Saturday sees our first London derby of the campaign as we head to The Valley to take on Charlton Athletic. Plan your matchday with our Away Day Guide!
Look into the story of how The Valley came to be and you’ll find that the stadium was, quite literally, built from the ground up.
How so? This season, Charlton Athletic are celebrating the 100th anniversary of their move to a site which was once simply a humble chalk pit, excavated by hordes of Addicks fans once the hard-up club had acquired the plot. And, so the story goes, the name was born due a landscape that might not have looked out of place in the South Wales Valleys.
Over the years that followed, Charlton triumphed in the FA Cup (1947) and the Football League War Cup (1944), while finishing as runners up once in the First Division (1937) and twice in the Second Division. But in the summer of 1985, their future at The Valley came under threat when they struggled to finance safety requirements ordered in the wake of the fire at Bradford City’s Valley Parade home.
Thus, the club were forced to ground-share with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park until 1991 and later West Ham at Upton Park until late 1992, when the redeveloped stadium was re-opened, largely thanks to a political party, known as the Valley Party.
This party had entered the 1990 Greenwich Borough Council elections to garner support and gained an unprecedented 11 per cent of the vote, which generated considerable momentum for the cause.
Returning to their south-east London home provided a needed springboard for success, with Charlton spending eight seasons in the Premier League over the late-1990s and mid-2000s overlooked by the dominant structure of Valiant House, which peers over the rear of the Jimmy Seed stand.
This will be Brentford’s first trip across the capital to face the Addicks since October 2015, when John Swift, Alan Judge and Lasse Vibe netted in a comfortable 3-0 victory. Including the aforementioned win, the Bees have won three of their previous five visits, though they went an astonishing 85 years without a victory prior to that.
DID YOU KNOW?
In the mid-1960s, Len Silver – then promoter of speedway club Hackney Hawks – fronted ambitious plans to house a new club at The Valley, which was widely supported by the local community. The proposals would have seen a track constructed around the perimeter of the pitch, though they were later shelved due to noise concerns.
HOW TO GET THERE
Any away trip to a London rival is justification enough for a boat trip down the Thames and many fans will be doing just that, taking in the summer sun on a chartered vessel from Putney to Greenwich. Alternatively, another buoyant method of travel taking in the sights of the capital is the River Bus, which can be picked up on six alternative routes from 22 piers between Putney and Woolwich. From Greenwich pier, The Valley is a 45-minute walk, though can be reached on a Southeastern train from Greenwich or either the 178 or 180 bus from Greenwich Town Centre. Both journeys are around 20-25 minutes in duration.
Otherwise, the nearest port of call would be Charlton train station, which is a short walk from the stadium and is accessible via Charing Cross, London Bridge, Cannon Street and Waterloo East. Supporters could take the Jubilee line from Waterloo to North Greenwich and take 161, 472 or 486 bus from there.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
If supporters are looking for a pub to congregate in ahead of kick-off, the options in the immediate vicinity of The Valley are very slim. Gone are the days of a pre-match pint in The Antigallican – recently put on the market for more than £3 million – or the Rose of Denmark, which, presently, admits only home fans.
The closest option nowadays is the Angerstein Hotel. Located on Woolwich Road, it’s a 15-minute walk from the ground, but can be reached by any bus heading towards Woolwich from the bus stop closest to Charlton train station. A little further on, at the end of Anchor and Hope Lane, is the aptly named Anchor & Hope pub; a decent spot adjacent to the River Thames.
For those travelling by train, there are multiple pubs in Blackheath and more close to London Bridge station, too, while – if time is on your side – there’s always the option to explore pubs in the surrounding area of Waterloo Station before continuing the journey to south-east London from Waterloo East.
|Jimmy Seed Stand||£27||£21||£21||£18||£15||£5|
HOW TO BUY TICKETS
7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Save on fees.
- By phone 0333 005 8521, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm
- In person from the Ticket Office, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm
- Disabled fans by phone 0333 005 8521, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm
Tickets will also be sold on matchday from the South Stand Ticket Office at the Valley (cash only). Please note, there will be an increase of £3 per adults and concession (seniors, under 21 and students) tickets when purchasing on the day of the game.