Jimmy Seed assisted by his old friend Jimmy Trotter led Charlton to the most succesful period in their history. From their rapid rise through the leagues they were to spend almost a decade as one of the countries largest sides.
Though this marked the pinnacle of the clubs history, the question will always remain what if the war had not interrupted with Charltons rapid growth on and off the field, (a similar question could be raised regarding the 14-19 war), when peace did come the club were able to pick up where they had left off with consecutive Wembley finals in 1946 & 1947. .
Both games went to extra time, the disappointment of 4-1 defeat against Derby County was replaced with scenes of joy as Chris Duffy scored the winning goal against Burnley in 1947. Crowds in excess of 50,000 regularly packed out the Valley to cheer on their heroes in red. Sam Bartam providing a safe pair of hands alongside Addicks greats, Don Welsh, Bert Turner and Charlie Vaughan.
Overseas tours to Canada, South America, Belgium and Turkey became common place, in the latter the club beat Galatasary, Fenerbahce and Besiktas!
League consistency was not so straight forward with a third place finish in 1946 followed by a narrow scrape with relegation the following year. The end of such an eventful decade as the 1940’s undoubtedly were saw Charlton remain in the top flight of English football, albiet the introduction of a new hero in Hans Jeppson went a long way to ensure this.
Today away supporters are housed in the ‘Jimmy Seed Stand’ and a bust of the great man sits pride of place in the boardroom, a case could be made that this is the house that Jimmy built. A further legacy of this period in our history is the Bronze statue that graces the entrance to the West Stand, that of ‘our Sam’ with Bartram’s bar behind him also named in his honour.
Those supporters that witnessed those ‘glory days’ may be getting fewer but the memory of this halcyon period in the clubs history will long remain.