Crystal Palace

Selhurst Park

Capacity: 26,309 (all seated)
Address: Selhurst Park, London, SE25 6PU
Telephone: 0208 768 6000
Fax: 0208 771 5311
Ticket Office: 0871 2000 071
Pitch Size: 110 x 74 yards
Club Nickname: The Eagles
Year Ground Opened: 1924
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Mansion
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Home Kit: Red and Blue
Away Kit: Gold With Red & Blue Sash

Arthur Wait Stand & Holmesdale Road End
Arthur Wait Stand & Holmesdale Road End
Main Stand & Whitehorse Lane Stands
Main Stand & Whitehorse Lane Stands
Arthur Wait Stand
Arthur Wait Stand
Main Stand
Main Stand
Crystal Palace FC
Holmesdale Road End
Holmesdale Road End
Whitehorse Lane Stand
Whitehorse Lane Stand
Selhurst Park Tour With Mark Bright

Selhurst Park Stadium welcome SignSelhurst Park is a mixture of the modern and the old, with two old side stands and two more modern looking end stands. The newest edition is the two-tiered Holmesdale Road Stand at one end, which was opened in 1995. This stand has a large lower tier, with a smaller upper tier that overhangs it. The stand looks impressive and has a large curved roof, as well as windshields on either side of the upper tier. This is where the bulk of home supporters congregate. 

Opposite is the Whitehorse Lane Stand. This was originally a large open terrace but was reduced in capacity in the early 1980’s when land was sold for a Sainsbury’s supermarket which is still present outside the ground. During the early 1990’s the terrace was made all seated and a double row of executive boxes was the constructed above it, giving it an unusual look. Later a roof was added and then a large video screen installed upon it, which was replaced by a larger version in 2014. This stand has now been renamed the 'Croydon Advertiser Family Stand'. 

One side is the large, covered, single tiered Arthur Wait stand, which was built in 1969, while on the other side the Main Stand, which dates back to when the ground opened in 1924, is also single tiered. Both stands are now beginning to show their age; with a number of supporting pillars. The Arthur Wait Stand has a TV gantry suspended beneath its roof, whilst the Main Stand has a number of ancient looking floodlights on its roof. Michael Clement adds; 'To add a bit of razzmatazz to the beginning of games, the club play a programme of loud music, as the teams emerge onto the pitch'. This includes playing 'Glad All Over' by the Dave Clarke Five, which is enthusiastically joined in to by the Palace fans.

Jack Laws informs me; 'The Club have announced that they wish to redevelop Selhurst Park in a modern stadium with a capacity around 35-40,000. It is intended that this will be achieved by replacing one stand at a time, starting with the Main Stand on one side. No timescales have been given as to when this might happen.'

Away are still housed on one side of the Arthur Wait Stand, however they have been relocated to the opposite side near the 'Croydon Advertiser Family Stand'. Just over 2,000 away supporters can be accommodated. Nikita a visiting Gillingham fan informs me; 'If you are seated towards the rear of the stand then you will find that there is very little leg room'. Plus the views of the playing action are not particularly great from the back of the stand, due to the overhang of the roof. Max Pardo-Roques warns; 'Due to a new television gantry that has been installed above the visitors stand, the the view is even worse than it was before. In fact you can barely see across to the other side of the pitch. I would strongly advise fans not to buy tickets the back ten rows (40-49)'. And if that is not enough then there is the odd supporting pillar to contend with too! Whilst Alex Jones adds; 'If you sit in the bottom half of the stand for an afternoon kick off, in the earlier part of the season, then don't be surprised if you end up trying to keep the sun out of eyes'. 

On my last visit there was a particularly good atmosphere within the ground, especially from the home fans in the Holmesdale Road End. I was impressed with the Palace fans, who clearly were passionate about their Club, but in a non-intimidatory manner, towards away fans. In fact there was plenty of good banter going on between the two sets of supporters. There are plenty of refreshments available, however, if you if there is a sizeable away support, then getting food and drink could be a problem because there is only one small refreshment area to cater for the whole away support. However there are queuing barriers in place to prevent the obligatory scrum that inevitably ensues at some other grounds.

