#PrideOfTheValley | Derek Banks

The #PrideOfTheValley campaign launched last season to reward the most dedicated Charlton fans. Each home league game, a fan is selected to win the award and the individual is presented with a signed shirt.

Today Derek Banks has been selected. Derek has been supporting to the club since he begun cycling to games with his dad in 1947. He now comes to Charlton games with four generations of his family.

We asked Derek for some of his Charlton memories…

Why I became a Charlton fan: My dad first took me in 1947 at the age of 10, there was no looking back after that.

My first Charlton game at The Valley was: During the FA Cup winning season in 1947. I can’t remember the exact game as it was a long time ago now!

My first away day with Charlton was: A 6-1 victory at the orient in April 1959.

On the 25th May 1998 I was: at Wembley. We booked a suite in the Hilton hotel before the game. It was full up with Sunderland fans so we gave them some stick. We then went to the game, what a brilliant day it was. After the game we want back to the hotel, had some sandwiches and gave the Sunderland fans some more stick. We were then back in Welling in time for last orders. It was a blinding day.

On the 26th May 2019 I was: At Wembley again. I couldn’t believe that first goal when Sunderland went ahead. They never scored a goal, we got all three. The team showed great spirit and it was a really, really good day. I watched the game back the next day and I saw myself in the video.

My favourite Charlton game (not including the play-off finals) was: Against Manchester United on December 9th 2000. We went 1-0 up and then 3-1 down. It felt like it was over but Robinson got the equaliser in the 85th minute. Incredible!

My favourite Charlton player is: Derek Hales for all the goals he scored for the club

My favourite Charlton kit is : I don’t have a favourite as I like them all.

The best part about being a Charlton fan is: Supporting my local team, a family orientated and friendly club.

The Charlton player of the season will be: Conor Gallagher or Dillon Phillips, they have both been brilliant so far this season.

The game I am most looking forward to is: Against our local rivals Millwall!

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