History


Palace Detectives have been an amazing success story. Formed in 1990, primarily as a small luncheon club for Police Detectives who support Crystal Palace FC, we have since gone from strength to strength.

We received a tremendous boost initially by having Steve Coppell at our inaugural lunch at Strikers' Restaurant, Selhurst Park on 11th January 1990, with about twenty officers in attendance. Steve has attended subsequent functions and as someone who is not over enamoured with public speaking has often stated that he feels most comfortable in the company of the 'Detectives.'

There is no doubt that the cup final of 1990 was a massive coup for Palace Detectives as we suddenly discovered that there were considerably more than twenty of us. We advertised for members throughout the country and had an excellent response, not just from the Home Counties. Including family and friends we took around 200 supporters to the final. Not long after, the club was officially constituted and the membership quickly climbed to a fairly consistent 75.

Whilst we can afford to congratulate ourselves for our 15 successful years, there it’s no doubt that we would not have achieved so much without the wonderful assistance of our two good friends and associate members, Barry Williams and Steve Kember. Barry the well known after-dinner speaker, avid supporter and a man with family police connections himself, hosted a number of our early lunches and helped to increase our popularity. Originally our plan was to have four lunches a year and to invite various Palace connected guests. We started with this format and a number of our early functions were at the Croydon wine bar owned by Palace Legend Steve Kember, whose father and brother were highly esteemed Met Police Detectives. Thanks to Steve, with one exception, we have had the privilege of entertaining, and being entertained, by every Manager since our inception, not to mention the three Chairmen as well as a long succession of players and ex-players.

It was Barry, with his considerable sporting and show business connections, who suggested an annual 'Sports Evening' concept, which have been very popular and highly successful. They, as well as the three lunches a year, have guested numerous stars and speakers from various walks of life. They are too many to mention but include Roger de Courcey, Malcolm Allison, Jimmy Greaves and John Conteh. Our final lunch of the season always honours the 'Palace Detectives Player of the Year' and we have been delighted to welcome all of them from Geoff Thomas through to Andy Johnson.

Our original aim was, in our own small non-commercial way, to assist Palace by sponsorship, which we have managed to maintain throughout the years, mainly through one of the players, currently Danny Granville. Additionally, in the dark days of limited funds and administration we were able to supply much needed equipment to the club. Our success however was such that it has given us great pleasure to have been able to support a number of local charities over the past fifteen years to the tune of something in the region of £40,000.

We always welcome new members who must be supporters as well as serving, or retired, police officers who have had Detective experience. We do have a number of female members.

As a small club who are now celebrating our first fifteen years, we congratulate Crystal Palace Football Club on its centenary year. We are proud to be associated with the club and look forward to a close partnership for many years to come.

You can read more about how the Palace Detectives formed & evolved over the years in the fantastic Crystal Palace Centenary Book.

 

Press Clippings & Letters

Letter to Steve Coppell 2005

Letter to Steve Coppell 2005

Reply from Steve Coppell 2006

Reply from Steve Coppell 2006

June 1991

June 1991

October 1990

October 1990

A Tribute to the Detectives


A Tribute to the Palace Detectives by After Dinner Entertainer and lifelong Crystal Palace fan - Barry Williams.

Barry Williams

With a father who had served in the police for 28 years and me being, not only an entertainer, but a lifelong Palace fan, it was only a matter of time before there was a coming together. Once the founder of Palace Detectives, Iain Gordon, who knew me from my entertaining at Selhurst Park, discovered that my father had been in 'the job,' as it is known within the police, he invited me to join the Palace Detectives at one of their get-together lunches. That was in 1990 and since then my association with the Palace Detectives has gone from strength to strength. Steve Kember's little wine bar in Croydon would never cope these days, as the lunches are generally packed with members and their guests on special occasions. Sports Dinners are a much larger event to put on and are a huge success, providing a quantum leap for the Detectives' fund raising.

With Crystals now unavailable, an amusing moment in my history with the Detectives is when their Chairman, Kevin Tooher, said to me, "Barry, our next Sports Dinner is at The Warren, (the police sports club), do you know where that is?" I replied, "Kevin, my Dad was on 'Z' Division (covering Croydon and surrounding areas) and I used to be up there twice a week. It'll be a bit different doing the Sports Dinners from the last time I was there, just wanting to play on the swings!"

 

£250 donated in memory of our dear friend with love and thanks for all you did for us. Rest in peace Barry - we will miss you

 ❤️💙🦅"

Player Sponsorship


Our current sponsored player/member of managerment

Conor Gallagher

2021-2022

Conor Gallagher

2021-2022

View previous Sponsored players/management

Palace Detectives Player of the year


Current Palace Detectives Player of the year

Conor Gallagher

2021-2022

Conor Gallagher

2021-2022

View previous Player of the year

Since 2008 The Palace Detectives have supported Crystal Palace Supporters Children's Charity with donations in excess of £40,000. A truly amazing sum of money. This money has been raised through the hard work, dedication and generosity of their members and friends. The friendship between our two groups of Crystal Palace supporters has grown as we share the same goal of helping those less fortunate than most.

The Palace Detectives has helped Crystal Palace Supporters Children's Charity to continue to make the annual Christmas Party at Selhurst Park special for around 120 deserving children from the local area. Also, the Executive Box, funded by the Children’s Charity gives these children a chance to watch a Palace game in a safe environment. Often, they would be unable to be seated in other parts of the stadium.

The trustees and volunteer members of Crystal Palace Supporters Children's Charity are hugely appreciative of the wonderful generosity of The Palace Detectives.

The Palace Detectives epitomises what makes CPFC such a great Club. Football Supporters who are not only passionate about their Club but equally passionate about helping others.

If you feel you would like to donate to our charity events, please get in touch

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