Alan Pardew wasn’t always loved at Crystal Palace but will be if he returns

Super Al’s FA Cup semi-final winner in 1990 helped endear the midfielder to the Selhurst Park faithful after years of being underappreciated

It is the making of the myth that endures, whether in the commentary delivered by John Motson and Terry Venables or those photographs of a cluttered penalty area at Villa Park with Bruce Grobbelaar helplessly craning his neck as he turns to witness the worst. It was Sunday, 8 April 1990 and, as the BBC’s correspondent exclaimed at the time, “somewhere out the crowd came Pardew”. In an instant a Crystal Palace cult figure had been born.

Alan Pardew had been a player at Selhurst Park for three years by then, with the “Super, Super Al” chants which greeted his every touch having long since been chorused by Palace fans. The difference was that moniker became a positive only after the midfielder met that Andy Thorn near-post flick in extra-time to win the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool.

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