Archives for May 2017

Over £12,000 raised in charity match

The Palace for Life Foundation has raised £12,185 with fans bidding to play alongside former players in teams managed by Palace legend Julian Speroni and former midfielder Eddie McGoldrick.


The chance to play at Selhurst Park in front of the annual beer festival crowd was offered through a series of auctions with Palace fans bidding to play 45 minutes in their chosen position.

Extras were offered to help increase the total sum raised with mascot spaces sold at £40 and the opportunity to take a penalty against Perry Suckling for £25. Whilst the match ball, captain’s armband and an interview with Palace TV also went to the highest bidder.


Palace fan Graham Orr was one of the successful bidders to play in the match.
“What a fantastic experience coming out of the dressing room and collecting my children as mascots before walking on to the pitch in front of the rest of my family.

“Actually playing on the pitch was a lifetime highlight and I managed to last the pace whilst soaking up the whole experience. I am still smiling at the memory.”

This is the first time the charity match has been added to the beer festival line-up and after a successful event; it is likely a similar match will take place next year. Stephen Browett, Trustee of the Foundation said:
“A mate of mine who is 60, was playing centre-back and told he could take a penalty if they got one. So it was a dream come true for him – it was the greatest day of his life!”

Palace Doctor Teams Up With Primary School

Dr Zaf Iqbal, Head of Medical at Crystal Palace FC is teaming up with Palace for Life Foundation coaches to deliver teacher training in a drive to increase awareness and promote physical activity and healthy eating amongst primary school children in years 5 and 6.

To celebrate a successful pilot of the ‘Get Up, Get Moving’ programme, Dr Zaf together with Jason Puncheon and Wilfred Zaha delivered a healthy lifestyles presentation to pupils at Oasis Ryelands primary school in Croydon.

Highlighting the consequences of inactivity and poor lifestyles Dr Zaf said:
“The main aim of the programme is to use the presence of sporting role models to deliver the important messages of leading a healthy, active lifestyle. We hope local schools will now contact the Foundation to get involved next season.”


With all participating children creating a healthy living poster, Puncheon and Zaha were on hand to judge their favourite posters and chose six winners who received a Palace for Life t-shirt and a trip to the training ground to see the players in action and learn about how the medical department of the club is run.

Raised in Croydon, Puncheon has been a keen supporter of the Foundation’s primary school programmes and acknowledges the significance of a healthy lifestyle. He said:
“Since Zaf has come in he’s encouraged us to eat the right things, and it’s really important, especially for these young children, that they do the same.”


The programme in schools involves five lessons, each delivered ‘one hour a day’ – which is how much physical activity children should be doing per day. Teachers are provided with all the relevant materials to deliver the programme and are supported with key messages from Dr Zaf.

With a successful pilot scheme, the Palace for Life Foundation aims to role the programme out in primary schools across south London.


Extra info

Obesity is a major health concern for the population of the UK, with the latest Health Survey for England data showing nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. Obesity is associated with serious chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, disability and premature death. The causes for Obesity are multifactorial with major contributing factors including physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet.

The recommended daily amount of physical activity for adults is 30 minutes on five or more days of the week and for children it’s one hour a day. Physical activity levels are low in the UK with recent figures suggesting that in children between the ages of 5-15, less than a 1/3rd are meeting the recommendations for physical activity for children and the level of inactivity is increasing.

Runners-up in Under 11 PL schools tournament

Representing Crystal Palace FC., Avenue Primary Academy in Sutton were losing finalists at this year’s annual Premier League Schools tournament at Stamford Bridge.


As one of the competition elements of the Premier League Primary Stars programme, and now in its twelfth year, representatives of all 20 Premier League clubs took part in two six-a-side competitions running simultaneously on the pitch, an Under 11s mixed team tournament and an Under 13s girls’ tournament.

With only the group winners, progressing to the semi-finals the Under 13 girls’ team from Edenham Primary School in Croydon performed well with a notable last minute victory over Southampton the highlight of their day.

The Under 11’s however, were the standout performers and finished top of their group earning a semi-final against a Chelsea team backed by home support. After a tense encounter they progressed to the final after a well-deserved 5-4 penalty shootout win. The final against Manchester City was goalless setting up another penalty shootout but this was one game too many as the team from Sutton finished as runners-up.


Both schools performed extremely well as each of the 20 Premier League clubs held their own heats and qualifiers to determine which schools represented them in the tournament. Over 11,000 young people and 1,400 schools have taken part this year.

The young people who took part in the tournament received an authentic Premier League matchday experience, arriving on the team bus, walking out to the Premier League anthem and wearing their club’s kit.


