Crystal Palace hosted the Down’s Syndrome Eagles at training ahead of Saturday’s game against Watford, with the players meeting the first-team, boss Patrick Vieira and his staff.
The Down’s Syndrome Eagles is a team of Palace-supporting players with Down’s Syndrome ranging from primary school age to their early 20s.
The team has been together for seven years, training weekly and playing friendly matches and tournaments.
They are run by Palace for the Life Foundation, with sessions being vital in helping players develop their social and communication skills, as well as motor skills such as agility and coordination.
The players spent the morning at the training ground, watching the first-team train, talking with and getting autographs from the players and even going through a few drills themselves. The lads then took penalties against Jack Butland.
Conor Gallagher with some of the Down’s Syndrome Eagles (Picture: Sebastian Frej)
Writing in his Watford programme notes, manager Vieira said: “We recently hosted the Down’s Syndrome Eagles at the training ground.
“They watched our training and got involved with our warm-up.
“We wanted this to be a fun day for them, something they could talk about and remember, and I hope their parents enjoyed it as much as they did. These young men are true Palace fans.”
Palace beat Watford 1-0 thanks to a Wilfried Zaha penalty.
Eberechi Eze with some of the Down’s Syndrome Eagles (Picture: Sebastian Frej)
Pictured top: Palace boss Patrick Vieira meets one of the Down’s Syndrome Eagles (Picture: Sebastian Frej)