Who Are Ya? | Ten Things You Didn't Know About...Crystal Palace
(Posted on 13/04/17)
One of the top sides in English football, Crystal Palace are in the world press 24/7 from coverage of their Premier League matches to transfer speculation. But for many there are some superb parts of the club unknown across football. Here we take a look at ten things you didn’t know about the Eagles.
1- In 1885 the Crystal Palace area was used for the FA Cup Final and stood on the sight of 'the' Crystal Palace in South London. This led to large amounts of tourism and money available for the owners of the stadium. Crystal Palace were formed in 1905 to cash in on this and so the Eagles were born.
2- The club’s first secretary was Edmund Goodman, a former player who had his career cut short by injury in a reserves match for Aston Villa. He eventually had his leg amputated and would go on to work as assistant secutary for Villa. When Palace were formed they asked the club for help and they offered Goodman’s services. Goodman went on to appoint the first manager, first chairman and even went on to manage the club himself between 1910 and 1928, remaining the longest serving Palace manager. He’s often referred to as the ‘founding father’ of the club.
3- Crystal Palace are the only club to have been relegated from the Premier League having finished fourth bottom of the table. In the 1994/1995 season there were 22 teams competing in the division but rules changed to 20 teams the next year, so to balance the Football League they created a fourth relegation spot for one season only. Unluckily for Palace they were the side caught up. It was one of four relegations from the league (1993, 1995, 1998 and 2005) making them the side relegated from the Premier League more times than anyone else. They were part of four teams all scrapping for the final safety spot in 2004/2005 in what was a gripping survival Sunday against Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City.
4- Although synonymous with their blue and red shirts from their home strip, those weren’t the original colours of the club. When Goodman joined from Villa in 1905, he brought with him and number of Aston Villa kits with him for the new squad. These claret bases with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and claret socks were used from their first season all the way though until 1938. Only a switch to stripes for the 1937/38 season and black socks noticeably in that time. They moved on to white shirts with black shorts and socks for the next two decades before adding a claret and blue stripe across the shirts. One brief stint in yellow during the 1963/64 season was used due to it being the ‘lucky away stip’. The colours we know today were first used in 1973 and have remained the standard for Palace since other than the odd season with a white base.
5- The club’s biggest rivals are Brighton & Hove Albion. Although not geographically, both sides were competing for league titles together as they rose through the divisions from third to first. This happened in the 1970’s although the rivalry can be traced back to the 1940’s and has been named the M23 Derby. One of the most recent heated battles came over two legs in the Championship Play-Off Semi-Final in 2013.
6- In 1924 Palace moved into their current ground, Selhurst Park. They began building in 1922 costing £30,000. The first match was against Sheffield Wednesday where they lost 1-0 in front of 25,000 supporters. Over the years the ground has hosted major events including international games between England and Wales, various cup finals, music concerts, boxing and two matches for the 1948 Olympics. They have also ground shared with others clubs such as Charlton Athletic (1985-1991) and Wimbledon (1991-2003).
7- Palace has been home to a number of special talents over their history. Notable names include former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, former England manager Peter Taylor and football legend Edgar Davids. Current stars in the side include Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.
8- Although a big club in England for some time, the Eagles have never won a major trophy. Their highest position in the top flight was 3rd in 1990/1991 and they reached the FA Cup Final in 1990. The early nineties was a very exciting time to be a Palace fan but in the end disappointing. They reached the FA Cup Final in 2016 where they faced Manchester United. Palace looked like they had won it on 78 minutes when Jason Puncheon opened the scoring, but three minutes later Juan Mata equalised. In extra-time Jesse Lingard sealed the cup for United to deny the Eagles their first FA Cup silverware.
9- Crystal Palace have superb support which mainly comes from the local area, South London, Kent and Surrey. The supporters are known to be passionate and among the loudest in the Premier League. The Ultra culture has caught on at Selhurst Park with banners and flag seen in the Holmesdale Road Stand from the ‘Holmesdale Fanatics’. They are often seen protesting against things such as tickets prices rising and Sky Sports when supporting Palace. Famous supporters include actors Neil Morrisey, James Buckley, Simon Bird and the late Ronnie Corbett. Harry Enfield, Eddie Izzard and Sussana Reid are also fans.
10- Club records – The most appearances for the club come from Jim Cannon with 663 games whilst the top scorer is Peter Simpson with 165 goals in 195 games, including 54 in the 1930/31 campaign. Andy Johnson has the most Premier League goals in a season with 21. The highest transfer fee paid was for Christian Benteke in the Summer of 2016 (£27,000,000) and the highest received was for Yannick Bolasie to Everton (£25,000,000) at the same time.
Crystal Palace Home and Away shirts from the current 2016/2017 season are available on Vintage Football Shirts for just £19.99, click here or the link below to find them.