Tag Archives: Charlton Athletic

Premier League Files: Claus Jensen

Premier League Career: Charlton Athletic (2000-2004), Fulham (2004-2007)

Claus Jensen spent over a decade playing in England and had seven seasons playing in the Premier League solely in the capital. The midfielder, who had a strong eye for goal played for four seasons at Charlton Athletic, playing a big role in their best-ever Premier League finish of seventh in 2003-2004. He also spent three years playing for Fulham.

On the international stage, Jensen won 47 caps for Denmark, scoring eight goals. He played for the Danes at the 2002 World Cup finals and the European Championships in 2004, reaching the quarter-finals in the latter.

Jensen made his breakthrough in Denmark, playing for Næstved BK in November 1995. Næstved BK were relegated at the end of his first season in senior football but he earned himself a move to Lyngby in the summer of 1996, joining Dennis Rommedahl at the club. Rommedahl would play alongside Jensen for Denmark too and would ironically turn out to be his replacement at Charlton in 2004.

After 14 league goals in 62 appearances, Jensen left the Danish club game behind in July 1998, joining Bolton Wanderers who were attempting to rebuild after their Premier League relegation a few months earlier. Bolton paid £1.8 million for his services and Jensen became an immediate regular in their midfield, only missing six league games across two seasons. In that time, Bolton made the play-off final but lost to Watford and therefore, missed out on an immediate return to the top-flight. Claus also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup before the Trotters lost on penalties to Aston Villa.

In July 2000, he moved down south to Charlton Athletic for £4 million. Charlton were looking for a bit of playmaking quality on their return to the top-flight and he became a very popular figure, featuring in every single game in 2000-2001, scoring five goals as Charlton finished in a very impressive ninth position in the table. His best season at Charlton and in the Premier League was in 2002-2003. Jensen scored six times in 35 appearances, including a couple of impressive goals against Manchester United although both goals came in losing causes against the Red Devils.

One of his last main acts for Charlton was being involved in the most dramatic finish to any Premier League game in the 2003-2004 season. Charlton were at home to Blackburn Rovers and had let a two-goal lead slip which had seen Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel scoring the equaliser! Seconds later, Friedel had conceded a late winner thanks to one of Jensen’s trademark long-range specials.

It was slightly surprising to see Charlton sell him to London rivals Fulham for just £1.25 million in July 2004. Claus spent three years in west London but was unable to replicate his form from his Charlton days. Across three seasons, he made just 35 appearances, scoring four goals. When Lawrie Sanchez replaced Chris Coleman as Cottagers manager in April 2007, his long-ball tactical approach didn’t suit Jensen’s game so it wasn’t much of a shock to see Jensen not included in Sanchez’s Fulham plans going forwards. He was released days after the 2006-2007 season concluded and in August 2007, elected to retire from the game due to the niggling injury problems he had suffered with throughout his time at Craven Cottage.

He returned to Denmark after retiring and is now a match analyst and commentator for Danish TV on their Premier League coverage.


Premier League Rewind: 19th-20th August 2000

Results: Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City, Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United, Coventry City 1-3 Middlesbrough, Derby County 2-2 Southampton, Leeds United 2-0 Everton, Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa, Liverpool FC 1-0 Bradford City, Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Ipswich Town, Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle United

After France’s success at the 2000 European Championships which made them back-to-back major international winners, football fans only had to wait approximately six weeks before domestic action returned. The 2000-2001 Premier League season began in August sunshine with some great goals, impressive displays and stormy battles.

The stormy battle came at Sunderland where Arsenal came a cropper on the opening day. Niall Quinn scored the only goal of the game. His header – a typical trademark effort from the big striker after 53 minutes helped the Black Cats record an impressive 1-0 victory over the previous season’s runners-up. However, the flashpoint came towards the end of the match as referee Steve Dunn gave Patrick Vieira the latest red card in his English career. An altercation with Darren Williams saw the Frenchman receive his marching orders. Arsene Wenger defended his volatile midfielder, speaking afterwards: “Patrick Vieira has tried to play football today and some other players have not tried, and in the end, he is sent off because he had a bad reaction.”

Many people were tipping Chelsea to be Manchester United’s strongest challengers and the Blues had just beaten United comfortably in the Charity Shield curtain-raiser a week earlier. Chelsea continued the good form on day one with a spectacular 4-2 home victory over West Ham United. After a year in Spain with Atletico Madrid, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink returned to English football and made a goalscoring return but his efforts were overshadowed by a wonderful goal from fellow debutant Mario Stanic, who scored twice on the day. The positive vibes though wouldn’t last long for Chelsea and their manager Gianluca Vialli. He was sacked less than a month later.

After losing on the final day of the previous campaign to Bradford City which meant they missed out on UEFA Champions League football for 2000-2001, Liverpool FC extracted some form of revenge with a nervy 1-0 success against the Bantams at Anfield. Beginning his first full season after his £11 million move in March from Leicester City, Emile Heskey scored the only goal of the game as the Reds began their momentous season in winning fashion.

