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Issue 4 February 2017


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THE EDITOR F

rom an Albion perspective, 2016 was statistically the best 12 months in the club’s 116-year history. An astonishing 28 wins between January 1st and December 31st garnered 96 points, 79 goals, a points-per-game tally of 2.13, and number one spot in the whole of England. Unsurprisingly, our friends from up the road finished last/92nd/rock-bottom-ofthe-pile with an appalling 27 points, 14 behind the next worst. Let’s hope they improve just enough so we can – potentially – have a derby again. The New Year sees Albion in the best chance of promotion to the top flight since 1979. Winning ugly – as you have to do to go up – is becoming a more common occurrence but no-one is complaining. Chris Hughton keeps shuffling his pack and picking aces each time.

The way the whole team surged forward after Knockhaert’s equaliser at Fulham was one of the most awe-inspiring sights I’ve seen as an Albion fan, and I’ve witnessed Peter Smith running with the ball. Glenn Murray is now officially an Albion player and Chuba Akpom has arrived on loan from Arsenal to strengthen our options up top. We can now ‘concentrate on the league’ after Lincoln City’s deserved victory in the FA Cup. TAM has increased by 16 pages and our website – www.thealbionmag.com – will launch soon. We’ll be dedicating four pages to Albion Women from issue five and have secured the services of two more excellent writers. Onwards and upwards.TAM.

P3: Editorial P4/5: Nick Szczepanik P6/7: Steve Brewer P9: It was 20 years ago today… P10/11: We nearly went to the Dogs… P12-15: AITC P17: It’s why we all love it… P18/19: An unheralded genius P22/23: A Seagull Down Under P24/25: The Mark Farrington Memorial Garden P26/27: TSLR P28: Leon Cox P30/31: Brighton But Only at Home’s Classic Away Days P33: NSC P34/35: Cult heroes # 3: Bas Savage P38: Vicki Lank P40/41: Simon Levenson P42/43: Nic Outterside P44: Anthony James P50/51: Joe McBride’s match reports P50/51: Firmballs P52/53: Signing up to my future P54: Lewes FC P56/57: Goldstone Wrap P58: The Dirty Tackle

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P40

P12

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UTA Dan Tester

P52 The Albion Mag is owned and produced by FFP, 6 Marlborough Place, Brighton BN1 1UB All content enquiries, please email: info@thealbionmag.com

Editor - Dan Tester: editor@thealbionmag.com Designer - John Shannon: johnnyshannon.co.uk Cover - Danny Last: instagram.com/lastdanny/

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The train (not) taking the strain

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ow has the rail strike been for you? Me too. As a football writer whose workplaces are mostly the stadiums and training grounds of southern England, the past few weeks have been testing, to put it mildly. A match reporter who hated travelling would be in the wrong job. But it’s always easier when you can take the train rather than spend hours on the M25, or the A27 and other cart tracks leading to Southampton and Bournemouth – even when there are engineering works, rail replacement buses and the usual breakdowns and mess-ups. The experienced traveller develops a sixth sense and always, like soul singer Angie Stone, has a back-up plan. I got to Euston on the way to Molineux one Saturday morning to find every train on the departure board described as ‘Delayed’. Worse still, hundreds of Millwall fans

making the same journey were getting progressively more disgruntled on the concourse. Rather than hang around waiting for the fault to be rectified (or not), I headed immediately for Marylebone and a train to Birmingham Moor Street – slower, but moving in the right direction. And free of Millwall fans.

The Times once allowed almost every sports writer on their staff to take their summer holidays in the same fortnight, leaving only me and someone based in Newcastle, available to cover an early-season InterToto Cup tie at Villa Park. I lost. And geography is not always an editor’s strong point.

“Training grounds are mostly out in the sticks, nowhere near the clubs’ stadiums, and some present a challenge to the train traveller.” Sometimes, of course, the only option is to fling the laptop in the boot and hit the road. In midweek, waiting around after games for quotes and then rewriting the report means that the last train is too early to get me home to Brighton from anywhere beyond London.

