It is usually players that getting a standing ovation at Selhurst Park but a very special guest got the applause he deserved on Saturday.

Clive Waters, 60, a programme seller for more than 30 years and an avid Eagles’ fan since 1960, was attending his first game since suffering a stroke in June 2012.

The popular figure, who is affectionately known as Sido because of his sideburns, watched Palace’s 4-1 demolition of Middlesbrough from an executive box.

He was also given two half-season tickets, free of charge, which will last for the rest of the season.

Internet forums have been awash with praise and good wishes for Mr Waters with many fans offering to take him to the game if a lift did not materialise.

Crystal Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett even offered to pay for a taxi to take Mr Waters to the game from his home in Orpington if he couldn't get a lift.

Speaking after the game on Monday, Mr Waters said he was surprised and emotional with the amount of good will shown towards him on Saturday.

He said: "Saturday was really good. We got a good win and the football was alright wasn’t it?

"It was really nice to be in the box. It was a lovely gesture to get the half season ticket, it really surprised me. I just hope I can go to all of them now.

"It was emotional seeing people stand up at half time clapping me. It surprised me but I was so happy."

Mr Waters added: "I have been to around 1,300 home games in total and I have been away to a few as well.

"I met the Crystals and the manager and several first team players, who are all doing very well at the moment."

Co-Chairman Steve Browett said the club’s efforts were the least they could do for an iconic figure at Selhurst Park.

He said: "I have been going to games since 1970 and for as long as I can remember Clive has been selling programmes at Palace.

"He is a bit of character and it was sad to see he had a stroke. It is nice for the club to do something for him."