One year on: Charlton hero Patrick Bauer says scoring last-minute Wembley play-off final winner vs Sunderland capped ‘best two weeks of my life’

Charlton legend Patrick Bauer still gets weekly reminders of his Wembley heroics.

The German defender wrote his name into the Addicks history books when his 94th-minute winner secured a 2-1 victory over Sunderland in the League One play-off final last season.

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Patrick Bauer sent Charlton fans wild in injury-time
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Tuesday, May 26 will mark the one-year anniversary of the dramatic final, which capped the best two weeks of Bauer’s life with the birth of his daughter, Kayleen.

Bauer, who joined Preston on a free transfer shortly after captaining Charlton at Wembley, told talkSPORT.com: “I remember it was a crazy game.

“It was an unbelievable day. Not just that day, the weeks before with the two semi-finals [against Doncaster], how dramatic everything was, and personally with the birth of my daughter before the second leg of the semi-final.

“I can honestly say those two weeks were the best weeks of my life with the birth of my daughter and the winning goal at Wembley.

“I’ll always remember that semi-final on May 17 and the final – they will always be good memories.

“I receive a lot of messages, probably every week. It’s really nice. For some of the supporters, they said it was the best footballing day of their lives.

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Patrick Bauer’s wife, Gergana, gave birth to their first child, Kayleen, the day of Charlton’s play-off semi-final second leg clash with Doncaster
@CAFCofficial | Twitter

“Also for me, it was [the best] so far. I will never, ever forget about it. It’s a nice thing to be reminded of!”

After throwing away a 2-1 semi-final first leg lead to Doncaster, Charlton needed a heart-stopping penalty shootout to make it to Wembley.

It set up a play-off final rematch with Sunderland, who they beat on penalties after a 4-4 draw to win promotion to the Premier League in 1998.

But Lee Bowyer’s side got off to the worst possible start when goalkeeper Dillon Phillips failed to control Naby Sarr’s back pass as the ball rolled into his net in the fifth minute.

Charlton equalised 10 minutes before the break through Ben Purrington, before Bauer sent Addicks fans wild in injury-time with his first goal of the season.

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Patrick Bauer gave Charlton fans a day they will never forget
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The 27-year-old revealed his teammates had been teasing him about his dry spell in front of goal the morning of the final.

He said: “It was still early doors, so I wasn’t worried. I believed in the strength of our team. We had really good players.

“I knew there was still more than enough time to turn the game. So I believed in the boys and that’s exactly what we did.

“Normally I score quite a few goals each season, but somehow last year I didn’t score.

“The morning before the game, the boys started to banter me about how I hadn’t scored all season.

“I said to them, ‘boys, maybe today is the time’. Thankfully it happened like that.”

Charlton signed Bauer from Portuguese side Maritimo in 2015, but a groin injury ended his debut campaign in December as the club were relegated to League One.

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Charlton won promotion to the Championship at the third attempt last year
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Addicks fans protested against former controversial owner Roland Duchatelet for most of Bauer’s four-year spell in SE7.

But he was happy to give supporters a moment they will cherish forever with his last touch of a ball in a Charlton shirt.

Bauer added: “I joined Charlton in the Championship. Unfortunately after the first year we got relegated.

“The fans have gone through tough times with Charlton. I know they weren’t always happy.

“Since Lee Bowyer and [assistant] Johnnie Jackson started managing, the feeling at Charlton turned and it was just such a good time.

“We were really successful in the last year. It meant a lot for me that we managed to get the club back to the Championship.”

Charlton’s historic Wembley moment might never have happened if Bauer had left the club in 2018.

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Patrick Bauer would not have had his Wembley moment if he had joined Blackburn the previous summer
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He was the subject of heavy interest from Championship club Blackburn as the Addicks rejected multiple bids for him.

And looking back now, Bauer is pleased with how everything worked out.

He said: “There was a lot of interest. If players have the chance to play at a higher level, they would always like to do it.

“But in that moment, the club said, ‘Pat is not allowed to leave’.

“Now, I’m really happy this move away from Charlton didn’t happen because otherwise we wouldn’t have had such a good moment and memories that I will never, ever forget in my life. So I’m really thankful it happened exactly the way it did.”

Bauer’s famous goal is one of the last clips seen in season 2 of the popular Netflix series Sunderland ’Til I Die.

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Sunderland have had it tough over the last few years
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The show documented the Black Cats’ efforts to gain promotion from League One at the first attempt following their abysmal Championship campaign.

The second season was released on April 1 and has been watched over and over again by Charlton fans.

So, how many times has Bauer watched his goal on Netflix?

“Just once! To be honest, I was watching season one. I’m really interested in football documentaries.

“I was basically watching season one before last season’s play-off final, so I was always quite excited to see the second season.”


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