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John Salako




Date of birth



John Salako was a product of the Palace youth set-up, coming through as a left-winger. He was handed his first senior appearance by Steve Coppell in a home game against Barnsley, aged just 17, in 1987.


Salako become famed for providing opportunities for Mark Bright and Ian Wright from the left-wing, but he was also happy to show his versatility in other positions - most notably playing at left-wing-back in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final and final and of course the night he pulled on the goalkeeper jersey during the game against Wimbledon in 1991.

READ MORE: Glory Years: Salako on that special season

The England international scored 34 goals in his Eagles career, including that special equaliser against Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup tie, when he caught the goalkeeper off his line with a dipping, curling shot from 45 yards out.

He will also be remembered for his 150th appearance when he scored two against Manchester United at the end of the 1990/91 season.

Unfortunately later that year in October against Leeds United he was stretchered off and an operation highlighted damage to the ligaments behind his left knee.

It was not until two years later that Salako would be involved properly again but that did mean he played his part in the title-winning side of 1993/94.

READ MORE: John Salako: I thought England call-up was a Richard Shaw prank

Signed from Trainee, 3/11/1986.
Debut v Barnsley (H) 24/1/1987
Managers at Palace Steve Coppell, Alan Smith.
Appearances 273
Goals 34
International caps 5