Addicks fans' favourite Lawrie Wilson had fond memories aplenty to recollect when he joined the Charlton TV Valley Pass Live team pitchside on Saturday afternoon.
As part of the very popular ‘Memory Lane’ section of the pre-game show, Wilson, Scott Minto and Alan Curbishley looked back on some of his finest, and funniest, moments from his time in SE7.
Below, you can read a selection of ‘the best bits’, while Valley Pass subscribers can watch Saturday’s edition of Memory Lane in full.
Being released as a youngster
“It was actually Alan [Curbishley] that let me go, so he broke my heart! Curbs sat down and spoke to every single player, which was something that really resonated with me. He sat there and he gave me an example - you actually used Michael Turner at the time. You said: ‘I believe that you will be a professional footballer; you will make a living in this game because of the attributes that you do have and the way that you play, the way you conduct yourself. Everything you do is right, you’re just not right for us at this time now. But go away and take note of some of the players that have done it before - go and make a career of it. Who knows, you may come back to haunt me!’
“It was heartbreaking, but I just wanted to be a professional footballer. For me, it was like ‘okay, this door is shut, let’s go away, re-evaluate, and go again.’ I went and played in the Championship for a season and then actually ended up going into the Conference. I was at a Premier League club and I could have gone in because I had travelled with the first team a few times, so I got the idea of what it could be like, and then suddenly you’re in the Conference. It was like ‘actually, I need to work my way up again.’ To have done that stands me in good stead in everything, and I also pay tribute to Charlton, the academy and the whole process of what happened because that probably structured me into the way I play, the way I am and all of the other parts.”
Having his own chant
“It was a really strange moment for me. I heard it at the time and I remember it like it was yesterday! I don’t remember who we were playing against, but I remember being in the car on the way home with my wife and saying ‘did you hear that song?’ She was like ‘yeah, I heard it!’ It was kind of like, ‘right, how do we take it?’
“My social media went crazy! Some people liked it, some people hated that people were singing it, and so on and so forth. It was that really fine moment where I just went ‘do we go good or bad on this?’ I just thought ‘do you know what, not many people play for a team, and they could play for 10 or 15 years for the same team and never have a song sung about them so just embrace it, take it as a good thing!’ I laugh about it now, and I did at the time! For me, it’s great to have a song sung about yourself so I’m all for it!”
Relationship with Johnnie Jackson/team spirit
“Michael [Morrison] used to travel from Cambridge and Jacko [Johnnie Jackson] was Hertfordshire so we used to meet in Essex and carpool together, which is why we probably got so close. The first year, we had Danny Green in there as well, and second year we had Mark Gower. It’s a nice thing to have. One, you’re saving money travelling in every day, but it was just nice to have that camaraderie - we’d go for coffees and we’d go on family trips.
“At the time when I signed, they’d just won League One so they had a very, very good squad together. Sometimes when you come into squads that have been together for a long time and gone through a lot it can be quite hard to gel, but every single person in there had open arms and really embraced me coming in. It was a really nice environment. Peter Varney and Chris Powell were in charge and they made it very clear that they actually wanted things off the field to be going as well as things on the field, so it was a real family. If we ever used to do anything on a weekend, everyone would be invited so no one was left out of anything.”
Article by James Waller