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Croydon review of the year - August

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UPHEAVAL at Selhurst Park dominated the headlines in August, along with heartwarming tales of a local hero and an incredible, one-in-a-million event at Croydon University Hospital...

CRYSTAL Palace were thrown into turmoil just two days before the start of the Premier League season when manager Tony Pulis left the club.

Pulis had guided Palace to 11th place last season after an incredible run in the second half of the campaign.

But a breakdown in his relationship with chairman Steve Parish led to a parting of the ways less than 48 hours before the Eagles' opening day fixture against Arsenal.

Keith Millen took temporary charge before, at the end of the month, Neil Warnock was surprisingly named as manager for

his second spell in SE25. The 'Back to the Future' theme continued as Wilfried Zaha then returned to the club after an unhappy spell at Man United.

On Warnock, goalkeeper Julian Speroni said at the time: "I am delighted he's back, I'm really, really pleased. I didn't think I was going to work with Neil again and when I heard the news, I thought 'wow'."

The wow factor didn't last long – a poor run of results saw Warnock sacked at the end of December, with Palace in the relegation zone.

THE Advertiser reported on August 22 how two families celebrated their own little miracles at Croydon University Hospital when two sets of triplets were born just 24 hours apart.

The incredibly rare coincidence left staff, who had "never seen anything like it" at the hospital, amazed as only around 200 sets of triplets are born across the UK each year. First-time parents Kevin and Farahnaz Field beat odds of 8,000 to one when they discovered they were having natural triplets.

Their non-identical girls, Shanaya, Zahra and Katrina, were born by a scheduled caesarean before, exactly 24 hours later, Manda (crct) and Ken Johnston, from South Croydon, had three new arrivals of their own – Toby, Luke and Elliott – to celebrate. Both dads insisted they were doing their bit with the nappy changes.

"When you've got three there's no way that you can get away with it. It needs more than one pair of hands to change them, sometimes even two pairs isn't enough," said Kevin.

A YOUNG father died after being stabbed in broad daylight during a fight on a Croydon estate. Adrian Young, 24, was attacked in Cromwell Road shortly before 4.30pm on August 26.

Paramedics fought to save his life by the roadside before rushing him to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Jordan Glasgow, 26, was charged with murder and pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in November. He is due to stand trial at the Old Bailey in April.

SNAKE stories proved to be a bit like London buses at the start of August. First, we reported how seven-year-old Mia Chambers' pet corn snake turned up in a neighbour's garden – 18 months after it went missing.

Mia and her mum Anita John, of Normanston Road, South Croydon, had given up all hope of finding Corny. But Anita then saw a post about a snake discovery on Facebook – and it turned out the slippery customer was only across the road.

"It must have hibernated through the winter, but it was digesting a little mouse it had managed to catch," said Anita, who sold was left to curse her decision to sell its tank for £10 on eBay just days before.

Then, In other snake news, there was the tale of the serpent which poked out of a Sanderstead pensioner's toilet bowl. It turned out The reptile which gave Mary Curtis a fright belonged to her neighbour upstairs, who lost it four months ago. "This head, with the forked tongue, just poked out the toilet bowl, it freaked us all out," said fellow neighbour Michael Eva.

ONE minute Dennis Wootley was relaxing in his garden with a crossword – the next minute he saw his neighbour was on fire.

Without so much as stopping to think, our local hero hurdled the fence, ripped the burning top from her back and rushed to called the emergency services, who were on the scene within minutes.

Lorraine Quartey, 40, needed skin grafts to both of her arms, but without Dennis's heroic intervention it could have been much worse. "I'm so thankful to him. I wouldn't have known what to do, he probably saved my life," she said after the accident suffered at home in Broad Green while cooking the family dinner.

QUOTES OF THE MONTH:

"To this day, one of the things that makes my blood go cold is if someone treads on a stick. That snapping sound – he must have stood on a twig and it snapped – and then the next thing I knew his arm was around me." 

Gill Smith spoke to the Advertiser about how she was raped and attacked, aged 9, in woodland in Coulsdon in 1972. Her attacker has never been caught

"I thought 'how the hell did it get in there?'" 

Michael Eva's understandable reaction to seeing a snake poking its head out of his neighbour's toilet in Sanderstead

"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster, I've been here for two weeks." 

Palace defender Brede Hangeland on the departure on Tony Pulis – the man who'd just signed him

"I didn't think I trained that badly yesterday!" 

Defender Martin Kelly, signed the day before Pulis' departure, sees the funny side

"I'm getting locks on my bedroom door, and definitely soundproofing it all." 

Hannah Darke, 16, on welcoming three little brothers – triplets Luke, Toby, and Elliot – into her family

Croydon review of the year - August


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