Reigning champions Manchester United made a business-like start to their title defence. The biggest surprise of their routine 2-0 home win against Newcastle United was the first goal of the Old Trafford season came from centre-back Ronny Johnsen. A more familiar scorer in the shape of Andy Cole got the second as he haunted his old club yet again. Cole had now scored seven goals in his last four appearances against the Magpies.

The top two from the previous season in the First Division met on day one at The Valley and the tone for their respective campaigns was set from the outset. Charlton Athletic brushed aside Manchester City 4-0 thanks to goals from Andy Hunt, John Robinson, Mark Kinsella and Graham Stuart. This was despite missing five first-choice attacking players. The Addicks were set for a campaign safely in mid-table whilst Joe Royle was given plenty to think about after seeing his side pulled apart convincingly in the capital.

Elsewhere, Mark Venus had the honour of scoring the first goal of the season after only nine minutes at White Hart Lane. However, it wasn’t enough for Ipswich to get anything at Tottenham, as they eventually lost 3-1 and Leeds United began their season with a 2-0 triumph over Everton. Both goals came in the first half from Alan Smith.

What else happened in August 2000?

  • The Queen Mother celebrates her 100th birthday.
  • English actor Sir Alec Guinness dies from liver cancer, aged 86.
  • The Democratic party in America nominate the current US vice-president, Al Gore, as their candidate for US president at the November election during their convention in Los Angeles.
  • In one of the largest Russian naval exercises since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea. All 118 men on-board drown.
  • Nintendo announce their plans for their latest games console to take on Sony with the GameCube set to come out by the end of 2002.
  • One of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows makes its debut on their TV channel with Dora the Explorer launching.


Shock Results: Charlton Athletic 4-2 Chelsea (December 2003)

Goalscorers: Hermann Hreidarsson 1, John Terry 10, Matt Holland 35, Jonatan Johansson 48, Jason Euell 53, Eidur Gudjohnsen 73


Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Jonathan Fortune, Hermann Hreidarsson, Chris Perry, Radostin Kishishev, Matt Holland, Scott Parker, Graham Stuart (Chris Powell 77), Paolo Di Canio (Paul Konchesky 87), Jason Euell, Jonatan Johansson

Chelsea: Carlo Cudicini, Marcel Desailly, John Terry, Wayne Bridge, Glen Johnson, Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard (Geremi 66), Joe Cole (William Gallas 82), Jesper Gronkjaer (Eidur Gudjohnsen 46), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Adrian Mutu

Referee: Graham Poll, Attendance: 26,752

Having spent big following Roman Abramovich’s summer takeover, Chelsea were now a major player in the Premier League and considered among the favourites for the title in the 2003-2004 season. The Blues entered the festive period in third place, having lost just twice all campaign and within striking distance of Manchester United and Arsenal in the table.

On Boxing Day, the Blues made the short trip across the capital to The Valley to face Charlton Athletic, who were enjoying a great season too and were challenging for a top four position. Alan Curbishley’s men were fifth in the table and above the likes of Liverpool FC and Newcastle United. They also had a good record against Chelsea, having beaten them four times in their last six outings.

The Addicks pounced on some sloppy defending within the first minute, exploiting a weakness at a Chelsea set-piece. Paolo Di Canio’s corner was whipped into the box and was met by the head of Icelandic defender, Hermann Hreidarsson. Hreidarsson’s header flew past a stranded Carlo Cudicini and the home side had the dream start, going into the lead after just 42 seconds.

Their lead lasted for just nine minutes. Adrian Mutu guided in a perfect free-kick delivery and it only required a glancing touch from John Terry which was good enough to defeat Dean Kiely. Chelsea had parity and immediately quietened the home support. Charlton though were unfazed and Scott Parker was putting in a brilliant performance, controlling the central midfield battle with calmness and assurance. Both Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele struggled to gain any momentum and it was Parker who helped start the move for Charlton’s second goal. He and Di Canio combined to set-up Jonatan Johannsson. He drove a cross into the box and Matt Holland climbed above Marcel Desailly to restore Charlton’s lead.

Claudio Ranieri tried to change things at half-time, bringing on a third striker in Eidur Gudjohnsen to replace the ineffective Jesper Gronkjaer. It made no difference and within the first eight minutes of the second half, Charlton had stormed into a 4-1 lead. Di Canio bamboozled Terry with some clever skill and squared the ball for Johansson to score one of the simpler goals of his career on 48 minutes. Five minutes later, Jason Euell took full advantage of a horrid attempt at a defensive clearance by Wayne Bridge before poking the ball past a stunned Cudicini.

