Back in the Day: April 19th - Crystal Palace Promoted to the Top Flight for the First Time
Wednesday 19th April 1961
Crystal Palace 2-1 Aldershot
League Division Four – Att: 19,983
Manager: Arthur Rowe
Crystal Palace achieved promotion, with three games to spare, for the first time in 40 years with victory over Aldershot. Carl Taylor (15) gave the visitors the lead early on, but Roy Summersby (35) levelled twenty minutes later before Tommy Barnett (87 - below) headed home a late winner. Ultimately the results did not matter as 5th placed York City lost at Accrington, putting Palace beyond their reach.
Saturday 19th April 1969
Crystal Palace 3-2 Fulham
League Division Two – Att: 36,126
Manager: Bert Head
The Glaziers were promoted to the top flight for the very first time in a dramatic match at Selhurst Park. A point would be enough to secure Palace promotion over local rivals Charlton, but the visitors raced into a 0-2 lead through goals from Brian Dear and Frank Large.
Palace came storming back, and goals from Steve Kember and Mark Lazarus levelled proceedings before Cliff Jackson sealed the win and promotion. Just like in 1961 (above), ultimately the result didn’t matter as Charlton lost 1-0 at home to Preston.
Rather fittingly, this turned out to be Johnny Byrne’s last ever game in English football. The Palace legend lined up for Fulham on the day and would move to Durban City in the summer – no doubt delighted that his boyhood team had found their way to the top flight.
Before the match, the Palace Dolly Girls lined up in front of the Main Stand to receive orchids from the players.
Saturday 19th April 1986
Crystal Palace 3-0 Leeds United
League Division Two – Att: 6,285
Manager: Steve Coppell
Saturday 19th April 2014
West Ham United 0-1 Crystal Palace
Premier League – Att: 34,977
Manager: Tony Pulis
Crystal Palace records rained down at the Boleyn Ground as Palace moved on to 43 Premier League points, absolutely guaranteeing a second successive Premier League season for the first time in the Clubs history. It was the fifth straight win, equalling the Clubs top flight record. It was the third away win on the bounce, the first time the Club has ever done that in the top flight. It was also the first time that Palace had tasted victory at West Ham since 1992.
Mile Jedinak (59) scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot just before the hour, and a man of the match display from Julian Speroni would see the Eagles hold on to the narrow advantage.
At the end of the match, the Palace players lined up in front of the vociferous travelling support. Tony Pulis stayed in the background, but the mastermind behind the Palace revival was fully accepted for the first time by the Palace fans:
“There’s only one Tony Pulis!”
Looking back, his coy wave from the touchline probably told us all we needed to know about his long-term intentions.
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