We all remember Darren Ambrose’s stunning long-range strike against Manchester United back in 2011. It was a moment that stunned everyone inside Old Trafford that night, including a certain Mark Wealleans.
Unfortunately for everyone associated with the club, Mark passed away this week after a battle with cancer, leaving a sizeable hole in the lives of everyone who knew him. Whilst many of the people reading this will never have met him in person, his wide-eyed celebrations, conducted whilst clutching onto two of his children in the away end that night have become permanently linked with Ambrose’s screamer in the minds of our entire fan-base. He may have only been on the screen for a few seconds but his expression provided the perfect accompaniment to a goal of such brilliance.
As we prepare for today’s pivotal game against Sunderland, it’s worth taking a moment or two to reminisce over the feeling of unbreakable unity our fan-base had on that night up in the North West. Under the guidance of Dougie Freedman and still getting to grips with life post-administration, the club felt as tightly knit as ever before. With an extremely young Wilfried Zaha terrorising United’s defence, Glenn Murray leading the line and Paddy McCarthy at the heart of our back four, we went on to triumph against the odds in extra time, crystalising Mark’s heartwarming celebration for the rest of time.
Today will see Mark’s memory honoured by our supporters (the full details of which are attached below) providing a fitting tribute to a man who made a permanent mark in the minds of thousands without even realising.
It’s at times like this that you remember what a special club Crystal Palace FC is to support. We may all get a little lost in the pursuit of points from week to week but at its core, football fandom is all about moments like the one Mark experienced on that November night six years ago. Hopefully today’s tribute does justice to his memory.