#PrideofTheValley | Keith Ferris

Last week, BETDAQ launched the #PrideOfTheValley to reward die-hard Charlton fans. Each home league game, supporters will select a fan to win the reward and the individual will be presented with a signed shirt on the pitch.

This week, the Maidstone and Weald fan group have selected Keith Ferris, so we got a few words from him about his life with Charlton.

Why I became a Charlton fan: I became a Charlton supporter because ‘it was in the family’. My father, who had lost a leg in the 1914-18, war was a Woolwich dental surgeon with a satellite surgery in Charlton Village. Before World War Two and the NHS, most of the young players had untreated dental problems which hindered their play. The then Manager, I think McFarlane, put my father on the staff as an honorary dental officer. He would treat the players free in return for a season ticket. He became friendly with several players, Jimmy Seed secretary-manager and the secretary Jack Phillips, who used to come round for a meal. Unfortunately, I was told to be on my best behaviour and not to ‘talk shop’.

My first game at The Valley was: A reserve match in 1938 and I remember little about it.

My first away day with Charlton was: Wembley 1946. I was completely overcome by the community singing and 100,000 people waving their programmes but was sad about the result.

On May 25th, 1998 I was: At Wembley, high up in the stand on a hot day and was nearly overcome by excitement and hyperpyrexia.

My favourite Charlton game (not including the play-off final) is: The promotion match, under Andy Nelson, against Preston which we had to win or draw. A goal down at half-time with Harry Cripps having missed a penalty, we equalised from a Goldthorpe header which might not have crossed the line and then Derek Hales, put through by Peter Hunt, scored twice to make it safe. We looked forward to life back in the second tier.

My favourite Charlton player is: Hard to decide. There are so many favourite players from different periods, ‘Sailor’ Brown, Keith Peacock, Steve Gritt, Derek Hales, Richard Rufus, Yann Kermorgant.

My favourite Charlton kit is: I liked the early 70s shirt, white with red shoulders.

The best part of being a Charlton fan is: You never know what is going to happen next at Charlton. Utterly unpredictable but always interesting.

This season’s Player of the Year will be: I would like to see one of the youngsters as Player of the season. George Lapslie.

The game I am most looking forward to is: Home to Gillingham. For those of us who live in mid-Kent, this is a ‘local derby’. We want to reverse last season’s results.

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