Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton joint manager Steve Gritt: ‘Curbishley’s Premier League achievement was fabulous’

Former joint manager Steve Gritt says a stand being named after Alan Curbishley at The Valley is a fitting tribute.

Gritt was alongside him in the hotseat when they returned to The Valley. And from 1995, Curbishley steered the Addicks into the Premier League.

Gritt said: “Naming a stand after him is a fitting tribute – for making it into the top flight and what we did before that. I was pleased to be a part of that.

“We had our trials and tribulations but I’ve always judged that we did what was required to keep the club going. We had to steady the ship.

“We would have loved to have kept Rob Lee, for example – but we had to do do things for the well-being of the club so we could keep it going and give the fans something to shout about.

“It was a great time when we got back to The Valley.

“Then the club made a decision which I was never going to agree with. But when I look back to see what Alan did – he went on on to do a significant job – I cannot complain. Ultimately what he achieved he thoroughly deserved.

“It did not surprise me how well they did under him. He was always destined to be a manager – he always had that aura about him. He knew what he wanted to build so that Charlton could have a shot at it – and I was not surprised when he got there. He’s very proud to have a stand named after him.

“He had to have that first season in the Premier League and by then he knew what was required and did a very good job teaching himself what was needed.

“When I was there we had to make sure we weren’t seen to be having disagreements although I cannot recall us having too many anyway.

“When we were on the training ground we each knew what the other one would be doing during the sessions. We both had jobs to do on the day.

“I was more of a player than he was at that time – so the management side was more in his hands. It was fairly straightforward, until the club decided that they wanted one man in charge. That was obviously disappointing for me at the time but I have thoroughly enjoyed my career.

“Alan gave the club a massive block to build on – but no one could have envisaged how the club went after he left. It was a massive disappointment.”

Gritt cannot be there on Saturday- although he was invited – because he is currently assistant manager at Dagenham and Redbridge in the Conference and has a game.

“Work calls,” he said. “When I left I knew I had to be a manager on my own and to prove to the doubters what I could do. I think I did a very good job at Brighton and then came back to run the Charlton Academy for six years.

“What I’m doing I’m at my happiest,” said Gritt. “I’m sure this manager Daryl McMahon will go on to do do even better things and it is good to be a part of it.”

Curbs at The Valley – timeline
1984-87 Spent three years with the club as a player
1990 Returned to Charlton as player/coach under Lennie Lawrence
July 1991 Joint manager alongside Steve Gritt
June 1995 Became the sole full-time manager
May 1998 Curbishley masterminded his first playoff success after a 4-4 draw at Wembley against Sunderland. Addicks won the shootout 7-6 after Clive Mendonca hit 28 goals that season, including a play-off final hat-trick
August 1998 An electric start to life in the top flight, where Curbishley won August’s Manager of the Month
May 1999 Addicks are relegated on the final day of the season following a defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. But the club kept faith with Curbishley
May 2000 Guided the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, storming the division to lift the title with 91 points
2000/01 season – Finished ninth in table
2001/02 season – A 14th placed finish, with Jason Euell finishing top scorer with 11 for the season
2002/03 season – A team which featured academy graduates Scott Parker and Paul Konchesky finished 12th
2003/04 season – After signing Matt Holland, Paolo Di Canio, Carlton Cole, and Jerome Thomas, Curbishley guided the club to its best finish, 7th, in their Premier League history.
2004-06 – Curbishley continued to stabilise the Addicks and finish 11th and 13th, as the club became a permanent fixture of top-flight football.
10 Sept 2005 – Celebrated his 600th game in charge with a 1-0 win at Birmingham, one of his old clubs
7 May 2006 After turning down a contract extension, Curbishley chose to leave the club in 2006, after 729 games and two promotions.
He had developed a handful of talent, including Parker, Konchesky, Darren Bent, Dean Kiely, Richard Rufus, Steve Brown, Shaun Newton and Chris Powell
May 2007 The club were relegated 12 months after he left
April 9 2021 The club announced Curbishley would be rewarded for his Charlton Athletic dedication, with the club renaming the East Stand after him

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