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January 23 2022 9.20am

Freedman salutes fans

July 31 2008

Dougie Freedman

Dougie Freedman

Crystal Palace striker Dougie Freedman has paid tribute to the fans for backing him over his 10 seasons at the club.

The Selhurst Park faithful showed their appreciation for the skillful Scot at his testimonial against Fulham on Tuesday night - and the feeling was mutual.

Freedman said: "I have a good relationship and a very good bond with the fans and it doesn't break if fans don't sing my name one game. It goes beyond that.

"It goes beyond just turning up. I'm very, very lucky to be supported by these fans as much as I have over the 10 years. Over a long period of time, they've shown a lot of faith in me and that's what I'll look back on.

"I'm not very emotional but when you get the turnout from the fans, players and ex-managers and you see them taking the time and effort, that made me emotional."

Although the match ended goalless, the fans were thrilled to see former players such as Andy Johnson, John Salako, Mark Bright, Jim Cannon and Simon Rodger presented at half-time.

"I couldn't really focus on the match," said Freedman. "I usually use my brain to try to win the game but my mind was elsewhere. It was a good night, I really enjoyed it and it went to plan.

"I tried to put together as many Palace legends, managers and players to show my appreciation to the fans. I didn't want it to just be the Dougie Freedman testimonial with all eyes on me.

"I find it very uneasy to accept the status of legend. When someone says it to me, I tend to go into my shell as I never set out to be that. I set out to entertain the fans. I just tried to do my best, legend is a bit too strong."

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