Leap Day, February 29th, comes about once every four years. Leap Days on which Charlton are in action are even more of a rarity.
On Saturday, the Addicks will play their first Leap Day fixture for 28 years, and only their fourth since joining the Football League in 1920, as they face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Looking back, the history books show mixed fortunes for Charlton when playing on February 29th…
Charlton 4-1 Swansea Town - 1936
Charlton’s first Lead Day fixture ended in success at The Valley. In 1936, the Addicks beat Swansea Town 4-1 after a first-half rout which saw them head into the break 3-0 up. George Robinson, Harold Hobbis and Don Welsh found the net in the first 45, before Ralph Allen added a fourth. The Swans pulled one back via a Sid Lawrence penalty, while Sam Bartram saved a second penalty late on.
Not just a lucky Leap Day, it was a great Leap Year for Jimmy Seed’s men, who went on to win promotion to the top flight, finishing second to Manchester United in the Second Division.
Charlton 0-1 Portsmouth - 1964
The Addicks’ second Leap Day match occurred 28 years later when Frank Hill’s side lost by a goal to nil to Portsmouth in SE7. Over 18,000 fans attended the game as John McClelland’s 55th-minute strike proved to be the difference.
Barnsley 1-0 Charlton - 1992
Jointly managed by Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt, Charlton’s most recent Leap Day fixture, 28 years ago, was also in Yorkshire, where they faced Barnsley in Division One.
The only goal of the game came in 82nd minute, scored by Barnsley’s Owen Archdeacon.
It takes 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds for the earth to orbit the sun, and so we have an extra day once every four years.
On Saturday, Charlton will have 90 minutes to earn three points against Huddersfield.
Lee Bowyer’s side will not be relying on luck to get the win, but with one win and two losses from Leap Day games, perhaps the Addicks are due some good fortune.
Article by Liam Roche