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July 13 2020 1.23pm

Top 10 Players who became managers

March 16 2011

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

The top 10 Crystal Palace players who went on to manage the club.

10. Dougie Freedman

The skilful forward was the scorer of so many crucial goals in the 108 he netted over two spells at the club to become a fans' legend. Appointed Palace's boss in his first managerial role after George Burley's sacking in January 2011 and time will tell if he will go on to match his success on the pitch from the dugout.

9. Fred Dawes

The full-back joined in 1936 establishing himself as club captain, continuing with the South Londoners during the Second World War until injury finished his career in October 1949. He become joint-manager with Charlie Slade in summer 1950 but presided over the club's worst-ever season (bottom of the Third Division South) and the duo were dismissed at the start of the next campaign.

8. George Irwin

Signed in the close season of 1921, the goalkeeper made 16 appearances over two seasons during Palace's time in the Second Division. He became the first former player to manage the team, taking control of the Glaziers from 1939-47 and enhanced the integrity of the club on and off the pitch during the difficult years of the Second World War.

7. Attilio Lombardo

The speedy Italian winger is without doubt the club's best foreign signing but was unable to help Palace from Premier League relegation in 1998. Before Palace's fate was sealed, he was asked to become player-manager after Steve Coppell quit two months before the end of the season in a bizarre appointment considering he had no experience and could hardly speak a word of English.

6. Ronnie Rooke

Talented striker was unable to re-produce his prolific form in Palace's reserves for the first team in Third Division (South) (1933-36) but flourished for Fulham and then Arsenal where he helped them to a league title. He returned in the summer of 1949 in a player-manager role and notched 21 goals as Palace finished seventh but resigned in November of the following season after a disastrous start.

5. Peter Taylor

A fast, goalscoring winger, Peter Taylor was one of the finest players to grace Selhurst Park, claiming England honours while at the club. Taylor struggled as Palace manager when given the role in 2006 and was sacked by Simon Jordan with the team just outside the Championship drop zone.

4. Steve Kember

The midfielder became an integral part of Palace's side from 1965-71 where he helped the team win promotion to the top flight for the first time. He returned in 1978 and later played a key role in the Eagles' promotion back to the top tier. Stepping up from youth team coach to manager in November 1981, Kember kept a struggling Palace outfit in the Second Division and enjoyed a good FA Cup run but was sacked. Simon Jordan appointed him boss in 2003 after two successful caretaker jobs but he only lasted 164 days.

3. Dick Graham

Popular goalkeeper was an ever-present between the sticks between 1946-50 as Palace battled to get out of the Third Division (South). He became the boss in 1962 and guided Palace to the Second Division two years after. His contract was cancelled in 1966 after unpopular team selections upset the fans and board. An innovative manager, Graham was one of the first to play two central defenders and use a squad system, while he often switched the traditional shirt numbers indicating positions to confuse the opposition.

2. Iain Dowie

Hardworking target man scored 10 goals in 25 appearances as Palace were relegated from the Premier League in 1995. Becoming manager in 2003, he took Palace from the relegation zone to the play-offs and promotion to the top flight in his first season. Palace were unlucky to be relegated on the final day of the Premier League campaign but he took Palace to an unsuccessful play-off place the following year before an acrimonious switch to Charlton.

1. Terry Venables

The midfielder finished his playing days with Palace in 1974-75 and became coach alongside Malcom Allison. When Big Mal left a year later, Venables stepped into the hotseat and guided the Eagles up two divisions to reach the top flight. He was brought back to the club under Mark Goldberg's ill-fated reign in 1998 but failed to have any major impact.

In Depth Crystal Palace Top 10s


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