Selhurst Park, Home of CPFC
Crystal Palace Football Club, the venerable glaziers and soaring eagles …
I carefully take a sip from my mug as the coffee is still very hot and then I begin, I jot down a provisional timetable, for which I have made up my own colour code. I use red and blue, the colours of my dad’s team. He was a passionate supporter. ‘South London and Proud,’ he often repeated, a season ticket holder of a seat at the Holmesdale Road end, as a consequence I follow how the team is doing. …
Holmesdale Road, eyrie of the most fanatical fans of the eagles
From a third hook hangs a red and blue striped football-shirt. Salva’s got a lot of interest in football, ever since he was told that his grandfather, who he never met, was a keen supporter of Crystal Palace Football Club and because of his grandfather, both his grandmother and his mother follow all the news about the team. Three times he has been to watch matches there, once with me and twice with his granny.
What a man! Our saviour yes …
… but an apostle (in the sense of “a vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause“)
… not a saint (for the uninitiated, they reside at St Mary’s [home of Southampton F.C.])
… A lot has happened at the club since dad died. They were relegated from the Premier League, went into administration and were saved at the last minute by local hero Steve Parish. Last season they were promoted after some dramatic play-off matches and now is their first season back in the Premier League, where they belong, and this time they are there to stay, I am sure. What a shame dad isn’t here to enjoy it after supporting them for so long.
Wilf is our wizard, the whizz-kid on both wings! Blink and he’s gone! Our spellbinding sorcerer …
Editor – can we get a signed copy, or copies of Wilf’s shirt!
The shirt’s got the number 16 and the name Zaha across the back. There is also a scribble on it made with a black marker. The summer before last I went with the children to stay with my mum in Croydon. Through a friend of my dad, she got two tickets for me to take Salva to a friendly match at Selhurst Park, just before the season started, the seats were right next to the entrance from where the players come onto and leave the pitch. At half time the players were heading to the tunnel, Zaha was passing by and Salva shouted out, waving the Palace top he had bought before kickoff and asking him to sign the shirt. The team’s rising star player was very nice, he stopped and with that great smile Wilf has, quickly wrote his name with the felt tip pen my son had also bought in the club shop.
… but also I am more of a one team supporter, a Palace fan because of my dad, and I still follow them despite the distance. Today Palace are playing their last game of the season against Fulham, if we win we can even move to the top half of the table as long as Stoke lose, in any case, Palace will finish the season much higher than anyone predicted.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT? I DO! WOOHOOO!!!!