Gudjohnsen added some respectability onto the scoreline on 73 minutes but it was barely a consolation for the travelling support that saw their side lose once again on one of their bogey grounds. Charlton would finish the season in seventh place and Parker’s meticulous display saw him eventually leave The Valley for Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Premier League Rewind: 19th-21st October 2002

Results: Leeds United 0-1 Liverpool FC, Blackburn Rovers 5-2 Newcastle United, Everton 2-1 Arsenal, Fulham 1-1 Manchester United, Manchester City 0-3 Chelsea, Sunderland 0-1 West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Birmingham City, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic 1-0 Middlesbrough, Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Reigning Premier League champions Arsenal were in sensational form ahead of this round of fixtures in the 2002-2003 season. Undefeated in league matches since December 2001, the Gunners travelled to Goodison Park full of confidence and looking to extend their 30-match unbeaten run.

It seemed like it was going to the formbook when Freddie Ljungberg put the Gunners infront meaning they had now scored in 49 consecutive matches. However, this was an Everton side that was beginning to show some real promise under David Moyes. After Lee Carsley had an effort that hit the post, Tomasz Radzinski drove in an equaliser past David Seaman midway through the first half. The game looked like it was going to end in a draw when 16-year-old Wayne Rooney tried his luck from distance and his shot beat Seaman comprehensively. It was his first Premier League goal and ended Arsenal’s 10-month unbeaten sequence in the Premier League. After the game, a gracious Arsene Wenger said: “Rooney is the biggest England talent I’ve seen since I arrived in England.” He wasn’t wrong either judging by how his career worked out.

Arsenal’s slip up on Merseyside meant Liverpool FC finished the weekend top of the table. The Reds had already hit top spot before Arsenal kicked off because their match concluded on Saturday lunchtime and they grabbed a narrow 1-0 victory away at Elland Road over Leeds United. It was a goal scored in Yorkshire but made by two Senegalese players. El-Hadji Diouf’s fine cross was prodded into the back of the net by Salif Diao. It was his first and only Premier League goal as a Liverpool FC player.

Middlesbrough began the weekend in third place but dropped two places after slipping to a 1-0 defeat at The Valley against Charlton Athletic. Jason Euell’s fourth-minute header saw the Addicks climb out of the drop zone with only their third victory from 10 games this season. The team to benefit from Boro’s defeat were Tottenham Hotspur. Glenn Hoddle’s side recorded their sixth victory from 10 outings as they beat Bolton Wanderers 3-1 at White Hart Lane. Robbie Keane was quickly becoming a favourite with the Spurs faithful. He added another two goals to his tally since his late August move from Leeds United.

Manchester United remained in fourth place but required a second half equaliser from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to earn a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw at Fulham, who consolidated their position in the top half of the table. However, the Cottagers did slip below west London rivals Chelsea in the table after Claudio Ranieri’s side achieved a convincing 3-0 away victory on their last-ever trip to Maine Road against Manchester City. There were two more goals for Gianfranco Zola who was enjoying the limelight in his final season as a Chelsea player.

Sunderland unveiled a new management team after parting company with Peter Reid just before the last international break. Howard Wilkinson returned to Premier League management for the first time in six years, supported by Steve Cotterill. They got off to a shocking start though, losing 1-0 at home to fellow strugglers West Ham United. The Hammers moved into 14th place after achieving their third win in four matches but with just six points covering the entire bottom half of the table, there was still little to separate the struggling teams in this intriguing Premier League season.

What else happened in October 2002?

  • Over 200 people are killed when multiple bombs are planted in two nightclubs on the Indonesian island of Bali. Over 20 UK nationals are among the dead.
  • Chechen rebels take control of the Nord-Ost theatre in Moscow, holding the audience hostage. Following a Russian attempt to subdue the militants, at least 170 people are killed.
  • Estelle Morris steps down as Secretary of State for Education.
  • Hearsay confirms they are going to go their separate ways. Created by the ITV series Popstars, they cite pressure and public abuse for their reasons.
  • Following allegations about his personal life in the press and from Matthew Wright on his Channel Five programme, This Morning presenter John Leslie is sacked.
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly is suspended following allegations of spying.
  • The BBC Asian Network is broadcast nationally for the first time.


Premier League Files: Hermann Hreidarsson

Premier League Career: Crystal Palace (1997-1998), Wimbledon (1999-2000), Ipswich Town (2000-2002), Charlton Athletic (2003-2007), Portsmouth (2007-2010)

Hermann Hreidarsson shares an unwanted Premier League record with forward Nathan Blake. He has been relegated from the top-flight a joint-record five times and with all the clubs he represented too in the Premier League.

It is unfortunate he holds this distinction because Hreidarsson was a very capable centre-back during his 15 seasons on these shores. He played 315 times in the Premier League, enjoying his best season in 2000-2001 when Ipswich Town finished a brilliant fifth in the table.

Hermann started his professional career at his local club IBV, making the breakthrough into their first-team in 1993. He spent five seasons with them, notching up 66 appearances and scoring five goals. In his final season, IBV ended up as champions of Iceland for only the second time in 18 years. However, by the time they were lifting the trophy, Hreidarsson had already embarked on his English adventure.

