Saturday 3 June 2017

When Allan Simonsen came to The Valley

The latest Four Four Two has a feature article on when Allan Simonsen came to The Valley, based on interviews with Lennie Lawrence and Steve Gritt.

Charlton chairman Mark Hulyer, at 28 the youngest chairman in the league, wanted a marquee signing. His first target was Kevin Keegan, but when that failed, he turned to Simonsen. He knew about Simonsen's friendship with Addicks youth coach Ernst Netuka.

Simonsen's transfer fee of £324,000 was well above Charlton's £270,000 annual income. His weekly wage was £1,500.

Lennie Lawrence recalls, 'He was a very talented boy, a great player in a distinctly average side that was battling to save its life. His performances at home were match-winning. But away, we didn't see too much.' All bar but one of his goals came at The Valley.

Steve Gritt recalls, 'I remember he would say in training "Why don't we pass the ball?" as it was lumped over his head again. He just couldn't understand why we were not playing like Barcelona.'

Lawrence reckons that getting back to Denmark may have been Simonsen's motive all along.

1 comment:

  1. what a player I had the pleasure of whitnessing simoes debut against Newcastle I was sitting then in the old west stand right at the back and I think I gatecrashed the then press box only be chucked out by a steward at the time all I can rem of that west stand was the very small corridor at the back of the stand what memories I always wanted to know whatever happened to that west stand did a non league club buy it?