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Hedgehog
28-05-2017, 04:53 PM
Please indulge me here…

A year has passed and after watching the Chelsea/Arsenal game yesterday I think I’m ready to move on.

I just wanted to put together a little memory of that day a year ago, as it was so special to me personally regardless of the outcome.

First before I forget, I must once again thank a certain prominent BBS member for out of the blue contacting me with the offer of a ticket. We had met one time as his family passed through Los Angeles a few years ago, so this was an extremely thoughtful gesture and one I jumped at. You know who you are… thank you again.

I flew in on the Friday, and as the plane approached Heathrow, Wembley Stadium and the arch were clearly visible and the nerves stared to kick-in knowing that in less than 24 hours I would actually be inside the place for the first time in my life (old or new Wembley).

I was staying with my cousin in Bromley off of Westmorland Road, and on the Saturday morning my cousin’s husband gave me a lift up to Bromley South station at about 11:00am. The first thing that shocked me was the number of groups of people walking towards the station in Red & Blue, in Palace shirts and paraphernalia. As a Palace fan in the 70’s and early 80’s a Palace fan at Bromley South was pretty rare – 5 or 6 people at the most. Once at the station and on the platform the numbers just intensified, and then on the train itself masses of Palace shirts everywhere. I was already buzzing and in shock at the numbers. At Victoria, everywhere was Red & Blue and it was not even noon yet. Flags and banners hanging from the pubs… not a Man United fan to be seen.

I was meeting up with my Ticket sponsor at The Northcote Clapham Junction. All went to plan and he showed up with tickets… not that I ever doubted him, but to see the ticket was a relief. The upstairs bar was set aside for the occasion, and filled to capacity pretty quick… The Palace related music and singing/chanting rocked the place (and the streets below). It was great to see some old faces of people I’ve met over the years as they passed through Los Angeles, or in some cases lived there. I was introduced to some BBS members I knew only by their BBS name, and others I recognized from photos that have appeared on the BBS. I was introduced to Steve Browett which was an honor. The man truly is one of our own, and about as down to earth as could be.

I had promised myself to not drink alcohol and to limit liquid consumption. I was not about to fulfill a lifetime ambition fuzzy from alcohol or miss anything having to rush off to the toilet (I’ve lived in the US for 30 years so lost the ability to drink beer). I achieved both by drinking a few bottles of non-alcoholic Becks and taking more than a few pees at the pub – I could still enjoy the moment.

Off to Wembley and packed tubes of Palace fans, and the first sightings of Manchester United tourist. A group of Asia gents in United Cup Final shirts looking bemused and somewhat scared! Other United fans on the last tube, but all was friendly and cordial. The long walk (well long for me) to the stadium in light drizzle and then the first sighting of the arch. Another toilet break and then on to the seats. Absolutely fantastic location – front row second tier in-line with the penalty area at the Palace end. I just sat taking it all in.

Already the Palace fans filled the end and were singing, banners and flags waving. Has Wembley ever seen such passion from a team’s fans? – the precedence has been set. The Manchester end desolate and quiet. The singing of Abide with Me, which seemed to get a bit messed up and didn’t get me like I thought it would. The National Anthem and the game begins.

I’m a bit out of practice at watching a game live and not on TV, and it look me a while to adjust. The Clattenburg incidents came and went, the first half ends and Palace have made a good account of themselves. Second half and Palace score, and all I can think of at the time it was going to be given as offside – we are right in line with Puncheon, and all I see is him looking offside to me. It took away some of the pleasure, but that was just me.

The inevitable follows and United go on to win, a couple of infiltrating Man United fans let down their guard and are exposed causing some scenes, but they are kicked out and we move on. I look around and there is a lot of sadness, more so than I am feeling myself. At this point I realize that these people watch Palace week in week out far and wide across the country. This means so much more to them than it did to me. After 30 years away I have lost a little bit of that passion… I really felt for these people around me, more than my own sadness. This was an adventure to me, the fulfilment of a life’s goal. Win or lose I was a winner, but to these folks I know it meant more.

