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Dougie Freedman

Clubs: Queens Park Rangers, Barnet, Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Southend

International honours: Scotland
Caps while at Palace: 2

Scottish international striker Dougie Freedman was the club's first-ever signing from Barnet in September 1995. Genuinely two-footed, nimble, neat and inventive, Dougie's great tally of 20 goals from 42 appearances in his first season in the First Division was an invaluable contribution to Palace's progress in 1995/96. The season also included a remarkable 11-minute hat-trick for Dougie against Grimsby Town in March, the fastest in Palace history.

Dougie's most important goals during his first spell at the club were his two late strikes against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1997 play-off semi-final, which took the club to Wembley and ultimately the Premiership.

The following season Dougie left the club for Wolves but after a brief spell at Nottingham Forest he received an ecstatic response from Palace fans when he re-signed in October 2000. Dougie quickly repaid the supporters faith in him by netting four times in his first four games while many fans believe that his brace against Portsmouth in the penultimate game of 2000/01 and a late winner against Stockport County in the final game of the season to secure First Division survival were his major contribution to the Palace cause.

Dougie continued to score regularly for the club and only six men stand above him in the rankings for highest scorer. In November 2005, in a match against Brighton, Dougie became the seventh man to score 100 or more goals for the club and then in February 2006 against Millwall he became only the 11th man to make 300 appearances or more for the Eagles.

However, with the arrival of Neil Warnock at the latter part of 2007, Dougie found a starting place hard to come by and, after making 20 appearances at the beginning of the season, was sent out on loan to Leeds United. By the end of the season he had made 11 league appearances and scored five goals to help the Yorkshire outfit gain a Play-Off spot. His goal in the 2-1 first round defeat to Carlisle helped them secure a place in the final after winning 2-0 in the return leg.

So Dougie made one final appearance for Leeds at Wembley against Doncaster. However, the south Yorkshire side proved too strong and ran out eventual 1-0 winners to break Leeds hearts.

At the beginning of the 2008/09 season, Dougie returned to Selhurst Park. But, after making one more appearance against Fulham in his testimonial - where over 7,000 people turned out to say their goodbyes -  he left Crystal Palace for League One side Southend United.

Statistics

Player of the Year: 2002

 

Season

Games

Goals

1995/1996

44

20

1996/1997

50

14

1997/1998

9

0

2000/2001

28

11

2001/2002

42

21

2002/2003

34

11

2003/2004

40

15

2004/2005

23

3

2005/2006

41

8

2006/2007

37

3

 2007/2008

20

2

Total

368

108

Source: The Men Who Made Crystal Palace, Rev. Nigel Sands (Tempus, 2004)

Dougie Freedman scores atgainst Stockport County to keep Palace in the First Division

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