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1982/83 revisited

June 25 2009

Alan Mullery

Alan Mullery

In another miserable season, Crystal Palace avoided relegation to football's third tier on the final match of 1982/83.

Alan Mullery came in as the new manager - much to the dismay of the Palace supporters - after Steve Kember was sacked.

Henry Hughton had joined from Orient and former Brighton manager Mullery swooped for Wrexham forward Ian Edwards and left-back Gary Williams from Brighton. Williams made just 13 appearances before retiring from the game with a knee injury. Neil Smillie was sold to Brighton.


Palace began the new campaign drawing 1-1 at home to Barnsley on the first day and beat Porstmouth in a Milk Cup first leg tie with a 2-0 win. Brian Bason left for Reading on a free transfer.

League Cup record


There were wins over Shrewsbury, Blackburn and Middlesbrough, draws with Rotherham and QPR then a defeat at Carlisle. Palace's Milk Cup second leg tie with Portsmouth finished 1-1 and Palace progressed 3-1 on aggregate.


Home kitOnly one league win for Palace this month (against Oldham) with losses against Bolton, Burnley, Newcastle and a draw with Fulham. The Eagles beat Peterborough in the Milk over two legs to cruise into the next round.

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Palace won at Leicester, drew against Chelsea and Leeds then were defeated by Wolves to finish November in 12th. Sheffield Wednesday eliminated Palace from the Milk Cup by winning 2-1 at Selhurst. Striker Chris Jones joined from Man City on a free to help an injury crisis in attack.


At the halfway point of the season, Palace were in 15th position after a league win over Sheffield Wednesday, draws with Derby and Charlton and losses against Grimsby and Cambridge. Goalkeeper Paul Barron was transferred to West Brom.


Away kitAfter victory over Leicester in the league, Palace had FA Cup successes over York and Birmingham City. But back in the league, they lost to Barnsley and QPR and drew with Rotherham and sat in 17th spot. Gary Locke was signed from Chelsea.

FA Cup record


A win (Bolton), draw (Shrewbury) and defeat (Oldham) were Palace's league results and Burnley sent them out of the FA Cup after a replay at Turf Moor. The Clarets won 1-0 thanks to a twice-taken penalty.


programmeA winless month saw Palace slump to defeats against Newcastle, Fulham, Leeds and draw against Chelsea. Goal difference kept Palace out of the relegation places in 19th.

Ali Brown, aged 35, arrived from West Brom to bolster the lack-lustre attack. Meanwhile, Steve Lovell moved onto local rivals Millwall and David Price joined Orient.

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Palace achieved victories over Carlisle and Grimsby, drew with Cambridge and were defeated by Charlton, Blackburn and Wolves. Palace signed off the month with just goal difference keeping them above the trap door.

The Whitehorse Lane end was ready for fans again with a reduced capacity of 5,000 as the new Sainsbury's opened its doors for the first time.


Victory over Derby on the first game of the month was a massive bonus until reverses at Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday meant Palace had to get something out of relegation rivals Burnley in their last fixture to stay up.

The game was postponed, so with all the other fixtures played, the third and final relegation spot was reserved for either team. Palace needed a draw while Burnley had to win to stay up in this 'winner takes all' game.

Luckily for the Eagles, Edwards notched the winner and Palace finished the campaign three points and five places above the relegation zone in 15th.

Full results for 1982/83

Final 1982/83 league table

Player of the Year: Jerry Murphy

Young Player of the Year: Garry Stebbing

View every Player of the Year winner

Top Scorer: Kevin Mabbutt 12 (10, 2)

View the top scorers for each season

Average attendance: 10,034

See each season's average attendance

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