Crystal Palace liked what they saw and in August 1997, they signed the defender on their return to the top-flight. Hreidarsson immediately became a fixture in the team on a regular basis. He missed just one match in the 1997-1998 campaign, scoring league goals against Sheffield Wednesday and at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea. The Eagles were relegated but his performances stood out week in, week out in a struggling side.

Hreidarsson had been signed by Ron Noades and when he stepped aside as Crystal Palace chairman and moved to Brentford, he took the Icelandic international with him. It was a surprising move considering the Bees were playing in the Third Division at the time. He scored six times in 1998-1999, helping the London-based side to the title but his talents were far greater than the league he was playing in. Settled in the capital, he moved to Wimbledon in October 1999 for a fee of £2.5 million. That was Brentford’s record transfer fee received for 15 years until Andre Gray’s move to Burnley.

Hreidarsson was signed at Wimbledon by fellow Scandinavian Egil Olsen and scored a goal on Boxing Day 1999 against West Ham United, capitalising on a rare error from Shaka Hislop. However, Olsen’s demanding training methods saw him fall out with the majority of the squad and he was sacked weeks before Wimbledon’s relegation to the First Division was confirmed.

That summer, he was on the move again, this time to newly-promoted Ipswich Town for £4.5 million. Hreidarsson formed decent partnerships with Mark Venus and young prodigy Titus Bramble, scoring in a 3-1 victory over Bradford City in March 2001. In their first season back in the Premier League after a six-year absence, the Tractor Boys finished a brilliant fifth in the table, earning a place in the UEFA Cup. The good times didn’t last though in Suffolk.

Ipswich experienced a dramatic reverse in their fortunes in 2001-2002 and a 5-0 defeat on the final day of the season at Anfield saw them relegated. Hreidarsson stayed at Portman Road despite their relegation, turning down a move to West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 2002 for the fear of being involved in yet another dogfight against relegation. However, with financial problems growing and the club slipping into administration, Hermann was sold in March 2003 to Charlton Athletic for £900,000.

Hreidarsson’s return to London to play for his fourth club in the capital was largely a success. He played a key role in Charlton’s best-ever Premier League season as they finished seventh in 2003-2004, scoring one of his three league goals for the club in a surprising 4-2 victory over big-spending Chelsea on Boxing Day 2003.

He made 132 appearances for the Addicks but their stability was rocked by Alan Curbishley’s departure at the end of the 2005-2006 season. Iain Dowie, Les Reed and Alan Pardew all managed the club in the following season but Charlton’s seven-season stay in England’s top-flight ended and that meant a fourth relegation on Hermann’s CV.

Exercising a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave on a free transfer if Charlton were relegated, Hreidarsson switched to Portsmouth in May 2007. He found the net in Pompey’s thrilling 7-4 victory over Reading which remains the highest-scoring match in Premier League history and was part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2008. Hreidarsson made 72 top-flight appearances for Portsmouth but relegation was inevitable when a nine-point penalty was imposed when the club slipped into administration. His 2009-2010 season ended when he snapped an Achilles tendon in an away match against Tottenham Hotspur, ruling himself out of the FA Cup final.

Hreidarsson would never play in the Premier League again but stayed with Portsmouth in the Championship until January 2012. After a six-month spell at Coventry City, he returned to his homeland to begin his coaching career. He managed the Fylkir men’s and women’s teams before becoming an assistant coach for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League in January 2018, linking up with his former Portsmouth teammate, David James.

Premier League Rewind: 22nd-24th August 1998

Results: Charlton Athletic 5-0 Southampton, Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle United, Derby County 0-0 Wimbledon, Leicester City 2-0 Everton, Liverpool FC 0-0 Arsenal, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Coventry City, Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United 0-0 Manchester United, Aston Villa 3-1 Middlesbrough, Leeds United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

There seemed to a post-attacking hangover after the 1998 World Cup finals in France and defences were most definitely on-top in the first month of the 1998-1999 season. On the second weekend of the campaign, there were three more goalless draws to add to the three on the opening day and just 18 goals across the 10 fixtures.

The main story was Charlton Athletic’s first game in the Premier League at The Valley and it turned out to be a memorable afternoon the Addicks supporters would never forget. Southampton were ripped apart in the Saturday afternoon sunshine in the capital. John Robinson had the honour of scoring Charlton’s first goal in the top-flight since promotion and play-off hero Clive Mendonca helped himself to a second half hat-trick. The Saints caved in and finished with midfielder David Howells in-goal after regular goalkeeper Paul Jones was sent off for a professional foul. Charlton won 5-0 and ended the weekend top of the Premier League table.

Two days after his big money transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester United, Dwight Yorke made his Red Devils debut at Upton Park as Alex Ferguson’s side continued their unspectacular start to the season with a turgid performance in a goalless draw with the Hammers. David Beckham made his first trip to a visiting ground since his World Cup nightmare and he was viciously booed throughout the afternoon by the West Ham faithful who hadn’t forgiven him for his antics in St-Etienne back in June.

