Friday, 14 June 2013

Fan Profile - Paul Edwardson

We have had a few player profiles so it is now time to have our first fan profile. Step forward 35 year old Paul Edwardson who has supported Palace since he was seven years old.

1. Tell us a little about yourself Paul?

"I'm originally from Sutton, my father owns an audio/visual company in Croydon and the reason why I strapped myself into the seat of this ridiculous roller coaster of a club in the first place which I remind him about in the good times and the bad. Unfortunately I have not been able to afford a season ticket for the past few years but try to get to around ten home games a season. Work commitments prevent me from travelling to away games unfortunately but I live and breathe this club. It's a hobby, it's a passion and when the penalty hit the back of the net at Wembley over the roar of what seemed like 80,000 Palace fan's I turned to my mate with tears in my eyes and mumbled "Is this really happening?" My mate has laughed at me everyday since but I don't care! (cue a Coldplay track or any other generic reality TV 'it's been a journey music') ... "

2. When did you start to support Palace and why?

"I was around eight years old when I first went to Palace. My dad was employed to film the games up in the gantry at Selhurst Park above the Arthur Wait. He used to sell the videos in the club shop and took me along one day. I loved playing football but had no direction or team to follow and as I was born in Sutton it just felt natural to support Palace rather than Liverpool like everyone else I knew at the time. I felt completely vindicated in my decision on a glorious summer’s day at Villa Park some years later."

3. What was the first game you saw Palace play?

"An un-glamorous tie against Shrewsbury on a miserable Saturday in October probably would have put most people off but I suppose I must be a glutton for punishment (handy if you support this club) we lost 3-2 and we haven’t beaten them since. I still bare a grudge and this silly promotion of ours has only taken us further away from revenging their 80’s dominance over us. Where are they now I ask you? No seriously, I can’t find them anywhere."

4. Who is your all time favourite player to don the red and blue?

"Very tough question! There have been so many heroes over the decades I’ve supported Palace from Jim Cannon, Ian Wright, Mark Bright, Geoff Thomas, right up to AJ and more recently Wilf and Glenn but someone who stands out for me is Atillio Lombardo. The bald eagle and the Eagles seemed like a match made in heaven at the time, we were on the up with Goldberg's millions and as Premiership newbies life was exciting and full of hope. Naive I know (just like Goldberg unfortunately) but Lombardo was like no other player I had seen in England let alone Palace so I was incredibly proud every time I saw him play for us. Wonderful player but terrible in a joint managerial role but I mainly blame Brolin for that though obviously."

5. Which Palace game do you consider the best that you have been to?

"The best game I’ve ever been to was The FA Cup Final against Man Utd in 1990. No-one gave us a chance which has become a tradition in all our big games since. The fact that Ian Wright had fractured his shin a few months previously cast even more doubt as few thought our talisman would even play. I remember being in awe of Wembley (and compared to Selhurst at the time who wouldn’t be) Just like the semi-final the Palace fans came out to play and the now customary sea of red and blue was amazing. The passion the players showed in that game probably created a new generation of Palace fans just as much as the atmosphere. Ian Wright produced a miracle by coming off the bench and scoring the equaliser and then putting us ahead in Extra-time. I remember watching Mark Hughes subsequent equaliser later like it was in slow motion and couldn’t believe that we hadn’t made history like we deserved to."

6. What has been the most memorable moment in your time supporting the club?

"For me personally the most memorable moment was when I finally got to represent Palace at Selhurst Park. I was supposed be a mascot on two occasions but I seemed to develop some kind of jinx as both games were cancelled due to fog at the city ground and a water logged pitch at The Goldstone (the under soil heating must have been playing up) I eventually ran on to the hallowed pitch against QPR for Marco Gabbiadini's debut (I told you, jinxed!). I scored 5 past Nigel Martyn but can't help thinking he went a bit easy on me that day for some reason."

7. Which goal do you consider being the best that you have witnessed?

"Darren Ambrose’s screamer at Old Trafford in the league cup has to be my favourite Palace goal I’ve seen in my lifetime. When it hit the back of the net I ended up on top of a pub table smashing several glasses and spilling a lot of beer on the wife. For Gary Neville to say that it was one of the best goals scored at Old Trafford was a testament to what an unbelievable goal it was."

8. Which Palace kit do you consider your favourite?

"It certainly isn’t the hideous yellow and black ‘humbug’ kit that was used in the FA Cup final replay, I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the dressing room when the players walked in and saw that monstrosity hung up on the pegs. As for a favourite kit it’s hard to look past the iconic Admiral white kit with the red & blue slash from the 70’s. I love the fact we will be wearing a contemporary black version as our away kit this season but not happy that we haven’t got any players with 70’s permed hair to play in them."

9. Favourite Palace manager?

Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

A quote in the bible from Jesus about Judas Iscariot brings me onto my favourite all time Palace manager, Dougie Freedman. He was someone I had admired for quite a long time before he even joined Palace. I happened to be listening to a Barnet game one rainy night and he was the stand out player scoring a superb hat-trick. I said to my mate the next day that he would be perfect for us but it was laughed off as these things generally are. Sometime later we bought him and for me it felt like a natural progression. When he became our manager it was tribute to what he had done for the club. I thought like most fans he bled red & blue so his departure was pretty hard to take. I found it strange that he didn’t thank the fans in any interviews after he left especially as they had been singing his name for so long."

10. Which player was the most under rated in his time playing for Palace?

"Clint Hill for me was a bulldog in a Palace shirt. He never backed down from any challenge and deserved to be captain in my opinion. If there was a man you would take down the trenches with you it was him, a typical Neil Warnock player."

11. How do you think we will fare in the Premier League next season and if we are to stay up what do we need to do?

"I am looking forward to a season in the Premiership more than any other promotion season. It is a very unique situation we are in by having true fans as owners and they will always have the clubs interests at heart. If we get half the players we are linked with in the press we will have the biggest squad in footballing history! The main areas that need to be strengthened in my opinion should be in defence and up front. Ramage and Delaney and an ageing Gabbidon just won’t cut it against Van Persie and company so we need a couple more quality centre backs to shore up at the back. Attack wise we need two more strikers and a replacement for Wilf, Tom Ince would be great but I can’t see that happening to be honest. All in all I think we have our best chance this season to avoid being a one season wonder again especially as we have a Jedi warrior in the middle of the park. Use the force Mile!"

12. Final thoughts?

"I really believe that the good times are on the horizon for our club especially with CPFC2010 involved. If I was to describe what kind of fan I am I would say optimistic, pessimistic, hopeful and fearful ... just typical Palace."

Click to follow Paul on Twitter @PauloMenace

If you want to be the subject of the next fan profile get in touch on Twitter, Facebook or email.

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