Firstly let me say that I never thought we were going to win promotion yesterday. I'm not terribly superstitious and the fact that we'd been promoted at Carlisle twice before had no influence on my belief that it would it be there.
I felt for a few weeks that this wold be the toughest of our remaining games (I would have taken a draw to keep Sheff United four points behind with fee to go) and I just couldn't see Colchester holding Sheff Wednesday after their recent run.
The chances of both a Charlton win and a Wednesday draw (or defeat) was, in my view a little remote. I had not even considered going to the game. Had it been in our hands (if Wednesday had failed to win one of their Easter games) then I would have been tempted, but I was quite convinced that it would be Wycombe at home - or even later when we earned the P next to our name in the league table.
I was, obviously, going to be keeping an eye on the games. Even if all three of us won, it made our lead more significant as we are, fast, running out of games.
I went out just before kick off and by the time I got home both the Sheffield teams were losing. Nine points above Wednesday with a 15 goal advantage in oak difference and I was going to call it - promotion. I mentioned to Mrs Kings Hill and KH Junior that we were in for promotion if the scores stayed the same, and we decided that we would celebrate with an Indian.
I was pleased with the progress, but with over an hour to go in all three games I was aware that it could all change, and as ready mentioned, I was more than happy to continue our progress towards the end aim, which was promotion (well Champions, actually) after 46 games.
When the goals started going in elsewhere and it looked as though it wouldn't be today (at 1-1 I thought Wednesday would go on to win) and I settle in for the reassurance that a draw keeps us well on target, irrespective as to how the other teams get on.
My Dad and I were happy to take the draw, and to give me something to do (rather than stare at the iPhone, the iPad and the TV all at the same time) I decided to give my son the Pool lesson that he'd been nagging me to do all day.
Shortly after I'd swapped the stress of watching the scores for the stress of watching my son look like he was going to tear the baize on our Pool table we scored and from that moment I was confident that we would win, and that at the worsted we would win promotion next week, and probably as good as the title at the same time.
I came back to the TV by the time the results were coming in and Saw a few clips of and on the pitch with the Charlton players, and then they cut to Colchester with the score showing 1-1 and the reported said that the ball had just hit the back of the Colchester net. It seemed like an age before he continued the sentence to say that the gall had been disallowed. I knew then, I think!
Shortly after that update by Sky Sports News the result at Colchester was confined, along with the fact that Charlton had been promoted.
For all those that travelled yesterday I have utmost respect. It is a long way for a football game, and for some of them it would have taken faith that I have already explained I didn't have. Not that any of them will care about what I say, they had one of the best experiences in football, something that happens very few times for any football fan, and I'm sure that had a fantastic time.
On the whole I'm surprised how I felt when it sank in that we had won promotion. I don't want to sound ungrateful, or too big headed, but I think I felt more relief than excitement. I want to avoid accusations of arrogance, but we are clearly playing below our average league position, and we are in a division that the club can't sustain itself in.
I didn't find myself crying (something that I do actually do a lot - most films make me cry) and I had no temptation to do a few laps of the garden. I think that a lot of this is because for well over a month I've had complete faith in the team's ability to achieve promotion. It's a bit like going into the last five minutes of a game 3-0 up. It is no guarantee of a win, but when the whistle goes it's not as exciting as hanging on to a 1-0 lead for twenty minutes. Maybe I'll feel differently in a day or two, and maybe it will all hit me at The Valley on Saturday, but for now I just have this feeling of complete well being. That something has been restored to what it should have been.
The board, the manager and the payers have delivered everything that we demanded of them, and performed and behaved in the way we have always been proud of our club.
His morning, more than for a very long time, I feel like we have our Charlton back.
Up the Addicks!