Don't bring on the Zohar!

Comedian talks zeros and heroes

Last Updated: 04/04/11 11:03pm

Steel: not a fan of Zohar

For every legend at a club, there is a fall guy and supporters love nothing more than to regale stories about them, just ask Mark Steel!

"We could be at the bottom of the 'Evo Stick Fifth Division Rowntree Fruit Pastille' section of the league and everyone would be like 'no you can't have a go at Dougie!"

Mark Steel

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The British socialist columnist and comedian has been a Crystal Palace fan for well over 20 years and he admits he has witnessed his fair share of bad footballers to go along with the good at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles' recent history has seen them promoted and relegated from the top flight on a number of occasions.

However, Steel says Palace's 1997/1998 season in the Premier League will forever stand out in his memory because of one player, and all the wrong reasons!

"There was a chap called (Itzik) Zohar and he was bought in one of the rare years when Palace were in the Premier League," he told Soccer AM.

"It was Boxing Day I think and we were sort of on course to be the only team ever to go the whole year without winning at home.

"And then Zohar came on and the few people who had been at the one away game (he had played in) started going 'oh no this bloke's hopeless, we can't have him'.

"And then we got a penalty about three minutes from the end - 'we're gonna win at home at last!' and Zohar snatched the ball and put it down on the penalty spot!

"All the people who had been at the away game started going 'no! What's he doing? Stop! Get the ball of him!'

"He put the ball down and just gently rolled it to the goalkeeper! It barely even made it to the goalkeeper. No one ever saw him again."

Hero

Palace are currently 21st in the Championship under the stewardship of former striker Dougie Freedman.

But despite the club's precarious position, Steel says the fans will never turn on one of their heroes.

"Everyone loves Dougie Freedman," he said. "He's brilliant and it's the loyalty thing.

"You know what it's like with football fans, if someone is loyal and has been there for years and years you sort of value them (more) than someone who has won you trophies - not that there are many people that that applies to at Palace.

"We could be at the bottom of the 'Evo Stick Fifth Division Rowntree Fruit Pastille' section of the league and everyone would be like 'no you can't have a go at Dougie!"

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