AFC Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels ‘will forever be thankful’ to Leyton Orient for kick-starting his career
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
The Premier League left-back supported Errol McKellar and Martin Ling’s ‘Big Match, Big Cause’ event on Sunday at Brisbane Road
AFC Bournemouth full-back Charlie Daniels has insisted he will forever be thankful to Leyton Orient for giving him the platform to eventually play in the Premier League after returning to his old club on Sunday.
The 31-year-old played for the O’s between January 2009 and November 2011 after an impressive season-long loan spell at Brisbane Road in the 2007/08 campaign.
Daniels’ strong form, initially under Martin Ling and then permanently under Russell Slade, helped catch the eye of Bournemouth and he signed for the Cherries in January 2012 after joining the-then League One side on loan two months earlier.
It was the start of a remarkable few years for the defender and the south coast club as they secured promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2014/15 season.
Daniels, who grew up in Waltham Forest, has not forgotten his roots though, and was back at O’s on Sunday to support Errol McKellar and Ling’s ‘Big Match, Big Cause’ event in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and Hertfordshire Mind Network.
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When asked about his local club, the former Tottenham Hotspur academy graduate said: “Leyton Orient did kick-start my career.
“It was a good move for me and gave me the platform to play league football and I’ll forever be thankful.
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“I am thankful to ‘Lingy’ for bringing me to the club because it allowed people to come and watch me and helped me eventually secure a move to Bournemouth and everything that’s happened since is history.
“But I will never forget this club, I am a local lad and I always look at for their results and I know Justin (Edinburgh) is doing a great job.
“Justin has really stabilised the club along with ‘Lingy’ and the new owners (Nigel Travis and Kent Teague) and hopefully Leyton Orient can start looking up rather than down.”
While Daniels was more than happy to help out McKellar and Ling for Sunday’s big charity match at Brisbane Road, one of the causes involved is now personal to him.
The one-time Ridgeway Rovers youth was taught how to play football by former Exeter City midfielder and Leyton-born Danny Bailey when he was growing up.
Bailey’s brother has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and because of this, Daniels was extra keen to support the event in E10.
He said: “I was delighted to be back at Leyton Orient and especially for such a great cause. It is a cause that is quite close to me.
“One of the players involved, Danny Bailey, taught me how to play football with his brother. Danny and his brother were my Sunday League coach and helped me all the way up to the age of 12 or 13 when I got picked up by Tottenham.
“Unfortunately his brother has prostate cancer and is fighting it now, so this cause means a lot to me. It is special to me and I was always going to be happy to play in it.
“I know Errol and Martin really well and as soon as Errol asked me to get involved, I had no hesitation in playing.”
Daniels isn’t only supporting this cause, back on October 20 2017 it was announced the ex-Orient left-back and Swansea City centre back Alfie Mawson would become the first British footballers to donate at least 1% of their earnings to support Juan Mata’s Common Goal.
During an interview with the Guardian two weeks later, the defender discussed why he signed up and also spoke about his old club.
The Bournemouth left-back reflected on playing with fellow Spurs loanees Harry Kane and Andros Townsend at Brisbane Road and expressed how much he “enjoyed” playing for his local club.
He is now plying his trade in the Premier League - a world away from non-league football where Orient find themselves - but remains hopeful his old team will get back up soon and will continue following their progress from afar.
Daniels added: “I hope they can get promoted next season. If you look around the stadium, no disrespect, but it shouldn’t be in the National League – it should be in the Football League. Hopefully they can have a good campaign and get promoted.”