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Club News

Team of the Eighties stars recall greasy spoon meetings

26 October 2019

If you were to walk up from Selhurst Park in the mid 1970s, you'd find a greasy spoon cafe filled with lorry drivers and top-flight footballers.

The windows are dripping with steam and grease and, inside, Malcolm Allison is bellowing out for more salt and pepper shakers to demonstrate a tactical point with 11 'players' across the cafe's white table pitches.

At his side is Terry Venables, just months away from taking over as manager, and the local club's squad are dotted around eating "chips and bacon butties and ham and egg."

It's a fry cry from today's world of football, but Solly's Cafe was the place to meet for Crystal Palace's 'Team of the Eighties'.

Speaking in BT Sport's eye-opening documentary of the same name, Team of the Eighties figures recall the time they'd spend over fry-ups and crude pre-match planning.

"Solly’s Cafe was where we all went to after training," Vince Hilaire explains. "It was at the top of the ground. It’s not there anymore, it’s a jerk chicken place. Many a meeting was had there by the players."

Ian Evans adds: "Sometimes you’d have to wipe your finger down the inside of the window: ‘Solly, is it raining out because we can’t bloody see out of here?!’

"Very healthy. We survived on chips and bacon butties and ham, egg and chips and this that and the other and Solly telling us it was ‘very, very cheap and very nice.’ Very healthy. I think Arsene Wenger would be doing cartwheels in there!"

You can see more from the Team of the Eighties tonight as BT air their documentary at 8pm on BT Sport 1 and again at 10pm on BT Sport 2. Don't miss out!

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