Premier League Primary Stars is a new national primary school programme that uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills. Clubs provide in-school support to teachers, delivering educational sessions to schools in their communities. Free teaching materials ensure the rounded programme, which covers everything from PE and maths to resilience and teamwork, is available to every primary school in England & Wales.


Zaha wins PFA Community Award

As a proud south Londoner, its safe to say Wilfried Zaha cares about his community. He’s been involved with several community projects in the last 12 months and has been recognised by the PFA with a community award for his efforts.


From promoting healthy living in primary schools to joining in training sessions with the Foundation’s power chair team, Wilf has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the Palace for Life Foundation.

One Foundation programme in particular is very close to Wilfried’s heart. As a 14-year-old he used to attend Premier League Kicks sessions at Canterbury Road, Croydon. Kicks is a youth outreach programme with the aim to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities, whilst giving young people access to facilities, coaching and mentoring.

Always willing to give up his time to support Foundation programmes, Zaha said:
“I used to take part in Kicks and it’s great to have somewhere to go where the kids can play. Having access to so many resources without having to pay for it. It’s nice to be able to go back and help out when I can, help my community and see everything progress.”

Mike Summers, Chief Executive Officer at Palace for Life Foundation acknowledges the importance of Palace players taking part in community programmes. He said:
“Having the players visit our young people helps encourage further participation on our programmes. For Wilf to get involved with some of the disability and primary school programmes has been invaluable.”

As the Palace for Life Foundation continues to grow, player visits are already being planned for next season as the Foundation looks to work closely with the wider Crystal Palace family.

CPFC Scholars visit Foundation Activities

As part of our support for the CPFC Academy and the joint working that has been introduced around player welfare, we have set up the first of many Scholarship/Foundation days.


All CPFC scholars will now attend activities across our boroughs to assist, support, and take part in community based sessions with Foundation coaching staff. After a successful pilot it was a very rewarding day for the 15 scholars, Foundation coaches and community participants after we visited the adult mental health session at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and the primary school sessions at Broadmead, Rockmount and The Crescent in Croydon.


We also dropped in to the Carshalton Boys Sports College Academy match v Birmingham at Carshalton Athletic FC where scholars observed team talks and took part in a Q&A session with the Carshalton Boys school players after the match.


Andy Johnson to lead March

Save the date! As the Palace for Life Foundation look to increase fundraising efforts, for the first time ever we’re launching a marathon march led by Palace legend Andy Johnson.


On Saturday 7th October (don’t worry Palace don’t have a game) we’re inviting you to join us in a 26.2 mile marathon march from Selhurst Park to central London, via Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park and the River Thames. This is a non-competitive, social yet highly challenging event and money raised will help us to do more to support young people across south London.

Palace legend Andy Johnson is looking forward to being part of this event and said:
“I’ve never walked this far before but I’m excited to give it a go and expect this to be an enjoyable yet demanding challenge. The Palace for Life Foundation does such great work for young people in south London and together we can raise lots of money to help the most vulnerable.”


It’s not a race, we’ll all walk together as a Palace team to support the Palace for Life Foundation. Registration fee is £25 and you’ll commit to raise £300 each in sponsorship. A breakfast bite at the stadium, a hearty lunch, morning and afternoon snacks and sandwiches at the finish line pub are all included, as well as a Palace for Life t-shirt and full first aid support.

Two shorter alternative routes are available with one starting from Selhurst to Kew Bridge (16.2 miles) and the other from Kew Bridge to Trafalgar Square (10 miles).

Every fundraiser that reaches their £300 target will get their name in the match day programme and all walkers will be part of the team photo from inside Selhurst Park on the morning of the walk.

Spaces are limited so we urge you to register early in order to avoid disappointment. Upon registration we will send you training tips and guidance on how to make the most of your fundraising efforts.

If you’re unable to participate in our Palace for Life Marathon March but would like to donate towards fundraising for the campaign, please click here and donate through the blue button.

For more information, email us at

Down’s Syndrome Football Festival


Crystal Palace DS Eagles and Fulham FC Badgers played host to a football festival for the first time with over 25 players participating.


Millwall and Hull travelled down to make up a four-team tournament, which was played at Fulham’s training ground. All four teams gave a credible performance with some high scoring matches.

The festival was put together as a warm up for the national DSActive Football Festival in Birmingham, the event will be the first time the DS Eagles have entered a competition of its size.

We would like to thank all four teams for participating and encourage anyone with Down’s Syndrome to get in touch as we look to welcome more players.

For more information please email