There is quite a wide choice of food on offer, including handmade Goddard's Pies such as; Chicken Balti, Steak and Cronx Ale, Chicken and Mushroom, plus Cheese and Onion. However, you'll pay £4 for the privilege, making them the most expensive pies in the League. Also following in the same theme, then you can enjoy a 'Mighty Burger' which comes at a 'Mighty Price' of £10, which must also make them the most expensive burgers in the League! There are also 'normal' burgers on sale at £4.50, Hot Dogs (£3.50), Falafel Vegetarian Burgers (£4.50) and Seasoned Wedges (£2.50). Plus also to tempt your taste buds further, the Club also offer; Chicken Korma Curry, Dehli Tikka Curry, Thai Sweet Chilli Noodles and Teriyaki Noodles (all £4.50 and served with your choice of Chickpeas or Basmati Rice).

On the whole Crystal Palace is a fairly relaxed ground to visit and you are unlikely to encounter any problems, except perhaps getting stuck in the traffic on the way to the game!

Opposite Thornton Heath Railway Station there is a Wetherspoon pub, called the 'The Flora Sandes' which is popular with both home and away supporters. Also close by is 'The Railway Telegraph' on Brigstock (as you come out of Thornton Heath station turn right and the pub is further down on the left). This pub serves Youngs beers and is quite spacious. It is then about a 15 minute walk from here to Selhurst Park (as you  come out of the pubs turn right and follow the other fans). There are also plenty of Kebab and Chip shops available on the route to the ground. Generally beer and lager are served inside the ground, although for certain high profile games, the Club choose not to serve alcohol to away supporters. The choice of alcohol includes; Carlsberg Lager (Bottle £4.50), Somersby Cider (Bottle £4.50) and Wine (Small Bottle £4.50). Alas away fans don't get to enjoy the 'Palace Ale' which is produced by a craft brewery owned by Neil Morrissey for the Club and is available in the home sections.

If you require hotel accommodation in London then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their London Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

Leave the M25 at Junction 7 and follow the signs for the A23 to Croydon. At Purley bear left onto the A23 at its junction with the A 235 (to Croydon). You will pass roundabouts and junctions with the A232 and A236 as you pass Croydon, after which the A23 bears left at Thornton Heath (at the Horseshoe pub roundabout). Here you must go straight over, into Brigstock Road (B266), passing Thornton Heath Station on your left and bearing right on to the High Street. At the next mini roundabout, (Whitehorse Road/Grange Road) go left into Whitehorse Lane. The ground is on your right.

Richard Down informs me; 'An alternative route for fans coming from the North, is to leave the M25 at Junction 10 and follow the A3 towards London. After about ten miles you will reach the Tolworth roundabout at which you turn right onto the A240 towards Epsom. After about three miles turn onto the A232 towards Sutton. Follow the A232 through Sutton and Carshalton and just before reaching Croydon, turn left onto the A23 north towards Thornton Heath'. Where the A23 bears left at Thornton Heath (at the Horsehoe pub roundabout). Here you must go straight over, into Brigstock Road (B266), passing Thornton Heath Station on your left and bearing right on to the High Street. At the next mini roundabout, (Whitehorse Road/Grange Road) go left into Whitehorse Lane. The ground is on your right. Most streets around the ground are either designated residents only parking on matchdays or are pay and display with a four hour limit. So please take note of any street signs advising of parking restrictions, or else you win run the risk of being towed away. Please note that the traffic can be pretty bad on Saturdays even without football traffic, so make sure you allow yourself some extra time to make the journey.

Post Code for SAT NAV: SE25 6PU

The nearest railway stations are Selhurst, Thornton Heath or Norwood Junction, all of which are served by London Victoria main line station. Both Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction are also served by trains from London Bridge. From each of these local stations it is then a 10-15 minute walk to Selhurst Park. Please note that Crystal Palace station is nowhere near the ground. Thornton Heath tends to be more popular with away fans as there are a few pubs for visiting supporters located close by.

If you are coming from outside London, it may be an idea to purchase a 'Travelcard' at the first tube station you encounter (or some train operators also allow you to add this onto your train ticket) and tell the clerk that you want a 'Travelcard' that will cover you as far as Selhurst or Thornton Heath. The card then allows you unlimited travel on the tube and trains within the London travel zone and avoids having to buy a ticket for each leg of the journey. 

Lisa Lark a visiting Norwich City fan adds; 'If travelling to Selhurst Station from London Victoria, that it's better to get  on at the front of the train rather than the back. We found that on leaving the train at Selhurst, that for the rear carriages there is a gap of 2 to 3 foot between the train doors and the platform, not the most pleasant of exits I've made from a train. If you are travelling with young children or are less agile, then it is best to be at the front of the train'.

