Ben Bailey Smith, AKA Doc Brown, was at our Beckenham Training Ground last week to get the first sighting of our new home shirt for season 2017/18.
Beginning life as underground rapper Doc Brown, Ben Bailey Smith has diversified profoundly, moving into mainstream TV and Film acting, stand up, screen writing and children’s books. He has a host of notable television performances under his belt and is highly regarded for his ongoing work with Ricky Gervais.
Featured on the reverse of the shirt are the five boroughs, Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, that converge at the club’s original home of Crystal Palace.
Even though Ben was born in North London he has family links with two of the boroughs.
“My Dad is from Beckenham, in Bromley, and mum was born in Lewisham so I certainly have south London in my blood.
“Dad is a staunch Palace fan and my older brother is as well, so I inherited the club and living in north London was an Eagle in exile.
“I didn’t know any other Palace fans other than the ones in my family when I was growing up.”
Standing watching training and proudly wearing the new shirt pitchside at the Beckenham Training Ground he was able to recall various memories of his time in the stands at Selhurst but his most memorable moment was one away from SE25.
“That would be at Hillsborough away in 2010, when we needed a point to stay up.
“When we really, really need to do it, somehow we find a way.
“I think with that mentality and the way that we’re growing, you never know what the future holds for the club.”
Last Friday saw the launch of his first music album in a decade, Stemma, and one of the tracks, ‘I Got This’ that was used on the launch VT for our home kit.
“I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, music-wise. It’s very focused. 12 songs. It’s grown up…as grown up as rap can be, I suppose.
“I would say it’s more an album of raw emotion, really but most of all - first and foremost - it’s just a good, fun listen.”
In addition to the album release he has recently been opening the night’s entertainment on Ricky Gervais tour ‘Humanity’.
‘Someone who had been working with Ricky in live shows also knew me and had been told that he was looking for someone to open his shows so he kindly showed him some of my work.
“Ricky watched some of it online and gave me a call. That was it, no official channels, I was in the garden, phone rang and Ricky was on the call.
“It was pretty mad. That was 2012, so we’ve been working together for five years now.”