Aston Villa boss John Gregory was furious Yorke had left his club and when his striker demanded to leave, he famously said “if he’d had a gun at the time, I think I would have shot him!” The Villans didn’t seem to miss him at home to newly-promoted Middlesbrough. Julian Joachim scored the pick of the goals in the home side’s impressive 3-1 victory infront of the Super Sunday cameras.

The standard and competitiveness of the Premier League was drawn out by the fact that there were no 100% records left after just two rounds of fixtures. Only two teams were pointless so far; Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs’ alarming 3-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday with goals from Peter Atherton, Paolo Di Canio and Andy Hinchcliffe would turn out to be Christian Gross’ last home fixture as manager of the club. He was sacked in early September. The win for the Owls was the first in-charge for Danny Wilson after he left relegated Barnsley in the summer to take charge of a club he represented in his playing days.

The first manager to leave his post in the season was Kenny Dalglish. Although Newcastle recorded an excellent 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge against a new-look Chelsea, Dalglish resigned a few days later and would be replaced by ex-Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit.

The weekend ended with Leeds United edging out Blackburn Rovers 1-0 on Monday Night Football. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored the only goal of the game after 18 minutes. It was the first of his 18 Premier League goals in the season, as he shared the Golden Boot with Yorke and Liverpool FC’s Michael Owen. 

What else happened in August 1998?

  • Just four months after The Good Friday agreement, trouble returns to Northern Ireland when a car bomb explodes at Omagh, planted by a splinter group who opposed the agreement. 29 people are killed and 220 are injured in the worst terrorist atrocity in Northern Ireland.
  • The United States embassy buildings are bombed in Tanzania and Kenya, killing 224 people and injuring over 4500. They are immediately linked to al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden.
  • American President Bill Clinton admits in a televised address to the country that he “misled people” about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky.
  • The world’s first bionic arm, the Edinburgh Modular Arm System is fitted.
  • Richard Dunn, the former CEO of Thames Television dies aged 55. He was in-charge of Thames when they controversially lost the London license to serve ITV in the 1991 Franchise Awards.
  • Damon Hill wins the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa – the first-ever victory for the Jordan Formula One team, ran by Irish team owner Eddie Jordan. It is Hill’s 22nd and final victory in the sport.
  • The Netherlands is selected as the venue for the trial of the two Libyan men charged with the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988.



Memorable Matches: Charlton Athletic 2-5 Manchester City (December 2005)

Goalscorers: Andy Cole 25, 84, Darren Bent 36, Trevor Sinclair 37, Joey Barton 69, Jay Bothroyd 73, Darius Vassell 79


Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Hermann Hreidarsson, Chris Perry, Jonathan Spector, Luke Young, Matt Holland (Jerome Thomas 45), Alexei Smertin, Danny Murphy, Darren Ambrose (Bryan Hughes 81), Darren Bent, Jonatan Johansson (Jay Bothroyd 53)

Manchester City: David James, Sylvain Distin, Richard Dunne, David Sommeil, Ben Thatcher, Sun Jihai, Joey Barton, Claudio Reyna (Stephen Ireland 86), Trevor Sinclair (Lee Croft 86), Andy Cole (Bradley Wright-Phillips 86), Darius Vassell

Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 25,289

After a strong start to the 2005-2006 Premier League season, Charlton Athletic were going through a trough. They had lost their last four matches and slipped into the bottom half of the table, having been as high as second in late September. They welcomed Manchester City to The Valley in early December, who had experienced their own difficult period, with just one point gained from three matches.

Stuart Pearce made five changes to his starting line-up from their previous match and his tactics worked. They were completely dominant in the first 25 minutes and opened the scoring through Andy Cole. Sylvain Distin’s clearing header effectively turned into an assist. Darius Vassell did the hard work, teasing the Charlton central defenders and Cole raced onto the loose ball and found the back of the net with the outside of his right foot. It ended their goalless run that had stretched 250 minutes.

Charlton were being overrun but did find a surprising equaliser on 36 minutes. Darren Bent got in behind the City backline to find the back of the net with a neat volley from a rather hopeful pass by Luke Young. However, their parity didn’t last long. Just over 60 seconds later, the visitors were back infront. Cole held up play superbly and found Trevor Sinclair. The midfielder held off the attentions of Jonathan Spector and drilled a powerful shot across Dean Kiely’s bows to restore the Citizens’ advantage.

With just over 20 minutes to go, Hermann Hreidarsson unnecessarily grappled with Vassell in the penalty area. Phil Dowd spotted the infringement and gave the penalty. Joey Barton’s penalty was poor and Kiely guessed right to save it. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper, Barton was fastest to the rebound and ensured Pearce’s side established a two-goal lead they could defend.

In a see-saw contest, Charlton once again gave themselves hope when Jay Bothroyd struck on 73 minutes, 20 minutes after his arrival from the substitutes bench. Danny Murphy rolled a free-kick into his path and his shot was too powerful for David James to stop.

