Josh Parker enjoys a trip down memory lane

Josh Parker enjoyed a trip down memory lane last weekend as he accompanied Steve Brown and host Scott Minto in the CharltonTV studio, presented by DNEL Ltd, for coverage of the Addicks’ encounter at Burton Albion.

Almost two and a half years on from Charlton’s play-off final triumph, the 30-year-old reminisced about that day at Wembley in May 2019, when he won arguably the most important free-kick of his career after being bundled over by Sunderland defender Alim Öztürk - though even that remains a blur for the former Addicks striker.

“After the game I never watched the game back for probably a year,” he told CharltonTV. “Everyone was saying, ‘ah, the free-kick that won us the game!’ I didn’t remember it until I watched the game back! I think it was Jonny Williams that messaged me and said, ‘I’ve just watched it back on Sky and that free-kick…’ I didn’t remember it until I watched it back!

“When you’re obviously in it you’re so present,” Parker continued. “There’s so much going on - whether it’s the fans, the magnitude of the occasion - that after the whistle goes it just becomes a complete blur. But what a day… what a day!”

Asked where the day ranks amongst his career achievements, he explained: “It’s up there; it’s definitely in my top three ever because I said after in an interview, they said, ‘what do you think’s next for you and the club?’ And I was like, ‘when you’re growing up, if you ask six-year-old yourself what you want to do... you want to be a professional footballer and everyone thinks about Wembley’. 

“That was kind of the cherry on top,” added the 30-year-old. “I said, ‘whatever comes after, I don’t care! I’ve just played at Wembley in front of the biggest League One play-off crowd ever and we won.’ I still struggle to put it into words now because it was just unreal.”

CharltonTV subscribers can watch the full broadcast of Saturday's game below.

The Antigua and Barbuda international then recalled the celebrations that ensued after Patrick Bauer’s stoppage time winner, while also reflecting fondly on his six-month stay in SE7.

“The team spirit was unreal,” beamed Parker. “I just remember being in the changing room after and obviously we were always singing after games - that was Dillon Phillips’ little thing. It was just crazy. It’s hard to digest it in the moment because you’re like, ‘we’ve actually done it!’. Everyone’s walking around saying, ‘we actually did it!’. 

“As we were walking up the stairs as well, ‘we did it, we did it boys!’ Words will only be an approximation at best; you can’t ever replace that feeling, that excitement and that adrenaline that’s actually coming through you when the whistle goes and you’re like, ‘where do I go? Where do I run? What do I say?’ It’s amazing.

“Just a beautiful experience - growing up I always watched the club anyway and when I first came back from playing abroad I came and trained here, but I wasn’t able to sign because they wouldn’t give me my transfer papers,” he revealed. “Then, low and behold, a year later I end up coming here. My love for the club was here before I was here so I think that’s what I tried to show on the pitch with how hard I worked, how much I put myself around. Even just dealing with the youngsters, trying to put my arm around them. I was just trying to kind of embody the club through myself and express it on the field, and I think that’s what I did.” 

Charlton are back at The Valley on Saturday, against table-toppers Plymouth Argyle and season-ticket holders can claim up to three FREE tickets as we look to #FillTheValley for the clash against the Pilgrims.

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