Friday, 15 February 2013

My Blood Runs Red & Blue

We here at The Eagles Beak always welcome contributions to the blog from fans. Here with have another devoted Palace fan Colin Gray with his views and thoughts ...

The CPFC Family Day is always well attended
For me, like many other people, football is a family affair. Crystal Palace FC was my Dad's local team. My brother inherited the bug from him first and I, in turn, caught it from him. I vividly remember all the kids in school support Liverpool, Southampton or Forest (plenty of red scarfs on the playground), but for me there was no other option or any ‘awkward phase’.

Imagine my horror, some four or five years ago, when my son told me his school mates were teasing him for not supporting Chelsea. He named a teddy bear ‘Frank Lampard’. They were really difficult times indeed, but I’m pleased to report Frank Lampard went to charity some time ago. It's Steve Parish who I need to thank for nipping that ‘awkward phase’ in the bud after we spent an afternoon in the Director's box. The signed shirt my lad took home that day has pride of place in his room. Poor Batman got kicked into touch. The club have also been great at keeping the girls in my life at least passively involved with supporting Palace. The family and community days guarantee we'll all be making the trip down to SE25. Not to mention the Speroni's match day package, which is truly a great day out - even my cynical “Dad you’re so embarrassing” daughter went nuts when Paddy McCarthy wandered in for a pre-match talk. I've been to matches on my own and I've met some truly lovely people, who share my passion for the Eagles. But, for me, it’s just not the same if I can't share those glorious goal moments with the next generation of my family.

Judging by the hive of activity in the Selhurst Park car park a couple of hours before a home game, it’s not just me either. You see lads, Dads, Grandads plus mothers and daughters all patiently waiting alongside the latest Merc or Jag to pull up – each one promises of a photo with or autograph from one of our talented players. That first Saturday afternoon re-shaped my relationship with my brother. When we were kids, he had the capacity to be a grade A ass hole. For the last 22 years he’s been living across the Atlantic and yet whenever we speak, we always talk first about recent results. I don’t often take a ball to the local park for a kick around, but I wouldn’t miss stocking up on 'Haribos' before catching the South Croydon boneshaker on match day.

Article by Colin Gray (@ColinGray1970)  

#CPFC #cpfcfamily #PalaceNation

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