However, Pearce’s lively side took the game away from Charlton in the last 11 minutes. Cole played Vassell through and the former Aston Villa man showed his speed to beat Kiely in a one-on-one situation. There was still time with six minutes to go for Cole to get his second of the afternoon. Barton punted a ball up the field and Chris Perry’s dreadful backward header allowed the predatory forward to get in-between the former Wimbledon defender and Kiely to add another goal to his collection.

Manchester City won this game but they finished two places below Charlton in the final standings.

Premier League Rewind: 3rd-4th November 2001

Results: Leicester City 1-0 Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Everton, Middlesbrough 5-1 Derby County, Newcastle United 3-0 Aston Villa, Southampton 1-2 Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United 0-2 Fulham, Liverpool FC 3-1 Manchester United, Arsenal 2-4 Charlton Athletic, Chelsea 2-1 Ipswich Town, Leeds United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

The top seven in the 2001-2002 Premier League season were covered by just four points going into the 11th set of fixtures. The slightly surprising early pacesetters were Aston Villa. John Gregory’s side had won four of their last five fixtures to top the table by a single point.

However, their leadership of the table would only be temporary and by the end of the weekend, we’d have new leaders in the form of the league’s only unbeaten club. Villa had the chance to put some distance between them and the chasing pack as they played on Saturday afternoon at St James’ Park against Newcastle United. However, they were no match for Sir Bobby Robson’s free-flowing side, losing 3-0. Craig Bellamy continued his burgeoning reputation with two goals and Alan Shearer rolled back the years with a spectacular volley which completely beat Peter Schmeichel. After four successive seasons loitering in mid-table, Newcastle were in the chasing pack and just three points off top spot.

So, Leeds United had the opportunity to take command of the title race. They welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Elland Road. Spurs had managed to string three successive victories together before this fixture and sat in seventh and on the coattails of the established elite. They led here too through Gus Poyet’s beautiful curling shot. However, Leeds responded with an Ian Harte equaliser before Harry Kewell wrapped the match up for David O’Leary’s young chargers nine minutes from full-time. It finished 2-1 and Leeds were heading for the summit. They were unbeaten and looked like a serious title player at this stage of the season.

On the same Sunday afternoon, England’s biggest rivals went head-to-head at Anfield and it was Liverpool FC who prevailed. They beat Manchester United 3-1 to record a fourth consecutive victory against the Red Devils. Michael Owen had recently returned from a hamstring injury and showed no signs of weakness here with two goals. There was also a blockbuster free-kick from John Arne Riise which ranks among this game’s greatest-ever goals.

Arsenal could have taken advantage of United’s third defeat of the season but they experienced a clumsy afternoon of their own against Charlton Athletic, especially in the defensive department. Richard Wright inexplicably punched the ball into his own net and Claus Jensen chipped him from distance on a painful afternoon for the man considered to be the heir to David Seaman’s possession of the goalkeeper jersey for both club and country. Charlton’s 4-2 victory was one for clinical fans over stylish gameplay. Home form was the weakness for Arsenal so far, with just one victory at Highbury from five outings.

Much-maligned striker Ade Akinbiyi chose the fixture with Sunderland to finally grab his first goal of the season. He needed two swipes at his shot but it went into the net and Leicester had their first home victory of the campaign as they beat the Black Cats 1-0 infront of the Sky Sports cameras. That meant not only did the Foxes climb off the foot of the table but they were now out of the bottom three. Replacing them at the bottom were Derby County who were thrashed 5-1 by Middlesbrough at The Riverside Stadium.

What else happened in November 2001?

  • The music world mourns the death of former Beatles singer and guitarist George Harrison, who dies in Los Angeles, aged 58 after a battle with lung cancer.
  • The first instalment in the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone makes its premier debut in London.
  • 12 British plane-spotters are held by Greek authorities on charges of spying.
  • 260 people are killed when an American Airlines flight crashes in Queens, New York moments are take-off from JFK airport.
  • The national airline of Belgium, Sabena, goes bankrupt.
  • The governing body of the UK Singles Chart, Chart Information Network Ltd. (CIN), changes its name to The Official UK Charts Company.
  • Richard & Judy’s new teatime programme debuts on Channel 4.


Memorable Matches: Charlton Athletic 2-2 Crystal Palace (May 2005)

Goalscorers: Bryan Hughes 30, Dougie Freedman 58, Andy Johnson 70 PEN, Jonathan Fortune 82


Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Talal El Karkouri, Jonathan Fortune, Radostin Kishishev, Paul Konchesky, Luke Young, Matt Holland (Lloyd Sam 67), Bryan Hughes, Danny Murphy (Dennis Rommedahl 76), Shaun Bartlett (Jerome Thomas 79), Jonatan Johansson

Crystal Palace: Gabor Kiraly, Danny Butterfield (Dougie Freedman 55), Danny Granville, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood, Tony Popovic, Tom Soares (Aki Riihilahti 86), Michael Hughes, Ben Watson (Darren Powell 89), Wayne Routledge, Andy Johnson

Referee: Mark Clattenburg, Attendance: 26,870

It was the final day of the 2004-2005 season and ‘Survival Sunday.’ None of the bottom four clubs were safe. By the end of the day, only one team from Norwich City, Crystal Palace, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion would be celebrating another season in the Premier League with the other three sides having to face up to the agony of relegation.