One weekend I asked for a Saturday game somewhere near Stafford, where my wife was attending a conference. “How about Rotherham?” Mm, okay. “Oh, and can you do Hull on Sunday on your way back?” Eh? By my calculations that was over 150 miles out of my way back.

Employers don’t always help.

Driving time is wasted time.

Nick Szczepanik is a football and NFL writer whose byline has appeared in every national daily paper (yes, even that one) but mostly in The Times and The Independent. An Albion fan since the 1960s, his ambition is to report on the club in Europe.

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Training grounds are mostly out in the sticks, nowhere near the clubs’ stadiums, and some present a challenge to the train traveller. Arsenal and Tottenham are based just off the northern stretch of the M25. The closest station to Arsenal’s headquarters is St Albans, and then it’s a cab or the shopper bus to a nearby retail park. Tottenham’s is a 20-minute walk from a station called Turkey Street (me neither). Getting to matches is usually much easier. Most new grounds have been sited with sustainable transport in mind. Not all, of course – Oxford moved from one suburb on the opposite side of the city from the station to another. And a station was built next

(Image: The Evening Standard)

Where rail travel is an option, you can write up previews from pre-match press conferences on your way home rather than having to do them at the training grounds before heading out into what, by then, might be rush-hour traffic. That’s if you’re lucky, of course. Some clubs eject journalists as soon as possible after interviews have finished, which means repairing to nearby cafes if you want power for your laptop – the coffee shop at the Waitrose next to Beckenham Junction station in Palace’s case, a garden centre at Chelsea.

to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, but trains are not allowed to stop on matchdays in case they get too full. At Bolton, the railway line to Preston passes about 100 yards from the main stand, but originally there was no station. That led to an interesting conversation on one of my early visits to the Reebok Stadium in the late 1990s. I was enquiring at reception about cabs back into Bolton when an official overheard and offered me a lift. He introduced himself as Paul Fletcher, chief executive, which rang a bell. I knew he had held the same post at Huddersfield Town when they had built the McAlpine Stadium and that new Albion director Martin Perry had also been involved with the Terriers’ ground. So I steered the conversation in that direction and Fletcher waxed lyrical before asking me

why I was so interested and I explained that I was a Brighton fan. “Oh, Martin will get your new stadium built, don’t worry about that,” he replied. It took a long time and plenty of effort from fans and directors, but Fletcher was right in the end. And it was built next to a railway line. Unfortunately, that line is presently served by Southern Rail, who regularly manage to cut the rest of the country off from most of Sussex. However, the club has worked wonders in laying on alternatives on strike days. Perhaps they could take over Southern and run it properly. In the meantime, thank goodness for Thameslink. And that’s not something a regular train traveller ever expected to say. TAM. @NickSzczepanik

Nick has a new book out, Pulp Football. Football is about goals, great players and glory. But it’s also about own goals, goats and the game gone wrong. The book looks at the comedy rather than the beauty of the world’s favourite sport.

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deteriorated when Clough heard rumours of Fashanu’s predilection for visiting gay bars in his free time, something the legendary manager did not take to particularly well. Fashanu spent time on loan at Southampton before being sold to Notts County, and then the Albion.

Justin Fashanu A new year is traditionally a time to look forward, but for this column I want to start by looking back and focusing on a name which I know I’ve mentioned in the past but whose story is, I feel, worthy of telling in more detail.

W

hen Justin Fashanu joined the Albion for the princely sum of £115,000 in June 1985, he came with the tag of having been Britain’s first black footballer to command a £1 million transfer fee, when he moved from Norwich City to Nottingham Forest in 1981.

