Few players in the current Crystal Palace squad have a deeper relationship with those in the stands than Jason Puncheon; a statement backed up perfectly by the video attached below.
In an era when big money transfers and astronomical wage packets are simply looked upon as a normality in England’s top flight, Puncheon offers supporters the perfect example of a throwback to years gone by. Not one to wheel out the cliche-ridden scripts relied upon by so many of his fellow professionals, Jason does the majority of his talking on the pitch, with his reaction to certain goals in red and blue saying more than a thousand words ever could.
For anyone who watched us regularly last season, two goals scored by Puncheon will always stand head and shoulders above any others; at home to Norwich in the latter stages of the campaign and at Wembley in May against Manchester United. The first strike, whilst a wonderful feat of technical ball-striking, was made all the more memorable by Punch’s reaction, an outpouring of emotion based purely on the importance of the goal to our season. If his passion for Palace was ever in doubt, those few seconds confirmed how much the shirt truly meant to him.
The FA Cup Final goal, despite the heartache that was to follow it, had all the makings of the perfect footballing fairytale. I have no shame in admitting that the magnitude of the moment brought a tear to my eye at Wembley that day. Puncheon, in the closing stages, against Manchester United, in front of our fans, it was almost too perfect to be true and indeed we all came crashing back down to earth mere minutes later. Once more though, Jason’s reaction to scoring made the moment all the more special, crystallising it in the minds of our fans forever.
The above video offers a perfect tribute to a player who wholeheartedly embraces Crystal Palace FC for the exact same reasons as all of us. What’s not to love about that?