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Club news

Charlie Daniels – simply the best – a tribute


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Replacing the irreplaceable was always going to prove a tall order for any Cherries manager.

The club has had a rich tradition for signing outstanding left-backs.

Ian Drummond started the trend in the late 1940s, the Scotsman forming an excellent full-back partnership with Laurie Cunningham.

In the 1970s, David Stocks starred as John Bond’s team won promotion, while Bobby Howe, whose career was cruelly cut short by injury in his prime, also had more than a touch of class.

The cultured Paul Morrell carried the baton forward into the 1980s and was a mainstay of the club’s Division Three title-winning squad and three years in the second tier between 1987 and 1990.

And then there was Jamie Vincent, the dead-ball specialist with a wand of a left peg who played a key role as the Cherries booked a date at Wembley in the final of the 1998 Auto Windscreens Shield.   

The heir to the throne in the 2000s was Warren Cummings, a double promotion-winner in 2003 and 2010 and a Greatest Escapist in 2009 whose lung-busting runs and commitment to the cause were a slight to behold.

They were all truly great players in their own right and in their own era, as were Chris Sulley, Neil Masters and Keith Rowland.

However, during the club’s meteoric rise from the depths of League One to the Premier League, Charlie Daniels undisputedly claimed the crown for being the greatest.

Suitors to his crown came and went, leaving other players to fill in as and when Daniels was not available.

And while Simon Francis cemented the right-back position, Daniels did likewise on the opposite side having joined from Leyton Orient just days after his fellow defender in November 2011.

Having progressed through the ranks at Tottenham – where he was converted from a winger by Martin Jol – Daniels proved another absolute steal at around £175,000 following an impressive loan spell.

An exhaustive work ethic, coupled with an almost-telepathic understanding with Marc Pugh, soon saw Daniels become a huge crowd favourite as the pair terrorised opposition defences.

He rarely missed a game during his first seven seasons and, when he did, the Cherries missed him, badly.

A case in point was in 2012/13 when a nagging foot injury sidelined Daniels for ten games between the end of January and the middle of March.

His absence coincided with a run of five defeats on the trot, his return came at the start of a club record sequence of eight wins on the spin which resulted in promotion to the Championship.

Named in the 2012/13 PFA League One team of the season, Daniels played his part as Eddie Howe’s improving team secured a top-ten finish in the club’s first season back in the second flight.

And Daniels, who displayed class and consistency throughout his stay at the club, was a leading light as the Cherries memorably clinched promotion to the Premier League in 2014/15.

One of the first names on the team-sheet, Daniels missed just eight games in the Cherries’ first three seasons in the top flight with rotten injury misfortune robbing him of the opportunity to add to his 249 league appearances for the club in the last two seasons. 

Daniels also scored some crucial goals in the Premier League, his final effort for the club coming in a 4-0 win against Chelsea in January 2019, just days before his father passed away.

A fine ambassador for the club off the pitch, Daniels continued to donate a percentage of his salary to Juan Mata’s Common Goal project after signing up to the charity in October 2017.

During nine years with AFC Bournemouth, Charlie Daniels tamed many a winger and thoroughly deserves to have further success in his career with Shrewsbury.

Thanks for everything, Chaz.

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