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But, he was also regarded as someone who had never really fulfilled the early potential he’d shown at Norwich when winning six England under-21 caps and scoring 40 goals in 103 games. Brian Clough had signed him for Forest, but their personal relationship

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His Albion playing career only lasted for 16 games – and two goals – before he suffered a knee injury which finished any chance he may have had of making a career for himself at the top level. He subsequently moved to America and played at various clubs both, and in the lower leagues in England and Scotland, but it was the interview he gave to The Sun in October 1990 which was to define his career – and indeed his life. Justin became the first professional footballer to come out publicly, and claimed to have had an affair with an unnamed married Conservative MP he met in a gay bar, although he subsequently retracted this in an interview with Gay Times magazine. Although he claimed that, on a personal level, his sexuality was generally well-accepted by his team-mates, it felt to him as though clubs seemed to have little or no interest in signing him after the interview was published,


and he was also forced to deal with abusive comments and chants from crowds at clubs he did manage to get contracts with. Justin’s story, of course, came to a tragic end in May 1998 when he committed suicide in a garage in London, having fled the USA where he was facing charges of sexual assault. He claimed in his suicide note that the incident under investigation was consensual. With the recent stories in the press that up to three professional players in England were in talks with the FA about publicly revealing their sexuality, as well as the comments by FA chairman Greg Clarke that, in his belief, an openly gay player would suffer “significant abuse”, I think it’s worth considering and discussing the reception that an openly-gay player would receive were someone to come out in 2017. On the one hand, I believe that societal views of homosexuality have changed significantly since 1990 when Justin came out and I think it’s fair to say that people in general are more accepting of it than has ever been the case in the past. On the other hand, however, social media gives people a much greater platform from which to air their views which, coupled with the degree of

“His sexuality was generally well-accepted by his team-mates, it felt to him as though clubs seemed to have little or no interest in signing him after the interview” anonymity that posting things on sites like Twitter can provide, has led to multiple notable cases of footballers receiving appalling abuse about their personal lives. The recent case involving Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter, who suffered the heartbreak of his daughter being stillborn, proves that there will always be those who use the relative safety of hiding behind a keyboard to air views they wouldn’t express to someone’s face. Sadly, you would have to be very naïve to think that an openly-gay footballer would not be subject to similar treatment from a vocal minority. As a footnote to Justin’s story, we should consider comments made by his brother John in a 2012 interview where he claimed Justin wasn’t actually gay and, instead, was just an

attention seeker. A later revelation from John was that, at some point, he paid Justin £75,000 to stop him coming out publicly, to spare their family from embarrassment. As anyone who has been in Justin’s situation will tell you, coming out is not something that anyone would do just for attention’s sake. It’s one of the toughest times in life for any LGBTQ person, and I hope that if and when a professional footballer in this country does take the step, they are respected for their choice, rather than being seen as an attention seeker and an embarrassment by those closest to them. This will be the real litmus test of how much attitudes have changed in the last 27 years. TAM. Steve Brewer

@SteveJB84

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It was 20 years ago today…

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his year marks two decades since the Goldstone was demolished and the Albion nearly disappeared from the football map. Free-flowing football, being top of the league, a great chairman (who cares about the club), and padded seats in our very own stadium seemed like a completely alien and unachievable concept at the time.

Each issue, we’ll be taking excerpts from Brighton & Hove Albion On This Day to give you a flavour of the rollercoaster that was 1997… SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY 1997 A very special day in the history of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Albion fans had been protesting all season and North Stand Chat was the place for fans to discuss ideas and all things Albion. Plymouth Argyle fan, Richard Vaughan, suggested fans from every club in the league should lend their support and call for Archer and Bellotti to

leave by turning up for the Hartlepool United game. Fans United was born. The rain and mist didn’t dampen the remarkable scenes: fans from clubs around the world roared the Albion to a 5-0 victory. The result effectively saved the club from relegation – adding to goals scored – to the Conference and possible oblivion. A truly inspiring occasion. SATURDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 1997 A 2-1 Third Division defeat at Carlisle United will only be remembered for one reason; Hereford hero Robbie Reinelt made his debut…

SATURDAY 8TH MARCH 1997 In an incident-packed campaign most of the action was taking place off the pitch. Not this time, though, as Leyton Orient visited the Goldstone Ground. A real belter of a contest exploded into life as Craig Maskell scored twice in the first seven minutes. Unbelievably, Orient were then 3-2 up by the hour mark. Ian Baird equalised only for Scott McGleish – still reviled by Albion fans to this day – to fire the Londoners into the lead again. He celebrated wildly in front of the North Stand, much to the chagrin of the home crowd. Then all hell broke loose: O’s defender Mark Warren was sent off and veteran Ray Wilkins was lunged at – and fortunately missed – by a pitch encroacher. Scottish winger Paul McDonald then levelled from the spot with five minutes remaining to make it 4-4. What a game! TAM.

