Alternative History

The South London side were founded in 1861 by staff working at the Great Exhibition in Paxton’s Crystal Palace, after the builder had named the famous Road.  Besides bearing the name of an already famous football end, they became the first team in the history of the game to play in an indoor stadium.  There were no fears for the state of the pitch as the clear glass structure let natural light in to allow the grass to grow well.  The building did have it’s problems though and the regular breaking of glass from wayward shots meant the players had to develop skills in repairing them, which in turn earned them the nickname of “the Glaziers”.

Palace entered the first ever FA Cup competition in 1871 and got as far as the semi-finals before they regularly appeared in the final, but only as a venue – not as a team.  In 1915, the Army took over the ground and the club moved to Herne Hill and The Den, before finally settling in The Nest.  They were founder members of Division 3 in 1920 and became the (South) champions in 1921, but it was 1924 before they built their new ground on a former brickfield, because they didn’t have far to go to get materials.  The two tall chimneys that remained from the former industry were put to good use as flagpoles and floodlight pillars.  The new ground hosted some of the eight FA Cup ties the club played between 1929 and 1931, which contained two 0-0 draws, but 44 goals in other games.  During these two decades they ran up in Div.3 three times and were still in that position in 1961 (Div. 4) and 64 (Div.3).  It was in the latter season that Kevin Smith rammed home a goal in 6 seconds against Derby County.  Around this time, Palace’s Vic Rouse also became the first player from the 4th Division to receive an international cap.

It was 1969 before they got to the First Division after finishing second in Div.2.  It brought about a rich era of memories for the club with FA Cup semi-finals in 1976, mind-bending kit design and big hats, hair and moustaches .  It was around this time they became the Eagles, as there was a great following of the American MOR band amongst the officials at the club.  With Terry Venables at the helm, the side were hailed as the “Team of the Eighties”, which was great news for the Second Division. After that they became a yo-yo team bouncing between the top two divisions, but recently their string has snapped.  Ron Noades still owns the ground, but left the team to fend for itself and receivership was knocking on the door until the supporters decided to set up a trust fund to try and rescue the club.  It is only ten years since they were in the FA Cup Final and in the top division, but financial mismanagement has hit Palace hard.  Indeed, they were one of the founder members of the Premier League, although they obviously weren’t too keen on the concept, having been one of the teams relegated most often from it.

One of the most amazing turnarounds in the club’s history came in 1990 when they lost to Liverpool 0-9, but came back eight months later to beat them 4-3 in an FA Cup semi-final.  It was something the fans never expected to see as they used to sing about their captain Cannon 

“When Jim goes up, 
To lift the FA Cup,
We’ll be dead,
We’ll be dead !!”

They even managed to draw 3-3 with Man. U in the final before going down to a single goal in the replay.

Iain Dowie struggled to keep the team playing with limited resources despite having achieved promotion via the 2004 play-offs, coming from a place near the bottom of the table when he took over earlier in the season.  At the time, having to sell their best players and pick up others from wherever they can may see the club stay afloat but these are scary times, but when you have had players called Skull and Ghost on the books, it is nothing to get spooked about.

And that was something that continued, until, after a couple of changes in management, brought Ian Holloway to the manager’s office.  He galvanised a squad full of young talent and a few old heads to get back to the Premier League in 2013 through the play-offs, with a sweet semi-final victory over their local rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on the way.  Struggles at the bottom of the Premier League brought managerial changes and former player Alan Pardew took over at New Year 2015 to try to steer the Eagles to a loftier perch, then Sam Allardyce kept them up and Frank de Boer popped into the Palace but was soon dispatched.  The reins were handed to local lad Roy Hodgson, but they might have as well been ruins, with Palace not getting a point from their first games of 2017-18.

FAMOUS PLAYERS : – Terry Long, Ian Evans, Don Rogers, Jack Johnson, Dan Scott, Barry Short, Paddy Mulligan, John “Budgie” Byrne, Dean Austin, Len “Eagle” Beagle, John Jackson, Scott Dann.

FAMOUS FANS : – Roy Hudd (Comedian), Roger de Courcey and Nookie Bear (Comedy Ventriloquist), the late Sean Hughes (Comedian), Jo Brand (Comedienne), Mark Butcher (Cricketer), Kevin Day (Comedian), Eddie Izzard (Comedian), Neil Morrisey (Comic Actor – “Men Behaving Badly”), Suzanna Reid (News presenter – BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain [ITV]).

