We caught up with Neil Ashton, chief football writer at The Sun and presenter of the Sunday Supplement to talk; wearing fedoras, celebrating that Pardew FA Cup goal and collecting Palace match worn kits.
What was your first football shirt?
The Umbro, Palace shirt won by Peter Taylor and the rest of the Palace boys on their run to the 1976 FA Cup semi-final.
Our family adored Malcolm Allison and we all wore fedoras bought from the old club shop on White Horse Lane during that incredible journey, past Scarborough, Sunderland, Leeds and Chelsea to the semi-final.
What is your favourite football shirt?
My favourite shirt is Palace’s classic Adidas sash from the 80/81 season – it remains the best and most iconic kit the club has ever worn. I bought David Giles’ No7 match worn shirt about six or seven years ago and I treasure it.
I collect match worn Palace shirts and I’ve got some absolute beauties in there: Geoff Thomas, Ian Wright and Mark Bright’s shirts form the 9-0 defeat at Liverpoll in September 89, plus Geoff’s FA Cup final replay shirt (they looked like black and yellow bees).
I’ve also got Billy Gilbert’s adidas No4 shirt from the 1984 season, it’s red and blue stripes and is a classic.
The Hummel shirts are great from the 1985 season onwards too, I’ve got John Salako’s No12 substitute shirt from the 3-0 defeat at Hull on the final day of the 1987 season.
Had we won Palace would have been in the play-offs. Instead we got ripped apart up at Boothferry Park. Away from Palace I’ve just been given a match worn Zinedine10 shirt by the great man himself. I’ve lucked out really, because he is the best player I have ever seen live.
I’ve begged a good friend who played against Diego Maradona to give me his No10 Napoli shirt – you won’t believe this but the Napoli shirt back then was wool. My friend washed it and you can guess the rest.
What is your favourite goal?
Favourite Palace goal would be Alan Pardew’s winner v Liverpool in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Have never celebrated a goal like that in my life (apart from the other three leading up to it) and can still remember how breathless we were high up on the Holte End.
My favourite goal other than that has to be Lionel Messi’s extraordinary effort in the Bernabeu in 2011, when he latched on to the ball just inside the Real Madrid half and danced through their defence before putting Iker Casillas on the floor and rolling the ball into the far corner with high right foot. It was an absolute beaut.
Check out our marketplace for some banging Crystal Palace football shirts like this bad boy.