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  #21  
Old 08-12-2020, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by olly cromwell View Post
There seems to be a little confusion (in my tiny mind anyway) as to what the team colours of the original cpfc were
Wikipedia has them at light blue and white halved shirts, white shorts black socks and yet there are some references that have them in blue and white hoops, blue shorts and socks

I know the colours were taken from the paint colours on the actual crystal palace so do any of our resident experts have any ideas on this
As the author of ĎPalace At The Palaceí, which puts forward the claim that weíre the oldest surviving professional league club in the world, Iím very happy to chip in on this thread with some of the facts.

Firstly, the club was definitely founded before the 1863 start date that Charles Alcock put in his initial volumes of the Football Annual because we have reported matches from 15th March 1862 onwards.

Alcock subsequently amended the date to 1861 in later editions, information which he no doubt got from personal contacts because he played for Palace six times between 1870 and 1871.

Iím very happy that this is the true starting date as, not only did Alcock play for the Palace, but he was also the Secretary of the F.A. and the F.A. sanctioned the publication of the Football Annual, so itís the most accurate and authoritative authentication we can get from the time.

We know from the Football Annual that the amateur Palace played in blue and white shirts but unfortunately I have not yet been able to find a photograph of that early team so we donít know what shade of blue the shirts were or how they were designed.

By a process of deduction I came to the conclusion that the shirts were probably different coloured halves, a popular design in Victorian times, as Alcock tended to mention in his Football Annual if a club played in stripes, hoops or bars and he never did for Palace. Again, he would have had personal experience, having worn the shirt.

As for why Palace chose to play in blue and white, I could find no other compelling reason other than that the external ironwork of the Crystal Palace was painted in light blue and white. These were the colours of the Crystal Palace and the colours visitors to the Palace would have been familiar with, so it seemed a natural choice.

In 1895, the Crystal Palace Company built Englandís first national football stadium and saw the major pulling power of top-class football when they staged 20 F.A. Cup Finals.

Henry Gillman, the General Manager saw a professional club at the Palace as a big opportunity to substantially increase the number of the Palaceís visitors and make more use of the stadium.

Palaceís professional South London neighbours, Woolwich Arsenal, were already averaging 25,000 for their matches and Gillman wanted to cash in on that, so he hired Edmund Goodman, an assistant secretary at Aston Villa on the recommendation of William McGregor, the Villa chairman, to start the process of forming a professional club, but Gillman unexpectedly died at the end of 1902.

Goodman won the support of Gillmanís successor, Jesse Cozens and the two, along with Crystal Palaceís Sporting Director, the cricketer Dr. W.G. Grace, pressed ahead with the idea and the professional Crystal Palace was launched in 1905.

The professional club chose cardinal red and blue for their colours and, again, the most compelling reason was because they were the dominant colours of the interior of the Crystal Palace. Again, colours that visitors to the Palace would also have been familiar with, plus they may also have reminded Edmund Goodman of his old Villa colours of claret and blue.

Happy to answer any questions on this or anything else related to our original club.

Cheers,

Peter Manning
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:06 AM
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Flying a bit of a kite here
But could an (unproven) theory be that Aston Villa generously gave us a kit but they might have had a set that were the slightly wrong shade and therefore did not need them and hence the cardinal red and blue

I did also read on a site that stripes were not around at the early stages of football and what was actually hoops were sometimes referred to as stripes, which might explain why so few rugby clubs seem to have them gtiven how traditional the old union clubs were
Interesting topic though and thanks for your input Peter
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  #23  
Old 12-12-2020, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldest Palace View Post
As the author of ĎPalace At The Palaceí, which puts forward the claim that weíre the oldest surviving professional league club in the world, Iím very happy to chip in on this thread with some of the facts.

Firstly, the club was definitely founded before the 1863 start date that Charles Alcock put in his initial volumes of the Football Annual because we have reported matches from 15th March 1862 onwards.

Alcock subsequently amended the date to 1861 in later editions, information which he no doubt got from personal contacts because he played for Palace six times between 1870 and 1871.

