Charlton fan Tony Linnett is looking forward to driving around in his new Range Rover after winning the vehicle in the club’s Our Club Your Car campaign.
The lifelong Addick attended his first game in September 1967 but had no idea why club legend and Charlton TV presenter Scott Minto was calling him during his Boxing Day lunch.
He explained: “My oldest son had to spend Christmas Day on his own because he was told to self-isolate, so we said ‘ok, you bubble up with us and we’ll have Christmas Day on Boxing Day’. That meant we weren’t going to watch the game [against Plymouth Argyle] live and then all of a sudden I have this phone call, allegedly Scott Minto. I help run a football club, so I thought ‘Oh, this is one of the boys or one of my son’s friends having a bit of a laugh’ and it did take a little while for it to sink in.”
Minto was ringing, live from The Valley, to tell Tony that he had just won the car which cost more than £90,000.
“Both my sons knew what it was about because we’re a Charlton family and one said: ‘it’s the Range Rover’,” he continued, “so it did take a while to sink in and then my phone went mad with people texting me and WhatsApping me and telling me that I’d won a Range Rover and ‘we’ve just seen you on tele’. It was a surreal moment that’s for sure.”
Tony collected his car on Friday but wasn’t able to drive it home, as he is in crutches.
He said: “I played a lot of amateur football myself, not a very decent level I am afraid. One of the problems is an Achilles [injury], I have had an operation on that but I won’t be able to drive for four-six weeks, so my wife Jennie is very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel. I think I can get used to being a passenger, being chauffeured around, I think I can manage that. It is by far and away the most luxurious car I have sat in, it is fantastic. I can’t believe it really, I still can’t believe it."
The competition, the brainchild of owner Thomas Sandgaard, was part of a campaign to highlight the importance for change on regulations around owning a football club.
Tony added: “The fans have suffered quite a bit over the last few years and were deeply unhappy about the way the club was being run and the ownership and I think we are delighted that someone of Thomas Sandgaard’s integrity have come to take over the club. We can look forward to happy days ahead, we might need to be a bit patient but I think it is a fantastic move for the club and what a great gesture to allow everyone that was streaming game to go into a prize draw to win something like this.”