Congratulations to all the end of season winners via the Wembley play-off road to the next division, including the MASSIVE £170 million plus pay day for Aston Villa after their victory over Derby County. HOWEVER, for me the most interesting success story is LEE BOWYER taking The Addicks, Charlton Athletic, to an amazing come from behind victory over Mega club Sunderland and into the Championship on Sunday afternoon if front of a sell out crowd.
Charlton have had a torrid time off the pitch recently with their Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet lacking interest, not even going to the match and not supporting the front office staff as he should have done. It all started badly after 5 minutes at Wembley when Nabby Sarr passed back to his goalkeeper Dillon Phillips without looking and it rolled into the back of the net 0-1. Ben Purrington equalized after 35 minutes but it seemed that we were looking at extra time when up popped Patrick Bauer in the 94th minute to seal a remarkable victory and promotion in front of the Charlton end of the famous stadium
In steps Lee Bowyer who has had a remarkeable past both on and off the pitch and in his first full season, with his contract up in a few weeks ,achieving a miracle with limited resources. I remembe him well at Leeds United under David O'Leary but he later spent 3 years at Newcastle United where he was once fined £30,000 for fighting on the pitch with his own team mate Kieron Dyer and a red card.. He had been in trouble in earlier days, fined for drug possession and then nearly doing time for a fight in a London McDonalds, throwing chairs and verbally assaulting Asian staff..
In the Premier League he scored 99 goals but had 99 yellow cards as well., a record until recently. He had two High Court trials along with Jonathan Woodgate for affray outside a Leeds nightclub where an Asian man was seriusly injured. The FA did not allow him to be selected for England during this time and only later under Sven-Goran Eriksson did he play once for England, setting up club team mate Allan Smith for a goal in a 1-1 tie with Portugal. He scored goals in the Champions League against AC Milan, Barcelona and Anderlecht and was a regular in the England u21 team.
As an avid fisherman he left the life of football and bought a carp fishing lake in the French village of Orcorte after being released by Ipswich Town. 12 acres (4.9 hectares) and renamed it Etang de Bows (Bows Lake) where fishermen are charged to camp by the lake and DROWN WORMS and catch carp or catfish.
He obviously missed The Beautiful Game and returned to his Essex home with his wife and 10 year old twin sons to contribute to the game.
Still no comment from the owner about a new conract for this remarkeable coach who may be lost to another club which would really annoy the faithful Addicks fans who have supported the club through thick and thin. WHAT A JOB HE HAS DONE.