe I'm doing something right? I do not claim to know the groundsmens mate's brother who spots footballing superstars arriving at the training ground for medicals but I did work with JLloyd Samuel's step mum and can ask her if he is re-signing with us the next time this particulor rumour crops up. I therefore do hope that the 15,000 plus readers I've had this year get some small amount of enjoyment out of my opinion (which is all this blog claims to contain).

I've had my moments - the shirt sponsorship piece I wrote went down quite well, as have a few other reminiscences; sadly, my spoof about the club suffering as a result of all:sports administration did not go down at all well and had to be removed...we all learn from our mistakes!

I intend to continue with the blog for as long as I can - work now takes up more of my time this year than last (when I didn't have a proper job!) - and hopefully I can continue with match previews, reports, and opinion on transfers, complaints, and what it's like to continue to be a Charlton supporter after a whole bunch of years.

This season is going to be different - a new Head Coach; new players, some quite young being signed and possibly given a chance; smaller crowds than for several years I expect, and if we have a poor start, a whole bunch of whingeing about anything and everything.

Since this blog started, we have said goodbye to Curbs; Murphy; Jeffers; JJ; Bartlett; Deano; Chrissy; Smerts; and a few others decent players (on their day...). We have welcomed in Dowie; Myrhe; Sorondo; Ambrose; and Marcus Bent; and after Walton, we are promised more signings (possibly even a Hasselbaink!).

All I've ever wanted for Charlton is for them to progress - some years we do it on the pitch; some years it doesn't quite work that way but the club grows stronger off the field. Improvements at Sparrows Lane may not go down well with the fans who want to see money splashed on players, but ultimately, the assets improve, and the club is better off, and that is later reflected back on the field of play.

We are a Premiership club with a Premiership team, playing in the English Premier League. We are not a small club anymore; we might not be as big as others (who love to remind us of that fact), but we are a whole site bigger than many more who would love to be where we are.

The World Cup is finished; the players are about to return to training (at least none of them played in the World Cup and can be considered tired yet...); onwards and upwards..hopefully!

Thanks to Roger and Julia, Rachel, my dad, Pete/Sophie/Lennon, plus everyone else who loves this club.

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