I've had many a trip to this stadium over the years with both Everton and Liverpool as a Police football spotter. We never had any problems nice fans and a tidy ground. Not always easy to get to over on the Greenwich side of London.
In Charlton's early years, the club had a nomadic existence using several different grounds between its formation in 1905 and the beginning of World War I in 1914. The ground dates from 1919, at a time when Charlton were moderately successful and looking for a new home. The club found an abandoned sand and chalk pit in Charlton, but did not have sufficient funds to fully develop the site. An army of volunteer Charlton supporters dug out a flat area for the pitch at the bottom of the chalk pit and used the excavated material to build up makeshift stands. The ground's name most likely comes from its original valley-like appearance. The club played its first game at the ground before any seats, or even terraces, were installed; there was simply a roped-off pitch with the crowd standing or sitting on the adjoining earthworks. The unique circumstances of the ground's initial construction led to an unusually intense bond between the club's supporters and the site that exists to this day. In the 1923–24 season, Charlton played at The Mount stadium in Catford but in a much more highly populated area. A proposed merger with Catford South End FC fell through and thus Charlton moved back to the Valley.
In 1967, Len Silver the promoter at Hackney made an application to open Charlton as a British League speedway club, and plans were put forward to construct a track around the perimeter of the football pitch. The application to include speedway at the Valley was enthusiastically supported initially, but was eventually ruled out on the grounds of noise nuisance.
For many years, the Valley was one of the largest Football League grounds in Britain, although its highest maximum capacity of 75,000 was only half the capacity of Glasgow's Hampden Park. However, Charlton's long absence from the top level of English football prevented much-needed renovation, as funds dried up and attendances fell. Charlton were relegated from the First Division in 1957 and did not return until 1986, and in 1972 were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in the postwar era.
Eventually, the club's debts led to it almost going out of business in the early 1980s. A consortium of supporters successfully acquired the club in 1984, but the Valley remained under the ownership of the club's former owner. However, the club was unable to finance the improvements needed to make the Valley meet new safety requirements. Shortly after the start of the 1985-86 season, Charlton left the Valley, entering into an agreement with Crystal Palace to share the latter's Selhurst Park facilities, the first official groundsharing arrangement in the Football League in 36 years. In 1988, the ownership of the club and the Valley was again united, and in a "grass roots" effort that harkened back to the ground's initial construction, thousands of supporters volunteered to clean the ground, eventually burning the debris in a huge bonfire on the pitch. By this time, however, the large terraces were no longer seen as desirable or safe. Charlton Athletic supporters then proposed to completely rebuild the stadium in order for Charlton to return there at the beginning of the 1990s. However, the Greenwich Borough Council overwhelmingly turned down plans to renovate the ground. Club supporters formed their own local political party, the Valley Party, in response to the council's decision. The party ran candidates for all but two Greenwich Council seats, sparing the two councillors who had approved the new stadium plans. The party won almost 15,000 votes in the 1990 local elections, successfully pressuring the council to approve the plans for the new stadium.
In 1991, construction began on the new Valley, and the club moved from Selhurst Park to West Ham'sUpton Park. It was originally hoped that the club would return to the stadium before Christmas that year, but the re-opening of the stadium faced a series of delays before finally opening in December 1992. Since then, the ground itself has undergone some remarkable changes. The north, east and west sides of the ground have almost been completely rebuilt, giving the ground a capacity of over 27,000 by December 2001, when Charlton were in the second season of stay in the FA Premier League which would last for seven seasons. The club have ambitions to extend the ground's capacity to over 40,000 by expanding the east side and completely rebuilding the south side, but it remains uncertain if or when the plans will be implemented after the club's relegation from the Premier League in 2007 and from the Championship two years later.
In 2004 the Unity Cup was held at the Valley with Nigeria winning the competition.