Back in the Day: September 5th - Mark Bright Makes His Final Appearance for Crystal Palace

Back in the Day

Saturday 5th September 1942

Legendary Crystal Palace goalkeeper John Jackson was born. He would play 395 times for Palace between 1964 and 1974.

Wednesday 5th September 1956

Crystal Palace 1-1 Reading

Division Three South – Att: 10,575

Manager: Cyril Spiers

Crystal Palace played under floodlights for the first time in their history when Reading visited Selhurst Park on September 5th, 1956. Terry Long score for Palace with Tony McCall scoring the Palace goal.

For me, Selhurst Park and games under floodlights go hand in hand, and it seems strange to think that there was a time when floodlights did not loom over the Coliseum in SE25.

Alliteration Watch: Ray Reeves of Reading.

Names you definitely don’t hear in football anymore: Dick Spiers. Sounds illegal.

Saturday 5th September 1987

Birmingham City 0-6 Crystal Palace

League Division Two – Att: 7,011

Manager: Steve Coppell

Mark Bright had scored the only goal of the first half before the Blues were blown away in the second. Goals from Neil Redfearn, Geoff Thomas, Andy Gray (2) and Jim Cannon sealed the rout. Amazingly Ian Wright played the full ninety minutes and failed to find the back of the net!

Look out for Neil Redfearn looking like Lionel Messi, Andy Gray scoring a thunderbolt of a free kick, chants of “YELLOWS! YELLOWS!” from the Palace fans and a Birmingham fan, in a near empty stadium shouting, “YOU’RE A DISGRACE TO THE MIDLANDS!

Oh… and Jim Cannon turning into Carlos Alberto with the last goal of the game!

 

Saturday 5th September 1992

Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace

Premier League – Att: 17,120

Manager: Steve Coppell

This game well and truly signalled the end of an era as Mark Bright played his last game for Crystal Palace. It was just under a year since the famous Wright & Bright partnership had been broken up when Wright departed for Arsenal but this was a sign that the greatest period in the Club's history was coming to an end.

Mark Bright scored 113 times in 286 appearances for the Eagles.

Tuesday 5th September 2000

Cardiff City 0-0 Crystal Palace (1-2 Agg)

League Cup 1st Round 2nd Leg – Att: 4,904

Manager: Alan Smith

Back in the day, I wrote for the Palace programme for a season. I wrote about this one back in 2012, and it appeared in the match day programme when we beat Cardiff 3-2 thanks to a Glenn Murray hat-trick… more on that in a few days time.

“In a season that saw us survive relegation in the final game of the season, beat Liverpool in a Cup Semi-Final at Selhurst, and absolutely spank the Premier League Leaders Leicester City 3-0 in their own backyard - it may baffle people as to why a 0-0 draw away at Cardiff stands out in my mind as one of the games that I remember most from that rollercoaster of a season. Alas, it does and here is why.

On September 5th, 2000; A1 (remember them? Didn’t think so) were top of the pops with their obliteration of A Ha’s, Take On Me, nobody knew who Audley Harrison was yet, the first two rounds of the League Cup had two legs and Cardiff City wore blue! Crazy times indeed, but not quite as crazy as my first ever trip across the Severn Bride.

It was Palace’s first trip to Ninian Park since May 1984, and from all the talk leading up to the game, the Red ‘n' Blue Army wouldn’t have minded if they could have avoided it for a further sixteen years. I left under the strict instruction that I should head West only in a suit of armour if I wanted to come back in one piece.

Could it really be THAT bad? In short, yes.

As the club coach rolled into the “car park” outside of the “stadium”, I did not know where to look! Do I look at the graffiti-covered wall that has a fifty foot long, very unwelcoming message? Do I look at the fifty or so Cardiff fans seemingly trying to break into our coach? Or do I look at the police presence that appears to be bigger than the 4,904 gate itself? Quite a scene and one I have not seen in the twelve years since.

We step off the coach and have to walk in between two rows of police who are holding back the home fans that, to this day, I am certain were frothing at the mouth. Terrible language hits my teenage ears, along with a series of missiles yet somehow I make it into the ground alive.

As the teams come out, the Palace players head to the away fans and punt eleven balls into the open air terrace that have “EAGLES” printed in massive letters. Having been warned not to wear colours to the game, it seemed somewhat strange to mark eleven people with a big red and blue beacon. In the ninety minutes that followed it looked like eleven men had suddenly fallen nine months pregnant as the balls were slipped under their jumpers in an attempt to hide them from view.

As for the game, a twenty stone Neil Ruddock had a twenty yard shot cleared off the line before the home side went on to dominate only to fail to find a way past the stupendous back five of Gregg, Ruddock, Zhiyi, Smith and “Hairy” Craig Harrison. When Cardiff’s big chance finally did come, a thirteen-year-old Robert Earnshaw blazed a sitter over the bar.

This 0-0 draw kick-started a memorable cup run that took us to within a game of a final yet, on the flipside, nearly saw us relegated as this cup run probably saw Alan Smith keep his job way longer than he deserved.“

All Results

What Happened Yesterday?

September 4th - Ian Wright Strike Downs Villa

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