12 Obscure Facts About Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park
Nestled in the heart of South London, Crystal Palace Football Club stands as a storied institution in the world of English football. Rich in history and brimming with unique tales, the club has woven itself into the fabric of both local and national football culture. From its early days to its contemporary status, Crystal Palace FC is not just about the beautiful game; it's a mosaic of fascinating stories, quirky traditions, and lesser-known facts. As we delve into these intriguing snippets of history, we uncover the depth and character of a club that's much more than just a name in the league. Let's explore some of the more obscure and captivating facts about this cherished football club.

Contents

The Origins of The Club’s Name

The Crystal Palace Connection: The club, founded in 1905, takes its name from the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building, a symbol of Victorian grandeur. This iconic structure, sadly lost to fire in 1936, was the inspiration behind the club’s name, linking it forever to a unique piece of British history.

A Ground Shared With Royalty

In its early years, Crystal Palace FC played at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, which was situated inside the grounds of the former Crystal Palace. Interestingly, this area was once a hunting ground for the Royal Family.

A Bald Eagle Takes Flight

Crystal Palace’s mascot, an American Bald Eagle named Kayla, was a unique feature at their games. The bird was made the club’s official mascot in 2015, before sadly dying at the age of 28 in 2020. This majestic bird would fly around Selhurst Park before kick-off, symbolizing the club’s spirit and ambition.

The Great Escape of 2004-2005

In the 2004-2005 season, Crystal Palace achieved what was termed ‘The Great Escape’. Starting from a seemingly hopeless position at the bottom, the team managed an incredible turnaround to narrowly escape relegation, showcasing their resilience and fighting spirit.

A Literary Reference

Selhurst Park, the iconic home of Crystal Palace FC, made a notable appearance in literature in the novel “The Ballad of Peckham Rye” by Muriel Spark. In the book, Selhurst Park is referenced as a setting for a football match, bringing the vivid atmosphere of the stadium into the world of fiction.

Celebrity Supporters

The club boasts a number of celebrity supporters. Renowned comedian Jo Brand and actor Bill Nighy are among the famous faces frequently spotted cheering for the Eagles.

A Unique Record in the Premier League

Crystal Palace amassed a total of 49 points during the 1992-1993 Premier League season, yet still somehow managed to get relegated.  This remains the record high number of points by any team in the Premier League era while being relegated.

The Influence of Steve Coppell

Steve Coppell is one of Crystal Palace’s most iconic figures, having managed the club in four separate stints. His influence on the team’s style and success, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, cements his legacy as a Palace legend.

The TV Connection

Selhurst Park featured prominently in the Apple TV comedy series “Ted Lasso.” The series, which launched in 2020, follows an American Football coach who takes on the role of managing a top-flight football team in England. Selhurst Park serves as the home ground for the fictional team AFC Richmond in the show.

A Song For The Eagles

Anthem of the South: The club’s unofficial anthem, “Glad All Over” by The Dave Clark Five, is a staple at Selhurst Park. This song, embodying the spirit and passion of the Palace fans, is often heard roaring from the stands during games.

The Youngest Ever Player

A Record-Breaking Debut: In 2007, John Bostock became the youngest player ever to play for Crystal Palace in a match at the age of 15 years and 287 days, 

A Community Club

More Than Football: Crystal Palace is deeply embedded in the local community, with numerous initiatives aimed at supporting local causes and engaging with fans beyond the pitch. This commitment has helped build a strong bond between the club and its supporters.

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