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Hodgson is an Eagle

May 6 2012

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace fans will have a special reason to get behind new England manager Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson is a boyhood Palace supporter and he even played for the club's youth side, although he did not reach the first team.

The Croydonian, who went to Sydenham Road Primary and then John Ruskin Grammar, was a regular at Selhurst Park as a kid and picked out his two favourite players.

"As a Crystal Palace supporter as a boy, I liked watching Johnny McNichol and Johnny Byrne," he said.

Both Palace chief scout Steve Kember and assistant manager Lennie Lawrence played at John Ruskin with Hodgson and saw the future England manager make his first steps into coaching.

Kember said: "Roy was a talented player who was all about touch. At an early age, he decided to get his coaching badges and hasn't really looked back since.

"He's still a good friend, although our paths have gone different ways. We keep in touch and see each other and I enjoyed working with him at Fulham. I've sent him a message but I should think he might be busy over the next few weeks."

Holmesdale.net reader Ramzi Musallam remembers Hodgson from when he taught his class PE and English at Monks Hill, now Quest Academy in Selsdon.

"When I tell people that Roy Hodgson was my teacher, people think I'm making it up," he told the Croydon Advertiser. "It's amazing to see how far he's come since he coached the school's football team.

"Even then everyone wanted to play for him. He was a really intelligent, charismatic guy who knew how to motivate you."

Another Palace connection in the England camp sees former Eagles coach and caretaker manager Ray Lewington join Hodgson's coaching staff for this summer's European Championships.

Hodgson said: "I know Ray well and enjoyed working with him at Craven Cottage. He's a very good coach and the players will I'm sure enjoy working with him."

Palace may not have any players in the England set up these days but two former Eagles could quite possibly help the Three Lions become kings of Europe.


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