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Freedman recalls 'best week in football' looking back at Stockport heroics

6 May 2020

Dougie Freedman immortalised himself in Crystal Palace lore when he struck home in the 87th-minute against Stockport County to secure the club's second tier status.

Freedman's effort was a befitting manner to save the south Londoners from relegation and will go down as one of the most iconic and dramatic goals in Palace history.

Club News

Stockport County's Aaron Wilbraham relives Dougie Freedman's 2001 goal that saved Crystal Palace

6 May 2020

Now, in the first part of an exclusive, in-depth and wide-ranging interview with Palace TV, Freedman has opened up on the time.

"That was my best week in football ever," he says, recalling Palace's back-to-back wins against Portsmouth and the Hatters. "I don’t think anything will ever trump that.

"It’s a very clear challenge: you’ve got to win two games, you’ve got to go to Portsmouth and you’ve got to go to Stockport and you’ve got to win two games. Then you ask yourself: 'is it achievable?' 

"[We had] Hayden Mullins, Clinton Morrison, David Hopkin, Jamie Smith. Dean Austin was there. You think: 'Yeah, this is achievable.' Then you start building the confidence slowly to think to yourself what you can bring to the party."

As it happened, Freedman brought an 87th-minute winner to the party as he rifled past Lee Jones to swerve relegation. 

Club News

Watch Stockport County v Crystal Palace survival full match from 2001

6 May 2020

Looking back, the former forward suggests his memory isn't the best, but he can still recall that moment vividly.

"I can remember still having the energy on a very hot day that if the ball came to me, I had the energy to do something... I was waiting for the right moments to savour the right energy. Luckily enough I got the ball at the right time with the right energy to score a goal."

Freedman may have earned Palace the three points, but the club's fate was out of his hands by full-time and the Eagles waited anxiously to find out if the Stockport win was enough to secure safety.

"I remember looking to [manager] Stevie Kember and I was saying: ‘Where are we? What are we doing?'," Freedman says. "I was saying: ‘What are the other scores?' I was trying to interact with him and the game had 30 seconds to go.

"When they blew the final whistle I thought I’ll get down the tunnel and find out the other scores. I went straight in, saw Brian the kit man and said: ‘Where’s the radio?’ He didn’t have a radio so we were just waiting for the noise to happen. That’s how I found out..."

To hear more from Freedman on a truly memorable afternoon, head over to Palace TV now.

He talks throughout his playing days, explains his life in coaching and has a host of stories you won't want to miss from his time in red and blue.

To watch, either click here or 'Palace TV' within the app! And stay tuned for part two tomorrow (Thursday, 7th May).

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