If you go to a number of games in the capital then you may consider getting yourself an Oyster Card, which is a pre-paid travel pass for public transport (Tube, Bus, Train etc..) within London. Not only will it save you money but also saves you time as you won't need to buy tickets on the day. You can purchase one from the Travel For London Plan your journey website, where you can also access routes, timetables and a handy journey planning tool.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Common with most Clubs, Crystal Palace operate a category system (A & B) for matches whereby tickets cost more for the most popular matches. Category B prices are shown below in brackets:

Home Fans*:

Main Stand: Adults: £45 (B £35), Concessions £30 (B £24), Under 18's £22.50 (B £17.50)  
Holmesdale Stand (Gallery): Adults: £45 (B £32), Concessions £30 (B £24) Under 18's N/A
Holmesdale Stand (Upper): £40 (B £32), Concessions £26 (B £21), Under 18's £20 (B £16)
Holmesdale Stand (Lower): £40 (B £30), Concessions £26 (B £18), Under 18's £20 (B £14)
Arthur Wait Stand: £40 (B £32), Concessions £26 (B £21), Under 18's £20 (B £16)
Croydon Advertiser Family (Whitehorse Lane) Stand: Adults: £35 (B £25), Concessions £24 (B £17) Under 18's £17.50 (B £12.50)

Away Fans

As per an agreement with all Premier League Clubs, away fans will be charged a maximum price of those shown below for all League games:

Adults £30
Concessions £20

Concessions apply to Senior Citizens, Students and Under 22's.

Official Programme: £3.50

Charlton Athletic, Millwall (and a little further away) Brighton & Hove Albion.

Crystal Palace FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.

Trevor Elias a visiting Fulham supporter, provides me with the following update; 'We parked in the Sainsburys car park next to the ground, show your orange badge to the steward. Be warned, the access roads to the car park have cobbled speed ramps & to avoid this means using the pavement which runs by the ticket office window & queue. Away fans were in the Arthur Wait stand with dedicated stewards to help. The view can be poor as fans stand up in front of you, however, it's still possible to see 95% of the game. Another downside is the toilets, there are 2 disabled loos but these were being used by anyone & it was hard to get to the entrance so be ready to shout at people'. 

Record Attendance

51,482 v Burnley Division 2, May 11th, 1979. 

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

26,193 v Arsenal Premier League, November 6th, 2004.

Average Attendance

2015-2016: 24,825 (Premier League)
2014-2015: 24,421 (Premier League)
2013-2014: 24,375 (Premier League)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to:

Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of Selhurst Park.

The Selhurst Park Stadium Tour with Mark Bright was produced by JD Sport and made publicly available via YouTube.

Crystal Palace v Stoke City
Premier League
Sunday 18th September 2016, 2.15pm
James Walker (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Selhurst Park?

Welcome To Selhurst ParkI was looking forward to this game as it would be yet another new ground for me (68 of the 92 and my 99th overall.) I've heard some very positive things about Selhurst Park and especially the levels of noise from their home support, and I already knew how loud the Stoke fans can be on their travels, so this seemed like a perfect game to go to.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Making the journey to Selhurst Park was easy. Me and my Stoke-supporting mate got on the train at Welwyn North (where we met the third member of our party) to Kings Cross (where we met the final member) and from there hopped on the tube, taking the Victoria line to Victoria Station. From there it was a case of getting on a South Eastern train to Thornton Heath Station. There is a Wetherspoons directly opposite Thornton Heath Station so we went straight in there, but bear in mind they ask for I.D on the door, to show proof of age. After we left it was simply a case of turning right, walking about ten minutes, turning left and walking until we saw Selhurst Park (which you can't miss as it's right next to a Sainsburys). The club shop is located here, and to get to the away end you need to walk straight on, turn right at the next row of houses and down to the away end. There is an away fans ticket collection booth right next to the away turnstiles.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We firstly went in to the shop for the usual of a badge (£2.99) and a programme (£3.50) which was a very good read of 86 pages and an extra kids pull-out in the back. After that it a case of going straight in to the away end.

Selhurst Park

View From The Away Section

 

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Selhurst Park?

Overall Selhurst Park is a lovely stadium. The away 'end' is along one side of the ground in a single-tiered stand, which is shared with home fans. There are several pillars running the length of the stand but if you're in the first 15 rows then you will have a clear unobstructed view. However the television gantry is above this stand so if you're in the back rows then there is little point bothering to go as most of the pitch is blocked by the gantry. The stand opposite is similar to this one (no gantry though obviously) whilst the stand behind the goal to our right is a single-tiered stand with two rows of executive boxes above it. There is a large scoreboard on this stand which also shows any early kick-off televised match (showing Watford v Manchester United whilst we were there). The stand behind the goal to our left is a large two-tiered stand where most of the atmosphere comes from, including the famous 'Palace Ultras'.

