Archives for September 2013

CPFC Foundation launches its 3 year community strategy


The passion in football can change lives – and living proof comes from the CPFC Foundation, the premier league club’s charitable arm which touches the lives of thousands of youngsters every year across south London, improving their life chances.

On Wednesday September 19th, the CPFC Foundation reached out to the community of South London asking for partnership, support and ideas to help it further improve the community work it does through its coaching and mentoring programmes.

The CPFC Foundation launched its new strategy at a prestigious event hosted by Sky Sports news presenter Vicky Gomersall, at Croydon Town Hall where it heard the stories of some of the many lives touched by the CPFC Foundation and its ambitions to expand its charitable work further in future years.

David Groves, chairman of the CPFC Foundation told a packed room why as a lifelong supporter he first got involved that the CPFC Foundation’s and the CPFC Foundations Head, Donald Forde explained key aims in its new strategy are: Growing the Game, Childhood Support, Youth and Community Development, Education, Employment and Business and Health and Wellbeing.

Ian Holloway, Palace’s manager, told the audience he wanted to pass on the inspiration he had received from his own father, a talented amateur player.

“My dad said you would meet some wonderful people through football and here I am, meeting wonderful people who aren’t just thinking about themselves but about other people. My dad was right – this game heals all sorts of wounds. It teaches you how can’t achieve something on your own, you can be part of team, you need someone around you, a community, and that’s what we can do – we can reach out to people who haven’t got what we’ve got and make them shine and believe in themselves.

“I am so proud of what Crystal Palace does in the community,” said Ian, who said he felt like coming to Croydon was ‘like coming home’.

“To me this is a club with a heart beating so loud I want the rest of London to remember it. I wish everyone could be touched by Palace – you won’t ever forget this place because it’s absolutely sensational.”

The event heard from three young people whose lives had been touched by the CPFC Foundation’s support, ranging in age from a schoolboy to a university student and ex-prison inmate.


community_strategy_aaronAARON MCGRATH

Youth worker Aaron McGrath is unrecognisable today as the young troublemaker who ended up in prison following a downward spiral of alcohol, drugs and depression. He credits the Crystal Palace Foundation with literally saving his life.

“I would probably still be in prison, or not alive by now,” said Aaron who was introduced to the Foundation as a volunteer by the Princes Trust on his release from prison.

“Football has always been my love – the one thing I’ve been passionate about and every single person at Palace has supported me through all the tough times and stuck by me. They have saved my life.”


community_strategy_deborahDEBORAH KING

The only football-mad schoolgirl in a family of five girls, Deborah was devastated when she was told at 16 she could never play again after suffering severe ligament damage in both knees.

“My heart was broken because playing football was the only way to express my passion and I thought ‘this is it’,” said Deborah.

But a year and a half later, when she was still in too much pain to play, she was offered the chance to train for free as a Level 1 FA coach by the CPFC Foundation. Now a youth worker, she uses her coaching skills to support other girls into the game and is about to enter university to study biomedical science.

“I will be grateful to the CPFC Foundation for that training as long as I live as it gave me a platform to be a part of their institution and to pursue a passion of mine that will not go away,” said Deborah, now aged 18.


community_strategy_markMARK HERITAGE, aged 12

As an autistic child first attending school at the age of 5, Mark stood on the edge of the playground where he found it hard to join in games and make friends.

But regular Friday coaching sessions provided by Palace at his school changed his life – now aged 12, Mark is Sutton Little League’s Player of the Year and a respected, confident team player with a wide circle of friends.

Teaching assistant Violet D’Sauza said: “When I first met Mark he was a little boy who had a barrier against the world – he had no self-belief and didn’t know how to like himself.

“But that one little thing – the football coaching – made a massive difference to this boy’s life. It taught him to believe in himself, to like himself and that he could achieve anything he wanted.”

Further information on the strategy is available at

And any organisation wanting to work with the CPFC Foundation to help it expand its charitable work should contact


CPFC Foundation are saddened with the passing of Club President Peter Morley


The CPFC Foundation are saddened to announce the passing of Club President Peter Morley, CBE. Peter, 84, died peacefully in his sleep at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley.

Peter was appointed Chairman during the club’s administration in the late nineties and in 2000 was delighted to accept the role of Club President, a position he has held since then.

Peter was a tremendous ambassador for the club in various roles over many years including serving a number of years as Chairman of The Vice-Presidents Club.

Educated at Oundle School, he left to run his father’s drapery business and later qualified in Personnel Management, eventually becoming Personnel Director at Tesco. Peter was awarded the CBE in 1994 for his services to vocational training .

Peter took a keen interest in many sports including motor racing, cricket,football and was often seen at Lingfield Park following the horses.

He will be sadly missed by all at the club and condolences are sent to wife Paula and daughters Fran and Alex.

Boris Johnson visits CPFC Foundation

boris_johnson_02Boris is pictured proudly wearing his Crystal Palace FC tie presented by The CPFC Foundation

Crystal Palace FC Foundation had the privilege to welcome London Mayor, Boris Johnson today. Accompanied by Steve O’Connell, Foundation Trustee and local Croydon Councillor, the focus of his visit was to share the Foundation’s ambitious plans for the future set out in our three year Community Strategy. This includes how we intend to support the growth of grass roots football, support childhood development and promote health and well-being, not only in Croydon but across South London. Boris spoke with several young people who have all been part of the Premier League’s Kicks Programme which the Foundation has been running for the last seven years, and who are either now volunteering or working for the Foundation as sessional coaches and youth workers. Boris also did not need any encouragement to get involved in a game of table tennis [wiff-waff] with members of the Foundation’s longstanding Extra Time club which brings together older Croydon residents.

However, it was the Foundation’s work around engaging with young people that took centre stage and led on to wider discussions how this can really make a real difference to future life chances.

David Groves Chair of Trustees said, ‘although Boris may not be quite as talented as Dwight Gale, he did show surprising prowess at ball juggling. The important thing for us however, is that he took time out of his busy schedule to see first-hand the work we are doing to help make a difference. We are one club, one community.’

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “I am extremely impressed with the work that the Crystal Palace FC Foundation is doing with the Premier League and MOPAC Kicks programme. The money being invested into the programme by the Premier League and the Met Police is having an extremely positive impact for young people in the area.”