UK time is: 11:55:13
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Bruce Not So Dyer Lesson For Walcott

Seeing Theo Walcott join Arsenal last week will stir up nostalgic feelings for Crystal Palace fans. Selhurst Park was once the hot destination for teenage prodigies. In 1994 the Eagles signed a then 18-year-old Bruce Dyer for a £1million plus fee. Like Walcott, Dyer was a striker who could also play on the wing. They both commanded seven figure transfer fees after playing a modicum of professional games, and scoring against Luton . . . and there the similarities end.

Dyer, if the rumour mill is to be believed, arrived at Selhurst Park after a typical piece of Ron Noades scouting. While watching the then prolific Paul Furlong at Watford, Noades’ eye was caught by the performances of his young strike partner. Dyer impressed during the 1993/94 season with his individual goal scoring ability and joined Palace for the closing stages of their promotion season.

After a number of substitute appearances for Palace Dyer was selected for the England Under 20 squad that travelled to the Toulon tournament. In a squad that contained a young Robbie Fowler, Dyer was England’s top scorer and regarded as the star turn of the team that lost to France in the final.

After this successful summer hiatus the 1994/95 season was not a good time for Dyer. As Palace floundered in the league, he struggled to get a game. It was not until Palace were back in the second tier that he started to make an impact on the first team.

One of the defining features of Dyer’s play was the imperfection of his technique. He had an unerring ability to miss hit the ball with both power and accuracy - something that had to be seen to be believed. He was also the master of a trick that can best be described as the ‘slow motion step-over.’ Facing a retreating defender Dyer would bring his right foot over a slowly moving ball. While his opponent continued to retreat Dyer would repeat this motion several times, and the ball would trickle on. Just before the ball became stationary Dyer would spring into action and the game would resume it’s normal pace. The ‘slow motion step-over’ left spectators wondering whether they had just witnessed an act of skill or a bizarre pact between attacker and defender to indulge in some mutually agreed mid-game rest time.

Highlights of Dyer’s time with Palace included a hat trick against Leicester and an FA Cup encounter with Leeds. Dyer caused the then Premiership side a multitude of problems and scoring one goal from the penalty spot. In a move that perhaps typified his time at Selhurst Park, Dyer later had the chance to win the game, but saw his second penalty of the match saved by Nigel Martyn. The ball rebounded off the legendary custodian to his feet, but with the goalmouth gaping Dyer side footed inexplicably, and agonisingly, wide of the post.

Popular with his team-mates, who nicknamed him ‘The Yardie’, Dyer was often infuriating but at times spectacularly effective. Dyer was never prolific, his most plentiful season bringing a haul of 18 goals. Despite this he maintained a fairly healthy relationship with the Palace supporters, who honoured him with his own immortal chant of: “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce Dyer.”

There were rumours linking him with a move to Athletico Madrid at one point of his Palace career, but Dyer eventually left Selhurst Park for Barnsley in 1998. While he may never have fully justified his transfer fee Bruce Dyer can feel proud of his efforts for Crystal Palace.

Theo Walcott meanwhile has the footballing world at his feet and can go as far as he wants in the game. His development will be exciting for all England fans, except maybe those who also share a passion for Southampton.

History will show whether Arsene Wenger is a better judge of a player than Ron Noades.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 24 2006

Time: 9:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Arsene Knows!! Nuff said.
Rocky7
Report Abuse
05/03/2006 23:47:00

Indeed it will simon. But there agin. The best always want to go to the top teams.
FEn_100
Report Abuse
30/04/2006 22:44:00

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Crystal Palace Articles

Palace 0-2 West Brom - Prem (Sunday April 19 2015)

Audio - Pardew On WBA Loss (Saturday April 18 2015)

Stats: Crystal Palace v West Brom (Saturday April 18 2015)

McArthur Relishing Albion Game (Friday April 17 2015)

Audio - Pulis Gets Pardew Praise (Friday April 17 2015)

Palace v West Brom - Team News (Friday April 17 2015)

The Crystal Palace Injury List... (Friday April 17 2015)

Pulis' Palace Praise (Thursday April 16 2015)

Archived Crystal Palace Articles

List All Vital Palace Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

1. noburberry 3

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
8. Swansea 33 13 8 12 -4 47
9. Stoke 33 13 7 13 -3 46
10. West Ham 32 11 10 11 2 43
11. Crystal Palace 33 11 9 13 -3 42
12. Everton 33 10 11 12 -2 41
13. WBA 33 9 9 15 -14 36
14. Newcastle 32 9 8 15 -18 35

Breaking League News

Palace 0-2 West Brom - Prem
» Crystal Palace : 19/04/2015 11:31:01
Some random thoughts to argue over
» Chelsea : 19/04/2015 11:28:01
Everton 1-0 Burnley - Prem
» Burnley : 19/04/2015 10:53:01
So What If We Parked the Bus!
» Chelsea : 19/04/2015 10:42:00
Van Gaal - Best Performance of the Season!
» Man Utd : 19/04/2015 10:30:01

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

WBA MotM
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Speroni 0%
Ward 0%
Dann 0%
Delaney 0%
Ledley 0%
Puncheon 0%
Jedinak 0%
McArthur 0%
Zaha 0%
Murray 0%
Bolasie 0%
Sub - Souare 0%
Sub - Gayle 0%
Sub - Sanogo 0%