#PrideOfTheValley | Samuel Spong

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This season, BETDAQ launched the #PrideOfTheValley to reward die-hard Charlton fans. Each home league game, a fan is selected to win the reward and the individual is presented with a signed shirt on the pitch.

For Saturday’s game against Sunderland, the award went to Samuel Spong, who coordinated the successful Fans Supporting Foodbanks collections at our two home games in December. We asked him for some of his Charlton memories…

Why I became a Charlton fan: I don't remember it being a choice. I think I may have been a Charlton fan before I was born, if that's possible.

My first game at The Valley was: In 1999 against Crystal Palace. It was a 2-1 win and there was a red card I think. An amazing day and I never looked back.

My first away day with Charlton was: At Wembley - the play-off final. I fell asleep five minutes in and woke up at full time. Shame that game never came to life!

On 25th May 1998 I was: Enjoying a great nap at Wembley apparently!

My favourite Charlton game (not including the play-off final) is: Definitely an away one. There are so many to choose from. The 2004 1-0 win at Anfield was special. Randomly, a 2-0 win at Bramall Lane in 2011 sticks out, the huddle in front of the fans at full-time indicated something special was happening and it was. I had that feeling again at Portsmouth a few weeks ago, so fingers crossed!

My favourite Charlton player is: Scott Parker. It broke my heart when he left and I destroyed my shirt but the memories he gave me outweighed the pain in the end.

My favourite Charlton kit: Will always be one from your childhood so got to be the Black Sabbath kit.

The best part of being a Charlton fan is: Certainly the community values that run through the identity of the club. I also appreciate the realistic yet positive attitude Charlton's decent fanbase supports the team with. They know the process is a team effort in which they can't expect more from the players than they expect from themselves.

My Charlton starting XI would be: Phillips, Solly, Pearce, Bielik, Page, Reeves, Fosu, Cullen, Aribo, Taylor, Grant. Best starting 11 in the league.

The Charlton player of the season will be: Lyle Taylor. Obvious, I know but he's a big-game player, makes an effort with the fans and truly cares. Overall, probably one of the best humans to ever exist.

The game I am most looking forward to is: Sunderland. Bit of a classic game with the history between the two clubs and feels more like a Championship fixture. A taste of the future and the past all in one.

Half season tickets

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