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Crystal Palace Introduction

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Football Club is a professional football club based in Selhurst in the Borough of Croydon, South London, England, who compete in the Premier League, the highest level of English football. Although founded as a professional outfit in 1905, the club's origins can be traced as far back as 1861, when an amateur Crystal Palace football team was established at the Crystal Palace Exhibition building. This has led to claims by the club that Crystal Palace should be recognised as the oldest professional football club in the world, after historians discovered a lineage through the Crystal Palace Company. Both the amateur and professional clubs played inside the grounds of the Palace, with the professional club using the FA Cup Final stadium for its home games until 1915, when they were forced to leave due to the outbreak of the First World War. In 1924, they moved to their current home at Selhurst Park.

The club's kit colours were claret and blue until 1973, when they changed to the red and blue vertical stripes worn today. Palace have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Brighton & Hove Albion, and also share strong rivalries with fellow South London clubs Millwall and Charlton Athletic.

In 1854, the Crystal Palace Exhibition building had been relocated from Hyde Park, London and rebuilt in an area of South London next to Sydenham Hill. This area was renamed Crystal Palace which included the Crystal Palace Park that surrounded the site where various sports facilities were built. The Crystal Palace Company who owned the exhibition building founded the Crystal Palace Club in 1857 to play cricket before turning their attention to football. It had been lobbied by existing members of the cricket club to provide a continuation of sporting activities during the winter months. The company formed an amateur Crystal Palace football club in 1861. All of the football club's management-committee and most of its original players were previously members of the cricket club, and they shared the same pitch within the Crystal Palace Park.