Iím very happy that this is the true starting date as, not only did Alcock play for the Palace, but he was also the Secretary of the F.A. and the F.A. sanctioned the publication of the Football Annual, so itís the most accurate and authoritative authentication we can get from the time.

We know from the Football Annual that the amateur Palace played in blue and white shirts but unfortunately I have not yet been able to find a photograph of that early team so we donít know what shade of blue the shirts were or how they were designed.

By a process of deduction I came to the conclusion that the shirts were probably different coloured halves, a popular design in Victorian times, as Alcock tended to mention in his Football Annual if a club played in stripes, hoops or bars and he never did for Palace. Again, he would have had personal experience, having worn the shirt.

As for why Palace chose to play in blue and white, I could find no other compelling reason other than that the external ironwork of the Crystal Palace was painted in light blue and white. These were the colours of the Crystal Palace and the colours visitors to the Palace would have been familiar with, so it seemed a natural choice.

In 1895, the Crystal Palace Company built Englandís first national football stadium and saw the major pulling power of top-class football when they staged 20 F.A. Cup Finals.

Henry Gillman, the General Manager saw a professional club at the Palace as a big opportunity to substantially increase the number of the Palaceís visitors and make more use of the stadium.

Palaceís professional South London neighbours, Woolwich Arsenal, were already averaging 25,000 for their matches and Gillman wanted to cash in on that, so he hired Edmund Goodman, an assistant secretary at Aston Villa on the recommendation of William McGregor, the Villa chairman, to start the process of forming a professional club, but Gillman unexpectedly died at the end of 1902.

Goodman won the support of Gillmanís successor, Jesse Cozens and the two, along with Crystal Palaceís Sporting Director, the cricketer Dr. W.G. Grace, pressed ahead with the idea and the professional Crystal Palace was launched in 1905.

The professional club chose cardinal red and blue for their colours and, again, the most compelling reason was because they were the dominant colours of the interior of the Crystal Palace. Again, colours that visitors to the Palace would also have been familiar with, plus they may also have reminded Edmund Goodman of his old Villa colours of claret and blue.

Happy to answer any questions on this or anything else related to our original club.

Cheers,

Peter Manning
Thanks for posting.

Nice to hear it from the horses mouth so to speak and not from the cut and paste experts for a change.
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Old 12-12-2020, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by olly cromwell View Post
Flying a bit of a kite here
But could an (unproven) theory be that Aston Villa generously gave us a kit but they might have had a set that were the slightly wrong shade and therefore did not need them and hence the cardinal red and blue

I did also read on a site that stripes were not around at the early stages of football and what was actually hoops were sometimes referred to as stripes, which might explain why so few rugby clubs seem to have them gtiven how traditional the old union clubs were
Interesting topic though and thanks for your input Peter

Stripes were definitely around by the 1870's as Charles Alcock, in his 1873 Football Annual, lists a number of clubs that played in stripes. Where they were broad stripes they were often referred to as bars and hoops were sometimes called horizontal stripes. Our local rivals, the long defunct and largely forgotten South Norwood, played in 'broad red and black bars'. They were an important team of the day and at one stage had two full Scottish internationals playing for them. They changed in the long gone Spread Eagle pub in Portland Road, close to Woodside station.

Victorian club colours were often more vivid and flamboyant than those of today and one or two still survive, for example Harlequins Rugby Club's multi-coloured shirts. The Pilgrims, who played on Hackney Downs, played in black and white jerseys in broad bars; black velvet skull caps with white tassels; white flannel knickerbockers and black stockings. Unimaginable today.

I've found no evidence or indication that Palace got their first kit from Villa when we turned professional in 1905. Villa were a major club of the day and claret and blue had been their colours since 1888 so I think it's highly unlikely that they would have ordered the wrong colours.

