Author and lifelong Addick Jen Offord’s new book ‘The Year of the Robin’ outlines the highs and lows of being a Charlton fan during the 2019/20 season.
Having supported the Addicks since the 90s, Offord says her book is filled with personal memories and stories that will resonate with many fans who started supporting the club around a similar time.
“I loved writing the book. It has a real sense of nostalgia for anyone of my kind of age who got into football in the 90s. People will recognise that sitting in your living room, watching the results come in on Teletext, listening to 5 Live, as that is how we consumed football back in the day. Thinking about my family as well, it is quite a personal book. There is a lot about my family and brothers in there. They are the reason I liked football and supported Charlton, just reminiscing over those times. A really wonderful time for the club in the late 90s and early 2000s. I had the best time writing it and it was really joyful.
“My love for the club is so interlinked with my family. It is something that seems to be the case with a lot of the fans I spoke to, as well as people that work here as well. I think of Charlton like a family; you have your good times and your bad times, sometimes it is a little bit dysfunctional too, but ultimately it is a pretty nice place to be.”
Whilst the promotion season features prominently, the book details every aspect of the club and the community surrounding, with many names familiar to Addicks fans contributing.
“I spoke to Lee Bowyer and Alan Curbishley about their respective times managing the club as well as Lyle Taylor, Tracey Leaburn and Jason Morgan from the Community Trust about the work that they do and how important the club is within the local community. I also spoke to Alan in the Charlton Athletic Museum, Richard Wiseman from the Supporters' Trust - and various people who had been involved in the protest around the C.A.R.D campaign - Karen Hills and many other people as well. I think it is a really broad kind of look at the football community and the place of football in the world, but more specifically the club and all of the people who have an input in it and make it what it is.
“I think that Charlton fans will enjoy the sense of nostalgia, looking back at some of the good old days as there were. There is also a real sense of optimism about the future of the club as well and the things we can go onto achieve, fingers crossed, next season. I hope that people will enjoy reading and thinking about the world it is now with the modern game and the things we love about it and where there is room for improvement as well.
“It is being published June 9th and it will be available online and in store in all good book shops. There are things being planned at the moment regarding events - if you look at my Twitter feed @inspireajen that is the best place to find out more about interviews and events around the publication.”
Supporters can pre-order The Year of the Robin from Waterstones by clicking here.
(Article by Gregg Baxter)