As well as a host of former Palace players on display at Julian Speroni's testimonial last night, some famous faces from Dundee's past were also on show at Selhurst Park, including Temuri Ketsbaia.
The former Georgian international midfielder starred for Newcastle United and Wolves in England before making the move north of the border in 2001 to play with Speroni at the Dark Blues, and when he was offered the chance to pull on his boots again in tribute of his old teammate he jumped on a plane and headed straight to England.
Linking up again with Dee legends Beto Carranza, Fabian Caballero, Juan Sara and Georgi Nemsadze, Ketsabaia enjoyed his run out as his side fell to a 4-3 defeat, but paid tribute to the star of the show, who featured for both sides during the contest.
He said: “Julian and I played one year together in Dundee and he proved he was a really good player and I'm pleased he went on to have a good career in the Premier League with Crystal Palace. He's been playing here for 10 years and you can see from the fans how much they love him and everybody enjoyed today's game.
“I wasn't expecting him to play for us to be honest but the Dundee fans appreciated it a lot. They travelled a long distance to come here in large numbers which shows how much they love him and the respect they have for him. I'm really happy for him.”
The 47-year-old also praised Crystal Palace for their efforts this season as he kept a keen eye on the Eagles from afar, and admits he is still a big fan of English football and was pleased to return to SE25 after finding the back of the net at Palace's ground in 1997.
“It's always been a pleasure for me to play in England,” he continued. “I played football for a long time but my three years in the Premier League and one in the Championship was amazing for me and I was really happy to be back and involved in this game. I remember scoring a goal here for Newcastle so I have fond memories of this ground!
“I've been watching the improvements of Crystal Palace over the last five months and they've had a fantastic run. In January they were close to relegation but they've not just survived, they've played some good football and they've had some good games so I'm looking forward to seeing them in action again in the Premier League next season.”
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