Crystal Palace Football Club and the Palace for Life Foundation presented an opportunity for Palace fans to take a trip Down Memory Lane in the company of former Palace defender David Payne and club historian, Ian King, at Selhurst Park yesterday afternoon.
Proceedings began with the guests being shown a short film promoting the FA's new season-long Heads Up campaign. Heads Together and the FA have teamed up to run a season-long campaign to change the conversation on mental health.
Football is our national game, passionately followed and wholeheartedly loved by millions in the UK and billions around the world. Many of us won’t go a day without talking about it.
Through Heads Up, the campaign is aiming to help fans feel as comfortable talking about mental health as they are talking about the beautiful game. They want to build on the decades of work that have been done to change the conversation on mental health and help people feel better able to support their family and friends through difficult times.
We want to remind everyone that we all have mental health considerations and it’s time we start taking our mental fitness as seriously as we do our physical fitness. Therefore, to raise awareness, all Emirates FA Cup Third Round ties in January will kick-off one-minute later than their traditional timeslots to give people a minute to give thought to the subject of mental health.
After the introduction to the Heads Up campaign, the memories from David Payne and Ian King began to flow, with the pair taken through the story of the club’s history through the 60s and 70s by host, Terry Byfield. The duo recalled their own thoughts, anecdotes and superb memories of that Eagles period.
The next segment of the afternoon was an opportunity for the audience of almost 150 to put their questions to Payne and King, with Palace’s former defender able to recall some great moments about not only his own playing days in the red and blue but also his thoughts on some of those players he had pleasure to play alongside.
Payne, who made almost 300 appearances for the club, said: “It was great to be able to remember such a period of my playing days here at Palace with great fondness. Talking personally to so many afterwards it was great to have the opportunity to hear how much the Palace fans enjoyed the afternoon.”
Ian King gave his memories and a few historical facts and figures having watched the club from the mid-60s and was so enthused to see fellow Palace fans enjoy the event: “I must say it was a joy and privilege to have been involved and supporting Palace for me has been a family tradition so it is good to be at events like this to share the moments in the club’s history with so many others who have such a personal attachment to the club.”
The afternoon concluded with the Palace fans being given a behind the scenes tour of the dressing rooms, before taking a walk down the famous Selhurst tunnel out onto the hallowed turf in SE25.
The club and the Foundation will be continuing this event in the future so please keep a look out for our next trip Down Memory Lane.