Following yesterday’s 2-0 victory over West Brom, Selhurst Park bid farewell to Damien Delaney in emotional fashion, with the Irishman grabbing hold of a microphone in front of the Holmesdale and thanking the club’s supporters for all the backing they’ve given to him over the years.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 13, 2018
Having arrived on a three-month contract at the request of Dougie Freedman back in 2012, Damo has been open about the fact that he had previously been on the verge of giving up football altogether just weeks before he took the plunge and made the move to SE25. Thankfully for us and him, he signed up in August of that year and has been with the club ever since.
Now 36 and at the end of his contract with the club, it’s been obvious for quite some time that he wouldn’t be offered fresh terms but after all he has given to us in the six years he’s been on the books, it’s fair to say that his status as a cult hero at Selhurst Park is safe forever more.
Whether you look back on the promotion-winning campaign which saw him overwhelmed to the point of tears on the Wembley steps, his masterful pocketing of Diego Costa during Palace’s 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2015, his goal which sparked our 11-minute comeback from 3-0 down to 3-3 against title-chasing Liverpool or his regular bouncer-like protection of Wilfried Zaha in the face of the opposition, Damo has given the Palace faithful bundles of memories to look back on fondly in the years to come.
He may not have been the most talented defender to ever wear red and blue but his game is one which perfectly embodies the Palace spirit. The Irishman has amassed a total of 628 domestic professional appearances throughout an 18-year career thanks to bucketfuls of blood, sweat and tears. We love a grafter at Selhurst Park and in Damien Delaney, we got to watch a man who fits that stereotype down to a tee for more than half a decade.
Happy trails, Damo.