FULL STATEMENT: Dave Lockwood leaves post at Charlton

Charlton Athletic’s stadium PA announcer and Charlton Live team member Dave Lockwood has decided to leave his post at the club with immediate effect.  He […]

Charlton Athletic’s stadium PA announcer and Charlton Live team member Dave Lockwood has decided to leave his post at the club with immediate effect. 

He has released the following statement. 

 

The hardest decision of my life {…}

I love Charlton Athletic; it’s been part of my life since I was 7 years old. Standing on the gargantuan east terrace one Sunday morning in 1974, having walked through the Bartram Gates for the first time I was overwhelmed by the size and magnitude of the old ground. It’s been a love story ever since, mostly one way of course.

Charlton gave me so much more than football, it gave me friends, it gave me a wife and two wonderful sons, it gave me a sense of belonging and a sense of community, its given me great friends. It gave me pride to say that I was a Charlton supporter.

Where else would I have got the chance to stand on the hallowed Wembley turf belting out Valley Floyd Road and being roundly jeered and booed by forty thousand Mackems? The chance to scream Champions when a club legend had guided the team to a record equaling points tally, sweeping aside everyone in that league? The privilege of announcing my heroes to fellow supporters and the joy of screaming out the goal scorers name?

This past season was the hardest of all; an atmosphere that has been, frankly, toxic at times, not like the Valley we had in 2012 celebrating the League One championship.

For the first time I have faced criticism from fellow supporters, for example for promoting academy day or asking people to wave to the camera in order to win some pies or a place on “that” sofa.

I’ve had messages of support though, on countless occasions friends have told me to keep on going, we want a proper Charlton fan doing it and it wouldn’t be Charlton without you. Well it isn’t Charlton anymore is it, not our Charlton.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark as the bard once scribed.

For 24 seasons I have had the privilege of being the announcer, maybe the voice of the Valley? But I can take no more. When an owner appears to accuse fans of wanting failure, ignoring the madness of his decisions which have taken the club to relegation.

Nobody can deny how ingenious and talented the fans of Charlton are. They’ve taken on local authorities and won, they’ve worked hand in glove with previous regimes to deliver increased attendances and that respect we once had a proper community club. Just think what could be achieved if the fans and club were united?
I had tears in my eyes when the beach balls fell on to the pitch on that fateful Sunday afternoon. For me it was the turning point, I knew my time was up, I couldn’t possibly continue. The final nails in the coffin were the ridiculous rant reportedly from Roland and the hideous whispers of discontent from those upstairs. However I was determined to see the season out and above all else keep my professional dignity.

For the record, I haven’t met Roland. If I had met him I would have been blunt, telling him that this wont work, this is all going to end badly for you. Quite simply you’ve bought the wrong club. Get out now while you can. Sadly I can see no end of his folly.

I wish all the Charlton supporting staff well; they work hard and get little reward and thanks for their efforts. There are still good things being done by the club, it’s work in the community with local schools for example. The media team deserve huge credit for such professional content.

However a football club is all about what happens on the pitch and the last four years in the Championship have seen Charlton go from the sublime to the ridiculous.

 

The way Chris Powell was dumped after steering the club to the quarter finals of the FA Cup against all the odds. The policy of importing untried/unknown players to one of the hardest leagues in Europe was an utter disaster. The sale of key players that gave our team a solid backbone was absurd; I would say reckless. A series of “Head Coaches” appointed with little or no experience of one of the toughest European leagues.

Some will think that has now changed following the appointment of Russell Slade. He is an experienced English manager and the early signs are that he has control over signings.

 

The ridiculous comment that seemed to suggest Peter Varney wanting to move the club from the Valley proved to me that nothing has changed; I will repeat that, Nothing has changed. The fall out confirmed my decision was the right one, despite the angst I have felt since the end of the season.

For the record I wish Russell well and hope he can turn things around with no interference.

Peter Varney is an honorable man, a man I trust and one who has the best interests of the club at heart, as he too is a fan. I do not trust the Chief Executive, her deputy or the owner.

My final word is quite simple. The protests will go on. This time I will be joining them. Roland, you bought the wrong club. Go and go now. Get out of OUR club. You will not win.

Dave Lockwood.

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