So, we depart long after most United fans, who couldn’t even stay to see the cup be presented or the celebration. The long line to get to the station, the goodbyes and on to Bromely. Tubes full of many United fans looking smug, but unemotional. Palace fans on the train back to Bromley are down but getting on with it, young kids not too downbeat, and parents talking about other things that matter in their lives.

Monday back to the US, and at Heathrow I see numerous Palace shirts as Palace fans head back to their homes around the world. The plane departs and I wonder when next I will come to England (My last visit had been 11 years prior). Would I see Palace again in the flesh? I felt very melancholy on many fronts.

To this day I have not read the programme. It sits on my desk unopened. I have the flag they gave us at Wembley on the wall, and videos/photos of the day on my phone. Despite this, I’m so happy I came – I didn’t make the effort to come to the 1990 Cup Final and I would live to regret this. I never thought I would get the chance again. Thank you Palace – you made an aging fan happy for a day, and in true Palace fashion you did so while losing!

Big Gav
28-05-2017, 05:01 PM
Was such a great day apart from the result. Showed exactly what our support is about and why we are the best. Still angry about Clatternburg yet again with his usual awful decisions against us. I would have cried like a baby if we had won that day I could feel it welling up until they equalised :)

big bad John
08-06-2017, 03:36 AM
Great post Hedgehog. Thought it was maybe a bit too soon to put memories of a match barely a year old, in memory lane, but it’s possible in another few years I won’t remember it.
Arrived in London from New York the Wednesday before the game without a match ticket. A week previously, a scouse mate Kenny, who runs Everton’s coaches called and told me he could set me up with two tickets, in the Palace end, courtesy of the Cheshire F.A. Unfortunately the day before my flight he calls and tells me that the fella in charge of the tickets had flogged the allocation for the Palace end to United fans. He genuinely felt worse than I did and told me to call him as soon as I got to London and he’d try and work something out.
I checked out a few offers of tickets on the BBS, but after talking to them for a few seconds you knew they were scammers. Meanwhile Kenny the scouser was telling me not to worry, that he’d get me in one way or the other. He’s big mates with Scott Dann and Danny Fox who plays with Forest. He told me Dann hadn’t his phone on, and Fox was trying to contact Jason Puncheon, who he played with at Southampton. Of course I was dropping all these names into any conversation when anyone asked had I got a ticket yet. Even my young neice told me I dropped something on the floor and when I looked down and asked her what, she said, “all those names you keep dropping.”
The Friday night before the match, I met up in the Borough High Street, with Neil the Eagle, Moderate, and a number of other Palace fans for a few pints. Around about eight my phone rang and it was Kenny. He gave me a number of a London tout who owed him a favour. Told me the fellow would meet me in ??/ pub in Carnaby street the next morning and he’d have a ticket for 120 quid. I didn’t call the tout to confirm straightaway and it’s lucky I didn’t. About a half an hour later Kenny called again.
“Did you call him ?”
“No.”
“Good, Scotti Dann has just been on the phone. He’ll have a ticket waiting for you tomorrow at the pick-up office.”From then on Scott Dann, became ‘my mate Scotti’ .
First stop on the morning of the match was the Porter and Sorter at East Croydon, and then despite texts from various mates telling me what watering holes they were in, it was straight to Wembley. There was no line at the ticket pick up. Told the woman my name and when she asked who the ticket was left by, I proudly announced, Scotti Dann. Few pints in some social club which was packed with Palace, then as most fans were leaving, I popped into the Green Man where I met up with about ten of the New York Eagles.
Inside Wembley I had time for another quick sherbert and a bet on Palace to win 1-0 and guess who, to get the winning goal. The seat was at the side, three rows from the front with the Palace hordes on the right. It seemed the section was reserved for family members of the Palace players and all I heard around me were scouse accents. I didn’t want to get too chatty with any of them in case their Aunt Ethel never got a ticket because dear old Scotti gave it to me instead.
Great seats, but I would have swapped it for a good old sing song section behind the goal. When we scored I went ballistic and found myself jumping up and down in the isle. This was it. I was going to die happy. As I turned to face the crowd with my arms raised, a large black woman came thundering down towards me. I thought I might get driven onto the pitch, but I bravely stood my ground and before you could say Scotti Dann, we were in each other’s clutches, in what could be described as a modern day inter racial, Bogart and Bacall moment. As we continued to hug she shouted, “That’s my brother, that’s my brother.” Seconds later she was joined by another girl who shouted the same. They were still celebrating after I made my way back to my seat. The thought of Mark Hughes briefly went through my mind, and before I could mutter ‘Welsh bastard’ the obvious happened. The wankers scored, to thwart the celebrations of the Puncheon sisters and the Palace masses.
Felt totally devastated at the final whistle, as I watched Scott Dann limp back on with the aid of crutches and Jason Puncheon, take his boots off and hop the barrier and come in to hug his crying sisters. It was a long, snail like walk back to the station, couple of pints at Victoria, then finished the night in Weatherspoons in Thornton Heath, probably one of the top five most depressing spots in the universe. Actually by that stage the drink had numbed the pain a bit and I met a few old heads who I hadn’t seen in years, to who I regaled the tale, of my mate Scotti and the cup final ticket.

