In 1975 Charlton were promoted from the third division to the second tier in third place, behind Blackburn Rovers and Plymouth Argyle. There were no play offs then. Charlton secured promotion with a 3-1 victory over Preston at The Valley in the last game of the season. If they had lost, they could have been overtaken by both Crystal Palace and Peterborough United.
The Addicks had been relegated to the third tier in 1972. Support was dwindling and in 1974 Theo Foley was replaced as manager by Andy Nelson who had just led Gillingham to promotion. Nelson had to make do with the team that Foley left behind: the only signing he made was of David Young.
Colin Powell recalled in an interview with The Football League Paper, 'Theo had signed me, Derek Hales and Mike Flanagan for about £8,000-£9,000. Andy used to put us through set-plays for hours and hours.'
'We were difficult to beat even though we used to give quite a few goals away. We used to score a lot, too, with Derek Hales, who got about 20 in a season.'
'Derek would have got more, but the Daily Express were offering something like £5,000 to any player who scored 30 goals. He had quite a few until the club said they would keep £2,500 and give the players £2,500. Then Derek said he wasn't going to score again!'
'We faltered towards the end with a dodgy run in, and that cost us the title. We went from winning most games at gome to not being able to win anything at home. That was disappointing but it was nice to go up anyway.'
Surprisingly the top team in London that year were the Super Hoops and they only finished 11th in Division 1.