Iain Dowie’s Crystal Palace side travelled to The Valley to take on a Charlton Athletic side that hadn’t won in the Premier League since mid-March. Despite winning just once on their travels all season at Birmingham City, Dowie must have been confident that a victory would be enough for the Eagles to avoid relegation for the first time in their Premier League history.

Given the circumstances, they made a very nervous start and were punished by their more experienced opponents after 30 minutes. Played in by Radostin Kishishev, Bryan Hughes made a run from his wide position, shrugged off the attentions of Danny Butterfield and used the post to guide the ball into the back of the net. It was the home side’s first notable attack of the match and it had led to the opening goal. At half-time, Palace were going down. Defeat would condemn them to the drop, no matter what was happening elsewhere.

Having started with just one lone forward in Andy Johnson, Dowie knew he needed to take a risk now. 10 minutes into the second half, he withdrew Butterfield and threw on a second forward in Dougie Freedman. The change had the desired early impact. With only his second touch of the match, Freedman exposed a missing Charlton backline and bought Palace level, calmly lifting the ball over Dean Kiely. Incredibly, it was his first Premier League goal of the season and what a time to get it.

Results elsewhere were generally going for the south Londoners too. The dream was over for Norwich, who would lose 6-0 at Fulham whilst Southampton’s 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United saw their top-flight run come to a shattering end. Maybe unknown at the time to the players but it was now a straight fight between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

West Brom were leading Portsmouth 2-0 but another goal for Dowie and his troops would put them in pole position to survive. They got their opportunity with 20 minutes to go. A long goal-kick from Gabor Kiraly found Freedman. As he attempted to cut inside Jonathan Fortune, the defender stopped him with his hand. Mark Clattenburg awarded a penalty. In such a tense scenario, Johnson stepped up and sent Kiely the wrong way to put the visitors 2-1 ahead. It was his 21st goal of the season.

However, heartache would follow. A rash challenge from Mikele Leigertwood gave Charlton a free-kick in the 82nd minute. It was delivered into the back post by Jerome Thomas and Fortune made up for his earlier error by powering the Addicks level. The draw meant Crystal Palace were relegated and West Brom survived. It had been a nail-biting and ultimately, heartbreaking afternoon for the Eagles.

Premier League Files: Clive Mendonca

Premier League Career: Charlton Athletic (1998-1999)

Clive Mendonca will always be linked with being a prominent part of Charlton Athletic’s sensational play-off final victory over Sunderland in 1998. He scored a magnificent hat-trick in the 4-4 draw which the Addicks went on to win on penalties, with Clive also converting his spot-kick in the shootout.

Mendonca started his professional career with Sheffield United in 1986 and also had periods in his career with Doncaster Rovers and Rotherham United. His best spells though were saved for Charlton and Grimsby Town. At Grimsby, he scored 60 goals in 166 appearances and is widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest forwards.

He moved to Charlton in the summer of 1997, scoring 28 times in an unforgettable campaign which ended with that wonderful day at Wembley against the Black Cats which was the club he supported as a boy. He made an amazing start to his Premier League career too, scoring another hat-trick in Charlton’s first match at home against Southampton. Alan Curbishley’s side won 5-0 and spent the weekend on top of the Premier League table.

He finished with eight goals in 24 appearances but injuries were starting to take their toll on Mendonca. His last game in the Charlton line-up came in December 1999 in the First Division. After over two years of constant setbacks, he announced his retirement in February 2002 after being advised by specialists that a further operation on his hip could leave him with permanent damage and possibly a disability.

In 2012, he was inducted into the Charlton Hall of Fame and now works at the Nissan car plant in Sunderland.

Memorable Matches: Southampton 3-2 Charlton Athletic (December 2003)

Goalscorers: Michael Svensson 14, Brett Ormerod 45, 85, Scott Parker 46, 65


Southampton: Antti Niemi, Jason Dodd, Claus Lundekvam, Danny Higginbotham, Michael Svensson, Rory Delap, David Prutton, Paul Telfer, James Beattie, Brett Ormerod, Marian Pahars (Kevin Phillips 77)

Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Jonathan Fortune, Hermann Hreidarsson, Radostin Kishishev, Chris Perry, Matt Holland, Scott Parker, Graham Stuart, Claus Jensen, Paolo Di Canio (Carlton Cole 76), Jason Euell

Referee: Peter Walton, Attendance: 30,513

Southampton and Charlton Athletic were two of the early season surprises in the 2003-2004 campaign. Both clubs were among the chasing pack fighting for European qualification alongside Fulham and regular challengers, Newcastle United and Liverpool FC. The Saints and the Addicks were about to produce a thrilling Sunday afternoon of entertainment on the south coast.

