Chris Lewington is preparing to go back to his roots tonight.
The Colchester United goalkeeper is a former Charlton Athletic season-ticket holder and as a youngster, was a regular at the Valley where he cheered them on from the stands.
Lewington, who was born only a few miles away from the Valley, also had a spell as a junior at Charlton, where he spent three years as a youth-team player.
And having watched the south London club with his dad as a teenager, the 25-year-old is expecting a good turnout of family and friends to be in attendance for tonight’s Capital One Cup first-round clash.
Lewington said: “I used to support Charlton as a kid and I had a season-ticket with them.
“I live literally five minutes round the corner and I’m a local boy going back to his local club really.
“I was born in Sidcup and I used to go with my dad and his mates.
“I was there at Wembley when they got promoted to the Premier League in the play-off final and I had a season-ticket when they were in the top-flight but when I started playing, I couldn’t go anymore.
“I still look at their results every now and again and my friends and family are very supportive of me and they’ll all be there tonight.
“I was only at Charlton for a few years in the academy but I enjoyed being there.
“When you’re a young kid, you look up to pros.
“When you’re playing for the team that you support, it’s good to have a bit of a laugh with your friends and a joke in the playground.”
In a strange twist of fate, Lewington also made his professional debut at the Valley when he played for Dagenham and Redbridge at Charlton in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie, in August 2010.
“It’s spooky how things work out,” said Lewington, who joined Colchester from Dagenham last month.
“We lost 1-0 but I felt that I played well and I enjoyed it – it was a great experience.
“My mum and dad were there and everyone was watching.”
Lewington believes Colchester can spring a surprise against Championship side Charlton tonight – and make it through to the second round.
He added: “Cup games are one off and anything can happen.
“We just need to go out there and express ourselves and give it a good go.
“Charlton are in the division above but I don’t think that means anything in the cup.
“We should go there with no fear and no worry and have a right go at them.”
For a full preview of the U's Capital One Cup tie against Charlton Athletic, see Tuesday's Daily Gazette.