Andy Johnson officially returned to Crystal Palace as a club ambassador yesterday afternoon and has spoken to Chris Grierson about exactly what the role will entail.
AJ played 161 times in red and blue, scoring an astounding 85 goals in that time. It was a period which saw the club promoted to the Premier League under the guidance of Iain Dowie, before narrowly missing out on top flight survival the following year, thanks in no small part to Johnson’s efforts.
The campaign of 2004/05 saw him earn a place in the Premier League’s best XI after scoring 21 times, and despite staying for another season in the hope of helping us bounce straight back, AJ saw his first stint at Selhurst Park come to a close with defeat against Watford in the semi-finals of the play-offs in 2005/06.
Although his career then took him on to the likes of Everton, Fulham and QPR, the bald headed frontman always felt most at home in SE25, and has spoken extensively about his joy at returning to the club in an official capacity in the video interview attached above.
For Palace fans of a certain age, AJ will always be one of their childhood footballing heroes, scoring so prolifically for three seasons that it was impossible not to fall in love with his all-action style, leading the line with a fervour that many would now associate with Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.
No one has managed to hit the goalscoring heights that Johnson did in a Palace shirt since, which only adds to the collective adoration our fans feel towards him. As someone who grew up watching him bang goals in every week, I’m extremely happy to see him back with us in an official capacity.