Today marks the fourth anniversary of Survival Sunday at Hillsborough, an afternoon which will remain forever imprinted on the minds of Palace fans around the world forever more. Looking back now, it’s almost impossible to put into words quite how monumental a day it was, with the point we eventually gained maintaining our status as a Championship club and almost certainly, playing a pivotal role in ensuring that Crystal Palace FC continues to live on in its current form.
Looking back now, the memories feel both distant and vivid simultaneously. So much has happened since, four permanent managers, a painful parting of the ways with a club legend, a successful play-off campaign and most recently, a season which has seen the club keep it’s place in the Premier League beyond a single season for the first time in their history and yet, for most, that overcast afternoon in Yorkshire remains the most emotive moment of our recent history.
We’ve had high and low points since, some far more extreme than others, but in truth, that 2-2 draw encapsulated every emotion you could ever possibly experience as a football fan. We all dream of success and big victories, but the feelings brought on by that game will stay with every single one of us forever. When you strip away all of the peripheral drama that surrounds fandom, the core sees you invest your hopes and feelings in a group of players and staff that represent you on a football pitch, it’s both illogical and beautiful in equal measure.
The final whistle brought jubilant celebration and exhausted tears from the away end, with the players just as drained as those who had been watching them. Four years have passed, but we must never forget the relief we all felt in the minutes and hours following that game.
It was simply perfect.