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The Valley (Charlton Athletic FC stadium)

 
 

Information

Name: The Valley
Club:
Charlton Athletic FC
Capacity: 27,100 seats
Record Attendance: 75,031; Charlton-Aston Villa, Februariy 1938
Address: Floyd Road, Charlton, SE7 8BL
 

Stadium Pictures

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3
 

History and Stands

The Valley is a 27,116-capacity football stadium in Charlton, London. It is the home of Charlton Athletic F.C.

The ground dates to 1919, at a time when Charlton Athletic was moderately successful and looking for a new home. The club found an abandoned sand and chalk pit in Charlton, but did not have sufficient funds to fully develop the site. An army of volunteer Charlton Athletic supporters dug out a massive pit for the pitch, and used the spoil from the excavation to build up the sides. The ground's name most likely comes from its original valley-like appearance. The club played its first game at the ground before any seats, or even terraces, were installed; there was simply a roped-off pitch with the crowd standing or sitting on the adjoining earthworks. The unique circumstances of the ground's initial construction led to an unusually intense bond between the club's supporters and the site that exists to this day.

For many years, The Valley was the largest league ground in London. However, Charlton's long absence from the top level of English football prevented much-needed refurbishment. Eventually, the club's debts led to bankruptcy administration. A supporters' trust successfully acquired the club in 1984, but The Valley remained under the ownership of the club's former owner. The next year, Charlton Athletic left The Valley, entering into a groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

In 1988, the ownership of the club and The Valley was again united, and in an event that harkened back to the ground's initial construction, thousands of supporters volunteered to clean the ground, eventually burning the debris in a huge bonfire on the pitch. By this time, however, the large terraces were no longer seen as desirable or safe. Charlton Athletic supporters then proposed a brand-new stadium to surround the original pitch. However, the Greenwich Borough Council overwhelmingly turned down plans to renovate the ground. Club supporters formed their own local political party, the Valley Party, in response to the council's refusal. The party ran candidates for all but two Greenwich Council seats, sparing the two councillors who had approved the new stadium plans. The party won 15,000 votes in the 1990 elections, successfully pressuring the council to approve the plans for the new stadium.

In 1991, construction began on the new Valley, and the club moved from Selhurst Park to West Ham's Upton Park. The modern stadium opened in December 1992.

There are now plans to expand The Valley in three phases, with a final capacity of 40,600. However, these plans will require Greenwich Council approval.
 

Records

Record Attendance: 75,031 Charlton vs Aston Villa, 12 February 1938
 

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The Valley (Charlton Athletic FC stadium)
Villa Park (Aston Villa stadium)
White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur stadium)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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