Not Such A Great View From The Back Of The Stand

Poor View Of The Pitch At Selhurst Park

 

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was a disaster for the rest of the away end, but very enjoyable for me as Palace raced in to a 2-0 lead (thanks to Tomkins and Dann converting set-pieces) and somehow it was kept to just two at the break. Both teams had some chances before Palace scored twice again in quick succession though McArthur and Townsend before Arnautovic replied for Stoke with the last kick of the game. I was impressed when I went to get my pie as there was a proper queuing system in place, as well as a huge range of food on offer, and bizarrely a receipt issued with every purchase. Not too hard to go and return any products you don't want then! You also get a little pack with plastic cutlery and a napkin with every food purchase as well, however £4 for a pie is very steep in my opinion. The atmosphere from the Palace fans was very good throughout, whilst the Stoke supporters were almost silent apart from the odd chant of "Go Orn Stokee" or the odd chant of their famous "Bread" song. The stewards largely kept to themselves and let fans sit or stand freely.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We didn't race back as we went round to the front to see the players leave and get some things signed by players of both sides. We hung around just over an hour before starting to head back to the station, arriving home for just before 7.30pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall this was a very good day out for the neutral. Five goals, lovely weather and a new ground all in one day can't be beaten. Selhurst Park is a ground that I will definitely return to when I get the chance.

Half Time Score: Crystal Palace 2-0 Stoke City
Full Time Result: Crystal Palace 4-1 Stoke City
Attendance: 23,781 (763 Away Fans)

Crystal Palace v Norwich City
Premier League
Saturday 9th April 2016, 3pm
Tom (Norwich City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Selhurst Park?

I had been to Selhurst Park previously, so I had a vague memory of what it was like. Being a fan of a club located in East Anglia, a London game is always the easiest to get to. I also love travelling across London with other fans. It was a big game for us, desperately needing the points to help us avoid the drop. A win would also drag Palace into the relegation battle! We were in good spirits due to showing some good form in recent matches.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We parked at Newbury Park Underground Station, which is very easy to get to from East Anglia. We then took the tube across London, changing at London Bridge for an overground train to Norwood Junction. It was a straightforward journey that took about an hour.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We always find an away fans pub. I looked at recent reviews and headed to Norwood Junction as this was a much easier route on the tube. Sadly the Wetherspoons outlet at Norwood Junction is now shut and there is no away fans pub in the vicinity of Norwood Junction, they are all home fans only. I recommend instead going to Thornton Heath!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Selhurst Park?

As mentioned before I have been to Selhurst Park previously where I had a decent view of the game. This is one of the grounds which need's some major TLC, great atmosphere but it doesn't look like a Premier League ground. The away end concourse is tight and the facilities are pretty poor, but you're not staying there so it didn't bother me. The view we had wasn't great either, you are very lucky to get a view which isn't obstructed or restricted in some way!

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was dire and we lost! The atmosphere from both fans were great but it was a quiet trip home. The hot dog before the game was the highlight!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Walking out of the ground to Norwood Junction Station took about ten minutes and we jumped on a train straight to London Bridge, although there was the usual queuing outside the station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good trip, poor match! I would go again although it could be in years to come due to our current league position!

Crystal Palace v Watford
Premier League
Saturday 13th February 2016, 3pm
Daniel Engley (Watford fan)

Reasons for visiting Selhurst Park:

As a newly promoted team I have been visiting as many away grounds as possible, and as I have never been to Palace before and the fact that it was a close journey for us it was definitely a fixture I could not miss.

Journey:

Very straight forward. We took a train from Clapham junction to Thornton Heath, and from the station we followed the fans to what was roughly a 15 minute walk to Selhurst Park,

Before the Game:

There was no trouble from the Palace fans who we were amongst both on the train and walking to the ground. We decided to go to the chippy just outside the ground which served very large portions! However, please note that you are not able to take the food inside the ground (which we were unaware of) and so we had to eat it outside standing in the rain.

