Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Powell Is Happy to Be an Old Boy; Charlton's Modest Star Gets Used to His New Life under the Spotlight

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Powell Is Happy to Be an Old Boy; Charlton's Modest Star Gets Used to His New Life under the Spotlight

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

ENGLISH professional footballers are to be found anywhere from Florida to the Faroes at this time of year but there is one who just wants to go on and on playing.

Charlton's Chris Powell sits under a terrace awning at La Manga with a grin stretching from ear to ear.

The Lambeth-born fullback is unlikely to figure in England's starting line-up in next week's World Cup qualifier in Greece but he is not complaining.

"I must be one of the few players who doesn't want this season to end," smiles the 31-year-old defender.

"I know, of course, that it will all finish after the match in Athens but I would be perfectly happy to carry on."

Powell became the first Charlton player for 36 years to win an England senior cap when coach Sven-Goran Eriksson picked him for his first match in charge - the friendly against Spain in February.

He kept his place for the World Cup qualifier against Finland a month later but since then has had to make way for Arsenal's Ashley Cole.

"I'm certainly not going to moan about that," says Powell.

"This year has been so memorable for me, both at Charlton and with England. In the past I've been happy to follow England's fortunes on the TV and in the newspaper and now I'm part of the whole thing."

For much of his career at Crystal Palace, Southend, Derby and Charlton, Powell has gone about his work quietly and effectively.

Now, however, in the wake of his England exposure, everyone wants a piece of him.

"I'm constantly being asked to do interviews now, attend functions at the club, go to schools. My old school, Raynes Park High, even asked me back to open their fete," he says.

"I try to say yes to as many as I can because this is a big thing for my club.

Everyone is so proud and I am so honoured."

One of Powell's England shirts is on display near Charlton's boardroom.

"I framed another one and gave it to my mum," he says.

He is hoping for a few more white shirts but admits the competition from Cole is fierce.

"Ashley is an exuberant player," he says.

"He's had great tutors at Arsenal in Arsene Wenger and Nigel Winterburn, who is a left-back I have always admired. …

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