If you’re a Greatest Crystal Palace Players fan, you know how important it is to celebrate the legends who have helped shape the club’s history.
From Jim Cannon to Wilfried Zaha, countless players have left their mark on Selhurst Park and beyond.
As you look back through the years, it’s clear that these ten individuals stand out above the rest as some of the greatest Crystal Palace players of all time.
Whether you were lucky enough to witness their skills firsthand or have only heard stories passed down from older generations, one thing is sure.
Each of these players played an integral role in shaping Crystal Palace into the beloved club it is today.
So, settle down for a trip down memory lane as we examine what sets apart the top ten legends of Crystal Palace and are ready to be impressed.
1. Jim Cannon
Jim Cannon, affectionately known as “Mr. Crystal Palace,” played over 660 games as a defender for the club and inspired generations of supporters with his passionate dedication.
He was born in Dublin, Ireland, but grew up in London and joined Crystal Palace in 1972 at 19. From then on, he dedicated his entire career to the Eagles.
Cannon’s aggressive style of play made him one of the most feared defenders in English football during his time at Crystal Palace. He captained the team for many years and was part of the squad that reached the FA Cup final in 1990.
His commitment to the club went beyond just playing – he also worked as a coach and ambassador after retiring from professional football. In one’s mind, it’s no wonder he is one of Crystal Palace’s greatest-ever players.
2. Steve Coppell
As a player and manager, Steve Coppell left an indelible mark on the history of Crystal Palace. Here are three reasons why he’s considered one of the greatest players ever to wear the red and blue kit:
- In 1979, he was a member of the Palace squad that achieved the club’s first-ever promotion to the First Division.
- Coppell was a key player at Selhurst Park, scoring vital goals and providing numerous assists.
- He led Palace to their highest-ever league finish (third place in the First Division) as a manager in 1990.
Coppell’s impact on Crystal Palace cannot be exaggerated. He wasn’t only a fantastic player and an exceptional manager who helped put the club on the map. His accomplishments have and will continue to inspire current and future Eagles players and fans.
3. Wilfried Zaha
Although some may argue that He’s Been Through Ups and downs, there’s no denying that Wilfried Zaha is a crucial player for the Eagles.
With his speed, agility, and incredible dribbling skills, Zaha is among the most exciting players in the Premier League.
He joined Crystal Palace as a youth player in 2004 and has since become an integral part of the team. Zaha has been instrumental in helping Greatest Crystal Palace Players maintain their Premier League status year after year.
His ability to create chances out of nothing and score essential goals has earned him numerous accolades over the years. He’s won Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season award thrice.
Despite attracting interest from top European clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal, Zaha remains loyal to his boyhood club and gives everything for the Eagles every time he steps onto the pitch.
4. Geoff Thomas
Geoff Thomas, a former Crystal Palace player and cancer survivor, inspires fans worldwide. Born in Manchester, England, in 1964, Thomas began his professional football career with Crewe Alexandra before moving on to play for six different clubs throughout his career.
However, it was at Crystal Palace where he truly made his mark. Thomas was known for his tireless work ethic on the pitch and tenacity as a midfielder.
He played over 150 games for Crystal Palace between 1987 and 1993 and helped lead the team to their highest-ever finish in the English top-flight league in the 1990-91 season.
But perhaps even more inspiring than his success on the field was Thomas’ off-field battle with leukemia.
After being diagnosed with the disease in 2003, he underwent intensive chemotherapy treatments and even received a bone marrow transplant from his sister.
Despite facing tough odds, Thomas beat cancer and has since become an advocate for cancer research and awareness through fundraising efforts such as cycling across Europe to raise money for charity.
His story serves as a reminder of the power of perseverance and determination in overcoming adversity.
5. Julian Speroni
You may remember Julian Speroni as the goalkeeper who spent 15 years with Crystal Palace, making over 400 appearances for the club.
He was a vital player for the team during his tenure, and his performances between the sticks earned him a place in the hearts of many fans.
Here are five reasons why Speroni was such an essential figure at Greatest Crystal Palace Players:
- He was consistently reliable and provided a sense of security to his teammates.
- His reflexes were second to none, allowing him to make some incredible saves that kept Palace in games.
