The Valley’s North Stand will officially be renamed as the Covered End as part of Charlton Athletic’s plans to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the club’s iconic home during the 2019/20 season.
The iconic north end of the stadium has been colloquially known as the Covered End since 1934 when a roof was added to the previously-exposed terrace. This was prompted by a game against Bristol Rovers on February 10th, 1934 when it began to rain 15 minutes from time and the 12,875 crowd began to drift away. The club’s owners, Albert and Stanley Gliksten, took notice and immediately made plans to add cover behind the goal. But although it has always been referred to by fans as the Covered End, even after the expansion to a two-tiered stand in 2001, it has never been formally recognised by the club.
The move to rename the stand will see all previous references to the existing North Lower and North Upper change to Covered End Upper and Covered End Lower, while work has already begun on branding the stand itself.
The words ‘Covered End’ now appear on both the west and east walls of the lower tier and plans are in place to install the words ‘Covered End’ on to the roof in the same manner as the wording which appears on The Valley’s other stands, including the Jimmy Seed Stand.
The name change will officially kick in from the first home league game of the season against Stoke City on Saturday, August 10th.
The club will be commemorating the centenary of the stadium throughout the campaign with a series of special events.
An independent committee has been set up to oversee plans for the celebrations and consists of a variety of club staff as well as fan representatives.
The members of the committee are as follows: The club’s Safety Officer Mick Everett (Chair), Club Ambassador and legend Keith Peacock (Vice chair), Club Journalist Olly Groome, Club Secretary Chris Parkes, Commercial Manager Ravi Patel, Head of Fundraising and Development for the Community Trust Lorna Taylor, Sales Executive Joanne Dunn, as well as fan representatives and Museum Trustees Ian Wallis and Paul Baker.
Charlton first moved into its famous home in September 1919. Then known simply as ‘the swamps’, the area was originally a derelict sand and chalk pit.
Although it formed a natural bowl, there was not quite space for a football pitch until a team of volunteers armed with shovels dug out what would become the famous Valley pitch. Amongst the volunteers was the grandfather of future Charlton legend Brian Kinsey and the turf was well prepared in time for the first ever game to take place at The Valley on September 13th, 1919.
With the ground essentially consisting of just a roped-off pitch, Charlton’s ‘A’ team beat Summerstown 2-0 in the South Suburban League on that day.
Since then, The Valley has been at the heart of the club’s identity and at the centre of one of the greatest fan movements seen in sport when supporters led the fight to return home after the club were forced out of SE7 in 1985, returning in 1992 after a seven-year exile.
As part of the celebrations, the home matchday closest to the anniversary of The Valley’s first ever game will be a special occasion, remembering 100 years of memories, with full details of plans to be unveiled over the coming months, while the committee will discuss a number of different ways in which to mark the centenary year.