Pat Bauer may have scored the winner that broke Charlton hearts on the weekend but there is a special place for the Addicks in the German’s.

Having spent four turbulent years at The Valley, the defender’s final act for the SE7 outfit was the stoppage time goal at Wembley that gave fans Championship football this season.

A move to Preston in the summer however meant the 27-year-old was targeting promotion for a second successive season as opposed to avoiding relegation with Charlton.  

His second half header sealed the 2-1 win over Lee Bowyer’s men at Deepdale on Saturday that pushed the Lillywhites towards the top six, but also plunged Charlton deeper into the relegation dogfight.

“Charlton will always be a part of my life,” Bauer said.

“I spent four very good years at Charlton so I didn’t think I had to celebrate the goal, I’m just respectful of that.

“I moved on in the summer but I’m still following the Charlton games.”

The former Maritimo man has taken well to Championship football, cemented a starting berth at the back for Alex Neil’s side. Off-field too, with a new family he admits he’s settled to life in Yorkshire, although there is still a bond with many in South East London.

“I’m speaking to a lot of the Charlton boys, Saturday was quieter and we just focused on the game but I had some chats with the boys after the game. 

“I still have a lot of friends at Charlton, we spent a very good time together.”

This Is Local London: Bauer celebrating the League One play-off winBauer celebrating the League One play-off win

New Owners

It was known that Bowyer was keen to keep Bauer at Charlton but admits they couldn’t compete with the offer Preston dangled in front of him. With new owners East Street Investments now at the Addicks helm it may have been a different story if they arrived 12 months sooner.

“I’m really excited for everyone,” Bauer said.

“Because to be honest, with Roland (Duchatelet, the former Charlton owner) I thought it would never happen, the takeover.

“The new owners seem to be very excited as well for everything.

“Hopefully, Charlton have a bright future because it’s an amazing club with an amazing fanbase.

“I wish them all the best for the future."

For Preston...

 That future will hopefully be in the Championship, while Bauer’s future, he hopes, belongs in the Premier League with Preston.

“I would be really disappointed if, come the end of the season, we’re not in the top six. 

“If it takes me scoring at Wembley again to get promotion, then I will go there again!”