Impressions of Selhurst Park:

I had spoken to a mate of mine who was a palace fan and he advised me to sit nearer the front due to their being a tv gantry that could effect your view at the back of the stand. If you do sit at the back, I don't think it is as bad as advertised, although you won't see the opposite stand. Our view was also partially obscured by a pillar which was frustrating. Although I am a fan of older and more unique grounds, the stadium badly needs some investment into it, especially as Palace have been in the premier league for a few years now.

Game itself:

Watford had the better of the first half and went one up, but Palace levelled just before half time which was very disappointing. In the second half Palace were the better team, but Deeney got his second of the game late on which sent our away end into raptures and we managed to hold on for a great three points. I was impressed with the notorious corner of Palace fans who didn't stop singing, yet the rest of the fans seemed a bit subdued (probably because of the winless run they were on). The stewards were very friendly, allowing banter between the two sets of supporters and even one of them saying how much he enjoyed our singing!

Getting away: Once again this was easier than expected.

We walked back to the train station comfortably and got home swiftly. However I would not advise driving to the ground as the traffic was horrendous.

Summary:

Overall, another fantastic away day for Watford this season. The only damper was the view of the ground with all seats seeming to be restricted viewing. This would be my only doubt on going again as the rest of the day was great!

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Saturday 18th April 2015, 3pm
Bradley Totney (West Bromwich Albion fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to Selhurst Park?   

Another away day with my best mate, a ground that we'd previously never been to, which made it all the more exciting.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey was a good three hours from West Bromwich, stopping at Oxford services on the way. When we got to the ground, the supporters coach dropped us in the middle of nowhere, forcing us to follow the army of blue and white.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

As soon as we got to the ground, we agreed to go straight to our seats to get a glimpse of the stadium before it filled up, the stewards searched all Baggies fans on entry, which surprised me a bit to be honest! A rather nice female steward directed us to our seats, and to our amusement, were about 6 rows from the back!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

My first impressions of Selhurst Park is that it is a rather nice ground, with the Holmesdale End towering over the rest of it. Albion brought a 2000 strong crowd down to London, who didn't stop singing throughout the day, the Palace fans were quite reserved, although their team were on a four match winning streak.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game itself was superb, Albion fans in full voice made it all the more enjoyable, although as I am only a little bit, I had to duck and peek between heads of those in front, due to the television gantry suspended from the roof of the Arthur Wait Stand, which means you are trying to watch the game through a letter box. Baggies took the lead only 2 minutes in with a James Morrison header, which sparked even more singing and "boing boing-ing", followed by The Lord's My Shepherd. Palace were the more dominant team in all fairness, who deserved a equaliser, but couldn't seem to break the baggies defence. 

At half time, I went down into the concourse for a Balti Pie and a bottle of Sprite, which cost me a mind-boggling £6 odd. The toilets were standard, although I nearly went flying having nearly missed the flight of stairs to get to them. The second half, yet again was all Palace, but with seven minutes into the second period, Craig Gardner unleashed an absolute cracker from 25 yards which found it's way past Speroni, although I missed the goal, I joined in with the celebrations! Final score 2-0, although Palace deserved at least a point.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game, we came out of the turnstiles to find all of the away coaches parked right outside, only for ours to be parked nowhere near Selhurst Park, forcing us to embark on a 15 minute walk back to the coach.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, Palace was a great day out, another ground ticked off the list for us. Stewards were fairly relaxed and home fans seemed friendly enough. Just as a pointer though, I would NOT recommend getting tickets for the back 10 rows or so as you will be at the back of the stand with a poor view unless you are 7 foot tall! Would recommend for those who want an enjoyable away day in London.

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League Saturday 18th April 2015, 3pm
Sam Foord (West Bromwich Albion fan)

