Crystal Palace and Selhurst Park:
Crystal Palace Football Club was formed at the glass palace that stood at the top of Sydenham Hill in 1905. The club entered the Southern League Division Two, playing its first match against Southampton Reserves on 2nd September 1905. After losing that first game, ‘The Galziers’ did not lose another game in the 1905-06 season and finished as champions.
The outbreak of World War One led to the Admiralty requisitioning Crystal Palace and the club then moved to Herne Hill.
After the club purchased some land from Brighton Railway Company, Selhurst Park officially opened on 30th August 1924 and the occasion was marked by a match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday. The ground was never really developed until 1969, when the Eagles reached the holy grail of League One.
Nowadays, Selhurst Park is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 26, 309. Away fans are seated in the corner of the Arthur Wait Stand, where leg room is quite restricted.
How to get there:
Trains run regularly from Birmingham New Street to London Euston and London Marylebone. Depending on your chosen route, the journey will take between one hour and thirty minutes and two hours and fifteen minutes.
From Euston, take the Victoria line towards Brixton to Victoria, where you can take a Southern service towards either Caterham or Epsom Downs to Thornton Heath. This journey takes approximately forty minutes.
If your journey from Birmingham takes you into Marylebone, take the Bakerloo line to Victoria and then take a Southern service to Caterham or Epsom Downs, alighting at Thornton Heath.
From Thornton Heath, you have a fifteen minute walk to Selhurst Park. Head northwest on Brigstock Road towards Quadrant Road for 0.6 miles then continue onto High Street. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto Whitehorse Lane and continue for 0.3 miles until you reach the ground, which is on your right.
National Express services run from Digbeth Coach Station to Victoria Coach Station.
Depending on traffic, a journey from Birmingham to Selhurst Park should take approximately two hours and forty-five minutes.
Use postcode SE25 5EX for the stadium.
For directions, click here.
The local area is safe but parking is extremely limited around the ground, with permit-only and time restrictions in place. Most spaces in the surrounding streets have a four hour limit and you are advised to take note of signs showing parking restrictions or you risk your vehicle being towed away.
Where to drink:
Opposite Thornton Heath Railway Station, at 2-4 Ambassador House, CR7 7JG, you will find a Wetherspoon’s pub called The Flora Sands, which is popular with both home and away fans.
The Railway Telegraph, 19 Brigstock Road, CR7 7JJ, which is fifteen minutes’ walk from the ground, is another option for away fans.
Equally popular is The Thomas Farley, which is located at 61 High Street, CR7 8RY.
If you arrive at Norwood Junction, you might like to try another Wetherspoon’s establishment called The William Stanley, which is located at 7-8 High Street, South Norwood, SE25 6EP.
Aston Villa Football Club received an allocation of 2,800 tickets for this Premier League fixture and all of those tickets have now been sold.