Thursday, 1 December 2011

Mark Pitts RIP

Very sad to learn last night of the death of my-generation Addick, Mark Pitts who was the proverbial "larger-than-life" character. He was an old-school football hooligan (in the same way I was) and there are those who won't want to acknowledge his demise in relation to Charlton Athletic Football Club.

I have to speak of him as I found and I have nothing but the utmost respect for a man who had massive personal integrity and was prepared to stand up for himself and those he saw as his comrades. Mark was the "Leader" for my generation and was always ready to put himself on the line for other Charlton supporters and our reputation. He was no angel and I don't attempt to sanctify him here. However, make no mistake, he was a real football fan like the rest of us and loved Charlton Athletic.

I can tell plenty of stories about Mark but I will tell one that sums him up for me. We were at Derby County in a night match 25-ish years ago. We had a small turnout and by the time the coach fans made it back to the edge of the car park, we were 70 strong on two coaches. Very few "lads" among us but plenty of Derby Herbert's looking to attack us and no police. Mark was upfront and was first past the flashpoint and could have moved on (I think everyone else present would have). He didn't. He knew there were more vulnerable Charlton fans behind and he waited and encouraged some of us to do the same so we could all pass. We were well outnumbered and he was the focal point. We took the brief brunt of it but we all got away when I believe a more innocent Charlton fan(s) would have become a victim otherwise.

Mark was always there, never had any excuses and provided a much welcome diversion on many occasions for many of us. Sad day.

11 comments:

ChicagoAddick said...

RIP Mark. Sad day.

ThamesmeadIrons said...

That's a great description of Mark. He was a good man. The only thing I could ad was his drinking prowess. I'd personally never seen anyone out drink him! He was "Proper Charlton" he loved Charlton. Always stood by his mates. He'll be greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

Mark was an old school colleague and will be greatly missed. Funniest moment for me was when we were escorted the mile or so from the station to Newcastle's ground in the early 80's (we lost 4-1) All the geordies came out of their pubs to stare/intimidate us. Pittsy just stared back and carried eating his grapes contained in a brown paper bag. Legend. RIP mate

Anonymous said...

I to remember Mark, will never forget the time when Chelsea 'took' over the covered end (well 80% of it anyway). Mark and around 200 other Charlton managed to force Chelsea back and hold onto their 'bit' of ground for the rest of the match...me and my mates had a nickname for him (not that we would ever tell him) that was old faithful...RIP Mark.

Anonymous said...

Top man was Mark...we called him 'old faith' RIP Mark.

Anonymous said...

Dave, you and me go back a long way and could probably tell some very interesting stories about Pittsy. Suffice to say he was always there when you needed him and he was proper Charlton.
My thoughts are with his family at this sad sad time. RIP

Nick B Southamptonaddick

Dave said...

Nick - yes mate. Hope to see you at the funeral. Plenty of stories that day.

pete said...

my abiding memory was away at Watford very early 80's. All kicked off on the way back with Arsenal, first at Euston then later at Charing Cross. Got on a train, looked back to see a door open, Arsenal supporter come flying out followed swiftly by Selwyn big boot. Two minutes later Selwyn running down the platform brandishing a 10 foot scaffold pole as the same Arse fan exits onto the tracks and away in the distance.
RIP Pittsy

Red Alan said...

I went to school with mark he was in the year below I don't know if this is widely known but mark was originally an arsenal fan but very quickly converted to charlton He was a great bloke when I heard the news I was shocked and deeply saddened
mark you will always be remembered you were and always will be a real Charlton legend
RIP big fella you will be missed

Anonymous said...

was saddened to hear this recently, a real old school legend was Pittsy. Always looked out for us 'scarfers' when we were kids. First remember him helping us out at Reading station back in about 1980, dont think there was a fan who didnt know him for about 20 years.

Top man, RIP Selwyn

Butters said...

RIP Sel. On top of all the above, Mark was a highly intelligent man who I was fortunate enough to work with as my boss. He left behind a big family at Erith and we all miss him massively.