Away Days - Charlton Athletic

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- Facilities -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Charlton Athletic V Preston North End
Competition: Coca Cola Championship
Ground: The Valley
Date: Saturday 8 March 2008
Kick off: 3.00pm
Final Result: 1-2 Brown (2)

First Impressions

This was one of the grounds I had down as one of my 'must visits'. Needless to say I was not disappointed.

The coaches had dropped us off about 5 minute away from the ground. due to the built up area the first glimpse I got of the ground was when I was actually outside the ground itself.

The ground certainly seems to be within 'traditional' surroundings - i.e. streets of houses nearby, pubs, chippies etc. It certainly makes a change from being stuck in a retail park.

Upon arrival at the away turnstiles there was still enough time to have a look round the ground. My first glimpses, other than the away turnstiles, was of the imposing West Stand. It was a bit unusual for a ground to have 'outside' staircases and what seemed to be an open concourse. Nonetheless, it was still an impressive stand.

Around the ground

Doing my usual routine of going round the ground, there really did seem to be a 'proper' matchday experience. Maybe it was because it was within 'traditional' surroundings as I explained earlier, but there was a general good feeling about the ground.

It was certainly very impressive and has been redeveloped very well to a high standard. I particularly liked the club badge in stonework on the outside of the North Stand. The statue of Sam Bartram was equally as impressive and well positioned. You can really never go wrong with a statue of a club legend - I feel they always 'add' to a ground.

Once inside the ground I was equally as impressed - practically 4 different stands that certainly fitted in well. Some people might not be too keen on the corners either side of the North Stand but I felt it added to the ground and was much better than just a uniform bowl shape. The West Stand was equally as imposing inside as it was outside too.


We were in the oldest of the stands - the Jimmy Seed Stand, in fact it was much older than the rest. As expected, the facilities weren't exactly perfect in this stand. In fact i'd go as far as saying they were poor to say the least.

It was practically an open concourse with only one catering bar. This was a bit of a nightmare before the game and at half time - you literally couldn't move.

The toilets weren't perfect either - although this was more to do with the entrances. A door at either end isn't really suitable when you've got 1,000 visiting fans to cater for!

The Stand

There were a few drawbacks to the Jimmy Seed Stand - such as the facilities as mentioned above. The legroom was also quite tight and made it a tad uncomfortable during the game. However, the noise you can generate in the stand is superb.

The view was also great, but that was perhaps I was sat further forward than the pillar. The view would be impeded a bit if you sat further back, but because it was just the one pillar I couldn't see it being much of a problem anyway. Being quite close to the action was another plus point.


It was certainly a great day out and I was delighted to see my first North End win in nearly two years! Despite there being a few negative points about the Jimmy Seed Stand, overall I thought the ground was superb and one of the best i've visited. There's no doubt its one of the best in the league.
The Charlton fans were also fine although during the match they made very little noise.
I can certainly recommend a visit to The Valley.


Appearance: 9/10
Facilities: 6/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Fans: 7/10
Away Stand: 7/10

Overall: 8/10