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Tributes to Palace stalwart who died two days before final

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PALACE'S play-off success would have "meant everything" to a club stalwart who died just two days before the club reached the Premier League.

Len Chatterton, 91, was involved at Selhurst Park for more than 50 years in a number of capacities.

From reserve team player as a youngster to groundsman and tour guide, Len was a familiar face to fans.

His son, Nicky Chatterton, 59, who played as a midfielder for the first team in the 1970s, said the club was his father's life and he would have been watching on from above.

"Seeing Palace promoted would have meant everything to him. The club was so important to him," Nicky said. "Although in the last few years he was affected by Alzheimer's, he still wanted to know what was going on.

"He'll be up there raising a glass, I'd say. I think he was there in some way, helping Palace to victory."

Len was also a popular figure with the players and was known to fans as Leo the Clown, due to one of his sidelines.

"My dad was an amazing man. He did lots of charity work and used to be a clown at children's parties," Nicky explained. "He was loved by the players, Ian Wright used to love him and we have had some nice messages of condolences from fans and players."

A Palace spokesman described Len as "a great servant to the club over many years". He added: "Len will be sadly missed and we would like to send our condolences to his family at this sad time."

The groundsman was born in Holmwood Road, just two streets away from Selhurst Park. He spent most of his life in Dixon Road, South Norwood, before spending his final years at Hill House Nursing Home in Kenley.

He is best known for his unique ground-keeping contraption – a converted Volkswagen car nicknamed The Flatterer.

Other than Nicky, Len was father to Bob, 64 and Pamela, 68. His wife Elizabeth sadly died of cancer in 1989. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Nicky added that all Palace fans are welcome at his funeral, which will have a number of Palace references. "I think we will play Glad All Over as the last song and the reception will be held at Speroni's Restaurant at Selhurst. It would be nice if the Palace community come along."

Len's funeral takes place at 11.30am next Friday (June 7) at Croydon Crematorium.

Tributes to Palace stalwart who died two days before final


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