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Where are they now? No.7

April 27 2009

John Burridge

John Burridge

John Burridge, Mark Lazarus, Clive Allen and Barry Silkman - where are they now?

John Burridge (1978-80)

Regarded as one of Crystal Palace's finest goalkeepers, he was an ever-present in the 1978/79 promotion-winning side. His 21 clean sheets that campaign is still a club record today.

The practical joker was known for his comedy gymnastic routines on the pitch, taking a football to bed while wearing boots and gloves, and many supporters were gutted to see him leave for QPR after 102 appearances.

The self-styled hard-man played for no fewer than 27 clubs afterwards - at 43 years, four months and 26 days, he became the oldest player to appear in the Premier League when in the colours of Manchester City - and ended his career with non-league Blyth Spartans. While there, he was convicted and fined for dealing in counterfeit leisure wear.

"Budgie" coached Nigel Martyn and co at Leeds, then worked with the keepers for the Oman national side, had a spell as goalkeeper coach in United Arab Emirates, before returning to his role with Oman.

Lucky to be alive after recovering from a serious 1999 road accident in Oman while cycling back from the gym, he works as a pundit for the English Premier League shows in Jordan and Singapore, where he also writes a newspaper column.

Mark Lazarus (1967-69)

The right-winger played his part in Palace's glorious team that won promotion to the top flight for the first time in 1969.

The fans warmed to him as a genuine character who enjoyed running the length of the pitch to celebrate goals and he made 80 appearances before rejoining former club Leyton Orient and ending his career with non-league Folkestone. He is now a successful businessman, running a removals firm and a health centre in East London.

Clive Allen (1980-81)

Teenager arrived from Arsenal along with Paul Barron in a swap deal with Kenny Sansom going the other way and scored 11 goals in 29 appearances.

The striker then returned to his first club QPR under Terry Venables after just a season at Palace and went on to feature for Tottenham, Bordeaux, Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham, Millwall and Carlisle. He worked as a pundit for ITV and Sky and currently manages the Tottenham reserve team.

Barry Silkman (1976-78)

At home on the wing or in attack, the Stepney born player was a member of the Palace XI that won promotion to the Second Division in 1977 and was a key figure in consolidation the following year. Fans will remember him for his huge mop head of hair and he made 54 appearances, scoring seven times.

Silkman left to join Plymouth Argyle, then had stints at Man City, Brentford, QPR, Leyton Orient, Southend and Crewe Alexandra. He then coached at Southend, Crewe and Leyton Orient and a became a full-time greyhound trainer, before establishing himself as a high-profile players' agent.

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