Former Crystal Palace prodigy John Bostock has finally opened up on his time with the London side and the controversial manner in which he was made to leave.

Now at French side Toulouse, the 26-year-old midfielder made his debut for the Eagles at age 15, having joined the side in 1999. 

Bostock was one of the most hyped youngsters during his time at Palace, but he would anger fans after making a £700,000 move to Tottenham in 2008. Things hardly went as planned, though, as he was loaned out on five occasions before moving to Belgian side Royal Antwerp in 2013.

He has since played for OH Leuven, Lens and Bursaspor.

Palace TV recently caught up with the club's former starlet and 2016/17's Ligue 2 Player of the Season, and he would detail the events surrounding his move.


"I was born just south of the river, and I grew up in West Norwood about a 10-minute drive [from here],” he said.

“I was a normal south London boy with a passion to play football from a very young age. Football was always the thing that I wanted to do and that entered into every single part of my life. I was a happy kid with a ball under his arm."

The player's father was a Palace season ticket holder who took his son to games.

“It was the same seat every season after that until I was 15,” he recalled. “I had every kit, home and away, with my name on the back. It was actually 'John' - it wasn’t 'Bostock' – it was always 'John' with my age on the back, whatever age I was. I even had the keeper kits, gloves and all sorts – I grew up Palace crazy!


“It was probably around the age of 14 or 15 when Barcelona made their interest [known]. They actually offered me a contract and asked me to sign for several years, which was obviously very attractive but we didn’t think it would be in our best interests. Growing up in England you just think about the clubs here, you don’t think of going abroad as an option. So when that came it was something you really had to consider.

“I was just a kid. I was a 15-year-old and all I wanted to do was play football. You don’t really have that much say [at that age] so you have people to make decisions for you in faith that it’s the best decision, so that’s how it kind of came about. It may have looked like it was a change of mind but I think there was a disappointment at the offer and then some persuasion from other interested parties.

“I could have chosen any club in England, but Spurs came really hard with the interest; put pressure on my parents, put it on my agent by setting a deadline to sign and so when Palace didn’t quite match up to what my managers thought I was going to get, in terms of a contract, Spurs were there putting on pressure."

“It happened so fast,” he added. “I remember coming home from school and being told I had to sign this contract and I was like: 'Wow, really? Is this the best thing?' Everyone around me was saying it was and even though I was big for my age, probably a bit more mature, I still didn’t know what was best for me.

“You’re not worried about money at that age, you just want to be playing and focusing on playing first-team football and representing my country at youth level. But the people around you worry about other things. Everybody’s got an opinion, and now that I’m older I can make decisions for myself. You learn from these situations."

Bostock now plies his trade in France and his name has long faded from the memory of English fans. Yet you'd imagine he's still remembered - not so fondly - by the Palace support.

Who knows, though? He might just return one day to fulfil the promise he showed as the youngster who burst through to the senior side at the tender age of 15.