Yoda
08-06-2017, 06:17 AM
Last year one of my Palace friends was diagnosed with MND.

He's been enormously brave in the face of adversity as his mobility rapidly shut down on him. But he made it to Wembley, walking with his stick covered with red and blue.

We all so desperately wanted Palace to win for him to see us lift a major trophy after 50 years of loyal support. He would have drunk the pub dry.

I can't get past thinking how had Man U lost, their fans would have been disappointed but known they'd win something else within a few years. They've seen trophies before.

But for Palace fans it was a rare opportunity and we would have remembered that feeling of euphoria and the celebrations for the rest of our lives.

Football is 'just' sport, it's not life and death. But an FA Cup win would have helped sustain him and been a fitting reward for his lifetime of support.

He passed away last week.

So when I think back to that day, I will always think 'if only.....'

Malarkey
08-06-2017, 06:34 AM
Last year one of my Palace friends was diagnosed with MND.

He's been enormously brave in the face of adversity as his mobility rapidly shut down on him. But he made it to Wembley, walking with his stick covered with red and blue.

We all so desperately wanted Palace to win for him to see us lift a major trophy after 50 years of loyal support. He would have drunk the pub dry.

I can't get past thinking how had Man U lost, their fans would have been disappointed but known they'd win something else within a few years. They've seen trophies before.

But for Palace fans it was a rare opportunity and we would have remembered that feeling of euphoria and the celebrations for the rest of our lives.

Football is 'just' sport, it's not life and death. But an FA Cup win would have helped sustain him and been a fitting reward for his lifetime of support.

He passed away last week.

So when I think back to that day, I will always think 'if only.....'

:(

I'm so sorry. RIP.

cpfc4evandeva
08-06-2017, 07:20 AM
I'm over it, but I still can't look back at that day with any warm feelings.

gold76
08-06-2017, 08:00 AM
It was the day before my 40, I was in a pub with friends and went batshit crazy when we scored.

It was a major kick in the goolies, but I was with good people and got pissed in any case.

1990 hurt me far more, as you get older, I feel you can shield yourself from pain better.

I hope we'll have one more chance in my lifetime.

BaldEagle96
08-06-2017, 08:15 AM
To this day I have not read the programme. It sits on my desk unopened.


Dorking Eagle very kindly sent me all the local newspaper cuttings on the day of the cup final and to this day I have not opened the envelope to even look at them! Still sat on my filing cabinet and will one day be taken home and added (unopened) to my CPFC memorabilia.

