When Crystal Palace fans sing ‘I’m Palace ‘til I die’ they really mean it.
It might even be argued their chants hold more weight than others, after a study found life expectancy among Eagles’ male supporters to be among the highest in the country.
Yesterday (May 8) a report was published looking into the varying length of time fans of teams in football’s top four tiers live in relation to their local stadium.
Suburban Crystal Palace, which has a large following in Bromley, ranked in the ‘Premier League’ of health – up with the likes of Fulham and Chelsea, albeit towards the bottom end.
Millwall and Charlton however, inner city clubs, came in a league below in 19th and 20th respectively. Supporters in those patches are likely to live until the age of 76.
The analysis is based on the first 100,000 people living nearest each ground, and uses data taken from Public Health England (PHE).
It was prompted by a policy editor in national media, Chris Cook, who said he heard Aston Villa fans sing the famous chant when he saw them play Palace.
He commented: “Male life expectancy (which, to be blunt, was the issue for that crowd) among people living in that Villa catchment is just under 73 years. For south London-based Palace, it's 78.
“It's all a bit rough and ready. People move, and they choose teams on more than geography, but it turns out that fans from that Villa heartland of Birmingham are probably not making much of a commitment.”
The study highlights the social inequality and division up and down the country, with the likes of Liverpool and Birmingham right down in Division Two with life expectancies of just 72 for men – the equivalent of Syria in broader terms.
Regional director for PHE in London Dr Yvonne Doyle said: ‘‘Cancer and circulatory disease contribute to over 40 per cent of inequality in life expectancy for 11 London boroughs (including Greenwich and Lewisham) where male life expectancy is lower than the England average.
“The evidence is clear – a person’s likelihood of dying early varies widely between boroughs due to differences in risk factors such as being overweight, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, and that these are closely linked to economic deprivation.”