Monday, 27 May 2013

Crystal Palace Promoted To The Premier League!

Kevin Phillips' £120-million spot-kick: will Ian Holloway buy him a pint?
Congratulations to Crystal Palace Football Club, promoted today from the Championship to the Premier League. It’s a move reputedly worth a staggering £120 million for the club. I was so pleased; I have happy memories of watching them as a boy, with my Uncle Tom. Old friend Mike Moore, also a CPFC supporter, will be pleased too.

Masterminded by manager Ian Holloway, Palace beat Watford in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, winning 1-0 thanks to a penalty from veteran forward Kevin Phillips. Three times previously Phillips has appeared in play-off finals, but never on the winning side. 

Of his spot-kick, the 39-year-old said: "I had in my mind where I wanted to take it, I was happy to take it. I picked my spot and stuck to it. I don't know if that's going to be my last match, but if it is, what a way to sign off." 

In the Premiership, Palace will be without their young striker Wilfried Zaha, who’s off to Manchester United. Phillips said of Zaha: "This man leaves now with our very best wishes. He's been great for us this season and he really wanted to leave having sent Crystal Palace up to the Premier League.” 

As Palace’s players climbed the Wembley steps to collect their trophy, Irish centre-half Deamien Delaney sat in tears, overcome with emotion. Without a club at the start of the season, and with serious medical problems behind him, he’s now a Premier League player.  Likewise Julián Speroni, the Eagles’ loyal goalkeeper and three times their Player of the Season, will be back in the top tier. 

Ian Holloway summed up: "I've been very fortunate to have worked with some great players and I'm very grateful to this bunch. We're in the Premier League now, and God help us.” 

That’s the spirit Ian!

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