Sunday, 27 March 2011

Away Day Smiles and Depression

A sunny Saturday afternoon in Bournemouth and a point gained for Charlton. Having watched the highlights on CAFC Player the team seemed to play well, with Rob Elliott having an outstanding game in goal. However we do seem to have some defensive frailties and I hope this will be addressed in the summer when Chris Powell gets some money to spend. In the meantime we are going to have to continue to keep our fingers crossed whenever a ball is launched into the 18 yard box. Hopefully the next Saturday away game will result in 3 points for Charlton and one very happy fan making her way back to Liverpool.

A lot has been said in the media this week regarding depression after England cricketer Michael Yardy announced he was leaving the Cricket World Cup because he is suffering from this illness. The usual comments about how can a sports star be depressed came out from all sides. The answer is they can easily be depressed, just the same as anyone in any walk of life can.

Imagine this scenario. You wake up with a cold and drag yourself into work. You look and sound awful and get a certain amount of sympathy from colleagues. Maybe you're even sent home. As far as people are concerned you are ill.

Now imagine this scenario. You wake up and it feels like a heavy black cloud is sitting over you. It takes effort to get out of bed, get ready for work and actually get there. When there you really don't want to talk to anyone. You live in your own world which is dominated by this cloud. Where it's come from or how long it will last is anyone's guess. If you're lucky it's a day or so. If not it could be months.

This is what I and millions of others suffer from. Today is a good day (and has been for a few weeks now) and I feel "normal". Tomorrow - who knows? If the black cloud descends will it be for a couple of hours, a day or..........?

I have suffered from depression for at least 30 years. I've tried drugs (Prozac), counselling, exercise, diet, anything and everything. I wish I could be cured. It's not something I can just "snap out of". I AM ILL! 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Charlton Athletic and Me

I've been a Charlton Athletic fan for as long as I can remember having been taken to my first game at 3 by my dad. I've been told he took me to keep me quiet as I kept pestering him to take me. What dad wasn't prepared for was me to absolutely love it and want to keep going. So from the age of 3 to 16 I went to as many matches as dad could afford to take me to.

Once I hit 16 I could afford to go to more matches and went to practically every home game and whatever away games I could. Home games found me standing on an East Terrace that was slowly crumbling but still gave a great view of the game. Charlton weren't the best team in the world, but they were "My" lads. But then disaster struck. Charlton were in danger of going out of business and fans got more and more worried. Charlton fane did what they could to make sure we stayed in business but it looked bleak. The gates at The Valley were locked and it looked like I would no longer have a football team to support. What would I do? Should I change team? Should I just follow football for football's sake? Shall I just follow Blackheath Rugby Club instead?

Then - literally - at the last minute Charlton survived. Only things really didn't get much better. In May 1985 39 Juventus fans were killed at the European Cup Final. Safety checks were made on all grounds The Valley was deemed to be unsafe. With the club not able to afford the repairs the decision was made to leave. Charlton Athletic would no longer be based in the borough of Greenwich. Instead they would move to the Borough of Croydon to share Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace. It may have only been 8 miles away, but it may as well have been on the moon. Charlton fans were not happy. Some stayed away only going to away games. Others went to support the team.

I was one of the latter. It was easy for me to get to Selhurst Park, as I lived within walking distance, and I wanted to support the team. We were in the old Division Two then and won promotion to Division One. This meant the "big teams" like Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United would visit Selhurst. A new chapter awaited us all.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Life, Love and CAFC.....Part One

I remember a time when Life, Love and CAFC meant all the same! Being young and single meant living and loving Charlton Athletic. I lived for matches. I loved the team (good and bad) and worked to pay to go matches both home and away. I followed them wherever I could, whenever I could. Any method of transport as long as I could get there.

I then met someone, converted him to Charlton and we got season tickets. Travelled the country taking in all 92 grounds. Watched Charlton leave The Valley. Went to Selhurst and Upton Park. Came back to The Valley and then we split up. I stayed watching Charlton, going to Wembley in 1998, getting a season ticket for the Premiership and looking forward to being single and the love of my life being CAFC.

Twenty odd years on from the young, single girl my Life, Love and CAFC are completely different. Life is no longer based in south east London, it's now Liverpool. Love is now my husband of 7 years. And CAFC? Well I still love them through good and bad but I don't get to see them as much as I would like. Comes of having teenage stepchildren I guess.

Now I get to the odd game but follow the reds mainly through CAFC Player and the internet. I may not know all the players by sight, but I know who they are. I may live in a city where you're either a red or a blue but I have no real interest in the teams up here except to know whether or not hubby is happy with the LFC result. I may bump into the odd Liverpool player in Tescos but I'd rather bump into Paul Benson when doing the weekly shop - and no I wouldn't stalk him! In short I'm an exiled Addick, happy to be that way because I'm happy here in Liverpool but more about that another time.