Julian Speroni recently broke a record held by John Jackson, becoming the most appeared goalkeeper in Crystal Palace history and last night, the Argentine showed exactly why he’s loved so much by the Eagles faithful.
Whilst the veteran stopper wasn’t able to secure his second clean sheet in as many games against the Trotters, he did see Christian Benteke bag a brace to cancel out the impressive James Henry strike that found its way into the Palace net shortly after the second period had got underway.
Admittedly, our League One opponents may not have posed the sternest of tests for Speroni and the back four under the floodlights in SE25 but given our recent run of wretched form, there was something comforting about seeing his familiar frame in between the sticks as the game unfolded. No one would seriously sugggest that he is the same keeper he was five years ago, his advancing years and lack of regular game time have seen to that but on a night when the Eagles needed every bit of help they could get to potentially kickstart a faltering season, his presence on the pitch acted as a calming influence to say the least.
We will probably never know what was said between Julian and the supporter in question, given the brief and unplanned nature of their pitchside chat but it’s evident from the warmth that the pair show towards each other that the message was unquestionably a positive one.
It’s impossible to know how many more games Julian Speroni will play in a Crystal Palace shirt, that is up to Sam Allardyce and the man himself for the most part, what we do know is that his legacy as one of the club’s greatest ever players is firmly cemented into place.
I defy any Palace fan to watch the above clip and not allow a little smile to break out across their face.