Club Records

Formed 1905
Turned Professional 1905
Became a Limited Company 1905
Previous names
Previous grounds Crystal Palace  = 1905-15
Herne Hill = 1915-19 
The Nest  =  1919- 24
Nickname “The GLAZIERS” or “The EAGLES”
Club Colours HOME : Shirts –  Red and Blue stripes with blue yolk
Shorts – Blue
Socks –  Blue with nine Red lines around tops
AWAY : Shirts –  Red central vertical stripe, white vertical stripe either side and then a blue vertical stripe with white yolk
Shorts – White
Socks – White with nine Red lines around tops.
THIRD :  Shirts – Red central vertical stripe, black vertical stripe either side and then a blue vertical stripe with black yolk

Shorts –  Black
Socks –  Black with nine Red lines around tops.
Record Football League Win 9-0    v  Barrow
Div. 4         10.10.1959
Record Football League Defeat 0-9    v  Liverpool  (away)   Div. 1         12.09.1989
Record Cup Win 8-0  v  Southend United  League Cup R2 1L  25.09.1989
Record Cup Defeat 0-9  v  Burnley  FA Cup (away)  10.02.1909
Record Fee Paid £27,000,000 million to Liverpool for Christian BENTEKE (August 2016)
Record Fee Received £45,000,000 from Manchester United for Aaron WAN-BISSAKA (June 2019)
Record Football League Appearances 531 – Jim CANNON  (1971-88)
Record Appearances 633 – Jim CANNON  (1971-88)
Record goalscorer in a season 54  –  Peter SIMPSON    (1930-31)
Record goalscorer in a League season 46  –  Peter SIMPSON   Div. 3(S)     (1930-31)
Record goalscorer in a Premier League season 21  –  Andy JOHNSON   (2004-05)
Record all-time goalscorer 165  –  Peter SIMPSON (1929-35)
Most goals in a match 6  –  Peter SIMPSON  v  Exeter City  Division 3 (South)  04.10.1930
Record Home Attendance (all-time) 51,482  v  Burnley  Division 2  11.05.1979
Record Match Receipts £336,583  v  Chelsea  League Cup R5  06.01.1993  
Record total of goals in a League season 110  –  Division 4  (1960-61)
Record League points total 3 points for a win : – 90 –  Division 1  (1993-94)2 points for a win : – 63 –  Division 4  (1960-61)
Most Capped player while at the club 45  – Wayne HENNESSEY (Wales)
Youngest Player John BOSTOCK  –  15 years and 287 days  v  Watford  29.10.2007
Oldest Player Jack LITTLE  –  41 years and 68 days  v  Gillingham  03.04.1965

Stadium details 

Address :  Selhurst Park, South Norwood, London SE25 6PU

Capacity :  25,486
Away Allocation : Approx. 3,000
Pitch size :  101m x 68m (110.5 yards  x  74.4 yards)

Official website :


Directions to Selhurst Park

From the North:

From M1 or A1, use A406 North Circular Road and Chiswick. Follow the signs South Circular Road A205 to Wandsworth. Use A3 to A214 and watch the signs to Streatham. Join A23. One mile down, turn left on B273. At the end, turn left into High Street and then into Whitehorse Lane.

From the South:

Use A23. The signs Crystal Palace will lead B266 via Thornton Heath into Whitehorse Lane.

From the East:

Use A232 to Shirley then join A215. Two miles down, turn left on B266 into Whitehorse Lane.

From the West:

Use Motorway M4 to Chiswick then route via the north on A232 to Beddington. Follow the signs London A23. Then watch the signs Crystal Palace B266 via Thornton Heath and into Whitehorse Lane.


