Charlton at home to start. Seaside promotion party at Southend to finish?

Can these gates become part of the new fortress?*

Monsieur Salut introduces the full fixtures list for next season, starting with Charlton at home, remembers an ambitious pre-match request from Boy George (a Charlton fan) and reproduces the will-we-go-up? poll …

It’s hardly Man City at the Etihad or even Derby County at the Stadium of Light.

But at least Sunderland’s unwelcome visit to the third tier, for only the second time in club history, kicks off with a home game and the opposition is Charlton Athletic, beaten playoff semifinalists last season.

With that element of importance – big club negotiating troubled waters versus once biggish club, both trying to recreate past glory – comes a first taste of televised action for Sunderland in the 2018-2019 League One season. The game has been switched to a 1230pm kickoff.

[polldaddy poll=10001532]

Most of us of a certain age have seen plenty of Sunderland versus Charlton over the years, at Roker Park or the SoL and at the Valley. I recall spotting Boy George, a Charlton fan, at the Seaburn hotel before one home encounter a few years ago.

Boy George by Dean StockingsPhoto by By Dean Stockings [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Memory tells me it was the one we won 3-2 in May 2001, the last home tie of our second Premier League seventh-top season under Peter Reid. I remember with at least as much accuracy what vegetable he wanted served with his lunch, and didn’t get: fresh, steamed broccoli. “You’ll be lucky,” said my wife, behind him at the bar as he ordered.

After the Aug 4 picture, two divisions lower than in those days, SAFC travel to Luton while the Carabao (League) Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday has been moved to Thursday 16 Aug (also at home, also to be televised). The season ends with a trip to Southend on May 4. Promotion party at the seaside? We’ll see.

Here is the full list, with all games as usual liable to be switched. The link for season tickets (I still cannot bring myself to call them season cards) is


Sat Aug 4 Charlton Athletic (H)
Sat Aug 11 Luton Town (A)
Sat Aug 18 Scunthorpe United (H)
Tue Aug 21 Gillingham (A)
Sat Aug 25 AFC Wimbledon (A)

Sat Sep 1 Oxford United (H)
Sat Sep 8 Fleetwood Town (H)
Sat Sep 15 Burton Albion (A)
Sat Sep 22 Rochdale (H)
Sat Sep 29 Coventry City (A)

Tue Oct 2 Peterborough United (H)
Sat Oct 6 Bradford City (A)
Sat Oct 13 Blackpool (H)
Sat Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town (A)
Tue Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers (A)
Sat Oct 27 Southend United (H)

Sat Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (A)
Sat Nov 17 Wycombe Wanderers (H)
Sat Nov 24 Walsall (A)
Tue Nov 27 Barnsley (H)

Sat Dec 8 Accrington Stanley (A)
Sat Dec 15 Bristol Rovers (H)
Sat Dec 22 Portsmouth (A)
Wed Dec 26 Bradford City H
Sat Dec 29 Shrewsbury Town (H)

Tue Jan 1 Blackpool (A)
Sat Jan 5 Charlton Athletic (A)
Sat Jan 12 Luton Town (H)
Sat Jan 19 Scunthorpe United (A)
Sat Jan 26 Gillingham (H)

Sat Feb 2 AFC Wimbledon (H)
Sat Feb 9 Oxford United (A)
Sat Feb 16 Accrington Stanley (H)
Sat Feb 23 Bristol Rovers (A)

Sat Mar 2 Plymouth Argyle (H)
Sat Mar 9 Wycombe Wanderers (A)
Tue Mar 12 Barnsley (A)
Sat Mar 16 Walsall (H)
Sat Mar 23 Fleetwood Town (A)
Sat Mar 30 Burton Albion (H)


Sat Apr 6 Rochdale (A)
Sat Apr 13 Coventry City (H)
Fri Apr 19 Doncaster Rovers (H)
Mon Apr 22 Peterborough United (A)
Sat Apr 27 Portsmouth (H)


Sat May 4 Southend United (A)

* Photo by Mrs Logic: her images of Wearside and the North East generally are a constant source of inspiration and have often been published, with her consent, at Salut! Sunderland. To see more, start at this Flickr link.

1 thought on “Charlton at home to start. Seaside promotion party at Southend to finish?”

  1. It came as a bit of  shock when I realised that it is 20 years since Mickey Gray’s missed penalty and Sunderland born Clive Mendonca’s exploits at Wembley prevented Peter Reid’s Sunderland team from achieving an immediate return to the Premier League. That season had marked the start of a new era on Wearside as we had enjoyed our first season at a pristine new ground and we had witnessed a flowing entertaining side come close to gaining promotion at the first attempt. But in a way that Wembley defeat just led to even more joy as we romped away with the title 12 months later and the nucleus of a team that would see two successive 7th place finishes in the top flight had been established.

    So here we are 20 years older and we kick off a new campaign with a home game against none other than the side who had been our nemesis in 1998 – Charlton Athletic – at the start of what is a new era on Wearside. Following successive relegations in a tired looking stadium we have new owners in place, a new manager and a hope of regaining our Championship status at the first attempt. Of course the travelling Charlton fans have been inconvenienced by the needs of those who watch at home and in the pub as the kick off has been moved to lunchtime for the benefit of Sky. Still at least we could be top of the division before anyone else kicks off, providing we can win a second successive home game. And we look forward to a revamped stadium with the new red seats in place sometime in the near future.

    A couple of holiday fixture stand outs. No doubt many of our supporters would have looked eagerly for the date of our visit to Blackpool and would you know it. There it is (subject to a lack of Sky interference) on New Years Day providing vast numbers of the red and white army with an immediate dilemma. An early start with a hangover for a seaside hair of the dog or an overnight stop in some cheap B&B and a night out in the desolate wasteland that is a seaside resort in winter.

    Bradford City at home on Boxing Day gives us an opportunity to enjoy our turkey and bubble and squeak leftovers and a leisurely lunchtime pint but reminds me that years ago when we had the same Boxing Day fixture, the club brought out a massive flag before the game as a thank you to the home support. And by massive I mean massive being almost the size of half the pitch. I’ve never seen it since.

    Anyway – the Charlton game in 98 was a turning point. Here’s hoping the Charlton game in 2018 will also prove to be the start of some enjoyable times to come as it was back then. The owners and manager are making the right noises. Hopefully the squad will be sorted sooner rather than later and we can (fingers crossed) start looking forward to going to games again.

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