Monday, 20 September 2010

Lest We Forget

Lennie Lawrence will be a welcome visitor next week on the anniversary of that 'Last Game' at the Valley. Here are a few pics I took on that day inc. one of the "4 Unjust Men" as I called them on the day (for those who can remember the TV programme bearing a similar name), a Nicky Johns goal kick and the famous East Terrace with its 30,000 plus capacity.
In retrospect, they prob. saved the club and enabled it with the efforts of Roger Alwen, the other directors, the Valley Party and others to ultimately return to the Valley and enable Richard Murray and the board to embark upon the stadium development that has given us a stadium to be proud of.
I was talking to an Arsenal supporter yesterday (I'm not proud) who had only been to the Valley years ago once but marvelled at the old East Terrace recalling that the ground was the only real natural ampitheatre in the league and was the biggest in the football league (with a 75,031 ground record, plus those who broke in for free on the day, and an even bigger capacity for the '70's 'Who' concert).
A lot of water (much undrinkable) has passed under the bridge since then but (like 'Chicago Addick' facing the current hurricane in the Atlantic) us South Londoners are made of stern stuff and certainly masochistic!
We have not returned to the heights of recent years and still await that 40,000 capacity ground which could result from that success but we will hang on in there and cross our fingers that things progress both on and off the pitch.


ChicagoAddick said...

Great photos Mike.

Fry was of course seen as the saviour when Sunley saved us. I think people forget that transaction didn't cost him or Sunley that much money but a ground share and a merger were his intentions all along.

I credit Mike Norris, Richard Collins and mostly Roger Alwen for truly saving us.

Mike BARRY said...

Glad to see you appear to be in full circulation and have survived the challenge of what Mother Nature has thrown at you.
I agree with your thoughts on Roger Alwen in particular. He was a a real hero and is too easily forgotten by many during the Murray era. It's a pity he does not maintain a higher profile these days.
I was not party to the details of Richard Collins’ involvement or Mike Norris's though I was under the impression that the latter was a bit of a loose cannon though that may be off the mark.
These are only impressions and I have not read the relevant pages in various well known CAFC publications sitting on my bookshelf for many a moon; I probably should.