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Memory Lane Memories and nostalgia about Crystal Palace F.C

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  #621  
Old 02-05-2022, 07:59 AM
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Last day of the season and the final game of the old first division before the humongous corporate Premier League took its bow in August and swallowed up everything in front and before it.

Was at the game and the biggest memory I have is actually not of any of the game, as we were the definition of ‘on the beach, but from before the match.

I was stood near the front to the right of the goal in the away end, as Palace warmed up. It suddenly dawned on everyone that the keeper wasn’t Nigel. Lots of sideways, confused glances and murmurs as people tried to work out who it was. Martyn had played every game that season, bar the 3 he was suspended for after the Wimbledon sending off, and Suckling deputised. I think at the time we had Andy Woodman and Jimmy Glass also in reserve, and I had seen both play before in reserves and youth and knew it wasn’t them. Who the f*** was it???

There was a group of lads behind me, and it looked like one of them was picked to be the chosen one and go and find out. Remember it clear as day. He walked straight down to the barriers at the front, lent over and started calling out to the keeper and asked him straight out, ‘Excuse me, what’s your name?’

Sullivan, just turned round, unaffected, like it was a Sunday League game at Purley way and told him. The guy then turned to make his way back up to his mates, smiling like a victorious hunter gatherer who’d just snared an antelope and was dragging it back to his hungry family. As he made his way back up to his mates everyone was stopping him and asking for the answer; ‘’Neil Sullivan’ he said repeatedly, with a shrug of the shoulders. His friends finally greeted him back like an all conquering hero.

Hardly anyone knew who Sullivan was at that point, but clearly someone around us did, and it soon filtered back that this was Wimbledon’s reserve keeper who was asked to play at very short notice due to Martyn being unable to make it. Hans Segers was the Dons No.1, and don’t think Sullivan made the shirt his own until around ‘96.

As always with games against QPR, there were players lined up for them with past and future Palace connections. On this day, Holloway, Wilkins and sub Dennis Bailey. Our sub that day, who came on at half time was Andrew Barnes. Another one of Coppell’s non league punts that unfortunately didn’t come off this time. The 25 year old lightening fast forward came from Sutton the year before, and I think this was his one and only appearance.

It seems his career sadly ended soon after with a cruciate injury at the same time Salako did his, and in fact had their surgeries in the states together.

Seems from a few comments I found that he had done his ACL in a reserve game, but never really recovered like Salako, and knowing his pro career was over, Coppell threw him on for a bit just so he could say he played for Palace and to sort out his insurance. Anyone else throw some light on it?

Sadly, he passed away after a sudden heart attack about four years ago, at 51.

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  #622  
Old 02-05-2022, 08:07 AM
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Once again bubbs I have similar memories to you. Remember someone calling out to Sullivan "Who are you" and him answering, which was quite funny, and also Andy Barnes who looked quick / promising, but as you say, that was that as far as playing for Palace was concerned. Don't remember the own goal at all even seeing it again, or that it was obviously one-way traffic judging from those brief highlights, but also don't recall having any doubts that we'd survive the next season either, despite all the crap from the previous year or so (Wright, Gabbiadini, Bodin, Ron Noades racism row etc).
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  #623  
Old 02-05-2022, 08:16 AM
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It always feels to me like we do well against QPR unless we play them first or last game of the season, when we always lose. I think the latter bit is based on the first game back up in 1989, this match, and the Kevin Miller game. I wish we'd had some random keeper no-one knew who he was in that match, too.
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  #624  
Old 02-05-2022, 08:22 AM
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One of my favourite ever away days, although can recall little of the game itself, other then 'goalkeeper-gate' as previously mentioned.

The main memories were the scenes at the end of the game.
We had gone in the standing enclosure on the side, so Palace end was to our right.
Can't remember if it was an official overspill section or if we just wanted to avoid the terrible views from the packed away terrace but it was pretty much all Palace in there.

At the end of the game, there was the usual pitch invasion from the home fans for the last game of the season.
Unfortunately for them, access to the pitch was quite easy from the side as police/stewards were concentrating on the palace end behind the goal.
A trickle of away fans became larger, the inevitable clashes with home fans began and 'fisticuffs' were breaking out all over the pitch with more and Palace joining in the fun.
After much too-ing and fro-ing, Palace players were paraded in the directors box for an end of season wave to get hundreds of us off their own pitch, which, quite understandably, was sending their mob apoplectic.
After our players bow, we wandered off the pitch leaving them to have their own liitle send off.
You've got to remember this was still relatively recent after the infamous 82 Cup tie, Clive Allen and venables taking several players from us, so there was still an undercurrent of bitterness on both sides.

As I said, still one of my favourite away game incidents.
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  #625  
Old 02-05-2022, 12:11 PM
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Ifs, buts and maybes...

Looking at the final table again:

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Can't help wonder where we would've ended up had Wright not left. I suspect had he stayed, then Gray would've been appeased and wouldn't have left in a huff; and with Wright on the pitch at home to Leeds, the events would not have unfolded to lead to Salako's ACL injury.

