#PrideOfTheValley | Tony Garrett

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 Tony Garrett has been nominated. Tony is part of the Charlton Athletic Disabled Supporters Association and attends Fans’ Forum meetings.

We asked Tony for some of his Charlton memories…

Why I became a Charlton fan… It was about 1972 and, I was aged about 13 then and my Dad took me to see Spurs and I remembered watching Alan Gilzean and Martin Chivers. There were no wheelchair/disabled facilities available then and my Dad had to carry me upstairs to a seat in the stand when we went. I used to go to Charlton Park School and Theo Foley was the Charlton Manager then and I started going and he bought some of the players up for a 5-a-side, that got me hooked.

My first game at The Valley… I remember seeing Matt Tees, Ray Treacy and then moving on Arthur Horsfield, and then I got involved in persuading the club to build its first ever wheelchair platform in November 1978. By coincidence the first match was against Fulham and I have the programme that the photo was in. The team included Steve Gritt, Martin Robinson, Mike Flanagan and Keith Peacock. A good few years later I was fortunate to be involved in starting CADSA (and I’m still involved) and we organised the first ever Football Wheelchair Accessible Coach back in 2002.

My first away day with Charlton was… 1980/81 when we won promotion away at Carlisle 2 – 1. I also remembered a 1-0 away win at Tranmere on a Monday night, I think Derek Hales scored the goal. I got the last train from Liverpool and arrived back at Euston station and went straight to the office at 4am and slept, my earliest ever start! Other memorable away matches would include beating Arsenal 4-2 in 2001 and a 5-5 draw at Bristol Rovers. There was also the away midweek match at Swindon when we couldn’t get the train back and Alan Curbishley very kindly let us travel back in the team coach!

The 25th May 1998 was... Just a super day all round, great atmosphere, all the fans poured on top of me in celebration.

My favourite Charlton game (not including the play-off finals) is: Memorable matches were the return at The Valley against Portsmouth in 1992, a 4-2 Boxing Day win against Chelsea in 2003 (our highest position in the Premier League) and last season’s semi-final against Doncaster.

The best part of being a Charlton fan is… It's a community club, loyal and supportive fans and generate a great atmosphere home or away.

One of the special trips was when I, with a group of fans, went away with the first team to an end-of-season tournament with Bournemouth, Millwall and Swindon which were held in Tunisia and Majorca back in the 70s with a mate Alan, a lady friend called Cheryl, Colin Cameron and Alan Honey amongst many.

The Charlton player of the season will be… Dillon Phillips, home developed player and he has taken his chance this season, and has improved each year.

The game I am most looking forward to is… Millwall at home in April (we will do it). I was at the away match back in 1995, we won. Kim Grant scored and Lee Bowyer was sent off, it snowed and I was sitting in the Millwall stand!

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