This afternoon sees Ben Watson returning to Selhurst Park with Watford, in what will be his first league appearance in SE25 since leaving for Wigan Athletic years ago.
Earlier this week, Chris Grierson caught up with the ginger midfielder for an interview which has now been made available to watch on Palace TV. Chronicling his entire career in red and blue, you get an instant sense of the deep connection Ben still feels with the football club, despite moving on to pastures new.
Taking us through the ups and downs of his time under Iain Dowie, Neil Warnock and Peter Taylor, there are discussions over the single season in the Premier League and our attempts to return there in the years that followed via the play-offs, the second of which, Watson has unique memories of, having missed a crucial penalty against Bristol City in the semi-final second leg. Having never heard him talk about it before, it acts as a fantastic insight into that period of our history.
It is probably the segment within which Ben and Chris discuss the Peter Taylor era that things become most interesting though, as the midfielder reflects on a spell when the fans had seemingly completely lost confidence in him as a player, culminating in a moment when he stepped up to take a penalty, only to be screamed at by the crowd to pass the ball to somebody else. To his credit, he speaks openly about the experience and the pain it caused him, not that it makes for particularly pleasant viewing.
For all of the peaks and troffs that Ben went through at Palace, he can be sure of getting a good reception when his name is read out over the tannoy at Selhurst Park this afternoon. As the above interview proves, he will always be one of our own.