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ALBION ROAR Join Ady and Al on the Albion Roar, a Brighton & Hove Albion fans’ independent radio show, on Radio Reverb 97.2FM every Saturday from 12-1pm. You can listen in on FM, via www.radioreverb.com, and on DAB. Alternatively, catch the podcast at www.albionroar.co.uk.

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bout six times a season, two friends from near Arnhem in the Netherlands take a road trip over to Brighton to watch the Albion play at the Amex. Werner Schröer and one other, usually Lido Schuffelers-Bron, make the seven-hour journey, laden down with beers for their hosts and a yearning to take in a game or two – and a little more of Brighton & Hove Albion’s history. On their most recent journey, back in December, Ady and I were delighted when Werner and Lido graced the Radio Reverb studio as guests on the Albion Roar. Their stories of why they support the Albion from over the North Sea, the club’s profile in the

Netherlands, plus their fanzine Dutch Seagulls (I would say it’s excellent, but I don’t understand a word of it) were great to hear. This show is available at www.albionroar.co.uk. During the show, they pointed out that, on one of their first visits to England, they went to Hove to take a look around the site of the Goldstone Ground, take pictures and make their own historical archive. Sadly for them, when they showed them to other fans, they had to suffer the

It was also a stark reminder of the dark days we went through. We all have our favourite memories of the Goldstone Ground, and over the passing years, probably

We all have our favourite memories of the Goldstone Ground, and over the passing years, probably with the passing of time, more happy ones than sad. indignant embarrassment of being told they’d visited the Greyhound Stadium. So, during their recent visit, I joined Werner and Lido in visiting the real site of the Goldstone Ground. Having parked outside Toys R Us (the retail outlet which receives the most ire for being on that site), we walked over to the ancient gold stone, took some pictures, and strolled around a circuit of

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the old ground site. What became apparent very quickly – although I don’t suppose the dark grey skies which promised rain helped – was how miserable the whole experience was. For their part, Werner and Lido couldn’t get their heads around there ever having been a football ground where they stood. It was pretty awful.

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with the passing of time, more happy ones than sad. But being there that cold, miserable day last month, seeing people unhappily fulfilling their Christmas obligations, drives home how long the party has been over on the old site. It once was ours and it was ripped away from us when we weren’t ready. The 20th anniversary of Fans United is nearly upon us. A 16


year-old Plymouth Argyle fan Richard Vaughan’s simple yet brilliant idea was the inspiration for what was a Red Letter Day in the club’s history, and the start of an entire fan movement. Even though it was a foggy day, Fans United Day – 8th February 1997 (no Albion fan should ever have to go to look that date up) – was also one of our brightest. The club had bottomed out and it marked the day we started taking it back. Fans from over 65 clubs across Britain and Europe descended on Hove to support our plight. We won 5-0 (how vital was that come the final reckoning?) and for that I feel we owe it to those fans who supported us in our cause to return the favour should dark clouds ever gather on their horizons. Right now, so much seems rosy in our garden in comparison at the Amex, but back then we really were fighting tooth and nail for the future of our club – a fight where we could not guarantee the right outcome. All options for our future were on the table – including extinction. And this fate is currently befalling so many other clubs. Fans at Hull City, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City and Charlton Athletic are

in seemingly permanent conflict with their clubs’ owners, and each dispute appears stuck in stalemate.

opaque council business and more. Go to any social media and Google ‘#Lewisham4’ and follow the story from there.

