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NEW ARTICLE: Many miles have I travelled.............

Charlton Life poster Tricky packed up his troubles in his ol' kit bag and went gallavanting around the world. Five months into his round-the-world trip (the lucky b***ard), he gives his account of following the Addicks when on the move abroad.

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Many miles have I travelled, but not one game have I seen.

Not a single minute.

The reason for this miserable miles to minutes ratio is that I am doing the thing us young'uns do these days, travelling around the world - rather than League One grounds.

The trip got off to good start when upon arrival in first stop Los Angeles, I found myself within spitting distance of Claus Jensen. He had got off what may have been the same plane and was now walking just in front of me. I was tired after a long flight and I did a Kevin Lisbie when he has time inside the box, and froze. I ended up walking behind him and his family wordlessly. Instead of being able to have a chat about Charlton, I had to settle for one of Claus's "toothy smiles". When later in my trip I met some Danish guys, I told them my story to a rather lukewarm reaction, but at least they knew who he was, even if they couldn't remember that he played for Charlton. Their response to Dennis Rommedahl was being unable to remember who he plays for now.

The travelling around has meant that my following of Charlton has had to adapt. No longer is it a case of simply being at the game or listening to the game on a Saturday afternoon/Tuesday evening. For one thing, over on the other side of the world, no games exist on a Saturday afternoon. Sunday at 1am, or Wednesday morning at about 4am, maybe, but no chance of a simple 3pm kick off. Internet access is usually expensive and slow, so keeping track is difficult. Especially when at the same time you're having an amazing adventure with a travel companion, who for some odd reason, has very little interest in finding out if there's been any recent news on the Charlton front.

Supporting Charlton is no longer a reflex action. Instead of just knowing what the Charlton score was by being so heavily ingrained, I now have to make a conscious effort to search it out. Similarly with fixtures. When you're at home, checking Charlton Life or the Official Site, you can't get away from who the senior side or the U18s play next and when, but when you're away you have to look it up the next time you check in with the world. Then you have to rely on your eyes which doesn't always work either. I was once very pleasantly surprised to find out we had gained three points in the league from a game I was certain was in the JPT.

Of course, keeping up to date is much easier to do now in the modern world and mainly via Charlton Life, I have been able to keep up to date as much as can be expected when you are constantly on the move in campervans, buses or trains. It really is an absolute saviour when you are so far away that there is a resource such as the forum on here. Despite being in the US, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and now SE Asia for the last 4 and a half months, even I know that Pawel Abbott runs like Mark Fish, that Simon Francis has had a slow start, and that even I will eventually be disappointed when more protracted rumours of a takeover turn to dust.

One thing that has stood out on following Charlton this way is the absence of the rollercoaster ride of an actual game. Finding out the result of the Carlisle game was like skipping to the end of a crime drama; you find out who the killer is, you're happy with this and for all those who have watched it, but you've missed out on the story along the way; the suspects, the near misses, the eye-witness accounts etc.

Seeing that we won 4-3 was fantastic, but lacked the excitement, vibrancy and the heart attack that would have accompanied following the game from start to finish. But it works both ways. Seeing that we lost so heavily to Brighton so bluntly on the computer screen would be far more preferable to being there, seeing the arduous torture of goal after goal going in past Rob Elliot.

There are no angry or frustrated boos when seeing a scoreline on screen, but there are no exhilarating cheers and relief-ridden woops either.

Charlton are still recognised in Thailand, albeit with an air of a blast from the past. One Thai man in Bangkok, upon hearing we were English, asked who we supported. I replied with trepidation at the thought of having to explain the Football League hierarchy. His reaction was surprising, but was rather more depressing. "Years ago you good but now you very low, how you get so low?" I declined the opportunity to launch into an explanation including the phrases "Dowie debacle", "Reed fiasco" and "Pardew farce" and made that kind of smile when your mouth goes along with it but your eyes refuse.

