“It’s been exceptionally good,” he said in his post-match interview. “I never really envisaged it. From being on the terraces at the age of five and finish managing the team at the age of 73, it’s something of a fairytale – or like Roy of the Rovers.
“It’s been a privilege. I’m delighted with the reception they gave me. It seemed like they appreciated me as much as I appreciated them, and that’s a nice feeling.
“In a year or so, I might say that tonight was the standout moment [in my Palace tenure]. A guard of honour, people cheering you throughout and the reception at the end. Not all managers have experienced that in their life.
“It was a nice feeling. I’m sure that will mean more to me than the odd game or good performance I remember.”
Hodgson was delighted with the return of fans to the stadium after such a long absence, despite the result.
“It was great,” he said. “We’d have loved to get something to send the fans home happy. It was pretty obvious they were happy to be here and saw it as a special occasion – a chance to say goodbye and my chance to say goodbye to them.
“In that aspect it was a huge success, but you don’t always get the icing on the cake you would like.
“Just before the second goal we were through on goal, and hoping for a penalty. That’s how close we were. The two goals were harsh – I think we would have deserved 1-1.
“It would have been a wonderful end to the evening which has been dominated a bit by my departure.”