March 24 2003
Older supporters will remember the time when Crystal Palace hit Brighton for six in 1950.
Palace spent a large part of their early history stuck in the Third Division (South) since their election to the Football League in 1920.
They finished the 1949/50 campaign in seventh place, which was their highest position for more than a decade.
Player-manager Ronnie Rooke had returned to Selhurst Park after helping Arsenal win the title two years earlier as the league's top goalscorer.
Rooke began his career with Palace as a prolific scorer in the reserves during the 1930s.
Nicknamed "The Rooke Regiment", his goals helped struggling Palace rise up the table. The most memorable was a hat-trick in the Glaziers' 6-0 demolition at home to Brighton on February 11, 1950.
Rooke gave Palace an early lead with a long-distance effort into the bottom corner from Ted Harding's pass. Then just past the half hour mark, Fred Kurz followed up Ray Howells' blocked shot to double the advantage.
In the second half, Rooke's second goal was something a bit special. He picked up Billy Blackshaw's cross from the right with his back to goal, turned and lobbed the keeper to score.
Goals from Howells and a Charlie Chase volley made it 5-0, leaving Rooke to complete his hat-trick in the 75th minute from Howells' cross and the 6-0 rout.
Palace: Graham, Harding, Murphy, Chase, Watson, Ross, Blackshaw, Mulheron, Kurz, Rooke, Howells.
Referee: Mr F S Fiander
In Depth The Brighton Rivalry
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