Palace Family Remembers
Welcome back to this weeks edition of our Fan Chat feature, my third consecutive article after a loss although at least we can all say we saw this one coming.
The loss to Burnley really was very hard to take. It’s a game we should be winning, and we damn near got a point but for some poor decision making, something I’m sure Mr Pardew will state is ‘unlike us’.
Manchester City, like Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, are an exceptional team. None of us should be disheartened that we lost to them on Saturday. We actually played quite well, albeit some appalling defending on display once again, and for us to get a goal back against such a strong side is a small silver lining to the dark cloud of ever-threatening relegation.
Alan Pardew stated in his press conference this week that we are not in a relegation battle at the moment. I don’t know if he has looked at the table recently, but I think he ought to realise that we are. There is never a good time to be near the foot of the table, at least it is at the start of the season, and not near the end like last season, where we escaped the drop by a hairs breadth.
There are some positives we can take from this, because teams will play us expecting to win, we can go back to being the underdogs, historically a positon we tend to perform well in. Furthermore, our work rate is there, the performances are there, it’s just the shoddy defending and silly mistakes costing us. Iron out those things and we will be fine. Honest.
Palace, for those who have not always followed the club, are a team that famously never make it easy for themselves, success never lasts too long and excitement and peril are never too far away. The Manchester City game is a prime example, when we equalised, many saw this as our first point in over a month, only for it to be snatched from our grasp in the dying minutes of the game.
Anyway, Saturday’s game was not truly about the football. We were all there to celebrate the lives of seven people who tragically lost their lives in the Croydon Tram Disaster. Now, I am not from Croydon, in fact I am not even from London, however, I am acutely aware of how such a significant incident can affect the lives of everyone in a local community. This was an awful way for seven lives to be wrestled from our grasp, and its impact can be felt everywhere in the UK, not least by Palace fans who share the heartbreak of the families who were affected.
Two Palace fans are among those who lost their lives that day. I must commend the impeccably observed silence before the game from both sets of fans, and the applause, one in the 19th minute for Dane Chinnery and the other in the 57th minute for Phil ‘Tank’ Sears, two men who had so much more to live for. My condolences, and those from all the team here at TEB, extend to the families of the two fans, as well as the other five people who lost their lives.
As a community, there is nothing quite like football for bringing two groups of people, who support different teams with different objectives, together to remember and think about those no longer among us. We do it every year for Armistice Day, we do it to remember the 96 fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough Disaster and now this terrible accident in Croydon. We are lucky to be a part of a Football Association that recognises that fans want to honour those people and others who can, for whatever reason, no longer be amongst them.
As the investigation into the causes of this disaster goes on, and we slowly try to move on from the tragic events of that fateful day, we can use football as our solace and as a great tool for remembering Dane and Phil, with the club promoting a very important JustGiving page to help raise money to help support those families affected by the disaster. I encourage you, if you have not already, please get involved and give what you can.
If there’s anything we can take from this, it is that life can be snatched from our grasp at any time. Enjoy the football, yes, be angered by a loss, yes, but losing a game is nothing compared to losing someone you love. When you get home from the game and spend time with your families, whatever the result, appreciate everything you have around you.
This article is dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the Croydon Tram Disaster. Rest in Peace.