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Who Will Be Next Player Of The Year?

7 May 2013

As fans prepare to vote for their Player of the Year, we take a look back at the history of the coveted award.


 

Tonight sees Crystal Palace crown its Player of the Year for 2012/13 as another name is added to the list of club legends who have picked up the illustrious title.


Votes will be cast at The Fairfield Halls in Croydon with top goal-scorer Glenn Murray, captain marvel Mile Jedinak and young starlet Wilfried Zaha all among the contenders, and it is your votes alone that will decide who wins the coveted prize with only those present on the night will have a say in who takes home the gong.


The winner will join a host of star names who have taken home the award, since its inception more than 40 years ago.


The inaugural prize was won by John McCormick back in 1972, having played a key role in Palace’s promotion to the First Division following his arrival seven years earlier.


Scotsman McCormick, who cost the club £1,500, went on to form a famous defensive partnership with Mel Blyth during the club’s time in the top flight, which helped him claim the prize.


Two years later club legend Peter Taylor, who made more than 100 appearances for Palace, was handed the first of his two Player of the Year awards.


When Taylor won his second gong, in 1976, his standout performances on the wing earned him four England caps, despite plying his trade in the old Third Division at the time.


In 1978, Crystal Palace’s record appearance holder Jim Cannon won the first of his three Player of the Year awards, five years after scoring on his debut against Chelsea.


The centre half, who donned the famous red and blue stripes on 660 occasions and captained the side for ten seasons, completed his hat-trick of awards in 1987.


The previous year, current Crystal Palace goalkeeping coach George Wood was handed the award in his penultimate season at Selhurst Park.


Star striker Ian Wright picked up the prize in 1989 after firing the club into the First Division, while his strike partner Mark Bright received the trophy the following season as Palace reached the FA Cup final, narrowly losing in a replay to Manchester United.


Midfield workhorse Geoff Thomas won the second of his two awards in 1991, as the Eagles finished third in the old First Division – their highest ever league position.


Defensive duo Chris Coleman and Richard Shaw won the award in 1994 and 1995, before a famous play-off winning goal from David Hopkin helped him win the prize two years later.


The midfielder’s 90th minute strike against Sheffield United instantly wrote him into Crystal Palace folklore as the club sealed promotion back to the Premier League – although he was then sold to Leeds United.


Hitman Andrew Johnson took home the crown in two consecutive seasons, in 2004 and 2005, finishing as top scorer in the First Division in the 2003/04 season with 32 goals.


His goals the following season helped the club win promotion through the playoffs for the second time in a decade, although it was strike partner Neil Shipperley who scored the decisive goal against West Ham at the Millennium Stadium.


Argentine goalkeeper Julian Speroni made club history by becoming the first player to win the title in three consecutive seasons between 2008 and 2010, after cementing his position as number one with a string of fine performances.


But he was beaten to the award by young full-back Nathaniel Clyne in 2011, before fellow defender Jonathan Parr was handed the trophy last season after an impressive campaign at left back.


Only fans attending the Crystal Palace FC end of season annual awards night on 7th May will have the chance to vote for the club’s latest Player of the Year – and time is running out to book your seat at the event.


Tickets are on sale from the box office at Fairfield Halls, which is open between 10am and 6pm.


Bookings can also be made online at www.fairfield.co.uk or by calling 020 8688 9291.



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