AN Orpington man who sold programmes at Crystal Palace FC for over 30 years received a standing ovation on his return to Selhurst Park.

It was the first time Clive Waters, 60, of Orchard Road, had attended a game since he suffered a stroke last June.

The Palace faithful rose to their feet when his presence was announced over the loud speaker at Crystal Palace v Middlesborough on February 16.

He watched the game from an executive box, with the home team running out 4-1 winners in a fine performance.

Affectionately known to fans as Sido because of his side burns, Mr Waters, who is something of a legend at the club, has been an Eagles' supporter since 1959.

Speaking after the game, he said: "It was a very good day. I was shocked really (to receive such an ovation from the Palace fans). And the team got a good result.

"I really enjoyed it - I brought a friend along and met the manager and some of the players, including Glenn Murray who is doing so well at the moment."

Mr Waters was also given two half-season tickets by the club.

He said: "It was very nice to receive the half season tickets - I really wanted to go to the Bristol City match in mid-week but I couldn't make it unfortunately."

He has been to around 1,300 games and cites his highlight as being the 4-3 victory against Liverpool in the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1990.

Crystal Palace FC Co-Chairman Stephen Browett said the club’s efforts were the least they could do for such an iconic figure.

He said: "I have been going to games since 1970 and for as long as I can remember Clive has been selling programmes at Palace.

"He is a bit of character and it was sad to see he had a stroke. It is nice for the club to do something for him."