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7 Of The Best Players To Ever Play For Crystal Palace

Podcast Blog Post 22

Here we go. At Number 7: Mark Bright

A Crystal Palace legend and part of the Wright-Bright partnership that many consider being the clubs' best frontline ever, Mark Bright scored over 100 goals in his six seasons at the club between 1986 and 1992.

Signed by Steve Coppell for what would now seem like a laughable £75,000, Bright earned the golden boot in 1987/88 for being the highest goal scorer in the second division and helped the team win promotion by scoring against Swindon Town in the 88/89 season.

Bright still has strong ties to the club and can often be seen sitting beside chairman Steve Parish during games

6: Kenny Samson 

Considered by many fans to be Crystal Palace's best defender. He considered himself a goalkeeper in his early years, but while playing for a youth team called Spring Park Wolves he replaced an injured teammate at left-back and remained a full-back for the rest of his career

Kenny Sansom started out in the Palace youth team and spent five glorious seasons at Palace before being poached by Arsenal (sound familiar?)

Quick, calm, strong in the tackle and an excellent crosser of the ball, Sansom missed just one league game in a consecutive run of 156 games, starting back in 1976, when Palace were in the Third Division. In the 1978–79 season Crystal Palace won the Second Division championship with Sansom integral to the young team.

He also has over 80 caps for England, making his international debut while still a Palace player.

5: Attilio Lombardo

Palace's most talented player ever. Many fans still aren't quite sure how the newly-promoted Eagles, with their rundown training ground and dilapidated Selhurst Park stadium, were even able to convince the Champions League winner to join.

Plus, he was only 31 at the time so still well within his prime and it showed. He was streets ahead of any of his team-mates at the time and it must have been a huge culture shock to go from swapping passes with Alessandro Del Piero to laying on through balls to Bruce Dyer, that Dyer never read because he just wasn't on Lombardo's wavelength. No-one was.

It must have been a chore for him to play for Palace, but he did it with grace and humility through all the 18 months he spent in South London, including staying for six months after the team were easily relegated.

Many fans have hopes of him returning as manager one day.

4: Andy Johnson

One of Palace's best strikers voted into the Centenary XI alongside Ian Wright up front (who by the way never played for Palace in the Premier League)

AJ, like many fan's favourites at Palace over the years, arrived at the club an unwanted nobody, signing as part of the deal that took Clinton Morrison to Birmingham for £5m in 2002, and left as one of the club's greatest ever players.

Scored 21 league goals in 2004/5 that just failed to keep the Eagles in the top flight and stayed for a season after going down before leaving for Everton for £8m.

3: Jim Cannon

Signed as an apprentice in 1970, the Scottish defender has made more appearance for The Eagles than any other player, with over 660 appearances during his 15 seasons at Selhurst Park.

He went on to play non-league football for a short spell and then followed his father into the building trade setting up a construction firm ICS Builders in Croydon. In addition to this, he became a match day host for Crystal Palace in 2005 and a club Ambassador in 2010.

Cannon was with the Eagles between 1973 and 1988 and scored on his debut against Chelsea. What a way to make an entrance!

2: Johnny Byrne 

Byrne may have played only 11 times for England, but he made the most of it, scoring eight goals. When he made his debut in 1961 against Northern Ireland, the striker was playing in the third division for Crystal Palace. He left Palace the following year, with West Ham acquiring him with a then-record transfer deal of £58,000. After 156 league appearances, 79 goals and an FA Cup title with West Ham, Byrne returned to Palace. His final stop in English football was with Fulham before he played two seasons with South African club Durban FC. 

Finally, CPFC’S greatest ever player: Ian Wright

Like Mark Bright, Ian Wright Wright Wright spent six glorious seasons sporting an Eagles shirt and is considered by many to be the best Palace striker ever.

Wright, who joined the club after impressing a Palace scout at Greenwich Borough, having impressed then-manager Steve Coppell, he signed professional terms for Crystal Palace in August 1985, just three months short of his 22nd birthday.

He also made 33 appearances for England, scoring 9 goals - a few of which might have been against San Marino!

Wright scored 117 goals in 253 starts and 24 substitute appearances over six seasons for The Eagles in all competitions, making him the club's record post-war goal scorer and third on the all-time list. In 2005, he was voted into their Centenary XI and was named as their "Player of The Century".

He is 7OTB and The Football Hours greatest Crystal Palace player.

Agree? Tweet us your top 7 Palace players @7OTBfootball or @thefootballhour