Tomorrow night’s game between Crystal Palace and Brighton is hugely important for all sorts of reasons but one player with a unique understanding of what the fixture means on both sides of the divide is Seagulls striker Glenn Murray.
The native Cumbrian has represented both clubs with distinction in recent years, having left his current employers on a free transfer in 2011 and scored the goals that fired us to promotion in the 2012-13 season, injuring his anterior cruciate ligament in the first leg of our play-off semi-final with the south coast outfit. The year or so that followed saw him battle back to full fitness but despite taking part in 33 Premier League between 2014 and 2015, he was eventually sold to Bournemouth for £4 million.
Over the course of the 2015-16 campaign, Glenn made 22 appearances for the Cherries, scoring four times but after an apparent falling out with boss Eddie Howe, he was allowed to leave on loan back to Brighton, where he managed a highly impressive 15 goals in 28 games. The following year, he managed to bag eight goals in 19 games as the Seagulls won promotion, setting up a potentially explosive reunion with Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Despite refusing to celebrate when scoring against Brighton when representing us, a fair few people were convinced that Glenn would do so were he to score tomorrow night, making his comments to the local press rather pleasing to read. He may have swapped red and blue for blue and white but Murray knows how much respect our fan-base has for him and is clearly keen not to inflict any damage on what is unquestionably a special relationship.
I am in no doubt that, had he still been looked upon as a first-team regular by the Palace management staff in 2015, he would still happily be a part of our squad. The fact that he has moved on and rediscovered his goal-scoring touch shouldn’t be held against him; particularly if he does refuse to celebrate anything at The Amex Stadium on Tuesday evening.