But the dispute which really sticks in the craw is the one going on at Millwall. At the time of writing, Lewisham Council intends to approve a compulsory purchase order for a luxury housing project surrounding The Den, and Millwall FC could be adversely affected. It’s a complicated story, more than these pages can host, but suffice to say this project is more bent than Marcus AND Junior could ever hope to offer. It stinks of conflicts of interest, political skullduggery, greed,

It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about Millwall or their ‘top boys’, this is about the awful notion of history repeating itself; football clubs being uprooted on the back of greedy property speculators. Clubs like Millwall are at the heart of their communities and need protecting. Their fans are grouping together to fight ‘City Hall’, and they need some support. They certainly have ours. TAM. Alan Wares @albionroar

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ALBION IN THE COMMUNITY

Brighter Outlook running group A group of friends, who met through AITC’s physical exercise programme for people with recent experiences of cancer, are to take on a 10k run. The running group has been set up as one of the options offered by Brighter Outlook, a free, personalised physical activity programme for people living with or beyond cancer in Brighton and Hove. It is run by AITC, funded by NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, and supported by Macmillan Cancer Support. Now in its second year, Brighter Outlook has already helped more than 200 people to become more physically active. Research has shown that, in most cases, staying active during cancer treatment is

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safe and also has a host of positive impacts on health and fitness, including reduced fatigue, improved mood and decreased risk of the cancer reoccurring.

Hannah Howard is one of the Brighter Outlook runners and as well as the Monday sessions she now also regularly takes part in a local 5k Park Run with her son.

Brighter Outlook offers a variety of free-to-access activity options for people to suit all ages and abilities, from budding runners to seated circuits.

She said: “Being part of Brighter Outlook is incredible. I was never that into running before my cancer. It really makes me feel better and more positive every time I take part in a session, while also providing a sense of

The new running group meets every Monday morning at 9.30am by the Peace Statue in Hove and the session is proving particularly popular despite none of the participants having had any previous experience of running. In fact, the impact of the sessions has been so positive the group has now targeted completing Brighton’s BM10k in April.

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www.movemoresussex.org.uk.


control and satisfaction in my day-to-day life. “The key part of the programme is the social side. Everyone knows where you are coming from and have had similar experiences which give us a connection and someone to talk openly with.”

was told by my consultant to lose weight and get fit to help fight my type of cancer and our Brighter Outlook coach’s advice on the amount and type of exercise I do is invaluable.”

visit: www.brighteroutlook.org.uk or call: 01273 668591. If you live outside of Brighton and Hove but would be interested in similar support, visit: www.movemoresussex.org.uk

For more information on Brighter Outlook,

Fellow running group member Birgit Miller is also a big fan of Brighter Outlook. She said: “I

Now in its second year, Brighter Outlook has already helped more than 200 people to become more physically active.

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ALBION IN THE COMMUNITY

Help AITC in 2017 Albion in the Community is asking Albion fans to help it continue its award-winning work in 2017. AITC is the largest provider of disability football in the area and regularly helps more than 150 people to play the sport. It now runs more than 30 sessions throughout Sussex and has recently launched a number of new disabilityspecific sessions, including one for junior players with cerebral palsy or who walk with a frame, and another for young people with autism.

And, for those who prefer their challenges on two wheels, AITC is recruiting for its Albion to Ajax Cycle Challenge in June, which will see riders cycle to Amsterdam. There is also a range of volunteering opportunities available for people who want to offer practical support to the charity in 2017.

It costs AITC up to £5,000 a year to run a weekly disability football session, including venue hire and the cost of providing qualified coaches, which is why the charity’s fundraising work is so important.

And, for those for who a half marathon or lengthy bike ride is a daunting prospect, AITC’s health team also has a number of new programmes on offer in 2017, aimed at helping people get into shape.

And, with people getting started on their New Year’s resolutions, AITC is hoping to convince some fans to use their resolution to fundraise or volunteer with the charity – not least those looking to set themselves a physical challenge to complete in 2017.