BaldEagle96
08-06-2017, 08:15 AM
..

Yoda
08-06-2017, 09:14 AM
:(

I'm so sorry. RIP.

Thank you Malarkey.

Should we ever win the FA Cup in the future, I know we'll all be thinking of him, as will many other Palace fans thinking of their departed.

Whilst I appreciate that for many staying in the Prem is the new 'utopia', and obviously great for business reasons.

For me, winning a cup would give us an unprecedented moment in the sun. And it's a moment we'll remember for ever.

This reminds me of athletes who say that creating a world record is superb, but they know someone else will eventually surpass it. But winning an Olympic Gold is the best, because they have a moment in history that lasts forever.

cpfc4evandeva
08-06-2017, 12:12 PM
Thank you Malarkey.

Should we ever win the FA Cup in the future, I know we'll all be thinking of him, as will many other Palace fans thinking of their departed.

Whilst I appreciate that for many staying in the Prem is the new 'utopia', and obviously great for business reasons.

For me, winning a cup would give us an unprecedented moment in the sun. And it's a moment we'll remember for ever.

This reminds me of athletes who say that creating a world record is superb, but they know someone else will eventually surpass it. But winning an Olympic Gold is the best, because they have a moment in history that lasts forever.

Agree with your sentiments. When I'm an old man, I won't care that one season many years ago we finished 10th. If we win a trophy however, I would always look back at it with a sense of pride.

King William
08-06-2017, 12:38 PM
Dorking Eagle very kindly sent me all the local newspaper cuttings on the day of the cup final and to this day I have not opened the envelope to even look at them! Still sat on my filing cabinet and will one day be taken home and added (unopened) to my CPFC memorabilia.

funny enough I bought a sunday newspaper the day after final. It remained in its wrapper on the bedroom floor unopened until last weekend...

opened it up and had a quick glance...wasn't actually much about the cup final in it, straight in the recycling bin

King William
08-06-2017, 12:38 PM
Agree with your sentiments. When I'm an old man, I won't care that one season many years ago we finished 10th. If we win a trophy however, I would always look back at it with a sense of pride.

10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000% agree

AddiscombeEagle
08-06-2017, 01:25 PM
I still haven't seen any goals from the final.

Agree with poster about finishing 10th meaning nothing compared to winning a trophy. I was sat with my Dad who has been going since the mid 1950's and my two brothers. It would have meant so much but it didn't happen and I guess that's the Palace we love.

Funnily enough even this season with all the awful results and prospect of relegation it didn't really bother me to much. I think losing the cup final hurt me that much that losing in league really didn't matter to me.

I still look back on the experience as positive, Spurs away, reading away, the semi final and the cup final with friends and family was exactly why I go to football and all the beer and fun around it.

brighton_eagle
08-06-2017, 01:35 PM
I've passed on from feeling anger and sadness. That happened quite quickly. And when that departed, I was left with pride as my overwhelming emotion. That day in May last year I felt so proud of my club, and my fellow Palace fans. The support was incredible. We had a great time, we looked amazing. Seeing Wembley taken over with red and blue again was incredible. We had fans at one end of the stadium, and customers at the other. The difference was clear to anyone. We might have lost on the pitch, but we won off it.

CPFC.1990
08-06-2017, 02:34 PM
Didn't feel the same as 1990. The magic wasn't there like it was beating Liverpool in the greatest game in our history to Wrighty scoring with his first touch.

Oli28
08-06-2017, 06:58 PM
Agree with your sentiments. When I'm an old man, I won't care that one season many years ago we finished 10th. If we win a trophy however, I would always look back at it with a sense of pride.
Definitely. I'll never understand those who'd rather stay up than see us lift the cup at Wembley. Unless we are challenging for the title or top 4 or something equally unrealistic then I'd always prioritise the cup.

