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Perry's happy Palace

Posted on 20 January 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace rekindles fond memories for our goalkeeping coach Perry Suckling.

Perry was at Palace for some of the best days seen at Selhurst Park - the era of Wright, Bright, Thomas and Salako, promotion, an FA Cup Final and a best-ever third place in what was the old First Division.

Unfortunately for Perry, a certain Nigel Martyn arrived to take his his number one jersey after promotion in 1988-89 and for that memorable run to the 1990 FA Cup Final when they famously beat Liverpool in the semi-final.

"I left Manchester City and went to Palace with Steve Coppell in charge," reflected Perry at Spurs Lodge this week.

"There was this guy called Ian Wright up front with Mark Bright, Geoff Thomas, John Pemberton, Gary O'Reilly, Eddie McGoldrick, John Salako - it was an exciting side that won promotion and got to the 1990 FA Cup Final, although Nigel Martyn had taken my place by then.

"It was a workmanlike club but there was always a great spirit, everyone worked for each other and there were no superstars as such, even Ian and Mark Bright mucked in and when things had to be done, they were there.

"We got promoted, went through the play-offs against Blackburn, Nigel then arrived and we got into the FA Cup Final and finished third in the league, the highest Palace have finished.

"They were good times, a real buzz about the club. It was good to have been around and great to have played with those players."

Naturally, Perry hopes to see his former club survive in the top flight this season.

"It's nice to see them back up there because they are a Premier League club although over the last 10 years they've been up and down," added Perry.

"It was always going to be difficult for them this year but Iain Dowie is an exceptional young manager and has a good coaching staff around him.

"They are fighting for their lives and Iain demands a lot from his players, they have a good system, some good players and a good goalkeeper from Hungary in Kirali. He's very unorthodox and it's interesting to watch, he's got his own style and it's good to see a different style in goal."