- Speroni had outstanding leadership qualities, always encouraging and motivating his fellow players on and off the pitch.
- He was also known for his excellent distribution skills, which helped initiate many counterattacks for Palace.
- Finally, Speroni’s loyalty to the club made him a fan favorite and cemented his status as one of Crystal Palace’s all-time greats.
6. Andy Johnson
Now that we’ve discussed the great Julian Speroni, let’s move on to another Crystal Palace legend – Andy Johnson. You may remember him as the striker crucial in Palace’s promotion to the Premier League 2004.
Andy Johnson joined Crystal Palace in 2002 from Birmingham City for a fee of ÂŁ750,000.
He quickly established himself as one of the most exciting Greatest Crystal Palace Players at Selhurst Park and became a fan favorite with his pace and clinical finishing.
At Palace, he scored 85 goals in 160 appearances across all competitions. His most memorable season came during Palace’s promotion campaign when he netted an impressive 32 goals and won both the Player of the Year and Golden Boot awards.
Johnson’s contribution to Crystal Palace cannot be understated, as he remains one of the club’s greatest-ever strikers.
7. Mark Bright
Moving on to the next Player, let’s take a moment to discuss Mark Bright and his impact on the team.
As a striker for Crystal Palace from 1986-1992, Bright was an instrumental part of the club’s success during that period.
He scored an impressive 90 goals in 227 appearances for the Eagles, making him one of their all-time leading goal-scorers.
Bright was known for his physicality and aerial ability as a striker. He formed a formidable partnership with Ian Wright, which saw them score a total of 200 goals in just over four seasons.
Bright also played an essential role in helping Crystal Palace reach the FA Cup final in 1990 and finish third in the First Division (now Premier League) in the same year.
His contributions to these successes cemented his place as one of Crystal Palace’s greatest-ever players, and he’s remembered fondly by fans today.
8. Ian Wright
Ian Wright was a prolific and passionate player for the Eagles, scoring sensational goals with skill and style. He joined Crystal Palace in 1985 from Greenwich Borough and immediately impacted the club.
In his first entire season, he scored 24 goals in all competitions, helping Palace earn promotion to the First Division. Wright’s speed, agility, and finishing ability made him a nightmare for defenders to handle.
Here is a table that shows Ian Wright’s stats during his time at Crystal Palace:
Wright’s performances earned him a move to Arsenal in 1991, where he continued to score goals at an impressive rate.
Nonetheless, he will remain a legend in the annals of Crystal Palace history. His passion for the game and love for the club resonated with fans who still hold him in high regard today.
9. Dougie Freedman
You might not have realized it, but Dougie Freedman played a vital role in Crystal Palace’s rise to the Premier League in the 2010-11 season. The Scottish striker initially joined the Eagles on loan from Nottingham Forest in 1994, and after impressing at Selhurst Park, he soon made the move permanent.
Freedman scored 108 goals in 331 appearances throughout his two stints with the club. But it wasn’t just his goal-scoring prowess that made him a legend at Palace.
Freedman was known for his leadership qualities and work ethic on and off the pitch.
After retiring as a player, he returned to Selhurst Park as manager in 2011 and led the team to promotion back to the Championship in his first entire season. Fans of Crystal Palace who have seen his impact throughout the years will never forget him.
10. Billy Gilbert
Now that you know about Dougie Freedman and his incredible contributions to Crystal Palace, let’s look at another legendary player in the club’s history – Billy Gilbert.
Gilbert was a defender for the Eagles from 1905 to 1923, making over 400 appearances for the team. He was known for his tough tackling and leadership, serving as squad captain during their promotion-winning season in 1919-20.
Gilbert helped lead Crystal Palace to their first-ever FA Cup semi-final appearance in 1922, cementing his place as one of the greatest players to wear red and blue stripes.
Off the pitch, Gilbert also made significant contributions to Crystal Palace as a coach and scout. He remained with the club until his passing in 1958, leaving behind a lasting legacy that inspires fans and players alike.
Many consider him one of the top 10 best players in Crystal Palace history because he was memorable to those who saw him play or heard his story.
Crystal Palace has been fortunate to have exceptional players grace their shirts. The top 10 greatest Crystal Palace players of all time have each made a lasting impact on the club and the fans with their skill, determination, and loyalty.