Last Updated on 17.03.2023 by Iliyan
The idea of attending a Crystal Palace football match was born in 2019 when I met a fan of the club in the Philippines. He told me a lot of things about the team, so I decided to attend the match against Manchester City to find out why Selhurst Park has the reputation of having one of the best football atmospheres in England.
Crystal Palace Football Club are based in London and currently play in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. They have played their home matches at Selhurst Park since 1924. The club was officially founded in 1905, but its origins can be traced as far back as 1861, when an amateur Crystal Palace football team was established at the Crystal Palace Exhibition building. Because of this the club claimed to be recognised as the oldest professional football club in the world. In the past, the team was known by the nickname “The Glaziers”, but in the early 1970s, the club decided to change its colours, and the nickname of the team was changed to “The Eagles”.
Crystal Palace considers their main rival to be Brighton. It is known as a derby between the Eagles and the Seagulls (the nickname of Brighton). For these two clubs, this game is their must-win every season. Fixtures against Charlton Athletic and Millwall are also considered by Crystal Palace fans to be important derby matches. Ironically, my previous visit to a football match in London was at The Den, the home of Millwall.
Selhurst Park is a football stadium in the London Borough of Croydon. It is located at the heart of Selhurst, just a 10-15-minute walk from Selhurst, Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction stations. Selhurst Park was opened on 30 August 1924 with a match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday. It has an all-seated capacity of 25,486.
Selhurst Park is a must visit stadium of all football fans, who love the good old days. Unique in its form, the stadium is a mixture of the new and the old, with two old side stands and two more modern looking end stands. However, it is famous for one of the best atmospheres in the Premier League. Holmesdale Stand at the South East end of the stadium is home of the most passionate fans. It is a double-tiered stand, built in 1994.
Getting to Selhurst Park
The stadium is best reached by train. The nearest railway stations are Selhurst Station (10 minute walk), Thornton Heath (15 minute walk) and Norwood Junction (12 minute walk). The stations are served by trains coming from London Victoria and London Bridge stations in central London. The journey takes around 30 minutes. A single ticket from London Victoria Station to Selhurst costs £6.40. The most economical option would be to buy a return ticket for £10.80.
*I don’t recommend to stop at Crystal Palace station, because is around 35 minute walk.
There’s also a regular bus services is in operation from all directions to the stadium. Bus 468 can be caught from Elephant & Castle, and bus X68 can be taken from Russel Square in The City or Waterloo Station. Both buses pass the stadium on Whitehorse Lane.
There’s no underground station close to the stadium.
I don’t recommend driving to Selhurst Park as there are no parking spaces for fans. Some residential streets surrounding Selhurst Park are subject to time restrictions and permit holders only.
How to Buy a Ticket for a Crystal Palace Match?
Ticket for Crystal Palace games can be bought online, or at the Ticket Office at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace have divided their home games in 2 categories. Ticket prices depend on the opponent, but expect to pay £27 to £65 for ticket. To buy tickets to Premier League matches you must join as a member. Memberships start from £25 and go up to £60. Please click here for more information.
Attending a Crystal Palace Match vs. Manchester City
Erling Haaland settled the match against Crystal Palace from the penalty spot with 12 minutes to go after Ilkay Gundogan was fouled. The match between the two teams did not offer a high quality unlike the fans in the stands. The home fans created a magnificent atmosphere supported their players throughout the 90 minutes.
Crystal Palace supporters are among the noisiest football fans in England. Holmesdale Stand is home of the Holmesdale Fanatics members, an organised supporters’ group. They are easily recognisable by their huge flags and banners.
Before and after the match, I had the opportunity to visit the famous Victory Club South Norwood pub near the stadium, where some of “The Eagles” fans traditionally gather.
It was a great experience to hear their stories about the team, the stadium, the fans, the rivals, etc. I would recommend any football fan to visit a Crystal Palace match because the atmosphere in the stadium is really worth it.