Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jon Wants to Rediscover Valley Fortune and Fame; Defender Desperate to Lead Charlton out of League One after the Free Agent Was Rescued from the Football Scrapheap by His First Club. by Simon Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jon Wants to Rediscover Valley Fortune and Fame; Defender Desperate to Lead Charlton out of League One after the Free Agent Was Rescued from the Football Scrapheap by His First Club. by Simon Johnson

Article excerpt

JONATHAN FORTUNE hasn't been living up to his name too much over the past few years but he is determined to turn Charlton's as well as his own luck around this season.

Fortune is the only surviving member of the Charlton side that played in the Premier League for the majority of the past decade before they fell apart.

No one has Charlton closer to his heart than the defender, who progressed through the academy ranks and went on to play in six of the club's seven consecutive seasons in the top flight. However, the 2006-07 campaign, which was their first without long-term manager Alan Curbishley, was one both he and Charlton have lived to regret because it was the beginning of a shocking decline which saw the team plummet into League One.

Iain Dowie, Les Reed and Alan Pardew were all put in charge in the space of six months and as they failed to put things right on the pitch, the board struggled heavily to cope with sizeable debts off it.

What made things harder to bear for the 30-year-old is that he was unable to help the club he loves avoid their fall from grace. Firstly he was out on loan at Stoke when Charlton dropped into the Championship and then an Achilles injury kept him on the sidelines as they fell into the third tier of English Football in 2009.

He said: "Both years we got relegated I wasn't around to help and do anything about it. It was hard to look on from the sidelines. I was desperate to make a difference but there was nothing I could do.

"We were viewed as the marketing plan of how to stay in the Premier League but once we lost Curbs, a few things changed around the club and it all happened quickly. We weren't ready for it and we seemed to fall out of the Premier League.

"We regrouped in the Championship but then we lost Pardew and a few players.

We were in downfall and it was a shame at the time. It seemed hard to stop the momentum once things started going against us. We just couldn't turn it around.

"I don't know the single thing that caused our relegations but we suddenly had a high turnover of managers after having had Curbishley in charge for 15 years. …

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