Bolton Wanderers Opponent Bio: Charlton

Phil Cole

Following last weekend’s bitter defeat to rivals Wigan Athletic, this Saturday, Bolton have the chance to put their woes behind them as Chris Powell brings his Charlton Athletic side to the Reebok Stadium. The Addicks are without a win in four and find them sitting perilously over the drop zone and in desperate need for a win.

The culmination of various youth clubs within the area, Charlton Athletic was formed in 1905 and played in local leagues before, like many teams, benefited from the Football League's expansion and was introduced into the competition with many into the third tier in 1921.

The South East London club struggled to get a foothold in league football and was almost merged with Catford Southend to stabilise one large club in the area.The Addicks resisted and when manager Jimmy Seed took the reins in 1933, the club began to make their mark in The Football League.

In charge of the club either side of the Second World War, Seed took the club from the third tier to the top and narrowly missed out on The League Championship in 1937, they would compete at the top for many years but this would be the closest the came to the league title to date.

The clubs most successful period would see them secure their only major success to date, with a 1-0 FA Cup Final victory securing Jimmy Seed's status as a club legend who fittingly has the South Stand named in his honour at The Valley.

Following Seed's bitter departure in 1956, the club began to struggled and the club slowly slumped both off the pitch and on it. The club found itself in the third division for much of the 1970's and with attendances dwindling, finance became an issue as the club tried desperate to re-live the great memories enjoyed under their previous manager.

The club were evicted from the Valley in 1985 due to safety concerns raised by the Stadium fire at Bradford City, with the reckless spending to compete on the pitch which could not be supported by attendances, the club could not afford the repair work.

Continuing to struggle to satisfy its ambitions, and Following a relegation the Second Division Alan Curbishley was appointed along with Steve Grit as the club attempted to save its identity both on and off the pitch.

Following the sale of star players to fund the move, Charlton moved back to the Valley, the club harboured ambitions of returning to the Premier League Under the sole stewardship of Curbishley, the club would flourish, a 1998 dramatic First Division Play-Off Final victory over Sunderland would see Charlton promoted to the Premier League.

An instant relegation followed but Charlton's faith in ‘Curbs' was rewarded with the Division One title in 2000, returning the club to compete among England's elite.

In the top flight, the club developed a reputation of strong starts that could not be maintained and resulted in a slump towards the end of the season. Their best season was the 2003-04 season, which saw The Addicks finish in 7th place. Unable to take the club ‘to the next level' Curbishley left Charlton on amicable terms at the end of the 2005-06 season.

Following Curbishley's departure, Charlton capitulated neither Iain Dowie, Les Reed or Alan Pardew could do enough to steer The Addicks clear of relegation. The pain did not end there for Addicks' fans either as the club did not settle to life in The Championship and two seasons later, they were relegated to the third tier for the first time in 29 years.

Whilst performing well in the third tier, Charlton did not achieve promotion in their first season and Chris Powell was put in charge as the clubs ownership of the field changed hands.

It would take Powell two seasons to return the London club to The Championship and after a respectable 9th place finish last season, Charlton come to The Reebok in desperate need of win to try and kickstart their Championship campaign this season.


STATS (league)

Form: LDLLW

Goals: Simon Church 4

Assists: Johnnie Jackson 2

Shots: Simon Church 21

Discipline: Dale Stephens 4 Yellow

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