When the professional Crystal Palace was launched we raised an initial share capital of £3,000, the equivalent of £370,000 in today's money, so we certainly didn't need to beg or borrow our kit from anyone. All our early 20th century handbooks give our colours as cardinal red and blue, not claret and blue and I think the claim that historically our colours were claret and blue and we obtained our shirts from Villa is just one of those fairly modern myths.
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Old 12-12-2020, 03:06 PM
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Bit of a footnote here. I visited the National Football Museum when it was in Preston and they had a display with a newspaper clipping of a CPFC 1861 game. I’m fairly sure there was also a drawing (as opposed to a photograph) of two players alongside the report and the design was horizontal stripes or thin hoops, which leads me back to my original conclusion that this was the design the original Palace team wore.

There also seems to be a period of time, possibly over four years or so, where CPFC 1861 did not play at CP Park - Peter Manning will be able to confirm this from his excellent records. I would say between early 1863 to late 1867 - over 4 years when the football team don’t seem to have played at Crystal Palace at all.

It does seem, from all reports seen, there was some sort of issue with using the cricket pitch at CP Park and CPFC used a ground in Penge for home fixtures instead.

It seems this early period is when Palace are reported to have played in red and black. The records showing Palace wore blue and white seem to be from a later date and again, perhaps Peter Manning can confirm this, Charles Alcock appears to have played for Palace circa 1870/71, some time after CPFC 1861s spell being based at Penge.


As Peter says, the 1905 professional incarnation of CPFC were floated with plenty of capital and also the best football stadium in the country (as frequently stated in contemporary newspaper reports).

It would seem a very strange state of affairs that the early Crystal Palace Board (who had several wealthy people on it, as well as heavy financial backing from the Crystal Palace Company too - had ask Aston Villa for spare kit?

I really do think there is a subtle but definite difference between Palace’s Cardinal and Blue and Villa’s Claret and Light Blue - and all the contemporary reports (and there are many) make this clear in describing the two clubs kits.
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Old 12-12-2020, 04:01 PM
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anyone capable of doing a mock up or finding a pantone to show what that difference would be? I think I've got my head round the different reds (cardinal would be like the red we use in our current strip), but I don't really understand the difference between the blues.
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Old 12-12-2020, 04:25 PM
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Bit of a footnote here. I visited the National Football Museum when it was in Preston and they had a display with a newspaper clipping of a CPFC 1861 game. I’m fairly sure there was also a drawing (as opposed to a photograph) of two players alongside the report and the design was horizontal stripes or thin hoops, which leads me back to my original conclusion that this was the design the original Palace team wore.

There also seems to be a period of time, possibly over four years or so, where CPFC 1861 did not play at CP Park - Peter Manning will be able to confirm this from his excellent records. I would say between early 1863 to late 1867 - over 4 years when the football team don’t seem to have played at Crystal Palace at all.

It does seem, from all reports seen, there was some sort of issue with using the cricket pitch at CP Park and CPFC used a ground in Penge for home fixtures instead.

It seems this early period is when Palace are reported to have played in red and black. The records showing Palace wore blue and white seem to be from a later date and again, perhaps Peter Manning can confirm this, Charles Alcock appears to have played for Palace circa 1870/71, some time after CPFC 1861s spell being based at Penge.


As Peter says, the 1905 professional incarnation of CPFC were floated with plenty of capital and also the best football stadium in the country (as frequently stated in contemporary newspaper reports).

It would seem a very strange state of affairs that the early Crystal Palace Board (who had several wealthy people on it, as well as heavy financial backing from the Crystal Palace Company too - had ask Aston Villa for spare kit?

I really do think there is a subtle but definite difference between Palace’s Cardinal and Blue and Villa’s Claret and Light Blue - and all the contemporary reports (and there are many) make this clear in describing the two clubs kits.
Thanks,

I spent some time researching at the NFM archives at Preston, although that was after the main museum had moved to Manchester. The earliest newspaper report I have come across is Palace's first game against Forest on 15th March 1862, the first reported game between two sides who went on found the F.A. in 1863, so another Palace milestone. I've searched what is now over 30 million digitised newspaper pages and so far have not come up with any sort of image of the earliest team. That's not to say one doesn't exist somewhere and if anyone can point me in the direction of such an image I would be extremely grateful.

