Memory Lane – Burnley

My walk down memory lane continues as I look back at my 24 years and over 600 games of watching Palace.

For each home game, I am reflecting on the highs and lows that I have seen against our opposition. Some clubs, I have a rich history of great Palace moments, and for others, there has been limited encounters but I will try to capture the emotion, context and excitement of the Palace life.


Burnley are another team that Palace have an awful record against, including a 9-0 loss in 1907! In some ways, I should feel privileged to have seen five victories in my seventeen games against them – we’ve only ever won 10 out of our 45 clashes. However, when we have managed to beat our Lancashire opponents, it tends to have been when it really mattered. Famously, we beat them in 1979 in front of 51,801 people to gain promotion and deny Brighton the title. Less famously, we beat them four years later to avoid relegation to Division 3 in front of 22,714 people. Even with that bumper crowd, our average was just 10,034 that year.

We also had great wins over them on the opening day of the 2003/04 promotion season and on our 100th birthday in our specially made centenary kit in 2005. However, in terms of the games I’ve been at, there was only one match that I wanted to talk about.


Palace…5 (Watson, Moses, Soares, Sinclair, Morrison)
4th May 2008, Championship

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Hudson, Fonte, Hill, Derry (Fletcher 59), Watson, Soares, Sinclair, Morrison (Scannell 72), Moses (Ifill 32). Subs Not Used: Craig, Scowcroft.

Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Harley, Duff, Elliott (MacDonald 70), McCann (Mahon 81), Randall (Gudjonsson 46), James O’Connor, Blake. Subs Not Used: Kiraly, Jordan

As a student, I forced myself out of bed and to Selhurst Park for the lunch time kick off with a severe hangover – I’d been out until five am in central London the night before. A mixture of nerves and excitement motivated me despite my lack of sleep as we knew that a Palace win on the final day of the season would secure our place in the play offs. An incredible achievement as we’d been threatened with relegation when Neil Warnock had arrived in the previous November. Like in 1983, we had a bumper crowd – 23,915 compared to our season average of 16,030 – and we weren’t disappointed. Within ten minutes, Ben Watson and Victor Moses had put us 2-0 up and Burnley were down to ten men. It finished at 5-0 as most fans began to party into the night. As for me, I went home to bed, highly satisfied with our wonderful club.

Lowest Moment

28th April 2017, Premier League

Crystal Palace – Hennessey, Ward, Kelly, Delaney, van Aanholt, McArthur (Campbell 71′), Milivojevic, Puncheon, Zaha, Benteke (Remy 71′), Townsend

Burnley – Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Tarkowski, Ward (Flanagan 45’), Boyd, Westwood, Hendrick, Arfield, Vokes, Barnes (Grayat 79′)

Palace were flying under Sam Allardyce. Six wins in nine, including three against Liverpool away, Arsenal home and Chelsea away, had left us on the brink of Premier League survival. Lowly Burnley arrived and we knew a win would see us all but safe with three games to go. Unfortunately, we didn’t show up at all and had to go into our remaining matches needing one more result. A task made more difficult as we had fixtures away at both Manchester clubs! Leaving the ground, I remember thinking that we might have just undone all of our hard work. The two week wait until our game against Hull was going to be a long and distracted time at work!

To make matters worse, Ashley Barnes, the former Brighton star, still reeling from Julian Speroni denying him the chance to become a seaweed legend in the 2013 play offs, opened the scoring for the away side and took great delight in celebrating in front of the Holmesdale!

My Personal Record of Live Matches Against Burnley

  • Played 17
  • Won 5
  • Drawn 8
  • Lost 4
  • Scored 20
  • Conceded 14
  • Home 13
  • Away 4


  • Palace…0 Burnley…1 (Division 1, 2000)
  • Palace…1 Burnley…2 (Division 1, 2001) – Freedman
  • Palace…1 Burnley…1 (Division 1, 2002) – Popovic
  • Palace…0 Burnley…0 (Division 1, 2003)
  • Palace…2 Burnley…0 (Championship, 2005) – Morrison, Freedman
  • Burnley…0 Palace…0 (Championship, 2006)
  • Palace…2 Burnley…2 (Championship, 2006) – Cort, Scowcroft
  • Burnley…1 Palace…1 (Championship, 2007) – Morrison
  • Burnley…1 Palace…1 (Championship, 2007) – Hudson
  • Palace…5 Burnley…0 (Championship, 2008) – Watson, Moses, Soares, Sinclair, Morrison
  • Palace…0 Burnley…0 (Championship, 2008)
  • Palace…0 Burnley…0 (Championship, 2010)
  • Palace…2 Burnley…0 (Championship, 2011) – Parr, Garvan
  • Palace…4 Burnley…3 (Championship, 2012) – Zaha (2), Delaney, Murray
  • Palace…0 Burnley…2 (Premier League, 2017)
  • Burnley…1 Palace…0 (Premier League, 2017)
  • Palace…1 Burnley…0 (Premier League, 2018) – Sako




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