The Valley Centenary Dinner, sponsored by DNEL Ltd Events & Logistics, has been organised by the Valley Centenary Committee and will give supporters the opportunity to meet Charlton legends who have made so many memories of The Valley possible over the last century.
Club ambassador Keith Peacock will be in attendance, having made 532 appearances during his time in SE7. No outfield player has made more appearances than Peacock, who has fond memories of The Valley, even before he stepped foot on the pitch.
He said: “ I was brought up in Newcastle but I used to go to Charlton to watch the team play so they were my second favourite team then. I watched the game when we had to beat Blackburn to stay up and we lost 4-3 at home in the final game of the season. I was just a young kid then, it was like attending a massive funeral leaving the ground that day. From then on my heart went out to Charlton and they were my team.
“The Valley means so much. The stadium has changed so much but I think of The Valley as a kid, watching in the old stand that held a couple of thousand people at the most. It wouldn’t have looked old then. Through my playing career in the 60’s and 70’s it never changed, even in the 80’s before we had to leave The Valley, it never changed.
“After then it changed and the stadium is unrecognisable but it’s fantastic to see that. The history goes back to me watching as a fan and playing as a player. I’ll always remember that old stand, coming down that tunnel and facing the East Steps, there was no stand! We used to run up and down the steps as players, great days.”
The former midfielder found the net 92 times in his Charlton career, with his first goal for the club standing out, but when asked to pick his favourite Peacock said:
“We played Aston Villa at home and I scored an overhead kick, a bicycle kick. I haven’t seen it because it wasn’t televised then but I tell you now it must’ve been from about 15 yards!
"You’ll probably find out it was much closer than that, every year I mention the story it gets further and further out! We won 3-0 that day and we went on quite a good streak after that for a few years. That was a special one, there were several others but the bicycle kick was special.”
The Centenary dinner celebrates 100 years of Charlton at The Valley and Peacock admits he was emotional when the future of the club in SE7 was in doubt, despite being away from the club at the time.
“I was managing at Gillingham when we had to leave The Valley and it looked all over, it was heartbreaking even when I was away from the club. Knowing that my kids or grandkids wouldn’t see the stadium, that it wasn’t going to exist.
“Thanks to the fans and many other people involved, it was resurrected. It’s a fantastic story.
"Going back to what we celebrate this year, 100 years, is going back even further!”
All Valley Centenary events throughout the season will see a percentage of the proceeds donated to the Charlton Athletic Community Trust to help fund initiatives such as the rebranding of the Covered End following its official name change, and Keith Peacock is looking forward to raising funds for the Trust.
“I think it’ll be a great night. We had a get together recently with people from the 60’s and 70’s. It was sold out very quickly. We had around 140 people there for that event. It was a lovely evening. We were talking about the old times, the heroes of yesteryear.
“This event will be another way to raise money, a little bit to put by for CACT (Charlton Athletic Community Trust) and charities. It’s going to be a really good evening. Hopefully we can get the oldest members of the squad from back in the day. We’ll have people like Derek Hales, myself and going through the years we’ll have Chris Powell, Alan Curbishley will be there, many others. A few players too if they’re available nearer the time. Scott Minto will be there, he’s well accomplished. It’s great for him to donate his services to this particular event.”
Confirmed legends in attendance: Scott Minto, Bob Bolder, John Humphreys, Lenny Glover, Derek Hales, Steve Gritt, Colin Walsh, Colin Powell, Chris Powell, Darren Bent, Lee Bowyer, Johnnie Jackson, Lennie Lawrence, Alan Curbishley, Keith Peacock.