Saturday, 6 October 2012

New rival for Charlton?

For a brief period at the beginning of the 1930s it seemed as if the mysterious club Thames might serve as a rival to Charlton. But the club created to use a ground soon collapsed and we absorbed a number of their players.

When Thames folded, a merger approach was made to the Custom House club by Clapton Orient, later Leyton Orient. Now Orient have aspirations to play in the Olympic Stadium and owner Barry Hearn has suggested that, if they succeed, they will re-branded as London Orient: Orient

I have nothing against Orient at all, but this does strike me as a singularly daft idea. Orient's average attendance last season was 4,298, but Hearn reckons that with the stadium move and re-branding, he can attract 27,000, which would be a capacity crowd for us. I don't think there are that many foot loose mugs out there.

Of course, we have had our re-branding issues. In the 1950s the club were known as the Robins, which always invited confusion with other clubs such as the 'Rocking' Robins of Swindon. The club tried to rebrand us as the Valiants, which also invited confusion with other clubs. The name never caught on among the fans, although ignorant members of the media occasionally use it.

I always thought 'Robins' was a bit anodyne, although, of course, we keep the jaunty Red, Red Robin song. We have reverted to our original nickname of Addicks. Some years ago I talked to a lady who went to games with her father in the 1920s and c confirmed that it was used then as a corruption of 'Addocks.

Of course if this name change idea catches on, goodness knows what might happen. Let me know if you see branding consultants around The Valley.


Phil said...

Wyn, are you seriously suggesting that Mr Hearn's idea is a daft one ? Just remember what he's done for Leyton, I mean London Orient. I recall when they were a team perennially struggling at the foot of the third tie........oh !

Anonymous said...

Are you not going to immediately tear up your season ticket and stop supporting the club you would have supported all your life and start supporting League One London Orient then like the rest of us who already support a team from London?

Wyn Grant said...

One reader wanted to post the comment but couldn't do so. It's a good point: 'if you watched the pre-Olympics television spoof, "2012," you will recall the episode where the "sustainability" lady was trying to convince the chairman of Dagenham & Redbridge to move the club to the Olympic Stadium, which makes as much sense as Leyton Orient doing the same.'