Ray Parlour and Alan Brazil were in charitable mood at Selhurst Park’s Christmas Sporting Dinner, delivering two nights of footballing chat and inside gossip, whilst encouraging guests to get behind the south London club.
Youth players at Arsenal and Ipswich respectively, Parlour and Brazil value the Academy set-up, and Parlour believes Palace are in a prime location for attracting young players from south London.
“Crystal Palace is at the heart of the community and it’s got a great catchment area. Your Arsenals and Tottenhams are both massive institutions, but Palace has something special in that it’s local and is bringing through lads from the community. If you look at some of the kids that have already come through, Wilfried Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne, Victor Moses, the talent is there.”
Brazil stands by his pre-season prediction of the Eagles establishing themselves in the top ten, and puts it down to the club securing the services of a brilliant man-manager.
“I was confident they’d do well this year. Alan Pardew is the perfect fit for the club, he’s improved the performance of the squad and is doing a fantastic job. I said they’d finish in the top half and I still believe they’ll achieve that.”
An Arsenal legend, Parlour isn’t shy of event invites but was pleased to be asked to Selhurst Park and support a ‘community’ club.
“We really enjoy doing these types of events, we’ve met lots of different people who are fans of different clubs but all still here to support Crystal Palace. It’s good fun and we have a laugh, but it’s all about the Academy and hopefully we have raised lots of money over the two nights which can help the players in their futures as being footballers.”
MC Barry Williams was on hosting duties as Haslemere Building Company sponsored Wednesday's event and Top Flight Scaffolding Thursday's. Keep an eye on the CPFC website for announcements about the next Sporting Dinner.
Pictured: Bill Bolton of Top Flight Scaffolding with Ray Parlour, Alan Brazil and guests from the top table.