Having formed as a club in 1861, Palace took part in the first FA Cup campaign 10 years later. So, on 11th November 1871, the Glaziers lined up against Hitchin Town. A draw meant both sides moved forwards to the second round.
Almost 100 years later, the competition had changed somewhat. Most importantly, it had become the most prestigious tournament in world football and success in the FA Cup was the holy grail.
Under Dick Graham in 1963, Palace were embarking on another new campaign. Anything was possible.
Their first round draw was a home match against Harwich & Parkeston. Granted, they were favourites, but nobody predicted the avalanche of goals on the way.
For the first – and as of today, only – time in the competition, Palace struck eight times to record an emphatic 8-2 victory, setting them up for a long run to the final and ultimate glory (that would have been the Hollywood ending at least, rather than a second round defeat to Yeovil Town).
Nonetheless, Cliff Holton’s hat-trick, aided by Ronnie Allen’s brace and goals from Peter Burridge, Bert Howe and John Sewell were more than enough to secure an afternoon to live long in the memory at Selhurst Park.
The magic of the cup.
- Bill Glazier (GK)
- John Sewell
- Don Townsend
- Bert Howe
- Brian Wood
- Fred Lucas
- Eddie Werge
- Bobby Kellard
- Cliff Holton
- Peter Burridge
- Ronnie Allen