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On 9 June 1905, a group of teenagers on East Street (later known as Eastmoor Street) founded a football club in the South London district known as Charlton. They called themselves the Charlton Athletic F.C. and were joined by members of several youth cubs, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission.

In the early days, the club played in local leagues and their progress was limited by the presence of nearby Woolwich Arsenal F.C. (now Arsenal). But when that team relocated to North London in 1913, Charlton Athletic joined the Lewisham League and adopted senior status.

By 1919, the so-called “Addicks” had established The Valley at Floyd Road as their home ground. After playing in the Kent League for one season, 1919-20, they turned professional, gaining admission to the Southern League for 1920-21. Then, Charlton were elected to The Football League, entering the Third Division (South) just in time for the 1921-22 season, which saw them finish up in 16th position.

It took the club until 1928-29 to achieve their first-ever promotion to the Second Division. Their success was short-lived, however, and four years later they were relegated. In 1933, Jimmy Seed became the Addicks’ manager, and he quickly led the team to a pair of successive promotions, taking them to the First Division in 1936.

Many refer to the 1930s as Charlton’s most successful period. They were the League runners-up in 1937, and over the following two seasons, the fourth and third spots were gained.

However, the true highlight of those pre-War days was the club’s 1938 face-off against Aston Villa in the fifth round of the FA Cup. The two teams drew 1-1 and then tied 2-2 in the replay. Although the Addicks lost the second replay 4-1, one of the duels attracted a crowd of 75,031 to The Valley, which has remained the record attendance to this day.

After World War II, Charlton reached their first-ever FA Cup final, only to be turned back by Derby County after extra-time 4-1. Undaunted, Seed took the team to its second successive FA Cup final in 1947, and this time they headed home from Wembley with the trophy, beating Burnley 1-0 after extra-time thanks to Chris Duffy’s goal.

Charlton Athletic’s stay in the top flight of English football lasted until 1957, a year after Seed was sacked as manager. Hard times and financial turmoil followed, leading to the lowest point in Club history in 1984, when the Addicks faced a bankruptcy hearing at the High Court. Average attendance had fallen to a record low of 5,104 as the team wallowed in the Third Division.

In an attempt to regain stability, Charlton left The Valley in 1985 to begin what have been called the Club’s “Wilderness Years.” For a while, the Selhurst Park grounds of

Crystal Palace served as home and then time was spent West Ham’s Upton Park. Despite the negative reaction of Charlton fans, the exile proved successful in at least one respect. The Addicks worked their way back to the First Division and hung on there from 1986 through 1990, when a single issue political party, the Valley Party, captured 11% of the vote by demanding reopening The Valley stadium and the club’s return.

Those actions both occurred in 1992. Although Charlton were again in the second tier, now called the Championship as the Premier League was formed, they had recovered financially and won back the hearts of supporters. They battled back to the top flight for the 1998-99 season to return the highest level of football to the Valley for the first time in 41 years.

Although the Addicks lost hold of their place in the Premiership after just one season, their absence was brief. In 1999-200, they won the Championship League title outright and returned to the Premier League for a prolonged stay from 2000 through 2007.

Since then, the Club has not had it easy. The 2007-08 season found Charlton tucked mid-table in 11th position among the Championship teams. In 2008-09, they lost their footing and feel to Football League One (tier three), where they still remain.

In late 2010, Charlton Athletic were taken over by a group of new owners, represented by former Addicks chief executive Peter Varney. The reshuffling of management has been ongoing, and there are hopes of improving significantly on the team’s 2010-11 13th position finish.