I attended the thanks giving service of a lifelong Charlton supporter today. The day he fell in love with the club was when he and his Brother were listening to a BBC radio broadcast in 1947, it was the FA Cup Final, and according to his Brother who was paying tribute to him during the service - he heard the commentator announce 'Charlton Athletic', fell in love with the sound of the name, and that was that. So began a lifelong love of the Addicks. Not a local boy by any stretch of the imagination, Jel was born and raised in deepest darkest leafy Surrey, attended Charterhouse and went on to forming his own insurance brokerage at Lloyds. In fact his Brother who was recounting his Charlton fanaticism we found out upon googling his name afterwards (Sir David Lees) was until very recently Chairman of The Bank of England.
I've always said football is a great leveller of both perseved class and people in general. He was one of our own, one of our football friends. Cheeky, fun, witty and very knowledgable about the game, and always with an articulately put point of view. His favourite pre match entertainment was getting us all to guess the 'official' attendance before it was announced.
His journey to The Valley every Other Saturday was a sixty mile round trip, mostly on the car park otherwise known as the M25. (I appreciate that there are plenty of Addicks who also make such trips for 22 odd games a season, and I doth my cap to them as well).
From what I can gather from those who recounted his life away from The Valley he was a general round nice guy.
So if you feel the inclination to raise a glass of whatever your drinking over the weekend and say cheers to one of our own, then please do. I think he'd appreciate it. Cheers Jeremy, it was a pleasure knowing you.
Come on you Reds!