One of the toughest things is not having an opinion on things. From a long way away without even listening to games, it is impossible to have any sort of say on the manager, tactics and individual players. What it is possible to see is that this season League One is extremely open. Three games ago Parkinson was being asked if he would resign by the press. Now we're (still) fifth and only one point behind automatic promotion. In the poll on the site on Parkinson's tenure, one of the options was for him to have a few games to turn it around. Does three wins in a row count as turning it around? It certainly appears so on results, but I feel a fraud to even have a justifiable opinion on this. I never want to be in the same bracket as an armchair fan who says Hodgson/Mancini should go without having any first-hand evidence for the motion.

So I won't. I'll have to keep on following Charlton the way I imagine it used to be before the internet encouraged the use of magnifying glasses on every aspect of a football club. My support will be based mainly on finding out the result and who scored and who (in Charlton Life posters' opinion) played well or not so well. Until such time when I am back in England. Then I'll be back following in the detail that I love so much, having an opinion in this player, that player, Parkinson's tactics or jumpers.

But one thing I have learnt is this - Just before, during, or just after a Charlton game, there is always a tingle in the body, an atmosphere in the air.

Wherever you are in the world at whatever time of day, that inexplicable link between fan and club will never change.

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If you have a story you'd like to share with us in an article, please send AFKA can email at afka@charltonlife.com

Comments

  • Nice one Tricky.
  • edited November 2010
    Tricky's Blog

    In case you want to read more.

    I hope Tricky is bringing home lots of presents for his cousins and other extended family ; - )
  • enjoy your travels tricky .....
    the football is chuff but the excitement when at the game is still there cos we are blindly in love with what is currently a complete crock of ......
  • [cite]Posted By: oohaahmortimer[/cite]enjoy your travels tricky .....
    the football is chuff but the excitement when at the game is still there cos we are blindly in love with what is currently a complete crock of ......

    now now Eeyore - don't spoil a nice thread :-)
  • Great read Tricky, thanks.
  • Great article, nice to always have a link to home no matter where you are in the world
  • Really enjoyed reading that, Tricky. Many thanks.

    Good luck with your travels - nothing like a bit of adventure. Good for the soul.



    BTW ...... cracking picture!
  • Great read reminded me of my feelings on all things charlton whilst traveling
  • His blog is great - Really makes me envious - Good luck Tricky
  • Looks like Franz Joseph glacier on the South Island of New Zealand.

    Guides cut steps in the ice which makes it possible for most folk to walk to the top.

    Well worth a visit (before it all melts!)
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  • Nice one Trick...

    If I miss a game and Ive got ten mins I locate the match thread without looking at the other threads(this is a skill and involves blurring your visions so you dont get a feel of the result) and then start at the begginiing of the match thread and read...

    It defo means you get the GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!! feeling ...

    or the f*** it feeling...

    works well for me...
  • I empathise with the strange hours for me 3pm in the UK on a Saturday means 8am.

    7.45pm midweek is 12.45 lunchtime.

    If there is one thing in general I miss about football, its the salve of having a match to watch live in the evening after a crappy day at work.
  • Great read.

    I was fortunate enough to never see us play under Dowie because I was doing a Tricky-esque world tour. I believe I have been in that ice crack, albeit not with my Charlton shirt on.
  • [cite]Posted By: Killarahales[/cite]Looks like Franz Joseph glacier on the South Island of New Zealand.

    Gold star for Killarahales !

    Good read Tricky, enjoy your travels mate. Very jealous
  • Yeah been there too. Walked across but not up to the top. Good read that article. Very envious tricky, enjoy the rest of your trip.
  • good article mate.... like Oakster and Mascot, there was plenty in there I could relate to as an overseas addick....

    good advice from mascot :) i usually rush straight to the result though

    happy travels Tricky!
  • so now it becomes clear.

    Charlton fan with business degree is "travelling the World".

    Week he comes back to UK a takeover is announced.

    Coincidence?

    Expect the new owners to be Claus Jensen and a Thai man.
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