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Speroni tributes pour in from former teammates on legend's 40th birthday

18 May 2019

Happy Birthday, Jules! It has been quite the week for our goalkeeping icon with an emotional farewell at Selhurst Park last Sunday, followed up with his 40th birthday today.

From current and former team-mates, you'll forever have a place in the Eagles' hall of fame. Have a great one, Julian #ManosDeDios!

Joel Ward: "He's a living legend..."

"He’s been an incredible servant, he’s invaluable really. What he’s done for the club and what he’s been through since he’s been at the club is rare. It’s one of a kind. Jules’ character and attitude and what he’s achieved is a testament to who he is as a footballer but also as a man. I think he’s got gifts far above football.

"The way in which he’s inspired people and taken on more than just football in the community just shows you the character that he is. He’s got such a big heart for not just football but people and for the community and for making a difference. It’s been an absolute pleasure playing with him and since I came to the club he’s always had time for me, he’s always had time for anyone that’s come in and he welcomes people with open arms. He’s a living legend at the club. Like I said, it’s testament to who he is and what he’s achieved."

First Team

You won't want to miss these stunning unseen images of Julian Speroni

9 May 2019

Wilfried Zaha: "A Palace hero..."

“Before I was even in the first team he was unbelievable. And then managing to meet him you see how much of a gentleman and a nice guy he is. I’m happy to have been at Palace at the same time as he is. He’s been a mentor for me. Obviously, we play in different positions but whatever I was going through he would be someone I could speak to about anything.

“In the semi-final play-off against Brighton and then final against Watford, those two saves he made were not only defining for the club but especially for me as well. He’s a Palace hero for sure.”

Shaun Derry: "He is a fantastic man..."
"Julian to me is Crystal Palace football club. Not only is he a fantastic goalkeeper but more importantly he is a fantastic man. With every game he represented this great club he did so with so much pride and humility. There are very few people that carry these traits. He is a true legend of CPFC."

Jack, training ground Head Chef: "A true gentleman and true legend..."

"Julian, it's been a pleasure, you're one of the nicest people I've ever met actually in or out of football and you're going to be greatly missed. A true gentleman and true legend.

Steve Parish: "His contribution to the club cannot be overstated..."

“Julian has devoted the best 15 years of his playing career to our club, and will go down in the record books – but perhaps more importantly, will be remembered as a true club legend by all Palace fans and everyone at the club.

"You just don’t get many people like Julian in elite football any more – he is a model professional, ultra-committed, immensely loyal, and has set impeccable standards to his team-mates down the years. His contribution to this club cannot be overstated, and we will be eternally grateful for his service.”

James McArthur: "One of the nicest men I've ever met in my life..."

"Club legend. Amazing man, one of the nicest men I’ve ever met in my life, not just football. He’s very considerate, he is the ultimate pro. You could actually keep going on and on. He’s an amazing goalkeeper that has been an amazing servant to the club.

"He just typifies what Crystal Palace is about really: hard work, dedication, drive to keep going and going. To keep the ability and to keep going at the age he is as well is remarkable. Everyone should look at him and try and strive to do what he’s done in the game."

First Team

Speroni's iconic Palace career in numbers

9 May 2019

Paddy McCarthy: "I feel extremely privileged to have shared a pitch with Jules..."

"Julian is an unbelievable goalkeeper and more importantly an absolute gent. I don’t think the word 'legend' is enough to describe Jules.

"The impact he’s had at this football club will be remembered for generations from the staff he’s worked for, players he’s played with and more importantly the passionate supporters who he gave everything for on and off the pitch. I feel extremely privileged to have shared a pitch and a changing room with Jules." 

Andros Townsend: "This place is really going to miss him..."

"It’s a sad day with Jules being a legend at the club with the amount of games he’s played. Even when he’s stepped in since I’ve been here, last season he came in and did a great job, this season when called upon he kept a clean sheet against Spurs so it’s going to be sad to see him go and hopefully it’s the send off he deserves on Sunday and this place is really going to miss him next season.

"He’s probably the most humble guy you’ll ever meet. Even if he’s not in the squad, he just keeps training, training really hard as hard as he can and that’s why he’s still playing at the age of 39. He’s the ultimate professional."

Kevin Phillips: "A fantastic goalkeeper..."

"He's an absolute Palace legend, a true gentleman and was the ultimate professional, and of course a fantastic goalkeeper. His shot-stopping was some of the best I’ve seen in the game. All the very best in your next journey you deserve the best send off and whatever lies ahead in the future."
Terry Byfield, Production Manager: "A first class professional..."
"I have lost count the number of media requests for interviews I have put in front of him, the number of club events I have asked him to attend and not forgetting the high volume of interviews he has undertaken for the club media department but at all times Julian has never disappointed and always been a first class professional on and off the pitch. You will be missed Jules."

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: "The nicest guy you'll ever meet..."

"Me growing up coming from the academy into the first team, what I saw from Julian on and off the pitch is that he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’ll always give you advice. From when I started coming on the coach and travelling, he was the one to have a chat with me about keep working hard and progressing and that I’d get the chance to one day be in the first team.

"Once I was there playing by the side of him, it was always a good feeling. It’s always good to look back to where I came from to where he came from and to where he is now. I knew about him 10 years ago or more. He’s been playing still now and it’s good to see that professionalism."

Speroni leaving.jpg

Pete, training ground security guard: "He brightens up the place..."

"He’s always polite, always shakes your hand. He’s a very nice guy. I’ve been here for four years. He’s funny, he just brightens up the place a bit more. He’s mean everything really. Obviously supporting the club for so long and seeing Julian at the club for so long it’s just most players you see coming and going and he’s been here and he’s committed to this club for a long time."

Darren Ambrose: "A great friend..."
"'Do do do, Julian Speroni' my kids still sing the song, the gloves he gave my girls still take pride of place in our home, they serve as a constant reminder of a great goalkeeper whose hands saved Crystal Palace from being relegated on one of the biggest days of my footballing career: ‘Survival Sunday’.
"A great roommate who made a great cuppa and ultimately a great friend. I will always remember my time spent at Palace and it was made all the better as I met one of the greats. I am honoured to call him my friend and I, along with the players and all the fans will always think fondly of the man who is the ultimate CPFC legend... Julian Speroni #ManosDeDios."

Jeffrey Schlupp: "He deserves the best..."

"Jules is a great professional obviously, someone you want to look up to. It’s obviously been an unbelievable career and I wish him all the best. He deserves the best and I’m sure he’ll make the best situation of whatever comes next and I’m sure he’ll enjoy it."

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