The story of John Bostock: the Crystal Palace and Tottenham prodigy who’s lucky to be alive

Tottenham and Crystal Palace fans will remember John Bostock’s name. The Palace prodigy was tipped for greatness a decade ago, earning a move to Spurs after just four league appearances at Selhurst Park.

But Bostock struggled to make the grade, spending the next five years of his career in limbo, watching his prodigious talents dwindle in the reserves.

At 26 and nine clubs later, Bostock has resurfaced at Ligue 1 side Toulouse. Bostock went viral this week on social media for absolutely bossing a version of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean as part of his initiation for the French side.

And it’s been a hard old road for the Camberwell-born midfielder.

After becoming Crystal Palace’s youngest ever senior player in a 2-0 defeat by Watford in 2007, Bostock earned a move to North London. But despite appearances for England’s youth teams, Bostock failed to make his mark at Spurs, and subsequently played for a plethora of clubs: including loan spells at Brentford, Hull City and Swindon Town and permanent stints at Royal Antwerp, Lens and Turkish side Bursaspor.

Hi finest form as a professional came at Belgian side OH Leuven, where he scored 18 goals in 51 league games.

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After a poor spell in Turkey, Alain Casanova, who managed Bostock at Lens, brought him back to Ligue 1 with Toulouse.

But his on-pitch trials and tribulations are nothing when compared to what happened on the motorway while he was on his way home in 2016.

At 70mph, Bostock’s car was slammed into by a drunk driver who was driving on the wrong side of the motorway. The images on his social media afterwards go some way in showing the extent of the damage.

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Wreck: Bostock posted this image on Twitter

Despite his car being a crumpled wreck, Bostock was miraculously unharmed in the smash.


“Scientifically, I probably shouldn’t have survived that crash. Two cars hitting each other head-on at 70mph, it made me appreciate life, appreciate family and appreciate the gift that we have to live every day,” Bostock told The Guardian last year.

“It was a big wake-up call, something that there isn’t a plan to get over. You just have to focus on the future and take every day as it comes, appreciate life for what it is. I am grateful that I went through it because you see life in a different way when you’re that close to death.”

On the pitch, Bostock is rolling the dice again with another move to France. Off the pitch, he’s lucky to be alive.

Here at the FSC, we’re wishing Bostock every success in tearing Ligue 1 a new one with Toulouse.

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