It was just over thirty years ago,
that most players at Palace were nicknamed Jock,
as Bert Head he scoured for talent,
around Glasgow and Greenock.
He argued that up in Scotland,
he’d acquire fine talent cheaper,
but thankfully he had the sense,
not to sign a Scottish keeper.
Many a freezing night was spent,
watching the likes of Third Lanark,
hoping to find a prospect,
to bring to Selhurst Park.
We got John Loughlan in at left back,
Tony Taylor on the wing,
and our brilliant center forward,
who had the opposite name to king.
His name was Gerry Queen,
a headline writers dream,
as ‘ Queen the King of the Palace,’
the morning rags would scream.
The fans they sang, “he was faster than lightening,
no one could be faster than he,”
the tune would pour out of the Holmesdale,
taken from ‘ Flipper ‘ the show on T.V.
John McCormick the Scot made from granite,
his heart worn on the sleeve of his shirt,
forwards would try and provoke him,
but it was they —- who ended up hurt.
They said Roger Hynd came from girders,
a tougher player— no where would you find,
he perfected the two footed tackle,
no one messed with big Roger Hynd.
Iain Phillip, Jim Scott, and Jim Cannon,
all part of the Thistle Brigade,
and Charlie Cooke, was signed up from Chelsea,
though his great skills were starting to fade.
Then Bert took the train up to Glasgow,
and came back with some breathtaking news,
he’d signed two of the Timmolloy Euro Bhoys,
wee Willie Wallace and big Johnny Hughes.
John Hughes was nicknamed ‘ Big Yogi,’
and the crowd always roared “Feed the Bear,”
he’d steamroller defenders out of his way,
as down each of the wings he would tear.
Alas old Bert Head got the heave-ho,
and the tartan army soon disappeared,
but in the hearts and minds of loyal Palace fans,
all of them are still revered.
Malcolm Allison wasn’t impressed,
that some of these players had won us promotion,
he was off on his own scouting trips,
with his mistress and suntanning lotion.
And from playing in the elite First division,
we ended up down in the Third,
and no more at our ground up at Selhurst,
were the Highlanders and Lowlanders heard.
Most returned up north of the border,
to finally end their careers,
and like many a player of that era,
they became publicans serving up beers.
Nows many a night up in Scotland,
when a publican’s ready to close,
he’ll start to feel a bit sentimental,
and keep in the punters he knows.
He’ll pour himself a large glass of whiskey,
and let his mind go a wandering back,
and he’ll reminisce to the after hours customers,
about his days in the Palace attack.
He’ll tell of his goals v United,
and how Bert signed him up from East Fife,
and the discos and clubs of South London,
where he had the best times of his life.
And while a tear rolls down his craggy cheek,
as he drifts back thirty years,
he wishes he was back at the Palace,
not in Lanarkshire serving up beers.
And when he finally closes up,
and the final customers do depart,
he’ll put his head down on his pillow,
and dream of his days at old Selhurst Park.