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Selhurst Park: A passion that gives hope



Selhurst Park is a stadium located in the London suburb of South Norwood. It is the home of the Crystal Palace football club. Crystal Palace bought land from Brighton railway station in 1922, which had until then been used as a brickyard, for £2,570. 


The stadium (designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leech) was built for around £30,000, and was officially opened by the Mayor of London on 30 August 1924. At that time, there was only one tribune (today’s main tribune), but it was unfinished.


Crystal Palace played their first match at this stadium against Sheffield Wednesday and lost 0:1 in front of 25,000 fans. Two years later, England played against Wales in an international match at this stadium. Amateur matches and various other finals were also played there. In addition, it hosted two games during the 1948 Olympics.


The first floodlights in the stadium were installed in 1953, but they were replaced nine years later by the installation of pillar floodlights on the roof of the main stand. Real Madrid marked the event by playing the first game in front of the new floodlights – a real football holiday for the then third division Palace, as it was Real’s first match in London.


The stadium remained in this condition until 1969, when Crystal Palace were promoted to Division 1 (then the first tier of the competition) for the first time.


The Arthur Wait tribune was built, named after the club’s long-time president, who was a builder by profession and who was often seen working at the stadium itself. Arthur Waite was responsible for Palace’s rise from the fourth to the first division in the 1960s.


Charlton Athletic temporarily moved to this stadium in 1985, and together with Palace became the first clubs in England to agree to share the stadium. The following year, owner Ron Nods purchased the stadium from the club to raise revenue.


In the summer of 1990, the lower half of the Arthur Waite Stand was converted to seating with the help of the Football Relief Fund, and due to the Taylor Report following the Hillsborough tragedy. Charlton returned to their home ground of The Valley via West Ham’s Upton Park, and Wimbledon replaced them as Selhurst users in 1991.


There is a fiery atmosphere in the stands of Selhurst Park. The football passion has not died down here.


Fan songs are sung throughout the game, choreographies are made, so unusual for the Premier League. And it was not unusual in earlier years when you came to the stadiums to watch football, and not like today to take a “selfie” or whatever it’s called to brag about it afterwards.


In the past, true fans of the game used to come to the stadiums, but today it is a luxury that not everyone can afford. And those who can, hate to cheer. This is why Selhurst Park is the last bastion of true English stadium atmosphere. We hope that the clubs will see that profit is not more important than the football atmosphere.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.




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