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CUT THE CRAP: Palace are Croydon's Premier attraction

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OUR Cut the Crap feature highlights the positive aspects of Croydon, to counter the lazy stereotypes of our town exemplified by its entry in the Crap Towns book. Ahead of today's triumphant return to the Premier League what could be better than celebrating being the home of Crystal Palace?

WITH diehard supporters, everyone's favourite manager and Premier League status – Crystal Palace Football Club is its community's pride and its obsession.

Promotion to the Premier League in May put Ian Holloway's boys back in the big time and now, as the new season beckons, all eyes are on Selhurst Park.

When Tottenham Hotspur leave their dressing room to a deafening roar today, they will not be in for an easy afternoon.

Fans have flocked to buy more than 16,000 season tickets for this season and full houses are expected to be the norm this season. But Steve Ware, 59, said Crystal Palace is like an addiction and as a local lad he never had any choice in who to support.

Steve, who grew up in South Norwood but now travels from Hampshire for games, said: "Once Palace is in your blood, you can't get rid of them.

"They're in your heart and that doesn't change. I have fond memories of sneaking into the ground in the old days.

"I think we could stay up, but we would need to maintain that spark we had most of last season."

Vikesh Mistry, 24, from Croydon, believes the club represents the best features of the borough and is one of its proudest assets.

He said: "The club epitomises everything that's good about Croydon. The supporters, the atmosphere and the spirit of the club. We're all pulling together in the same direction."

There is real optimism around the club after this promotion that the club could make progress and stay in the Premier League for the first time after four failed attempts since 1992.

But Ron Gadd, 65, a member of the West Country Eagles, who lives in Somerset, does not think fans should worry too much.

Ron, originally from Thornton Heath, said: "Us older fans who have been around a while have seen it all, so we don't mind too much what happens this season. We're just going along for the ride.

"It's certainly not boring and that's why last season I travelled up for as many games as I have in years. That enthusiasm is still there after all these years.

"I wouldn't change anything about Palace."

Tell us why you love Croydon. Leave a comment below or email newsdesk@croydonadvertiser.co.uk

CUT THE CRAP: Palace are Croydon's Premier attraction


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