Whenever you start writing an article about a fairly timeless issue, there’s always a chance of a little added piquancy if something brings what would otherwise be a bit of a retrospective, into the current arena. The Jimmy Seed Stand at Charlton’s The Valley ground had always struck me as a bit of a strange name. Who was – or is – Jimmy Seed? Despite having a passion about football for over fifty years now, I have to confess that I knew nothing of the eponymous Mr Seed. To be honest, that alone was enough to tweak my interest, so I set to work on a bit of research.
It was whilst combing through the internet and a number of reference books that I found out that the Jimmy Seed Stand was currently making the news around the SE7 area just south of the Thames in London. When researching clubs, fan blogs are often a useful source of information and, when looking at the popular and passionate ‘Voice of The Valley’ site, I noticed an article dated 24th January saying that the stand in question was under threat from a proposed redevelopment. Continue reading →
Football folklore is replete with tales of unfancied teams fighting back in the face of seemingly overwhelming adversity, recovering from an apparently inevitable defeat to down one of the giants of the game, when a last minute goal gets a team through a difficult match that seemed to be pointing to elimination, when the opposition fails to convert any of the first three penalties in a shoot-out or when a team comes back after losing an opening game to unexpectedly qualify from a group stage of the biggest tournament in the world. Other tales may speak of seemingly hopeless situations when unforeseen results conspire to offer a chance that had surely been extinguished, when last minute goals work wonders and unexpectedly transform successive matches, when winning goals are created and scored by players who really shoudn’t have been on the pitch or when a giant stumbles and lets the little guy through; when the most unexpected of events happen again, and again, and again. Some tales have such a feature, some have a two or three, but very few have all of them. The story of Bulgaria’s ‘American Dream’ at the 1994 World Cup and the strange combination of results and events off the park that conspired to get them there however, is one of them. Continue reading →