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December 4 2023 9.48am

Eagle's Ascent: The Journey of Crystal Palace Football Club

November 1 2023



Crystal Palace Football Club, affectionately known as the Eagles, has a rich history of resilience, dedication, and unwavering support from fans, writes Ben Wilmott.

From the iconic Selhurst Park to legendary players, the club's story resonates deeply with devoted supporters and those curious about football's cultural significance.

The Early Years

Football has a rich legacy in the UK, becoming a cultural phenomenon. Whether at a live a Crystal Palace game, a football podcast or with football-themed slots online, we can't deny the fact that football’s presence extends far beyond the pitch.

But going back to our main topic, Crystal Palace FC is one of the oldest league football clubs in England.

After the Crystal Palace Exhibition Building had been rebuilt in South London in 1854, this area was named Crystal Palace.

By 1905, Crystal Palace football club was established and became part of the Southern League. In 1920, they gained entry into the Football League, primarily competing in the top two divisions of English Football since then. Crystal Palace FC finally moved to their iconic home ground, Selhurst Park, in 1924.

The Rise of the Club

After being formed in 1905, Crystal Palace FC played in the Southern League Second Division, after being rejected for the Football League. During this time, they were crowned champions and promoted to the Southern League First Division, remaining there until 1914. By 1920, they had become champions of the Football League Third Division, ensuring their advance to the Second Division.

However, after the war, it was a tough time for the club as they slipped back to what would eventually become the new Fourth Division. Finally, by 1969, Crystal Palace had made its way through the ranks as Dick Graham and Bert Head guided the club into the First Division.

Selhurst Park

The beloved home ground of Crystal Palace, Selhurst Park can be found in Croydon, South London. It was opened in 1924, remaining Crystal Palace’s stadium for a century. It has held significant events over this time, such as the 1962 Crystal Palace vs Real Madrid match, the critical Palace vs Burnley game of 1979, and most recently the Palace vs Liverpool match of 2014.

Selhurst Park is a typical British football stadium made of four stands: the Holmesdale Road Stand, the Arthur Wait Stand, the Main Stand, and the Whitehorse Lane Stand. The stadium currently has a capacity of around 25,000.

Iconic Moments

A historic achievement occurred from 1988 to 1989 when Crystal Palace was promoted to the top tier of English Football, the First Division. By 1990, the club had made it to the FA Cup Final where they stood resilient against Manchester United.

The final 3-3 draw was a significant accomplishment. In 1992, Crystal Palace became a part of the newly-formed Premier League, establishing itself as a strong contender in English football. Since then, the club fought to stay in the Premier League, they beat West Ham in 2004 for this reason and Watford in 2012.

Famous Players

Ian Wright is a well-regarded figure in the UK, his breakthrough in football was when he signed for Crystal Palace in 1985. He scored 90 goals in 225 appearances for the club and was crucial to its success in the late 1980s. For his loyalty and dedication to the club, Wilfried Zaha was a beloved modern-day hero at Crystal Palace.

During the 2012-2013, he was crucial in helping Crystal Palace reach the Premier League. Geoff Thomas was known for his significant impact on the team during the 1980s and 1990s, particularly when captaining Crystal Palace to the FA Cup Final in 1990.


Over the last century, Crystal Palace has experienced a series of highs and lows throughout its remarkable journey. The club has fought for its position in the major leagues, displaying an

unwavering commitment. As the club looks to the future, we can’t help but hope for more memorable moments as they continue in the Premier League.

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