Everyone has heard of the phrase eating humble pie but one Crystal Palace fan took it to a literal level after the Eagles’ impressive season.

Dale Taylor, 38, a Crystal Palace fan for more than 30 years, eat a whole pie after backtracking on his views on Palace’s season.

The Palace fan was not a happy supporter after Ian Holloway left the club last year as he thought he should have been given more time.

Mr Talyor, who currently lives in Crawley and works as a police officer, was even more disgusted with appointment of current boss and miracle worker Tony Pulis.

The police officer feared a season of long balls and relegation was on the cards so wrote a letter to the club saying he wanted to give up his season ticket.

To his surprise he then received an email from Crystal Palace’s co-chairman Stephen Browett asking him to rethink his decision.

Mr Taylor, who is the founder of Iron Coppers which raises money for Cancer Research, decided not to give up his season ticket and see how the season panned out.

He was pleasantly surprised to see Tony Pulis guide the team to safety with games to spare as well as playing an exciting brand of football.

In a complete turnaround, the 38-year-old sent Mr Browett an email at the end of the season pledging his allegiance to the club as well as admitting he should have never have doubted the club’s owners.

Mr Taylor also sent a picture of himself eating a whole humble pie to Mr Browett.

He said: “I was a big fan of Ian Holloway and I was a bit disappointed he was not given more time.

“I have never been a fan of Tony Pulis so when he was announced I was really disappointed. I wanted to stop my season ticket but Stephen Browett persuaded me not to.

“From that point onwards the season went from bad to good. Then at the end of the season, as he was so kind to get back to me personally, I sent him a picture of me eating humble pie.

“I was totally shocked at the turnaround, it was amazing. I would now even say I am a Tony Pulis fan.”

Crystal Palace co-owner Stephen Browett said: “Since we bought the club we have always made a huge effort to listen to what fans have to say and we take on board all comments – good and bad.

“I am, of course, delighted that I was able to persuade Dale to give the new manager a chance and I hope that he really enjoyed this season which ultimately ended up as one of the most exciting and entertaining in Palace’s history.

“It’s very good of Dale to admit so publically that he mis-judged Tony and I love his humble-pie photo.”

To see the email trail between Mr Dale and Mr Browett read below:

Good afternoon,

I am enquiring about your return and refund policy on season tickets or whether they are able to changed to another persons name? I'm afraid that in light of the very likely appointment of Tony Pulis as manager I find myself in a position for the first time in 31 years as a Palace fan unable to support this move and I'm considering whether I want to attend any future Palace games whilst he is in charge!

I am very disappointed by the boards decision and believe that they are damaging the long term prospects of the club with his appointment. After all the success of bringing the club out of administration and making Palace a financially sound club again I feel the board have now lost sight of their initial vision for the club. Last season was massively unexpected, especially when you consider we were the out of form side going into the playoffs and the promotion to the Premiership was a huge bonus for the club. I feel that a lot of the summer signings were rash and have done nothing to improve on the great team spirit the club had last season.

The likely appointment of Pulis appears to come with the guarantee that he will spend again in January. The likelihood of the club staying up this season is very slim no matter who manages the club or who is purchased in January. I along with many Palace fans are enjoying a season of Premiership football but expect no more than that. I would far rather see the club make an appointment of a younger manager that wants to be at the club for the right reasons and stick with some of the loyal younger members of the squad to see out this season and get the experience of top flight football and return to the Championship next season with a solid team of players who want to play for the club rather than just grab the money and run.

If your policies permit and I do decide to return or sell my season ticket I will not be doing it for financial gain but donating it to Cancer Research UK. It is a big decision for me to make as I have really enjoyed seeing some classy teams and players arrive at Selhurst this season and there is the promise of a lot more.

I would like this email to be forwarded to the board members for their attention.

Regards, Dale Taylor


Dear Dale

I’ve been forwarded your e-mail by the CPFC box office.

I really think that you are over-reacting to the appointment of Tony Pulis. He is a proven Premier League football manager with a great track record of success. The board of directors believe that his appointment gives us the best possible chance of remaining in the Premier League and allowing us to continue to develop the club both on and off the field of play. Presumably you can’t be disappointed with what we have done so far?

You seem to have completely given up on us staying up this season but I can assure you that the owners, the new manager and the players have not. The next few months are going to be very exciting at Selhurst Park and I think it would be a serious mistake on your part to miss them. I think that you know that the owners will keep a tight control on spending and we will never risk the future of the club (as others have done in the past) by spending money that we don’t have. I really think that you should trust us to run the club in a prudent manager and let’s not judge the manager before he’s even picked his first team.

It was a great result up at Hull on Saturday and with a few more of those we can show the pundits that we are not just making up the numbers in this league.

Best Regards Stephen Browett Co-Chairman CPFC

PS – of course if you wish to give your season ticket up for someone else to use you are free to do so.


Dear Mr Browett,

You may remember our correspondence from earlier in the season after the announcement of Tony Pulis becoming Crystal Palace manager and my disappointment with the decision. Well I'm not a man who doesn't admit when he is wrong and it would appear that you were completely right in your decision so yes, I should have had faith in the boards decision to appoint him.

It did take until West Ham away for me to finally swallow my pride and sing Tony Pulis's name from the stands but I now realise that he has far more to his management than the long ball game which I first feared. I attach a photo of me eating not a slice of humble pie but the entire humble pie!

I am grateful that you talked me out of returning my season ticket and in fact I decided to renew for the 2014/2015 season prior to the Chelsea home game and therefore way before we were safe. Please pass on my congratulations to Mr Pulis for his well deserved LMA Premier League manager of the year award.

I wish you all the best for the future of the club and look forward to seeing what the club has planned for next season.

Kind regards,

Dale Taylor