Division One Champions (second tier) 1993-94
Division Two Champions (second tier) 1978-79
Division Two Runners-up (second tier) 1968-69
Division Three (South) Champions (third tier) 1920-21
Division Three (South) Runners-up (third tier) 1928-29, 1930-31, 1938-39
Division Four Runners-up (fourth tier) 1960-61
FA Cup Finalists 1990
Full Members Cup winners 1990-91


John T ROBSON 1905-1907
Edmund GOODMAN 1st May 1907 – 24th November 1925
Alec MALEY 24th November 1925 – 12th October 1927
Fred MAVIN 21st November 1927 – 18th October 1930
Jack TRESADERN 27th October 1930 – June 1935
Tom BROMILOW July 1935 – July 1936
R S MOYES July 1936 – 8th December 1936
Tom BROMILOW 1st January 1936 – July 1939
George IRWIN July 1939 – July 1947
Jack BUTLER July 1947 – June 1949
Ronnie ROOKE June 1949 – 29th November 1950
Fred DAWES and Charlie SLADE 29th November 1950 – 11th October 1951
Laurie SCOTT 11th October 1951 – October 1954
Cyril SPIERS October 1954 – June 1958
George SMITH July 1958 – 12th April 1960
Arthur ROWE 15th April 1960 – 30th November 1962
Dick GRAHAM 30th November 1962 – 3rd January 1966
Bert HEAD 18th April 1966 – 30th March 1973
Malcolm ALLISON 30th March 1973 – May 1976
Terry VENABLES 1st June 1976 – 14th October 1980
Ernie WALLEY (Caretaker) 14th October 1980 – 1st December 1980
Malcolm ALLISON 1st December 1980 – 26th January 1981
Dario GRADI 26th January 1981 – 10th November 1981
Steve KEMBER 10th November 1981 – June 1982
Alan MULLERY July 1982 – June 1984
Steve COPPELL July 1984 – 21st May 1993
Alan SMITH 3rd June 1993 – 15th May 1995
Steve COPPELL July 1995 – 8th February 1996
Dave BASSETT 8th February 1996 – 27th February 1997
Steve COPPELL 28th February 1997 – 13th March 1998
Attilio LOMBARDO 13th March 1998 – 29th April 1998
Ron NOADES/Ray LEWINGTON (Caretaker) 29th April  1998 – 9th June 1998
Terry VENABLES 9th June 1998 – 15th January 1999
Steve COPPELL 15th January 1999 – 1st August 2000
Alan SMITH 1st August 2000 – 29th April 2001
Steve KEMBER (Caretaker) April 2001-May 2001
Steve BRUCE 30th May 2001- 31st October 2001
Steve KEMBER/Terry BULLIVANT (Caretaker) 31st October 2001 – 30th November 2001
Trevor FRANCIS 30th November 2001- 18th April 2003
Steve KEMBER/Terry BULLIVANT (Caretaker) 18th April 2003 – May 2003
Steve KEMBER May 2003 – 3rd November 2003
Kit SYMONS (Caretaker) 3rd November 2003 – 22nd December 2003
Iain DOWIE 22nd December 2003 – 22nd May 2006
Peter TAYLOR 14th June 2006 – 8th October 2007
Neil WARNOCK 8th October 2007 – 2nd March 2010
Paul HART 2nd March 2010 – 2nd May 2010
George BURLEY 17th June 2010 – 1st January 2011
Dougie FREEDMAN 1st January 2011 – 24th October 2012
Lennie LAWRENCE/Curtis FLEMING (Caretaker) 24th October 2012 – 3rd November 2012
Ian HOLLOWAY 3rd November 2012 – 23rd October 2013
Keith MILLEN (Caretaker) 23rd October 2013 – 24th November 2013
Tony PULIS 24th November 2012 – 14th August 2014
Keith MILLEN (Caretaker) 14th August 2014 – 27th August 2014
Neil WARNOCK 27th August 2014 – 27th December 2014
Keith MILLEN (Caretaker) 27th December 2014 – 3rd January 2015
Alan PARDEW 3rd January 2015 – 22nd December 2016
Sam ALLARDYCE 23rd December 2016 – 23rd May 2017
Frank de BOER 26th June 2017 – 11th September 2017
Roy HODGSON 12th September 2017 –
??  –

League Record

Elected to Division Three (South) 1920
Division Three (South) 1920-1921
Division Two 1921-1925
Division Three (South) 1925-1958
Division Four 1958-1961
Division Three 1961-1964
Division Two 1964-1969
Division One 1969-1974
Division Two 1974-1977
Division One 1977-1979
Division Two 1979-1981
Division One 1981-1989
Division Two 1989-1992
Premier League 1992-1993
Division One 1993-1994
Premier League 1994-1995
Division One 1995-1997
Premier League 1997-1998
Division One 1998-2004
Premier League 2004-2005
Championship 2005-2013
Premier League 2013-