Find Solace In Our Greatest Memories
It is disappointing to be writing for you once again without Palace gaining any points from their recent fixtures.
I don’t have much to say on the football, it’s not been too bad, so hopefully here is an article to help ease the pain a little. Welcome to my Fan Chat feature for this week.
This is an article asking you to look back and remember, because at the moment looking back is almost more pleasurable than looking forward.
I have been following with interest the promotional material on the official Palace Twitter page, celebrating fans and players ‘Holmesdale Memories’.
These throwbacks certainly aren’t making me more inclined to purchase a certain brand of Dutch vodka, however, it does bring back some fantastic memories.
There have been a lot of moments in our recent history that continue to put a smile on my face, and I am going to count down my top five and summarise why I believe they should make us all smile.
Please feel free to share yours across our social media platforms, as myself and the team here at TEB love to hear what you have to say including your Palace stories.
5. The Goal That Saved Our Club
We all know about this goal.
It was the May 2010, we had to draw or win against Sheffield Wednesday to stay in the Championship, and ensure financial certainty (of sorts). Loose and relegation would have been confirmed, the demise of the club a foregone conclusion soon afterwards. It was 1-1 at the break, the next goal would almost certainly be decisive, and who should score it other than Darren Ambrose. Chaos ensued from the travelling Palace fans, and despite a late resurgence from the Owls we drew the game, and secured our future. Nobody knows what would have happened had we lost, however, the spirit of that game lives on with us fans.
4. Julian Speroni’s Testimonial
Julian Speroni is a true club legend, we all know this to be true.
Throughout his numerous years of service to the club he has pulled off some game saving stops, without which we would never be where we are today. It’s fitting then, that after his tenth and arguably most successful season with the club, a testimonial was held to recognise his contribution. Players past and present paid tribute and we played a Dundee side who also recognised the dedication Jules showed when he played for them. A man of few words, who may not be the last word in goalkeeping ability, Julian knows what it means to be Palace, and a few of the current crop of players really could take a leaf out of his book. The legacy of the game is alive and well on TEB with regular updates from our friends north of the border.
3. Liverpool Caving In
A season of drama, that’s how you could describe our return to the Premier League. Under Tony Pulis we were transformed from a team of no-hopers to a effective side, who had ensured their survival, and were winding down at the end of a tough nine months. Everyone expected a world class Liverpool side to come and do some damage at Selhurst, and at 3-0 up that looked increasingly likely. However, after a rather fortunate deflected strike from Damien Delaney, mayhem ensued, and two clinical Dwight Gayle strikes put the final 3-3 result into the history books and saw Liverpool lose the title at the final hurdle.
2. Kevin Phillips Penalty
Arguably one of the most important goals ever scored in recent years.
It took some nerve to score a penalty in extra time in one of, if not THE biggest game in English football. After over 100 minutes of battling with the deadlock not broken, Wilfried Zaha won a clear penalty (which some Watford fans have yet to come to terms with), and the man who never panics, and never lets the occasion get to him, Kevin Phillips stepped up and sealed the game for the Eagles. A moment to cherish, and one that still tastes so sweet nearly four years later.
1. Darren Ambrose Wonder Goal
Where do I start!?
Palace were in a clear relegation scrap, we had no money, and we had a Carling Cup quarter final match against the Premier League champions, Manchester United. This competition was hardly a priority in any fans book, but, when the time came, the true spirit of Palace shone through. It culminated in a victory that shocked many, including the mighty Sir Alex Ferguson. However, it starred a terrific 35 yard strike from Darren Ambrose, a goal described by Gary Neville as the best goal he’d ever seen from an opposition side at Old Trafford. It was majestic, it was beautiful, it summed up the Palace underdog spirit.
All these defining moments have been a massive part of our history, they make us what we are today. My message this week, and every time I write is this …
It doesn’t matter where we are, or what league we are in. Yes, it is disappointing losing all the time, and yes, everyone loves the idea of Palace as a Premier League club. However, we are a club, that is the most important thing.
My number five above highlights just how close we have come in the past to not existing at all, let’s not forget that in our desire for success.