90min's Definitive A to Z of Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Football Club, originally nicknamed 'The Glaziers' were founded on 10 September, 1905.

They joined the Football League in 1920, and have spent the majority of that time plying their trade in the top two divisions.

Over the years, many great players have donned Palace's famous red and blue shirt - providing some exhilarating moments for the club's supporters. But how are the club defined in say, an A-Z?

Let's find out... 

A is for Andy Johnson

Club ambassador Andy Johnson scored 85 goals in 160 appearances for Palace, a mightily impressive strike rate. After firing the Eagles to promotion in 2003/04, top scoring with 27 league goals, Johnson was equally as impressive in the Premier League.

Andrew Johnson

He scored 21 goals, with only Thierry Henry ahead of him in the golden boot race. Sadly, his goals were not enough to keep Palace from avoiding the drop.

B is for Johnny Byrne

Playing for Palace between 1956 and 1962, and then again in 1967/78, Byrne scored over 100 goals for Crystal Palace - becoming one of just five post-World War II players to be called up by England while playing outside of the top two divisions in England.

C is for Jim Cannon

Probably the biggest Palace legend of the lot. Signed as an apprentice in 1970, the Scottish defender has made more appearances for the Eagles than any other player, with over 660 appearances during his 15 seasons at Selhurst Park. Mr. Crystal Palace.

D is for Dougie Freedman

Current Crystal Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman is a firm favourite at the club. The Scotsman scored over 100 goals for the Eagles during his two spells and 11 seasons at Selhurst Park. 

Dougie Freedman

He later returned to Palace in 2010 as Assistant Manager under Paul Hart, and then George Burley. Once Burley was sacked, Freedman got his first taste of management at Palace, before heading off to Bolton.

E is for Edwin Smith

Edwin Smith played for Palace between 1911 and 1920, and is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the club's history. He is, infact, second - bagging 124 goals in the 192 appearances he made.

F is for Full Members Cup

Palace have been champions of the third tier of English football once, and the second tier twice. Aside from that, there's not an awful lot going on in the club's trophy cabinet. 

However, they did manage to win the Full Members Cup, also known as the Zenith Data Systems Cup (no, me neither), in 1991. They beat Everton 4-1 in extra time. 

G is for Geoff Thomas

Palace's greatest ever player, captaining the Eagles throughout their most successful period in history. Thomas skippered the side to the FA Cup final in 1990, and won the club's player of the year award the following season as Palace finished third in the top flight - their highest ever position. 

H is for Holmesdale Fanatics

Crystal Palace are often credited with the noisiest fans in the Premier League, and the Holmesdale Fanatics are a big reason why. They specialise in singing throughout the 90 minutes, with a dedicated singing section.

Crystal Palace v Leicester City - Premier League

I is for Alan Irvine

Once it was confirmed Ian Wright would be taking the W on this list (more on that later), 'I' was very much up for grabs. Step forward Alan Irvine. These days he's known for his role as being an Assistant Manager, but during his playing days Irvine was a winger. He played 109 times for Palace, scoring 12 goals. That's good enough for me. 

J is for John Salako

Another member of that great Palace side that reached the FA Cup final and came third in the league, Salako played over 200 times for the club over nine years.

K is for Kenny Sansom

An outstanding defender who made 86 caps for England. Kenny Sansom started out in the Palace youth team and spent five seasons at the club before being sold to Arsenal.

L is for Attilio Lombardo

One of the strangest signings in history? The Italian arrived from Juventus in 1997, and although he only spent a season and a half at Selhurst Park, it was enough to earn him cult hero status with the fans.

Crystal Palace Coach Attilio Lombardo

He even had a spell in charge of the team!

M is for Mark Bright

A proper Palace legend. Part of the Wright-Bright partnership that many consider to be the club's best ever frontline, Mark Bright scored 114 goals in his six seasons at Palace between 1986 and 1992.

