Crystal Palace Change

Crystal Palace Tony Fletcher

This is a short excerpt from the forthcoming memoir Boy About Town


The first year I started going to the Palace on my own, the team was relegated to the Second Division. The next year, they were relegated to the Third. The thought of switching allegiance to another, better team, never occurred to me. If anything, my devotion only increased, in part because the club acquired a new manager, the flash Malcolm Allison, who opted for a completely clean slate. Out went the old colours of claret and light blue; in came bold red and blue stripes stolen right off the shirts of Barcelona. Out went the Victorian-era nickname the Glaziers; in came the high-flying Eagles. Out went most of the old team, including the beloved veteran goalkeeper John Jackson; in came a number of cocky local teenagers with names like Swindlehurst and Hinshelwood. And out went the image of Palace as a dowdy old place where ageing stars from greater teams were put out to pasture, and in came its reputation as a youthful club where anything might happen – and frequently did, including the brief introduction of American style cheerleaders on the pitch and the regular appearance of the Sun’s page 3 model Fiona Richmond in the players’ bath (and the following day’s newspaper). Palace may not have been much good on the football field, but they were suddenly amongst the most entertaining clubs in the league. Who would want to follow anyone else?

Tony Fletcher

Tony is a music journalist and author of several books including the highly acclaimed Dear Boy:The Life Of Keith Moon and A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths. In 1977 Tony started the fanzine Jamming! whilst at school and it ran until 1986 during which time a record label was started, releasing singles by Rudi amongst others.

The memoir Boy About Town features a vibrant cast of supporting characters (from school friends to rock stars), and built up from notebooks, diaries, interviews, letters, and issues of his now legendary fanzine Jamming!, Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.

To order the book please click here

To visit the iJamming website please click here

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonyfletcher

Comments (Add your voice)

No comments have yet been added to this memory.

Add a comment