Lionel Lewis: "I had an inkling he was popular but what is coming out now is a show of absolute adoration"

“I had an inkling he was popular but what’s coming out now is a show of absolute adoration and we’re very, very touched to all who have said what they have said.”

Lionel Lewis has paid tribute to his beloved son Seb Lewis, who yesterday passed away at the age of 38.

Seb was the Charlton superfan, having been present at each one of the club’s last 1,076 games, a record he was truly proud of.

Speaking on the phone, his father Lionel said the outpouring of emotion from the Charlton family had touched him and highlighted the thousands of friends Seb had through his connection with the club. 

Lionel said: “I took him to his first game at The Valley in 1993. Charlton won 5-1 and he was tremendously over-excited and wanted to go more.”

His older brother Olly would take him to away games as a youngster and Lionel described his son’s passion for the club.

“He was dyslexic and he hadn’t read a full book but when Gary Nelson’s biography came out he went and got it and read the whole thing.”

Lionel explained that Seb would queue up for hours and was often the first to get a new kit or a new Charlton book. 

Seb’s run of 1,076 consecutive games started in 1998 and Lionel explained he had a very set routine for away games. 

“He never said where he was going, he just went. For away matches, he may be off at 6.30am. He would have a ritual – where he ate, where he shopped. 

“He knew every trainline to get back and the alternative routes. He would often stop off in London to watch a game on his way back and would get back in at 12.30am

“I remember an article where Lee Bowyer said ‘he’s always there’ and I know he liked that.”

When Seb did reach 1,000 games, he was given the club’s Pride of the Valley award and was presented with a signed shirt on the pitch before doing his trademark dance move, the worm. 

“He was very proud to go on pitch when he got his award,” Lionel said. “He was always an entertainer even at school.”

Seb’s brother Olly, himself a Charlton superfan said Seb was “incredibly proud” when he won the Charlton Supporter of the Year award in 2012/13. Olly added: “I am not on CharltonLife but I’ve been having a look and we are overwhelmed by messages. I was particularly touched by one that said ‘I didn’t know Seb personally but recognized him as Charlton institution’.”

Seb attended Thomas Tallis School in Kidbrooke as a youngster and went on to become a driving instructor which was a “very proud moment” for Lionel.

The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Lionel, Olly and all of Seb’s family at this very difficult time.

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