June 23 2004
Wantaway winger Julian Gray has signed for Birmingham City on a Bosman free transfer.
He signed a three-year deal with the Blues, becoming former Eagles boss Steve Bruce's third summer signing.
The 24-year-old was offered a lucrative new contract by Palace and spoke to other Premiership clubs before making his mind up to join the Midlanders.
Gray played a major part in Palace's promotion to the Premiership and manager Iain Dowie will be gutted to see him go.
He scored 14 goals in 144 appearances for the Eagles since signing from Arsenal for £500,000 in 1999.
The Lewisham-born man had unsucessful trials at Charlton, Leeds and Blackburn when his contract expired in the summer of 2003.
But he was unable to move on a Bosman free transfer as he was under 24. Palace couldn't agree a fee with those clubs and he re-joined the Palace squad on a week-by-week contract last season.
He made nine appearances on loan for Cardiff at the end of last year but a full-time move failed to materialise. He returned to South London in December and helped spark Palace into life as the Eagles moved from relegation candidates to play-off winners.
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