Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Crystal Palace - Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace FC
Selhurst Park
Whitehorse Lane
SE25 6PU

0208 768 6000
Official Website

Ground Number: 54
Tuesday 20th February 2001
Wimbledon 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers (Wycombe win 8-7 on penalties)
FA Cup 5th Round Replay 


1:   The club was formed in 1905 when owners of the Crystal Palace FA Cup Venue wanted a team to play on their ground and take advantage of the local catchment area. The venue hosted 20 FA Cup Finals and the site is now home to the Crystal Palace Athletics Centre which was home to current Combined Counties outfit AC London for a short while.

2:  Crystal Palace stayed at their original home until the outbreak of World War 1 until they were forced to move out by the authorities. They used two temporary venues - Herne Hill Velodrome and The Nest, former home of the now defunct Croydon Common FC. In 1924, they moved to Selhurst Park where they remain to this day. As well as being home to Crystal Palace, London rivals Charlton Athletic shared there from 1985-91 and Wimbledon FC lodged there from 1991 until their demise in 2003.

3:  Originally a non-league outfit, Crystal Palace played in the Southern League until 1920 when they joined the Football League Division 3 South. They were a 4th Division side in the early 60's and a 3rd Division side in the mid 70's, however, since 1976, they have never dropped out of the top two tiers of English football, alternating between the two divisions on a regular basis.

4:  Their best ever league finish came in the 1990/91 season when they finished 3rd behind Arsenal and Liverpool in the top tier.

5:  Crystal Palace have reached two FA Cup Finals, losing both to Manchester United. in 1990 they drew 3-3 at Wembley before losing the replay 1-0 whilst in 2016 they lost 2-1.

6:  They've also reached 4 League Cup semi-finals - losing to Arsenal in 1993, Liverpool in 1995 and 2001 as well as Cardiff City in 2012.

7:  Crystal Palace were denied a European place in 1991 as English clubs were facing a ban from Europe following the Heysel Stadium tragedy. They did enter the much-maligned Intertoto Cup in 1998, only to lose 4-0 to Turkish side Samsunspor over two legs.

8:  Famous fans include actors Neil Morrissey, Bill Nighy, Simon Bird & James Buckley, comedians Harry Enfield & Ronnie Corbett, the Rolling Stones Bill Wyman and radio DJ David 'Kid' Jensen.

9:  A fierce rivalry with Brighton & Hove Albion exists after a number of controversial incidents in the late 1970's whilst locally, Millwall and Charlton Athletic are their main foes.

10: Record appearance holder for the club is defender Jim Cannon who played 661 times between 1971 and 1988 whilst top scorer for the club is Peter Simpson who netted 165 times between 1929 and 1935. Their record win of 9-0 came against Barrow in October 1959 


My first visit to Selhurst Park came during Wycombe Wanderers' memorable run to the FA Cup semi-finals of 2001. Sadly, with no digital cameras at a reasonable price and this being long before social media, I don't have much to remember the game by. A few days previously, Wycombe had drawn 2-2 in the first game and that had plenty of drama and controversy. However, the replay would be far better and I'd rate it as the best and most memorable game I have ever seen in my life. I travelled with my Dad's mate Dave and despite us leaving at 4, we were lucky to make kick off. The M25 was as pathetic as it is today and had it been now, I'd have gone on the train and made a day of it. We got to the ground at 7.30 after chronic delays on the cursed road, with a large number of our support didn't even make kick-off.

Current Wycombe Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth put Wimbledon ahead after 13 minutes but Dave Carroll equalised two minutes after the half hour. On 69 minutes Michael Simpson was sent off for a second yellow card and Wycombe looked to be out when Wimbledon were awarded a penalty with almost the last kick of the game. However, goalkeeper Martin Taylor was the hero when he saved the spot-kick to take the game into extra time. Again, Wycombe's cup run looked to be over when Wayne Gray scored after 34 seconds, but Paul McCarthy's 119th-minute equalizer took the game to a penalty shoot out. Keeper Martin Taylor was again the hero in a tense penalty shoot-out. Although it was another slow journey home, with me having bad toothache, it was still the most memorable and enjoyable night of me supporting Wycombe.    

No comments:

Post a Comment