Leeds finished 25pts clear - i'd say that would be too much of a stretch to believe Wright's presence would've made up that many points; but I would certainly say he was worth between 10 - 15pts. That would've left us between 4th and 6th. Another incredible season potentially.

As it stands, 10th is still our second highest league finish ever - only equalled by Pardew's Palace in 2014/15. And so, a strange reality that in mine, and probably a lot of your eyes too, this still stands as one of the most depressing and frustrating seasons following our club I can recall.
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  #626  
Old 02-05-2022, 04:30 PM
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Was there that day at QPR. Great atmosphere for an end of season game. Sulivan played a blinder in his only game for us. Seem to remember no one knew who he was during the game!
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Old 02-05-2022, 05:35 PM
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Have enjoyed this run down. The season was more eventful than I remembered and it was only really in the last third that it fizzled out and became ‘The Boring Season.’ My recollection had been of game after game with Coleman up front and us trying to nick a win but it wasn’t quite like that.
Can still remember the 1-0 win at Villa early on in the season with us wearing the Brazil kit and feeling so much optimism which completely died away. Wrighty leaving really ripped the heart out of the side.
Still would never have thought that we’d go down a year later.
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Old 02-05-2022, 05:35 PM
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1989/90 next?
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  #629  
Old 02-05-2022, 05:47 PM
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1989/90 next?
I was going to put it to a vote as have 87/88, 88/89 & 89/90 scrapbooks, but think I’ll start with 87/88 in August, to keep some continuity and the fact that it will be 35 years after each season that we’ll recall for the following three years.

What does everyone else think?
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  #630  
Old 02-05-2022, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbs11 View Post
I was going to put it to a vote as have 87/88, 88/89 & 89/90 scrapbooks, but think I’ll start with 87/88 in August, to keep some continuity and the fact that it will be 35 years after each season that we’ll recall for the following three years.

What does everyone else think?
Sounds good to me, bubbs
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  #631  
Old 02-05-2022, 05:59 PM
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87/88 season, yes please
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  #632  
Old 02-05-2022, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbs11 View Post
I was going to put it to a vote as have 87/88, 88/89 & 89/90 scrapbooks, but think I’ll start with 87/88 in August, to keep some continuity and the fact that it will be 35 years after each season that we’ll recall for the following three years.

What does everyone else think?
Sounds good, Bubbs. Really enjoyed 87/88. Great kit & Wright and Bright clicking into gear.
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  #633  
Old 02-05-2022, 06:47 PM
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Yeah 87/88 next please. My first full season!
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  #634  
Old 03-05-2022, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbs11 View Post
I was going to put it to a vote as have 87/88, 88/89 & 89/90 scrapbooks, but think I’ll start with 87/88 in August, to keep some continuity and the fact that it will be 35 years after each season that we’ll recall for the following three years.

What does everyone else think?
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  #635  
Old 04-05-2022, 03:25 PM
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A somewhat bizarre and tumultuous season comes to an end. Must have been one of the earliest finishes of the 'modern' era, can't think of a particular reason why that would have been beyond giving Graham Taylor's England squad as much time as possible to prepare for their disastrous showing at Euro 92. He should have kept his nerve and selected GT.

Looking at that final league table, for all the turmoil it seems in hindsight as though the squad transition had actually worked reasonably well. Only a few points off the top eight and only seven teams lost fewer than our 13 during the course of the season. Of course next year this was proven to be a fallacy, crucially we lost Bright to Sheff Wed very early on and then Thomas's form fell off a cliff after his big money transfer to Blackburn collapsed.

I also went to the first leg of the Youth Cup Final, quite a big turnout at Selhurst for that one as the game had captured the imagination of those old enough to remember our mighty youth team of the late 70s.

As for next year - all of the seasons 87/88 to 89/90 would hit the sweet spot for me but maybe 87/88 has particular appeal for a few spurious reasons:
- 35th anniversary so a sort of round number!
- it marked the switch back from the Hummel era sash kit to the red and blue stripes which became iconic over the next few years
- the first season in which the Coppell era really gathered momentum, goals galore, some big games and a tense end of season race for the play-offs. We were always in contention near the top of the table as I recall.
- New signings in the summer of 1987 were the catalyst for this, most notably Geoff Thomas arriving from Crewe
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Old 04-05-2022, 03:29 PM
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New entries into the top ten for week ending 2 May 1992:

Temple of Love by The Sisters Of Mercy - one for the goths, it must have been their biggest hit as it got as high as number 3

In The Closet by Michael Jackson - was he trying to tell us something? Pathetic effort anyway.

Please Don't Go / Game Boy (#5) by KWS - intensely irritating dance-lite reworking of the KC and the Sunshine Band hit, this was a massive smash staying at number 1 for 5 weeks. The Game Boy double-A side track means nothing to me.
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