Crystal Palace Football Club was founded in 1905 by workers who maintained the grounds around the Crystal Palace, the iron and glass structure built for Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition in 1851, after it had been moved from the original location in Hyde Park to South London.
The Glaziers have spent most of their history in the lower divisions. Their first promotion to the First Division came in 1969/70 season. After 4 seasons in the top division they were relegated. They spent 5 following seasons in the First Division before being 1 of the original 22 teams to make up the first Premier League in1992/93.
The Premier League has always been a challenge for the Eagles. They have earned a promotion to the top flight on 4 other occasions and in 3 of the previous occasions they have been immediately relegated. They finally ended that curse after surviving and finishing in 11th place after the 2013/14 campaign and are looking to build their top flight legacy in the current campaign.
The original nickname of Crystal Palace was the Glaziers. Glaziers are glassworkers and was tied to the workers and supporters of the early club when they played on the grounds of the Crystal Palace. The iron and glass Crystal Palace required regular maintenance. The structure was an architectural marvel at the time.
Malcolm Allison, the flamboyant fedora wearing, cigar smoking manager, was having nothing to do with the boring old Glaziers nickname and upon being named manager in 1973 set about to change things. He changed the nickname to the Eagles as well as changing the team colors.
Crystal Palace Jersey
The original team colors of Crystal Palace were claret and light blue. The colors were adopted from Aston Villa, who had donated a set of kits for the early years. The claret and blue, frequently referred to as cardinal red and blue to give the club a more unique look, were the team colors until the 1970’s.
The early jerseys were very simple, like most jerseys of the time. They usually had the claret body with light blue sleeves. The first time the team donned the claret and blue vertical stripes was in 1937.
The striped jerseys only survived 1 season but were the start of some new looks. The team started to wear white jerseys hoping this would change their luck. The bulk of these jerseys did not even include claret or blue on them turning to black as the color for the shorts. The claret and blue re-appeared as the detail colors and on the socks in the 1950’s.
In 1963 Palace turned to their ‘lucky’ amber away jerseys for home matches.
The following season they were back in white but this time in a tribute to Real Madrid. The European champions faced Palace in a friendly after the new floodlights were installed at Selhurst Park and the hosts thought it was fitting to copy the look. This look also included a rare blue, white, and red badge for 1 season.
The biggest change to the jersey came in 1973 when the colors were changed from claret and blue to red and blue. It was another part of ‘Big Mal’s’ transformation of the team.
The red and blue vertical stripping has become the most recognizable look for the south London club. The look has varied some with the width and number of stripes but is the go-to look. The other most common look is a white jersey with red/blue diagonal sash running from the left shoulder to the right waistline.
The team wore a special centenary jersey with the old claret and blue colors some during the 2005/06 season.
Crystal Palace Team Badge
The early jerseys for Crystal Palace did not feature a team badge. The first time the team badge appeared on the jersey was in 1935 and somewhat surprisingly it did not feature the Crystal Palace. It was a simple script badge with the letters ‘CP’ over ‘FC.’
The team badge on the jersey did not catch on and was ditched for 20 years and when a badge returned in 1955 and featured the Crystal Palace with the club name on the banner scroll underneath. This style was used for some of the 1960’s but like everywhere in the world this was a decade of indecision and change.
The 1960’s saw short-lived badges of half circle with blue, white, and red stripes in 1964, a script badge with ‘Crystal Palace’ and a slight angle in 1967, and a circular badge with a very modern ‘CP’ in the center surrounded by The Glaziers on top of the circle and Crystal Palace F.C. at the bottom.
It was this final logo that pushed, you guessed it, ‘Big Mal’ to make changes. He incorporated his earlier changes (team colors and nickname) into the new badge. The variations since 1973 have all included an eagle landing on a soccer ball usually with the Crystal Palace included in the background.
Crystal Palace play their home matches at Selhurst Park. The property for the stadium was bought from the Brighton Railway Company in 1922 and official opened in 1924. The completed venue gave the Glaziers a home ground in the area of the Crystal Palace. During WWI they were forced to move around but always intended to come back to their original neighborhood.
The Main Stand was part of the original structure. The ground did not see any development until the team was promoted to the First Division in 1969. The Arthur Wait Stand was added and named after the club’s longtime chairman. The Holmesdale Road Stand was added in 1994/95 and the Whitehorse Lane Stand includes the team’s luxury boxes.