Long-serving defender to leave Palace this summer

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Crystal Palace defender Martin Kelly will leave the club this summer
Crystal Palace defender Martin Kelly will leave the club this summer

PALACE defender Martin Kelly has confirmed that he will leave the club after spending eight years at Selhurst Park.

Kelly will leave Palace once his contract expires in June and will say farewell to the club where he made 148 appearances since 2014.

The defender's best moment for Palace came in 2016 as he scored the winner against Tottenham Hotspur to earn the club a spot in the FA Cup final.

On his exit, Kelly said: "Although the last couple of seasons have been frustrating not playing as much as I'd like to, I've always tried to be professional and help the lads off the pitch as well as on the pitch, and to help the younger lads coming through.

News Shopper: Crystal Palace's Martin Kelly (left) is tackled by Bournemouth's Philip Billing during the Carabao Cup match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
News Shopper: Crystal Palace's Martin Kelly (left) is tackled by Bournemouth's Philip Billing during the Carabao Cup match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

Crystal Palace's Martin Kelly (left) is tackled by Bournemouth's Philip Billing during the Carabao Cup match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

"I've tried to find ways to make my worth in the squad whether I've played or not.

"I've always kept myself ready and as fit as possible for when the chances came, and I leave on a positive from the club because they gave me the chance over the past eight seasons to play for such a big side in London.

"They will be forever in the memories of me and my family, and we'll always be part of Palace."

Chairman Steve Parish has praised the defender for his "dedication" during his time at the club.

He said: "Martin has shown a unique level of dedication while serving Crystal Palace.

"From his earlier seasons with us that established the club in the Premier League to his role as a senior, leading member of the squad, he has given no less than his all to this club in whatever position he was asked to play.

“We’ve had some big, important wins against some big teams with Martin in the team and he’s made a massive contribution to where we are today.

"He leaves with the very best wishes of everybody here."

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