Monday, 24 June 2013

Fan Profile - Steve Brookstein

Our latest fan profile is perhaps not just a the run of the mill Palace fan. We were lucky enough to pose some questions to the winner of the first series of X-Factor and avid Palace fan, Steve Brookstein.

He is the classic example of an overnight success after more than 20 years in the music business. One of the UK’s finest soul singers became a household name after becoming the first ever winner of The X Factor in 2004. He went on to have a number one album and single in the UK. Before X Factor, Steve had supported Dionne Warwick, signed artists to major labels as a producer/writer and even had a club hit in 1996 with a cover of the Teddy Pendergrass Philly classic “Only You”. Steve has since duetted with multi-Grammy winner Bebe Winans and reggae legend Maxi Priest. In 2008, he toured with the Olivier award winning Musical Our House and co-wrote/produced his wife Eileen Hunter’s debut album and signed it to Jazz FM in 2010. Now with a young family, Steve is ready to get back out on the live music scene. He is currently recording a new album of Soul Classics set for release in Autumn 2013. 

1. Why Palace and when did your love affair with the club begin? 

"Well, I liked Liverpool and Newcastle as a kid. None of my family were big into football but then in 1979 my Uncle, who decided to follow our local team, took me to see Crystal Palace against Burnley. Palace won 2-0 and we were in a packed White Horse Lane end. I was pleased to be part of the record attendance of 51,801 who saw Palace get promoted to the old division one. On the pitch shouting "Terry Venables red and blue army!"

2. What was your first game and which is the best you have been to in terms of atmosphere? 

"The Burnley match was unbelievable, but for me Dave Swindlehurst scoring that amazing volley in the 4-1 win over Ipswich was as good as it gets. Palace went top of the league."

3. Who do consider the best player you have seen wear the red and blue? 

"No doubt, Ian Wright. Awesome. When he came on and scored in the FA Cup final he showed he was world class."

4. Which manager do you think has had the biggest impact on the club? 

"Stevie Coppell. Just look at his record. Says it all. Great man. Palace legend." 

5. What is your most memorable moment supporting Palace? 

"After going to Anfield with a Liverpool supporter friend of mine and seeing us lose 9-0, I felt like a jinx so stayed home to watch the FA Cup semi on TV. BEST (football) DAY OF MY LIFE! 4-3 Super Alan Pardew! still can't believe that result." 

6. Were you at the play off final at Wembley and if so how did it feel to see Palace promoted? 

"Yeah, poor game but Palace were the better team after the first 15 minutes I couldn't see us losing. Great to back in the big time." 

7. How do you think Palace will do in the Premiership next season? 

"I've heard a few clubs have chairmen who want to take money out of the clubs so I think we stand a chance of staying up. If the fans keep the faith for the whole season it could be worth a few goals. Those goals will be worth at least three points and that will be enough. Other teams will struggle under the pressure of expectation (I hope!)"

8. Which one player would you like to see play for Palace if money was no object? 

"Xabi Alonso. I always think having a solid defensive midfielder is the key to a good team." 

9. If you played for Palace what would be your squad number and what position would you play? 

"Number 11. Left midfield. In my youth I was not a bad player.  School friend Chris Powell recommended I had a trial with Palace. Stupidly, I turned it down." 

10. If you were stuck on a desert island with only an iPod with three tracks on what would they be? 

"Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
Love's In Need Of Love Today - Stevie Wonder
If I Should Die Tonight - Marvin Gaye" 

11. How did it feel to be the first winner of the X-Factor and how has it impacted on your life since? 

"Bucket list of things to do, Win The X Factor, ticked off! Not a big deal really, in the great scheme of things. Having kids, getting married and staying happy are more worthwhile and rewarding achievements."

We thank Steve for his time letting us put our questions to him. You can follow him on Twitter @stevebrookstein and his website is

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