As to the amateur team's colours, they were definitely blue and white from 1873 onwards. I haven't come across any earlier reference to our colours earlier than that but I'd be surprised if we had made a wholesale change from black and red. Our local rivals, South Norwood, did play in black and red and I wonder if the report referred to them.

As to where Palace played in the earliest years. After their first game against Forest in March 1862 they played a return match at the Palace on 5th April. If anyone knows the lower part of the Crystal Palace Park, next to the dinosaur lake, they know how muddy it gets and it was where the Crystal Palace club's cricket pitch, laid in 1857, was situated. Bear in mind that our club was both a cricket club and a football club and the football was played on the cricket pitch in the winter.

The Forest return match was played just three weeks before the start of the cricket season on 1st May, and it seems almost certain that the match damaged the cricket pitch because, for the next five years the football team played its home matches on a field behind the Crooked Billet pub in Penge.

They were eventually let back into the Palace in 1867 but it is noticeable that they never played football on the cricket pitch after the end of February in any season and sometimes not even after the end of January. But as Palace's football team's importance grew so did its fixture last and it seems the damage to the cricket pitch continued until, by the 1875-76 season, all Palace's fixtures were scheduled to be played away on opponents' pitches.

It's another myth that the club folded around this time, it didn't. It seems almost certain that they decided to make cricket the priority sport and suspend football and they carried on playing cricket as a club until 1900, when they merged with Dr. W.G. Grace's new London County Cricket Club at the Palace. They played cricket at a high level with a number of their players playing for Surrey and, as a club, they even hosted the first Australian touring Test team in 1880 at the Palace. The early Palace footballers did not leave the club and many of them could be found running it and playing cricket for the club into the 1890's.

The amateur Crystal Palace team resumed playing football in 1895 when the new stadium was built, but it didn't bring in the crowds the Crystal Palace Company wanted, hence the decision to launch today's professional side.

Last edited by Oldest Palace; 12-12-2020 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:18 PM
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Thank you Peter for your excellent input and for nailing the myth about our 1905 shirts

As for the 1905 to 1940 colours the only evidence we have seems to be a colour pennant and some supporters club badges, now I have tried to track down some photos of early supporters club badges but to no avail so far, but my recollection of the ones I had/saw is that the 3 badges were clearly red & blue, but to confirm that my old brain isn't getting befuddled I would like to see pictures, again the likely hood is that the colours were subtly different

Hopefully some modern technology may be able to accuratly colour some of the old black and white photos soon
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:33 PM
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I have tried to track down some photos of early supporters club badges but to no avail so far, but my recollection of the ones I had/saw is that the 3 badges were clearly red & blue, but to confirm that my old brain isn't getting befuddled I would like to see pictures, again the likely hood is that the colours were subtly different
Most of the oldest surviving supporters club badges, and a VERY early directors badge are shown on this page

To view the link you have to Register or Login
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:36 PM
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So essentially pretty much the same colours we wear now! Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:00 PM
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This is what I think the difference may have been, Villa on the left, Palace on the right. Of course, the quality of printing and being able to accurately reproduce colours was a problem even 50 years ago, let alone the 1900s to 1930s when Palace wore the ‘Cardinal and Blue’ - so the difference may be more subtle.

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Old 12-12-2020, 07:03 PM
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That is a fascinating collection of badges and not one I've seen before and, yes, by some happy coincidence we have gone back to our colours of 1905 (thank you Big Mal). Thanks for that Mrs E!

