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Palace Pioneers: Bobby Tambling

May 18 2011

Bobby Tambling

Bobby Tambling

Forward Bobby Tambling was Crystal Palace's first-ever loan signing.

The experienced Tambling was lent to Palace by London rivals Chelsea for three games in January 1970 as the Glaziers battled against the drop.

He failed to find the net as Palace struggled in their maiden top flight campaign, starting in the defeat at West Brom and the draws with Nottingham Forest and Newcastle before returning to the Blues.

The loan system had not been going for long and some clubs also scrapping to avoid relegation felt Palace had pulled a fast one, believing it was only for clubs to loan players out to the lower divisions.

Tambling had fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea after years of prolific scoring and joined Palace permanently along with Alan Birchenall for a combined transfer fee of 140,000 at the end of the season.

Tambling failed to match his success at Stamford Bridge - his 202 goals is still a Chelsea club record - but he scored some memorable goals during his time in SE25.

A 20-yard screamer that helped defeat Manchester United at Old Trafford in October 1970, the penalty that knocked Arsenal out of the League Cup a few weeks later and a brace in the brilliant Anglo-Italian Cup triumph over Inter Milan at the San Siro in June 1971 were key moments.


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