Former Crystal Palace defender Danny Butterfield spoke highly of Julian Speroni following the goalkeeper’s Testimonial match, calling him a “true gent” and praised his loyalty to the Eagles.
Butterfield ran out for Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday evening and revealed that it felt good to be back in the Red and Blue shirt for one night.
“It was good, I certainly enjoyed being back here, running on the pitch and wearing a Palace shirt, as opposed to an opposition shirt,” he said after the final whistle.
He was full of praise for his former teammate Speroni, who celebrated his 11 years of service to Palace with a friendly match against Dundee FC, which the home side won 4-3.
“Obviously the main reason I’m here is for Julian,” said Butterfield.
“What a goalkeeper for a start, but also what a guy. I happily gave up the time to be here for him because he’s a true gent and certainly deserves everything he gets.
“He’s a top class goalkeeper, football-wise, but as a guy he has always been such an honest gentleman and he gives his time for everyone. He’s Palace through-and-through and it’s certainly a night that I didn’t want to miss.”
Despite remaining friends with Speroni after his own Palace career has come to an end, Butterfield admitted that he does not keep in regular contact with the Eagles’ number one, but was more than happy to return for the Testimonial.
“Only really when playing against him,” he said, when asked whether he speaks to the Argentine regularly.
“Jules is still quite a private guy, but that doesn’t mean that when we see each other we don’t speak or pick up from where we left off.
“I don’t want to ring him or pester him for tickets to Palace, that’s for sure,” he jokes. “But it’s great to see him again. It was nice to have him playing behind me again, it felt like a return to familiarity.”
Speroni swapped sides during the second half, enjoying a spell in goal for Dundee, when Butterfield found himself in space on the edge of the opposition’s box. He hit a venomous effort at goal, which flew narrowly wide – though he later joked that he intentionally missed.
“I had a half shot and realised it was Julian in the goal, so I thought ‘I should probably put this one wide, I can’t be scoring against him,” the defender laughed.