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Old 12-12-2020, 08:11 PM
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Thank you Peter for your excellent input and for nailing the myth about our 1905 shirts

As for the 1905 to 1940 colours the only evidence we have seems to be a colour pennant and some supporters club badges, now I have tried to track down some photos of early supporters club badges but to no avail so far, but my recollection of the ones I had/saw is that the 3 badges were clearly red & blue, but to confirm that my old brain isn't getting befuddled I would like to see pictures, again the likely hood is that the colours were subtly different

Hopefully some modern technology may be able to accuratly colour some of the old black and white photos soon
I have a b&w picture on my desk at work of Slavia Prague (my friends team) v Palace in 1905. They played twice in two days - and we won both.
I'm not in until Tuesday but will post it if I remember!
I actually posted it in the bubble gum thread many years ago if someone wants to look!
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:27 PM
Oldest Palace Oldest Palace is offline
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Originally Posted by JannerEagle View Post
I have a b&w picture on my desk at work of Slavia Prague (my friends team) v Palace in 1905. They played twice in two days - and we won both.
I'm not in until Tuesday but will post it if I remember!
I actually posted it in the bubble gum thread many years ago if someone wants to look!
It's amazing what old photos and memorabilia are still around. It's not a photo I have come across and I think it would have been actually taken during the week of 16th May, 1908, which is when Palace made their first foreign trip, to Prague.
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  #35  
Old 12-12-2020, 10:42 PM
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It's amazing what old photos and memorabilia are still around. It's not a photo I have come across and I think it would have been actually taken during the week of 16th May, 1908, which is when Palace made their first foreign trip, to Prague.
Youre probably right about the date! I think the scores were 2:3 and 3:4 to Palace

Last edited by JannerEagle; 12-12-2020 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 13-12-2020, 04:54 AM
olly cromwell olly cromwell is offline
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Ok
Badges 1 - 11 I am pretty sure are pre war (given that some are dated, which is very kind of them )
Badge Number 12 is not official at all, it is a "Miller ball" (and were sold as far as we know in Woolworths after the war) there are many for different clubs but the originals are highly collectable


I think (but don't quote me on it) that 24 & 25 are pre war too, all the post war supporters clubs seem to follow the current kit colours

There also is a tin Crystal Palace "smoke clubs" badge that is in the hands of a palace collector, which we think is pre war too (several clubs had smoke clubs)

Last edited by olly cromwell; 13-12-2020 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 13-12-2020, 05:38 AM
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... All our early 20th century handbooks give our colours as cardinal red and blue, not claret and blue and I think the claim that historically our colours were claret and blue and we obtained our shirts from Villa is just one of those fairly modern myths.
Nevertheless, I will continue to have a soft spot for Villa ahead of their neighbours.
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Old 13-12-2020, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by olly cromwell View Post
Ok
Badges 1 - 11 I am pretty sure are pre war (given that some are dated, which is very kind of them )
Badge Number 12 is not official at all, it is a "Miller ball" (and were sold as far as we know in Woolworths after the war) there are many for different clubs but the originals are highly collectable


I think (but don't quote me on it) that 24 & 25 are pre war too, all the post war supporters clubs seem to follow the current kit colours

There also is a tin Crystal Palace "smoke clubs" badge that is in the hands of a palace collector, which we think is pre war too (several clubs had smoke clubs)
Some of the badges have the season they were issued tor on them and we know that Palace changed to white shirts, black shorts in 1938 - which I would guess would date the black and white badges - the claret and light blue colours did not come in until 1949 and kit wise lasted only 6 years before Palace reverted to mainly white shirts (with a claret and light blue trim) and black shorts for many years until the change to claret and light blue stripes in the mid 1960s (originally light blue with thin claret stripes).


Perhaps there is a way to compare similar badges of Aston Villa, Burnley and West Ham from the same era to show a definite contrast in our club colours?
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Old 14-12-2020, 05:21 PM
olly cromwell olly cromwell is offline
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Perhaps there is a way to compare similar badges of Aston Villa, Burnley and West Ham from the same era to show a definite contrast in our club colours?
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  #40  
Old 15-12-2020, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldest Palace View Post
It's amazing what old photos and memorabilia are still around. It's not a photo I have come across and I think it would have been actually taken during the week of 16th May, 1908, which is when Palace made their first foreign trip, to Prague.
Spot on with your dates Oldest!
The games were on the 16th and 17th May 1908, we won 5-4 and 4-1 respectively.
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Last edited by JannerEagle; 15-12-2020 at 12:36 PM.
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