I didn't drink that much but the whole day felt like a blur. I barely even registwred the Clatteberg moment and wasn't aware of the significance until I saw it back. I think it's the first time I've seen us lose out in a properly big game.

cpfc4evandeva
08-06-2017, 07:41 PM
The thing that still rankles with me is that I feel we (Pardew and the players) threw it away. The truth is that if for 10 minutes we could have had Pulis/Allardyce in charge, we win that game 1-0. No question. Man Utd were shit and yet we just let them back into the game without them really hammering on our door :(

Clattenberg's decisions in the first half were horrendous but in fairness, he did send off Smalling in extra time. The point is simple: we were our own worst enemy really. It would have been so much easier had Clattenberg just taken the piss and was so obviously bent. I would be angry as opposed to disappointed.

What hurts most is that I doubt we will ever get an easier opportunity for a trophy ever again :sob:

Yoda
08-06-2017, 08:11 PM
Didn't feel the same as 1990. The magic wasn't there like it was beating Liverpool in the greatest game in our history to Wrighty scoring with his first touch.

I think it couldn't match the romance of 1990.

That was our first major final, in the iconic stadium of our childhood. We'd been big underdogs and won one of the most exciting matches ever in the semi.

And looking back, I think staging the semis at Wembley does significantly reduce the anticipation of going there a month later for the final.

Jim Cannon
08-06-2017, 08:23 PM
I still haven't seen any goals from the final.


Me neither and I don't want to

danpalace07
08-06-2017, 08:28 PM
Still very raw. I've watched the match right up to that Rooney run to enjoy our atmosphere and the scenes when Punch scores (goosebumps every time) but that's all I can manage. I've gone from being gutted to being annoyed that we didn't take our big chance of winning something and the lads not being focused enough when they equalised. Seeing Pardew's dance makes me want to ******* vomit

enjoyed the semi much more as a day

Beneaglee
08-06-2017, 08:47 PM
really hurts, thought we had done it.

Made me hate pardew though.

aj4england
08-06-2017, 09:09 PM
I watch every game back, im full if possible, sometimes watching a whole game (Arsenal at home 3-0) three times. Sad i know. However i have not watched a minute of the cup final

glenn.f
10-06-2017, 07:22 AM
My abiding memory of the day was waiting in the queues to get to the tube coming out of Wembley and some little lad pointed to one of those slightly deflated helium balloons floating off up into the distance. He asked his Dad "what that". The Dad's answer made us all smile as it was a typical Palace response " That's our dreams son, that's our dreams".
Nearly hyperventilating after Punch had scored got me a little worried seeing as I consider myself a fit and healthy mid forty year old, yet I'd kill for that feeling again sometime soon.

glenn.f
10-06-2017, 07:25 AM
I still have it on my planner unwatched though I did see the highlights....not sure I'll ever watch it in full unless I'm ever bed ridden for weeks on end.

Bipe
10-06-2017, 11:07 AM
I still have it on my planner unwatched though I did see the highlights....not sure I'll ever watch it in full unless I'm ever bed ridden for weeks on end.


I kept it on the planner for months but couldn't bring myself to watch it, eventually deleted it over Christmas in a moment of catharsis.

My mind still wanders back to Puncheon's goal on a pretty regular basis, I said to my wife when I got home that the time between him scoring and the wankers equalising was the best three minutes of my life - which she wasn't too happy about.

Grim Reaper
17-06-2017, 09:55 AM
My mind still wanders back to Puncheon's goal on a pretty regular basis, I said to my wife when I got home that the time between him scoring and the wankers equalising was the best three minutes of my life - which she wasn't too happy about.

Wives just don't get it. For many of us, that three minutes was a completely drug-free high. It's hard to describe. Years of following the team through thick and thin and all that emotion suddenly let out in one joyous moment.

The main thing I can take some solace from is that after a minute of going mental I had the presence of mind to cash out my Palace win and 'Palace 1-0' bets on Betfair and get them processed about 10 seconds before the equaliser. A small crumb of comfort.