October stadium tours now available - hosted by CharltonTV stalwart Terry Smith

Supporters can now secure their place on an October tour of The Valley hosted by CharltonTV stalwart Terry Smith, priced at just £17 per person.


Ahead of the October tours going on sale, we caught up with the commentator and tour guide, who offered fans an insight into what they can expect whilst touring The Valley as they gain unprecedented, behind the scenes access at one of London’s most iconic football stadiums.

“It’s trying to give fans a feel of not only what it was like factually, but also from a fan perspective from when I first came,” explains Terry, who first entered The Valley in 1967. “Just to give a feel to supporters of what it used to be like coming to The Valley and how it differs between then and now. But essentially it’s still pretty much the same place that fans congregate to and it still has the same feel with a modern, 27,000-plus stadium as it did when it was open terracing and you could squeeze 75,000 in there.

“It is a stadium tour but, where possible, I like to give as much history as I can as I remember it, and I’ve obviously got facts to back it up. I’ve got a range of photographs on my iPad which I like to show people just to give them an indication of what The Valley used to be like.”

After gathering outside the main reception, the touring party are afforded a concise history of The Valley from when it was first dug out of a chalk pit by an army of volunteers in 1919, before being given a moment to capture their surroundings without the hustle and bustle of a matchday in SE7.  

“We take the media route into the ground so they can see where the post-match press conferences take place and just to give an indication of even what that used to be like back in the day,” he continues. “Even since we returned back to The Valley in 1992 it’s changed considerably. We always give fans a brief understanding of what The Valley used to be like in every place we go to.

“We then tour the dressing rooms, of course, which gives fans a chance to get up close to where their favourite players sit and they get a rare chance to take photos in the changing rooms,” Terry adds. “Then of course comes the tunnel walk which is impressive with the newish tunnel murals on either side, so they take that legendary player walk to pitchside. Again, once we’re pitchside we just give fans a brief indication of what the four sides of The Valley used to be like from 1920 onwards. 

“The walk towards the dugouts gives a feel of the view the manager gets from pitchside and you have the chance to take photos, again in places where the players would sit - the subs, managers and coaches alike. 

“We then go up to the Directors’ Box, which has one of the better views in the ground from the halfway line. Fans can also see where managers would have sat and Alan Curbishley has sat; he used used to sit there back in the day from time to time when he wanted a better view of the game and there’s a little phone junction box where he used to use a phone to communicate to the bench from that point," he reveals. "That’s still there! 

“From there you can see the PC Palmer memorial seat and the memorial garden - from that vantage point much better than any other. Then we drift down then into the West Stand where the club offices and the suites are, before visiting the International Honours Board.”

Supporters can enjoy all of this plus much more when touring The Valley, all while being treated to countless anecdotes and historical tales from Terry.

“Every fan will say their club is special and I get that, but the reason I feel we are just that little bit different is that in 1919 fans dug out a chalk and sandpit to create a pitch,” Terry concludes. 

“Fans have been digging Charlton out of trouble at various points in our history ever since then,” he adds. “The connection with fans is strong and much stronger than otherwise would be for that reason.”

All stadium tours kick off at 11am, with the following dates now available to book:

Thursday, October 7th

Thursday, October 14th

Thursday, October 21st

Thursday, October 28th

To book your tour of The Valley, click here or call 020 833 4000.

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