Why you were looking forward to visiting Selhurst Park?
I was really looking forward to this game as it was one of West Brom's annual 'free coach' away days. Usually we bring a lot of supporters for these games and this one was no exception with 40 coaches making the journey to Selhurst Park.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? I was travelling with my Grandad for this one and we got a lift to the Hawthorns from where we were catching the coach at 9am in the morning. The journey itself was straightforward...up until we hit London at which point we were pretty much crawling all the way to Selhurst Park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    
The coaches got us to Selhurst for 1pm, so with nearly two hours to occupy me and my Grandad walked around the ground to see what it had to offer. We got some food from the nearby Sainsbury's store (which looks like it's almost underneath the actual ground!) and I went in the club shop to pick up a programme and a Crystal Palace badge for my collection.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
When we got into the away section in the Arthur Wait Stand. My Grandad laughed and told me it looked like "Steptoe and Son's yard!" and I was inclined to agree! The concourse is not the best at all and was a very tight fit with the large amount of travelling baggies fans. We were sat right on the front row (due to Grandad not being able to stand for 90 minutes at a football game anymore) so the view for us was incredible! However, the seats at the back of the stadium must have had an awful view due to the overhanging roof.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game got itself off to the best possible start for the Albion with Jimmy Morrison scoring with a header from a corner in the 2nd minute! After that the Albion fans were in full voice for the whole game, Palace fans to their credit were also pretty loud considering they didn't have the best start in the game. Stewards were really good, no problems at all. Oh and if you do want a drink I advise you get one beforehand in Sainsburys or a pub... as inside the ground it was £4.50 for a 330ml bottle of cider!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
There was a bit of a squeeze funneling out of the stadium but within ten minutes we were back on the coaches and doing the slow crawl out of London back to West Bromwich.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Amazing day out, sunshine, cheerleaders and a great result for the Albion under Tony Pulis! Would definitely like tot go back next season.


Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Premier League
Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 7.45pm
Tom Parker (Aston Villa fan)

Why you were you looking forward to going to Selhurst Park?

Selhurst Park has always been a ground that had special appeal to me because of its old character. It had been on the list of football ground "to do's" for a while. And coming from Brighton where I live, it was the closest away ground of the season.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

The guys we all went up with knew the ground and area quite well, so no problems there from Thornton Heath station.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

After having a quick beer and some food at the George in Croydon, we got the train over to Thornton Heath station, and just went over the road into the Flora Sandes Wetherspoon pub for a session. Good sized pub where both sets of fans mixed well and typical Spoons prices £2-3 for a beer.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

After queueing outside the ground for what seemed an eternity and missing the kick off, we finally got in and within around 10 minutes Benteke put us 1-0 up with an absolute peach of a goal. Impressed with the acoustics there, really good noise from Villa fans. Could see the Holmesdale End, but couldn't really hear the home support. The ground itself looks quite run down and a bit shabby, but I quite like that personally.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

Game itself, Palace mainly dominated the match and went close a few times, but we looked quite solid and uninspiring (typical Lambert peformance) and managed to scrape the 1-0. Carnage ensued in our end after the game! The concourse at half time was a right party, everyone going mad with beer going all over the place. Didn't get a beer or pie or anything, never bother doing it.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Went for more beers at the pub afterwards so let the crowd die down a bit. Easily got back to Brighton from Victoria.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great evening out, easily to get to (from the South!) and really enjoyed it. Palace fans were friendly and while the area/ground is a bit shabby, it did the job and was my personal favourite away trip of the season.

Crystal Palace v Swansea City
Premier League
Sunday 22 September 2013, 1.30pm
By Michael McKay (Neutral fan in the away section)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

Crystal Palace is the last London club that I needed to check off my list. I have been to Fulham, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal (three times). As a foreigner, I had no expectations, but having been to the stadiums of the above mentioned Premier League regulars, I was in for a disappointment.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

Using your website, I took the tube from King's Cross (where my train from Ely arrived) and got to Selhurst in around an hour or so. When we switched to the above ground train, I started seeing folks in the red and blue striped shirts get on the train. And then more. And more. The train was packed. The days was not warm, just cool enough for a light jacket, and by the time I got off the train, I was sweating through the back of my shirt. When we got off the train, I figured that I would follow everyone in the jerseys to the stadium. South London is nothing like Piccadilly Circus. It looks a little rough, and there was a ton of dog poop on the sidewalks.

The stadium emerges into view from the neighborhood flats. Unlike American stadiums, where there is usually some space cleared out around the sides to give fans panoramic views, Selhurst Park is packed in tight among the houses.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

I did not budget enough time to go into any pubs or anything, though I kicked myself for it later. I saw a bunch of people sitting along brick rows with chip baskets slathered in curry sauce. I could smell it from a distance and my mouth watered.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The Holmesdale Road Stand was impressive, and the fanatics sat at the bottom left hand corner. They were constantly waving flags and beating drums. It looked like they were having a good time, even when Michu scored in like, the first five minutes.

I was in the far right corner of the Arthur Wait Stand with the Swansea fans. The stand was awful. Old wooden seats awaited me, and they were clearly built for miniature people. I am a fit 6'2", 190 pounds, and I was packed into my seat space like Spam in the tin. Fortunately, the away fans stood the whole time, so I could stretch out my legs and give my knees a break from pressing against the seat in front of me. All of the other stadiums I've been to had rules against standing for too long, which I actually appreciate, but the stewards didn't seem to bother the Swansea fans.

