No not the latest player we are rumoured to be making an offer for. Ayii Anargyri was the fantastic venue for an English wedding in the Cypriot hills above Paphos this weekend. Four fantastic days in Cyprus amongst 48 Brits who travelled out to support the wedding. Most were Millwall fans who were delighted to tell me that they couldn't understand our decision to bring in Bob Peeters who was affectionately known as "sick note" whilst earning a reputed £13,000 a week ten years ago. Apart from the obvious "Agent Peeters" line, they were genuinely bemused and half-expected me to know the reason why?
First, I have been itching to comment on Sir Colin Powell's decision to accept redundancy from the club after 40 odd years loyal service. Colin Powell played a large part in my falling hook, line and sinker in love with Charlton Athletic Football Club. I had grown up on a diet of Chelsea courtesy of the Old Man and when I started going to the Valley regularly as a 13 year old, it was to watch an unlikely looking team sporting a mixture of largely unheard of journeymen footballers. I was comparing them to the relegated Chelsea squad and the comparison was favourable. The Addicks liked to attack and whilst they may concede two or three they were always looking for three or four. 'Killer' Hales was the star of the show but 'Flash Flanagan' weighed in regularly and they were both heavily supported by the ageing 'Peawee' Peacock and a leggy right winger who was a throw-back to a previous generation of tumbling wide-men who were full-backs nightmares and who could float a cross like no-one I have seen since. That man was Colin Powell and for the next few years I delighted in watching him cut superior sides to pieces as he teed up his front men to score a hatful of goals. No-one has given me as much enjoyment in the red shirt since although Clive Mendonca comes a close second with Killer himself.
Colin used to live in Begbie Road when I was in Wricklemarsh and he was on good terms with my step-father. So much so that I received a signed and mounted black and white team photo on a block print one Christmas from Colin which was typical of the man away from the club.
I feared for Colin this season in that some of the blame for the pitch problems would stick with him (rather than lack of investment to fix a known drainage problem). When we decided to invest in a state-of-the-art pitch with undersoil heating in the close season I wondered if a full-time Groundsman might be a luxury when presumably what they need going forward is someone to cut the grass.
Colin has long-since lost touch with my step-father but I know he would remember him well and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery from a heavy fall earlier today. My only hope is that Colin has gone on his own terms and is ready for retirement. He deserves that and I hope we continue to see him down at the Valley in the coming seasons.
Elsewhere we continue to be linked with unheard of players, most of whom appear to have little pedigree or evidence that they might cut the mustard in the Championship. Perversely, the good news is we haven't actually signed any of them. Even if we are going to attempt to compete again in this league with half-a-side bolstered by unknowns, we really need to get the unknowns in over the next three weeks so we have a chance for the players to settle into the side and get to know each. We can't afford a slow start but that is the real threat given we are into June and have only signed two development players.
After four long days this week in the office, I am heading out to Murcia on Thursday evening in time to join up with six Aberdeen fans to take the opening eight matches of the World Cup in the warmth of the Spanish sunshine. Sixteen years since Scotland last qualified for the World Cup and a fortnight I took for granted in southern France. Still, got to love the World Cup.