He spoke at length with Palace TV earlier this year to recall his time in south London.
Routledge began life in Sidcup before moving to Thornton Heath as a child, attending Beulah school and then Archbishop Lanfranc as a teenager. He lived around the corner from Selhurst Park, and remembers “walking past it, shopping in Sainsbury’s, walking it home.”
“It becomes a part of your life because it’s in and around you every day,” he says.
It didn’t take long for Routledge to get spotted by his local side’s scouts, and he joined the Academy around the age of 10. He says life then was “constantly football, football, football,” but it becomes clear he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Routledge’s first years at the club came at a dramatic time, with Simon Jordan taking over following administration and a crop of talented players vying for attention in the Academy system.
He describes it: “In my actual setup we had Gary Borrowdale, Ben Watson, Tom Soares was younger but obviously moved up with us. Sam Togwell played a bit, David Hunt, there was a few. It was a really good time, everyone got along with each other and everyone wanted the same thing.