In addition to the awful seats, Selhurst Park has a lot of blocked sight lines due to support columns, AND the stupid TV catwalk. If the action was on the far side of the pitch, I would have to bend at the waist in order to scan underneath the catwalk.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was lively. The away fans sang a lot, as did the Fanatics. This is the only stadium that I've been to that had American style cheerleaders. I don't know why every team doesn't do this. It would create jobs and stimulate the economy, among other things. I also liked the flying eagle that they brought out during warm-ups. They have one similar at Auburn University in Alabama, only he flies around the bowl of the stadium at altitude. This eagle could only get about three feet off the ground. They may have had a weight around his talons to keep him from getting away.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I was so uncomfortable, and Swansea so thoroughly controlled the action, that I left at half time. It was easy to find the train station, and I beat any rush, so I couldn't give an accurate portrayal of a game-day exit.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Crystal Palace is now checked off the list. I will not return.

Crystal Palace v Sunderland
Premier League
Sunday 31 August 2013, 5.30pm
By Rory Murphy (Sunderland fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

As soon as the fixtures came out I was looking forward to going to Crystal Palace. I thought it would be an easy 3 points but that wasn't to be the case. I also thought the ground had a lot of character and a nice blend of old and modern stands.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Me and my friend set off from Darlington at 10AM hoping to get to the ground at about 3-3:30PM. The journey was fine up until we hit London. As you'd expect it was mayhem. After crossing the Thames there was little traffic and we headed towards Selhurst. We parked on a street which was a 5 min walk from the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Since we got there in good time there wasn't too many fans around but none of them seemed intimidating and the majority smiled at us even though I had my red and white stripes on. Once we got into the ground I went to buy a drink but noticed that the area was too tight and cramped so I did without.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The first stand I saw was the two-tiered Holmesdale Road Stand which looked quite impressive. We then followed a number of other Sunderland fans to the turnstiles. The away end is at one end of the Arthur Wait Stand which is a bit old and rundown. To the top of the stand the seats were wooden but we got lucky and got plastic seats. As I said the ground is a mixture of old and new with the Whitehorse Lane and Holmesdale Road Stands which looked quite modern and the Arthur Wait and Main Stands looking a bit tired.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was quite poor from a Sunderland point of view with Palace taking an early lead. Sunderland came back with a brilliant header from Steven Fletcher on his return from injury. After that the 2,000 or so Mackems were definitely in full voice. A silly mistake from John O'Shea resulted in a penalty and a sending off and to put the nail in the coffin Stuart O'Keefe scored an absolute screamer in the last minute. Palace fans were brilliant behind the goal but only really got behind their team when they scored. Sunderland fans were great as well. If only the team were as good as their support. The stewards were fine and didn't tell us to sit down throughout the game.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

There was a lot of traffic getting away from the ground and it didn't help with a few Palace fans shouting 3-1 at us. They weren't intimidating though. It took us about four and a half hours to get back to the North-East after a disappointing performance from the Black Cats.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

It was a great day out. Friendly fans, great atmosphere and a unique stadium. The result wasn't too good though!

Crystal Palace v Charlton Athletic
Championship League
Saturday 2nd February 2013, 3pm
By James Butler (Charlton Athletic fan)

If you don’t look forward to an away game at the ground of one of your local rivals then perhaps it’s time to stop going to football. Add to this the fact that we had not been to Selhurst Park since 2008, then I think it’s fair to say that, from a Charlton perspective at least, we were looking forward to the match, selling out our 3,000 allocation easily.

Personally I have not been back to Selhurst Park since the days when we used play our “home” games there. Not a period that any Charlton fan will look back on with fond memories.

I first went to Crystal Palace in the early 70’s. In those days it was an okay ground, and compared favourably with the Stadiums of much larger clubs. What of the 2013 version? Well it is a bit of a mixed bag really. The old open terraces at either end of the ground have been replaced with smart modern all seater stands the best of which is the impressive two tier Holmsdale Road End. The Whitehorse Lane End, now I believe for obvious reason called the Sainsbury's end, is a much smaller single tier family stand, with some executive boxes to the rear. That’s the modern side of Selhurst. 

