Palace fans – they’re not so bad

I watched the Champions League match between PSG and Barcelona just outside of Barcelona where we’re on our holibobs. A great experience. I was with Rune Jnr and we’d bonded with another family whom the kids had been playing with. It was at this point, at the bar, that the man of the household informed me, rather sheepishly, having seen my Ansu Fati Brighton shirt, that they were Palace fans…

It won’t surprise most on this site that the family in question were salt-of-the-earth kind of people. Myself and the chap exchanged views on almost every other team in the league and guess what? Our opinions were near identical.

We shared the same frustrations, joys and expectations and he was genuinely, an exceptionally nice guy. He was astonishingly complementary about De Zerbi and our recruitment and I returned the favour in praising the likes of Olise etc. 

This isn’t the first time I’ve met a Palace fan and they’ve turned my stereotypes upside down! In fact, it tends to happen each time I bond with one!

Anyway, I’m fast becoming one of those Brighton fans whose blood boils at the thought of everything to do with Chelsea, but our traditional rivalry is starting to leave me cold. When we beat Palace earlier this season – sure I was happy, but was it the one thing we needed to do this season to make it a decent one? No. That ship has sailed. 

I suspect I’ll be close to losing my voice come the 15th May against the entitled from west London. For me, they represent everything that is wrong about football.

But, as for Palace, I love to win against them but if I’m completely honest about it, they are just the same as us aren’t they? What struck me was how kind and friendly this guy was, with his encyclopaedic Palace knowledge, despite us smashing them earlier this season.

The best thing was how Rune Jnr, who I have spent years poisoning against Palace, declared that their fans are ‘alright when you meet them’. A useful lesson for him, and a timely reminder for me that there are much, much worse villains in the football world than our local rivals -black hooded mob excluded!

This article has been adapted from a North Stand Chat thread. If you have a view, opinion or story about your Albion life to share with other fans, please get in touch – we’re only just getting started and would love to hear from you!