Dean Austin played just under 150 games for Crystal Palace and he remembers the time, after a difficult opening period, with some fond memories and reflects on a great bond that he struck up with the fans during some difficult times for the club.
Austin was signed by Terry Venables in 1998 and was to play through some challenging adventures for the club and him personally on and off the field and in a revealing & passionate interview on eagles.cpfc.co.uk he tells his story of his days in the red and blue of Crystal Palace.
Venables was only in SE25 for six months during this spell, a period of time that saw Austin lose his place because of the negative way he was received by the Palace fans but that was to change.
Steve Coppell was put in charge of the team at a time when players had to be sold to raise monies in a difficult financial period but within 18 months Austin became a firm fans favourite when he took a decision that was to give him an opportunity of a place in the starting eleven.
“There was a period before the transfer window was closing where player after player were leaving but from my point of view I hadn’t shown people at the club what I was about and that was really because I didn’t think I had been given the opportunity to do that.
“I wanted to stay and meet the challenge head on to show people what Dean Austin was about." the former Eagles defender told us in this exclusive interview.
The squad had been decimated and there was a game against Bradford City to play the following weekend and Dean was to be given his chance of a game and his time at Selhurst Park was set to turn a positive corner.
“Steve Coppell spoke to me before we had a game at Bradford City and said to me I want to involve you but I am being told by the administrators not to pick you because you have appearance money in your contract which they cannot afford to pay.
"I just turned to him and said ‘forget it’ I don’t want the money, I want to play. I thought I had played well bearing in mind I hadn’t played for four months and then the next game was Norwich City away and that was it for me and the fans.”
In this exclusive interview he takes us through all the chapters that helped make up an eventful four years including revealing his most disappointing day of his Palace career.
Watch the full interview and hear Dean’s thoughts on the special relationship he had with the Palace fans that began from those days in the late nineties as the club entered Administration.