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Memory Lane Memories and nostalgia about Crystal Palace F.C

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Old 31-12-2020, 01:41 PM
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Ray Colfar RIP

I found this in a thread in the General Palace Discussion section.

Ray Colfar sadly passed away during the days leading up to Christmas, aged 85.

Ray signed for Palace in November 1958 from Sutton United and went on to make 44 appearances and scored 6 goals up to his departure in the summer of 1961. His best season with us was the 1959-60 season where, from his outside left position, he started 26 games scoring 5 goals, netting twice in each of the 8-1 and 9-0 victories over Watford and Barrow.

Ray lost his place to new arrival Ron Heckman for the 1960-61 promotion season, featuring five times and he then joined Cambridge United.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
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Old 31-12-2020, 07:16 PM
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Looking through the archives, this was possibly Ray Colfar’s most impressive game for Palace. He briefly struck up a partnership with the legendary Johnny Byrne - this match is certainly one of the stand out scores from a memorable time in Palace history:

From the Norwood News:

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Old 01-01-2021, 11:48 AM
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Norwood News 23rd September 1960
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:07 PM
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Norwood News 10th April, 1959
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:11 PM
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:24 PM
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RIP Ray!
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:44 PM
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September 1959


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Old 01-01-2021, 07:48 PM
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Norwood News 10th April, 1959

Record crowd. Didn't he mean the highest attendance so far that season?
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Old 02-01-2021, 06:12 AM
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Record crowd. Didn't he mean the highest attendance so far that season?
I’ve had a look through the records John, it does seem to be the highest gate for that season - indeed one of the higher home gates of the 1950s up to that point - there was a gate of 22,000 at home to Millwall earlier in the previous season.

A couple of points to bear in mind - 1958/59 was the first ever Fourth Division season, at this particular weekend, Palace still had a decent chance of getting promotion.



As you can see, Palace were 6th at the end of the match, just a point behind Exeter, who occupied the last promotion slot in 4th place.

Palace followed up by losing away to Coventry (who finished 2nd) and away to Exeter, who finished just outside the promotion places in 5th.

In typical Palace style, we managed to beat Shrewsbury at Selhurst 4-3 - Shrewsbury though grabbed the remaining 4th spot. Palace finished off with a 4-1 away win over lowly Darlington and the final match against Walsall was a 1-3 defeat.

Palace finished 6 pts (three wins) behind Shrewsbury with a vastly inferior goal average - only circa 9,027 for the home gate v Shrewsbury and just 8,848 showed up for the Walsall match, two of the lowest gates of the season.

As you can see, the Port Vale v Cov match was more or less a title decider (Port Vale went up as the first ever Fourth Division Champions. You can bet around half that gate at Port Vale were Coventry fans - I guess Exeter may have had a big following at Palace too - but much further to travel obviously.

Palace’s average for the season was circa 14,000 in the 58/59 season.
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:22 PM
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You can bet around half that gate at Port Vale were Coventry fans - .
CP Sat - I think you might be underestimating the support Port Vale had in the Fifties. Only a few years before they were averaging 20,000 in the second division and that particular season in the new fourth division, their average gate was around 13,000.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:13 AM
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CP Sat - I think you might be underestimating the support Port Vale had in the Fifties. Only a few years before they were averaging 20,000 in the second division and that particular season in the new fourth division, their average gate was around 13,000.

I can’t argue with that John, way before my time! All I do know, looking through the reports, Coventry v Port Vale in March 1959 attracted over 28,000 - the highest 4th Division gate of the season.

Port Vale averaged around 12,000 for the 58/59 season, which is actually their highest average up to the present day.

For perspective, Palace averaged around 14,000 in 58/59 and Coventry’s was 16,000, so it’s a pure guess on my part, but I would guess a club going for promotion could take several thousand back in the day.

I did read, for example, that even Torquay United took a massive following to Selhurst Park, just a couple of years earlier, when they were in with a shout of winning Division Three (South). Palace won, but the 22,000 crowd surely were not all there to cheer Palace for finishing 20th?
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