N is for Nigel Martyn


Another from that 1990 side that made it to the FA Cup final, the goalkeeper played 349 times for the Eagles across seven seasons with the club - and is one of the finest stoppers to never become an England regular.

O is for Ohhhhhhhhh

We love you, we love you, we love you

And where you play 

We follow, we follow, we follow

Cos we support

The Palace, The Palace, The Palace

And that's the way

We like it, we like it, we like it


P is for Peter Simpson

You must be a pretty special talent to score 165 goals in 195 games. Well that's exactly what club-record goalscorer Peter Simpson achieved for Crystal Palace between 1929 and 1935.

A true club legend.

Q is for Qualifying for Europe

Well... sort of. Courtesy of the wonderful, and now defunct, Intertoto cup, Palace ventured into European football for the one and only time in their history. Despite finishing bottom of the Premier League, Palace were the only participant in 1998. 

They lost 4-0 on aggregate against Turkish side Samsunspor, losing 2-0 in both legs. Wikipedia handily tells us that Palace's highest ever home attendance in Europe is 11,758, and that their lowest is, well... 11,758. Cheers.

R is for Relegation Record

Apologies, Palace fans. The club have set two unwanted Premier League records for relegation. In 1992/93 they were relegated on 49 points, which is still a record number of points for a relegated Premier League club. 

Palace are also the only club ever to be relegated from the Premier League when finishing fourth from bottom in 1994/95, as the league was reduced from 22 to 20 clubs for the following season.

S is for Steve Coppell

Stephen James Coppell is, quite simply, the greatest manager in Crystal Palace history. During his 13-years as manager (over four spells), he took the club to an FA Cup Final, third place in the top flight, won the Full Members Cup and guided the club to two second tier play-off wins. in total he managed 565 games for the club.

Steve Coppell of Palace

T is for Terry Long

Long played for Palace as a defender between 1955 and 1970. He made 480 appearances for the club, second only to Jim Cannon - and his time with the club will never be forgotten.

U is for Dennis Uphill

A straight shoot-out here between Dennis Uphill and Matthew Upson. Luckily for Dirty Den (let's assume he had an Alfredo Morelos-esque disciplinary record), Upson only made seven appearances for Palace during a brief loan spell in 2000/01. Uphill made 63 appearances for Palace between 1960 and 1963, scoring 17 goals. 

Sorry, Matthew. 

V is for Vince Hilaire

Hilaire was a key part of the Palace team in the late 70's to early 80's, and was a firm fan favourite. The tricky winger had speed and skill, and contributed to Palace's rise from the third division to the top flight. He made 293 appearances for the club, scoring 36 goals.

W is for Ian Wright

Ian Wright, Wright, Wright. Many associate Ian Wright MBE with Arsenal. Which is fair, considering he scored 185 goals for the Gunners and is considered one of their greatest ever players. But the man from Woolwich wasn't too shabby for Palace either, the club where he made his name. 

Wright was so highly regarded by the Palace fans, that in 2005 they named him their "Player of the Century". He scored 118 goals in 277 appearances for the club between 1985 and 1992. 

What a player.

Ian Wright

X is for Excellent bit of trivia

Only one club in the entire Football League doesn't have a vowel in the first five letters of their name. You guessed it - Crystal Palace. 

Y is for Yo-yo

Between 1993 and 1998, Palace were the ultimate yo-yo club. In the space of six seasons, Palace suffered three relegations from the Premier League, and two promotions to it. Thankfully for Palace fans, those days seem to be consigned to history. 

The Eagles are currently enjoying their sixth consecutive season in the top flight, and are starting to become part of the furniture. 

Z is for Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

As hard as he tries to leave the club, you can't deny that Wilfried Zaha is Palace's star man. Aside from that brief stint at Manchester United (and a short loan spell at Cardiff), he's spent his entire career at Selhurst Park. 

He's made over 350 appearances for the club, and is widely regarded as one of the club's best ever players.

Source : 90min