Eddie Izzard, the “total dress freedom” comedian and actor who has acquired National Treasure status since his marathon running exploits for Sport Relief, has been named as an associate director of his favourite football club, Crystal Palace, pledging to be “a determined bastard” to do what he can to help the club win “every game from now until the end of time”.
Izzard has been a Palace supporter since 1969 and the club said today that it is “delighted to have him on board in this new capacity”.
The entertainer is well-known to be a generous benefactor of causes in which he believes: he donated a six-figure sum to the Labour campaign to have Ken Livingstone elected as London Mayor earlier this year.
In a statement issued by the club, Izzard said: “With Dougie Freedman as our manager and the new young players coming up through our Academy – I hope that Crystal Palace will be pushing forward to new heights with all of them succeeding to the best of their ability – and further.
“All I really want is for Crystal Palace to win every game from now until the end of time. That’s all.
“I know that’s a tough thing to ask but that really is what I want. You see, I’ve been a fan or a supporter of Palace since 1969. At times I’ve been a fan and at times I’ve been just a supporter because I’m afraid I’m a bad loser and if we don’t win games – I don’t deal with it well. I tend to swear in front of children and shout at televisions in pubs.
“I know everyone has to deal with this and I’ve tried to mature my behaviour as my life has progressed, but in this one area I am still like the teenager I was in the 70s, living and dying every week for the football games I was playing myself or watching Palace play.”
“So I have circled the idea of trying to do something to help Palace for years and now I’m in. What I can actually do – I’m not sure. But if you know anything about me, I am a determined bastard and I don’t like to give in.”
Izzard is not the first high-profile comedian to be involved in football. Some Eagles fans maintain that comedians have been running Millwall for years (boom! boom!). But the likes of Tommy Trinder, at Fulham, and Eric Morecambe, at Luton, were long-term club directors, while other show business figures, such as Robbie Williams at Port Vale, Elton John at Watford and the Gallagher brothers at Manchester City have all dipped into their pockets at their clubs’ time of need.
“I am delighted that Eddie has signed up to be an associate director at Palace,” Phil Alkexander, the Palace chief executive, said. “He is an iconic entertainer and we hope that he can find enough time during his busy year to attend as many games as possible.”
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