Before the game, Southampton paid their respects to club president Ted Bates, who passed away on 28th November 2003, aged 85. He was a former player, manager and director and had earned the title of Mr. Southampton.

Despite being winless in their last four matches, Southampton made the sharper start and took the lead after 14 minutes. Centre-back Michael Svensson managed to make enough contact on Rory Delap’s goal-bound shot and it crept over the goal-line, despite the best efforts of Jason Euell to clear. It was Southampton’s first Premier League goal in 371 minutes. Delap nearly made it 2-0 shortly afterwards, firing a low shot which forced Dean Kiely to make a good save at full stretch.

David Prutton and Saints’ top goalscorer, James Beattie also managed to sting the palms of Kiely before the home side got a deserved second goal right on the stroke of half-time. Beattie did brilliantly to square the ball for strike partner Brett Ormerod to turn home and ensured Southampton had a lead going into the interval which their dominance showed.

The game would be turned by some individual brilliance from rising talent Scott Parker. Infront of England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, Parker immediately cut Southampton’s lead in half within a minute of the restart. The midfielder’s beautifully placed shot left Antti Niemi without a chance of saving. Graham Stuart then hit the crossbar as the visitors enjoyed their most prominent attacking spell of the game. With 25 minutes left, the comeback had been completed. Parker found some space and curled in another special effort. This time, it was a 25-yard strike which saw Niemi completely stranded.

Late on though, Southampton snatched the points. From another set-piece, Charlton struggled to clear their lines and Ormerod hooked home from close-range to ensure all three points would be claimed by Gordon Strachan’s side, taking them into eighth place in the table.

Southampton would spend Christmas in the top four but Strachan left in February to take a break from management and they faded to 12th by the season’s end. Charlton finished a brilliant seventh, their best-ever top-flight finish but did sell star asset Parker in the January transfer window to Chelsea for £10 million.

Memorable Matches: Charlton Athletic 4-4 West Ham United (November 2001)

Goalscorers: Paul Kitson 3, 30, 64, Jason Euell 21, 28, Jonatan Johansson 51, 90, Jermain Defoe 84


Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Steve Brown, Mark Fish, Paul Konchesky, Chris Powell, Luke Young (John Robinson 85), Mark Kinsella, Claus Jensen, Scott Parker (Shaun Bartlett 85), Jason Euell, Jonatan Johansson

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Christian Dailly, Hayden Foxe, Scott Minto (Joe Cole 63), Tomas Repka, Sebastien Schemmel, Michael Carrick, Don Hutchinson (Steve Lomas 63), Trevor Sinclair, Paolo Di Canio, Paul Kitson (Jermain Defoe 78)

Referee: Alan Wiley, Attendance: 23,198

15 days earlier, Charlton Athletic had stunned Arsenal at Highbury, inflicting a 4-2 defeat on the Gunners. The Addicks were about to score four goals again in a London Derby as they and West Ham United played out a score draw on a Monday night at The Valley in November 2001. This was a match full on entertainment and produced an acrobatic finale.

With Freddie Kanoute out due to a hamstring injury, West Ham manager Glenn Roeder sprung a surprise in his team selection for the visitors, picking Paul Kitson to start. The forward had been the forgotten man of the Premier League but found his goalscoring touch inside of three minutes. He drilled a low shot from the edge of the area off the post to give the Hammers the perfect start.

Charlton levelled proceedings on 21 minutes and in truth, it was a messy goal. Jason Euell made the most of a deflection to see the ball land in his path. He failed to connect with his first attempt at a shot but Shaka Hislop didn’t claim the ball cleanly and Euell benefited to bundle the ball over the line. Seven minutes later, the Jamaican made it three goals in his last two appearances, again finishing from close-range after West Ham defender Tomas Repka lost possession with Hislop beaten at the near post. Euell had two goals and two minutes later, so did Kitson. He benefited from an excellent combination between Scott Minto and Paolo Di Canio, tucking away his second goal of what was already turning out to be one of the games of the season so far.

It was 2-2 at half-time but parity didn’t last long into the second half. Euell’s strike partner, Jonatan Johansson got on the scoresheet. Scott Parker produced a perfect through ball that spilt the Hammers’ backline and Johansson calmly slotted his third goal of the season beyond Hislop. Roeder responded by bringing on two substitutes and on 64 minutes, they equalised again. Trevor Sinclair cut the ball back at the far post and Kitson completed his hat-trick on his return to The Valley.

Roeder then shuffled his pack again, bringing off his hat-trick hero with 13 minutes remaining and sending Jermain Defoe on. Defoe, who had recently scored his first-ever Premier League goal in West Ham’s last away game at Ipswich, would make the desired impact. Six minutes were left when his right-footed volley was struck too sweetly for Dean Kiely to do anything about it. It looked like the Hammers had pinched all the points.

However in stoppage-time, Johansson came up with a spectacular overhead kick after a flick-on by Mark Fish to level the match at 4-4. It was a fair result given the end-to-end thrills and spills of this remarkable contest.