The old side however is less than impressive. Those of you that sometimes pine for those old stadia full of old world charm should take a trip to the home of Crystal Palace. The Main Stand was never great, but it now has certainly seen better days. However as I was not going to watch the game from this stand what did I care, but I find it incredible that people pay good money for it. Opposite the Main Stand is the Arthur Wait Stand. Back in the 70’s 80’s before the advent of the all seater stadium this was considered a pretty good stand, with its seats to the rear and terraced paddock to the front. I even quite liked it when we played at “home” there. Dated would be a kind way of describing it now. The terrace at the front has been raised to meet the seats at the back to create an all seated stand with a very poor angle, this coupled with several supporting pillars leaves you with an obstructed view. This was made worse by the kid in front who had to stand on his seat all game. I could not complain, he would have seen nothing otherwise. To add insult to injury the concourse behind, with refreshment bars, were dangerously cramped, selling £4 bottles of beer, to go with the £32 match ticket.

Before the game interaction with home support was almost impossible due to the massive, and I mean massive, police presence. We had also chosen to take the coach to avoid the after match lunacy at South Norwood station. It’s around eight miles from Charlton to Selhurst, the journey took two hours! The train would have been about 1 ½ hours. That’s South London infrastructure for you. Go in and out of town, never go across. 

On arrival we were dropped right by the away turnstiles and went straight in. On entry everybody was searched, a very wise precaution on account of the boosting on the Chat forum’s before the game that the idiot minority where going to smuggle in flares as they had at Millwall and Palace had at Charlton. My first impressions of the stewards were excellent, search, sad, but necessary, shown to our seats in a very helpful manner, and when we realise we could not get a programme inside one steward even help us to get one from a seller outside the ground.

The game itself saw Charlton well on top in the opening quarter, playing some nice stuff, rewarded in the 15 minute by neat Ricardo Fuller goal which sent the away contingent bonkers. Off went some flares, so much for the search on the way in... As for the goal, at the time I had no idea who had scored, I thought it had been a header, that’s says all about the view I had, £32?. Half time 1-0 was always going to be a tough lead to defend even though we were clearly the better team first half, we should have added to the lead. Reason, first Palace our not a bad side, that hurt, and we can always through a lead away, preferable in the last quarter of the game. Yep 2-1 Palace final score, Glen Murray scoring twice for I've lost count how many times this season.

There is a very old and tired song about one set of fans forgetting that the other set was there. Never has this been truer. Don’t get we wrong The Valley is not always a cauldron of noise and our sing can be very repetitive and unimaginative, but a least we try. Apart from about 100 or so in one corner of the Holmsdale End, who to their credit did not stop all game. Until Palace scored, silence. Even when they did score the home support need to be revved up by canned music and the stadium announcer.

By this time the behaviour of our less desirable element was starting resemble that most associated with our other South London neighbours, they had run out of flares by about the 12th one, they amused themselves by ripping up the seats. The pre-match search was really paying dividends. This behaviour was meet by commendable restraint from the Met Police, who contented themselves with taking videos of the action. Expecting an extended lock in as a just reward for this behaviour we were amazed to be let straight out. We were faced by a wall of Police, who during the match had been amusing themselves by erecting a two metre steel barricade to keep the fans outside apart. Some of our support may be morons, but bravery is not high on the list of qualities, history has generally seen that the Palace support is similar and the fans normally just melt away. No the Police were determined to have their day. We sat for what seemed like an eternity on the coach whilst they deconstructed the steel wall and we could go on our way. Minor inconvenience. The rest of our support, young and old, idiots and the sane, were herded to toward the station, even if you had parked  a car in the complete opposite direct. A few streets away they were on mass Kettled and held. The result? Confusion, pushing and shoving as people at the back took a while to realise what was going on, followed by wanton vandalism to people’s homes and cars simply because they happen to live near a football ground where Charlton had just lost 2-1. 

I understand from Palace fans that this, over the top, policing is quite often the norm for a big match at Selhurst, so be warned if you have a large following, if you have any kind of reputation either just don’t go, or prepare for the worse. Having said that there was plenty of yobbish behaviour displayed by idiots in the Charlton ranks to give the police ample justification for their actions, even if the actions seemed disproportianate to the threat.

Would I go back? Probably not, ticket price, journey time, and general aggro, it’s only football. However a smaller following from a club with no previous in the fixture may well have a completely different experience. Palace are at the end of the day, like Charlton, are family orientated club with strong community roots. These type of clubs normally provide enjoyable hassle free days out.

PS I got home at 8pm for a game that was played within 15 miles of my house, Charlton home game similar distance normally in by six...

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Updated 21st September 2016

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