You are here: Home > News > The Stockport game
May 29 2020 1.48am

The Stockport game

July 1 2001

Dougie Freedman

Dougie Freedman

Everyone has their own memories of that amazing day when Palace escaped the jaws of relegation in 2001. Here is a few recollections from some supporters...

INSERT the second best pic from Stockport pics I took


Absolutly amazing day! Got the 9.05 from Euston with my mates, along with bags full of lager for the journey! By the time we got to Crewe we were completlty rat ar*ed and the locals were looking at us as we were mad, WE WERE!!!

Got to the Stockport and walked down the high street, it was all Palace standing in large or small groups drinking and singing, everyone was drunk or on a high, BRILLIANT!

Walked to the ground in a convoy of about 300 Palace fans chanting away!! When Doug scored I was straight on to the pitch after running rings around two stewards. The tension that had built up in the last 45 mins all got to much and then when it went in it was like an explosion of joy. No one could contain themselves!!! AMAZING SCENES!!

Then a second invasion in which I confronted a Stockie fan but he was pleasant enough and congratulated me. Non-stop singing on the way home and more drink. I was proud to be Palace and proud of our fans!!



What a day!! It was such an early start but I managed to make it out of bed and our minibus turned up on time at Clock House St at 7am. The first couple of hours on the bus were quiet wile people were trying to wake up, but then a few cans got us in the mood.

Then disater struck. As we were turning off for Stockport on the motorway, the bus ran out of petrol! Luckily it was only 12pm and 13 of us managed to push it to a nearby petrol station. We filled it up and it still wouldn't start, we were going to get cabs to the ground, but we bump started it and it worked. And we made it to the ground, thank God.

The pubs were rammed and we manged to get a quick pint in, before what we thought we could go in a bit early to get a decent spot, but the terracing was jam packed with a sea of red and blue and everyone was upbeat. We found a nice spot near the front.

The game itself was just a rollercoaster of emotions. Stockport would not give in and gave us a real contest. Palace were not as good as the previous Wednesday against Pompey.

News filtered in about Pompey going 1-0, then 2-0 and 3-0 in front. We HAD to win and the longer the match went on I thought it was just not going to be our day or season. Missed half chances, Stockport with their chances, handballs from both sides.

Barnsley and Miller were laying down too easily for Pompey and Stockport fighting us right to the end. The clock was ticking and ticking... Looking around, the tension on everyone's faces was unbelievable and so was the frustration as half chances went begging.

Then Dougie gets the ball at the edge of the box, cuts inside the defender, works a bit of magic and GOAL! YES!!!! We done it!! What a releif. Cue massive surge forward.

I had to get on the pitch with everyone else and was so excited and fell over the wall in my efforts. What a time to score, waiting 87 minutes was terrible, but it meant there was a little time left to hold on.

The last few minutes of the game went on for ages. Where did the ref get five minutes of injury time from? And why did Kolinko slip and give us all heart attacks, again??

The full-time whistle was there and running on the pitch had to be done. We got hold of Aki then let him have his wish of going back to the dressing room. But wait, it was not all over. There was a few minutes left of the Huddersfield game. But in my mind, we had done it. The Palace fans went wild, singing cheering, such an occasion.

The hugging of strangers, it can only happen at football, the joy on everyone's faces. It was like we won the FA Cup, in fact it was probably better. We had pulled off the great escape and Houdini would have been proud of this one. Unbelievable.

My first call had to be to a Millwall mate of mine and the text messages of congratulations were coming through. We did it, I still cannot believe it. I wanted to go out in Bromley to celebrate even more, but I was drained, physically and mentally. What a day.


What a game!! The atmosphere was wonderful, a real credit to the club. Even before the game when a young man who shall remain nameless shinned up a pub roof and put the big red and blue flag on it, right under the landlord's nose and massive amounts of booze was being necked. I liked the style of the two guys chugging down bottles of Lambrusco outside the ground.

We had spent the previous night at the Palace Nightclub, Blackpool "bothering" young women and our heads were a little light thanks to the large amounts of tart fuel we consumed.

When we got to Stockport my head cleared when we saw all the red & blue shirts and when we got in the ground. I was cheered by the singing and just by the vast amounts of Palace there.

The game's a bit of a long, painful blur, I can't believe we were so wasteful, but Dougie's strike made up for that. Seeing the joy on Stevie's face and the obvious relief the players were showing made up for the times when in the season when it looked like they couldn't give a toss.

The lads done really well and the happiness of the squad must be down to Stevie Kember and his new team. I thought the pitch invasions were very funny and the sight of loads of grown people jumping up and down like nutters and hugging total strangers is something that will stick in my mind forever.

Even the trip back to Blackpool was fun, with horns being beeped and chants being sung and loads of Stockport fans wishing us well, I thought they were a nice bunch and deserve to stay up.

We got asked all sorts of questions when we went out in Blackpool last night, the bouncers at the bars must have thought we had necking pills like no tommorrow judging by the huge sh*t eating grins on our faces and the landlord at our B&B gave us cheap booze to celebrate.

Yesterday has reinforced my crazy love for this mad club and has made me feel so happy that I'm part of the best group of fans in the country. Must have a break from footy for a while though, the last few weeks have put me close to breaking point. Still, I like the rest of you wil be back at Selhurst in August for more of the same.


I know it says people at the match, although I didn't go, I'll tell you how I spent my afternoon.

Well, I went to a Christening where I was to be God father. The timing of this event couldn't have been worse but it could not be helped.

Well the Christening started at 2.30pm, so I managed to see the first half at least. Watched it on the box at the in-laws. Couldn't sit down for more than a couple of minutes due to the tension, nearly cried when fat boy let the first one in.

At half time went to the church, to do the Christening thing, left the mobile phone on vibrate for updates. Well it vibrated three times during the proceedings. Didn't dare have a look, had to wait until it had finished. Looked at the messages from a GFC mate all saying Pompey were winning. Sh1t.

Rang the father in-law, spent the last five minutes on the phone waiting for the result to come through and got boll0cked by the baby's father for holding up proceedings of photos etc.

But it was worth the wait and went mental on hearing we were safe, got p1ssed up later too. Well done to all of you that made the journey.


I couldn't actually get tickets to the game, but my whole family packed into the Albert pub in sarf Norwood to see it.

We had to win, everone I met would tell me that we were going down and we had to prove them wrong. The match was crap - it didn't help that Sky insisted on showing the league table every two minutes.

The tension got ridiculous in the pub, by now packed to the brim with red and blue colours. But it was all worth it to see Dougie's goal fly in. What a goal, What a day.

What are YOUR memories of the day? Put your comments in the form below or email and we'll add them to the rest

Pages 1 2

Latest Headlines

Palace Talk Forum Latest

First game?
at 10.43pm by croydon proud

First game?
at 10.24pm by Willo

First game?
at 9.59pm by doombear

First game?
at 8.28pm by Spiderman

First game?
at 8.15pm by Blue'n'red

Remaining Fixtures
at 6.45pm by xomnea

You are here: Home > News > The Stockport game