Female Charlton fans from around the world joined a special pre-match Zoom meeting on Saturday ahead of the Addicks draw with Oxford United.
Charlton staff, Charlton Women’s players and Dr Raelynn Maloney, partner of Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard, attended the meeting hosted by the club’s Player Liaison Officer Tracey Leaburn.
Tracey explained: “We wanted to do something to celebrate the women in the Charlton family around International Women’s Day [March 8th]. I’ve been at Charlton in my role for six years now and I’ve always wanted to get some sort of group of women to come together through a shared passion for the club, so I am delighted we were able to do that.”
The meeting, organised in conjunction with a Facebook group for female Charlton supporters, was attended by more than 30 fans, staff and players.
Jade Hannon, who set up the Facebook group, explained why she wanted to create a space female fans could converse in. She said: “Some people seem to think you don’t know what you are talking about – you might have played football or been going to games for a long time but because you are a woman they think you don’t know anything about football.
“You make a comment and get told to ‘get back in the kitchen’. We have a right to express our opinions. I’ve never had a problem doing that but some people may not be as confident doing that.”
Fans on the call came from around the world and represented a variety of different ages and Tracey hopes to host more meetings and reach more female Charlton supporters in the future.
She added: “It was great to see so many people on the meeting who care about Charlton and to hear their different stories about how and why they support the club. We also talked about some interesting topics such as attending football games by yourself, working in a football, mental health and dealing with social media trolls.
“It was a lovely surprise that Thomas Sandgaard joined briefly too and said what a good idea it was. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and we’ll definitely do it again. We’re looking at other events we can host in the future and looking at how we can meetup when supporters are all allowed back to The Valley.”
Female supporters who may be interested in joining the Facebook group can click here.