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Edgar Davids puts a new spin on the ‘childhood club’ schtick, joined Palace after Twitter chat

Raul and Davids clash in the 1995/96 Champions League

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Since the dawn of time, new signings have used the ‘childhood club’ line as a way to instantly endear themselves fans. Spurs’ Robbie Keane famously supported 13 or 14 clubs as a young boy pointing and waving on the streets of Tallaght, and has been sure to tell each of them they were the only ones for him.

Tough-tackling midfield veteran Edgar Davids, however, is in a different gear to most footballers, and has explained his recent move to Crystal Palace using much more original terms (although just as funny.)

Davids claims Palace has been close to his heart ever since he used to tune in to two young strikers tearing up the First and Second Divisions in the late ’80s:

Why Palace? Two reasons – first, the history. When I was young I used to watch Ian Wright and Mark Bright on ­television, they always played well and that stuck with me.

You heard right. Edgar Davids, a man with 6 league titles, 9 domestic cups, a Champions League medal and more, has spent the past 24 years wistfully reminiscing about the “Wright and Bright” connection.

To be fair, the maths work out. The pair teamed up in 1986 and bagged a rather brilliant 220 goals between them until Wright moved to Arsenal in 1991, the same year an 18-year-old Davids started his club career with Ajax.

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As if that wasn’t strange enough, Davids also revealed (rather cryptically) that his move to Palace came about after a fan decided to reach out to him on Twitter during the dark days of the club’s time in administration:

And second, on my Twitter page there was a guy who talked about Palace and he asked ‘The club has a problem, can you help us out?’. I told my followers to support Palace and, after a couple of weeks, I got a tweet from him to say ‘We’re saved, thank you’.

I had been training with Ajax, and it was going so well that a friend who also knows the Palace coach accelerated the process.

Which is basically a story that makes less sense every time you read it. Anyway, most Eagles fans won’t care how he got to Selhurst Park, just that he’s there now… although the natty dreads-sporting legend might not be hanging about for long:

I know the Championship is a fast-paced, competitive league and I don’t under-estimate the standard or the physical demands. I might last two games, I might stay here for two years and finish my career with Palace, I don’t know.

Two games?! You sound about as enthusiastic as you look, Edgar.


3 responses so far
  • Martin Searle // August 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I shall try for the 3rd time to leave a comment.

    The Twitter thing is quite true. A fan called @AlexSLDN tweeted @esdavids to ask for his support to be retweeted re the #savecpfc campaign. Edgar retweeted and replied, and I (@calneeagle) also tweeted him to thank him. Edgar replied to me that it was no problem, and that he wished us well; that we were a good club that had produced good players. Don’t forget that when he was 18, we came third in the old First Division, and would have qualified for Europe had we not been stitched up by Liverpool being let back into Europe a year early.

    I like to think that the #savecpfc, which trended very highly as it peaked before and on the day of the Lloyd’s protest, played a part in saving the club, and Edgar played his part in that.

    And of course, there’s the Burley / Ipswich / Dutch / Zondervan connection.

    So not as daft as you seem to point out. Although until it actually happened, Palace fans were mainly as cynical as if it were the whole P Diddy/Daddy/whatever thing again…..

  • Richard Gilzene // August 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I didn’t think it was a particularly daft account from Edgar, just slightly vague. Thanks for adding some meat to it though Martin, it’s a brilliant story – Davids genuinely is a cut above.

  • Martin Searle // August 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I suppose, Richard, that it does seem a slightly vague pretext for him joining a club which to be fair is a little less famous that those he has played for. Apart from Spurs, obviously ;-)

    And he is a very rare beast in being a celeb on Twitter who ever responds to anybody other than other celebs. Gabby Logan did respond to me, but that’s another story…

    I do keep expecting to wake up and find that it’s all been a dream, though. And he is indeed a class act. It’ll be worth it even if the only effect is that some of the youngsters listen, watch, and learn how to conduct themselves.

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