In the moments leading up to Saturday’s game against Everton, the Holmesdale Fanatics unveiled a display in tribute to the club’s most appeared goalkeeper of all-time, Julian Speroni; it was something that clearly made a huge impact on the Argentine.
Having recently broken John Jackson’s 44-year-old record and moved onto 390 appearances in red and blue, it came as little surprise to see Speroni honoured by the fan-run group in the build-up to kick-off, although it should be said that their display was particularly impressive in its execution this time around.
When being interviewed in the hours immediately after moving past Jackson at Bolton recently, Speroni said to Chris Grierson about Palace’s supporters: “Every time I step onto the pitch I want to give them everything because that’s what the deserve.” It was a comment that struck a particular chord with a fan-base desperately searching for characters to stand up and be counted in the midst of a dreadful run; leading to it forming the main body of Saturday’s display, flanked by a picture of the man in question and another line of text which read: “MATCH THIS PASSION”.
Although not part of the starting line-up against Ronald Koeman’s Toffees at the weekend, Jules made his way over to the corner of the group occupied by the Fanatics in the moments before kick-off to get a closer look at the display and show his appreciation, with his actions caught perfectly on camera from the stand itself in the video attached at the top of the page. It was great to see from him but in truth, you would expect nothing less after more than 11 years of loyal service to the club.
Numerous journalists have spent the weekend calling for Wayne Rooney to be given a statue at Old Trafford having become Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer over the weekend, all of which led me to ponder a similar tribute being made to Julian Speroni outside Selhurst Park at some point in the future. I doubt you’d find many Palace fans who would object to the idea.