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Mark Bright chats promotion and THAT game with Brighton

9 March 2019

In 'Glory Years', an ongoing section in the official Palace programme, club legend Mark Bright spoke about the Eagles' promotion in 1988/89, and, of course, that remarkable game with today's opponent Brighton.

Having missed the play-off places two seasons before, how determined was the changing room at the start of 88/89 to ensure you got over the line?

"It made the squad more determined, we’d been so close for two seasons. I think we all thought this was our time; we had a good young team and a manager who had learnt a lot from the previous two seasons. It’s easy to say now but we were driven and focussed on promotion that season."

At the end of the year, Eddie McGoldrick and Stan Ternent came in and Ian Evans moved to Swansea City. It was a time of change, what differences did these changes make?

"Eddie was brilliant for us. I’m not sure how many assists he got but he gave us quality delivery from set pieces and wing play. In came Stan Ternent, a no-nonsense charismatic coach. ‘Get that ball into the penalty area and leave the rest to those two,’ he used to say about Wrighty and myself.

"I think February-March was massive for us, we only lost two league games. I think that was the time we believed we could definitely do this."

March saw the 2-1 victory against Brighton in a game which Kelvin Moreton awarded five penalties – four of which went to Palace. You scored and missed one along with John Pemberton. What was being involved in that game like?

"The Brighton match was one that anyone attending will never forget. Amazingly, all the penalties awarded were actual penalties; I scored the first one and hit the post with the second.

"The rule was if you missed one you had to hand over duties to the next player. They sent a search party to look for Pembo’s penalty and they haven’t been seen since!"

April proved a massive month with eight fixtures that saw six wins and the club up to 4th place. How crucial was that spell?

"It was crucial, confidence was running high and we felt we could beat anyone. We had belief in ourselves and how we played. We thought no one could live with us, we were tough to play against.

"The six wins just confirmed to us that it was on, at this stage we were without the injured skipper Geoff Thomas but Dave Madden was doing a great job in the middle of the park."

After coming from behind in two play-off games, Ron Noades had realised his dream of leading the club into the top flight – how great was the achievement for the squad Steve Coppell had built over six years?

"Both the Swindon Town and Blackburn Rovers results still rank as my favourite achievements, every emotion was felt in those two matches. Wrighty and l scored against Swindon and Eddie’s goal against Blackburn away to make it 3-1 to them gave us hope for the return leg.

"There were amazing scenes at Selhurst Park for the next match. The best feeling for any player is promotion into the old First Division. Ron and Steve had realised a dream, the next two seasons were equally amazing to make it three years of unrivalled success at the club. It was a remarkable journey for one and all."

For more great chats, features, columns, stats and much more, make sure to grab a copy of the Palace programme today for just £3.50 around the outside of Selhurst Park. Alternatively, you can take a sneak peek of what's inside below and buy a digital copy for just £1.49 by clicking the link!

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