Emma Brockhurst, AITC’s fundraising events executive, said: “A lot of people set themselves physical challenges as part of their New Year’s resolutions and it would be brilliant if some people could combine this with raising money for our disability football work.

AITC has charity places available for the Brighton Half Marathon on February 26th; the BM10K and Brighton Marathon on April 9th; and the Warrior Run on April 23rd. The Warrior Run, in particular, represents a fantastic opportunity for people to take on a significant

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challenge. The event, which takes place just a few miles outside of Brighton, is a 7K, 50-obstacle race and one of the muddiest in the UK.

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“It is a fantastic way to get the most out of your resolutions – get fit and raise money for charity at the same time.” If you would like more information on how to fundraise for AITC, email: fundraising@ albioninthecommunity.org.uk

fundraising@albioninthecommunity.org.uk


Gully’s Days Out end-of-year party

Gully’s Days Out provides fun days out for young people and adults with additional needs. Supported by American Express, Gully’s Days Out has more than 500 members and during 2016

took time out of their busy schedule to attend the event, posing for photographs and signing autographs. Elsewhere, Gully’s Days Out members were given the chance to meet a menagerie of animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, hedgehogs and a chinchilla. There was also face painting, arts and crafts, a photobooth,

Brighton & Hove Albion players Uwe Hünemeier and Oliver Norwood were among the guests at an end-of-year party thrown by Albion in the Community (AITC).

Phoebe loves Gully’s community party and looks forward to it every year

visited a host of local attractions. Staff from Brighton’s biggest employer volunteer on each trip.

children’s entertainer and table football as well as party food and an appearance from Gully, the Seagulls’ official mascot.

To celebrate the end of 2016, AITC and American Express organised a party at the Amex which was attended by more than 100 members and their families.

Paul Brackley, who heads Gully’s Days Out for AITC, was delighted with how the event went and said the charity was looking forward to another successful year of Gully’s Days Out trips.

Albion first-team players Hünemeier and Norwood

AITC is now accepting membership for 2017. For more information 01273 668590 gullysdayout@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.

He said: “It was great to welcome so many of our members and their families to the stadium for the party and having Uwe and Oliver come along made it extra special. It was also nice to be able to celebrate with a number of our volunteers from American Express. “Throughout the year they provide valuable respite to our members’ families or carers while making the trips as enjoyable as possible for the members themselves. Gully’s Days Out really would not be the success it is without American Express and we are hugely grateful for the company’s continued support.” Local mum Linda McGowan said: “Phoebe loves Gully’s community party and looks forward to it every year. When you have a child with additional needs, going out can be difficult sometimes. On a supported Gully’s Day Out, everyone accepts each other and the volunteers can’t do enough.” TAM.

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It’s why we all love it… There are 70 minutes on the clock and I’m biting my nails, along with most of the Albion supporters at Craven Cottage Just when we thought the feeling couldn’t get any better this happens: Knockeart’s strike rebounds off the keeper into the perfect position for Dunk to smash the ball in the back of the net with the most powerful header I’ve ever seen. At that exact moment, 6,500 Albion fans created a mini earthquake in the Putney End stand. These are the moments we live for…

However, it hasn’t always been like this. SATURDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2008

My first Albion game. I was nine-years-old and this was the first game of football I’d ever seen live. Despite losing 1-0 to a nine-man Walsall, I had such an amazing time and the memory has stuck with me my whole life. Before that day I’d had always supported Manchester United because they were the most popular Premier League team. That was the standard route as a youngster because you wanted to support one of the best teams out there. A team in the Premier League. Arguably one of the best leagues in the world.

It was all about supporting my local team that I could watch every other week. I quickly cared less and less about people making fun of me for supporting a non-Premier League team. Their boasts, of supporting a ‘better’ team than me, were quickly silenced when I asked them how many times they had seen their team play at their stadium. Watching my team develop and grow from such a young age has been such a special experience for me and it’s great to see them playing better than ever this season.

Paul-Hazlewood BHAFC

We’re 1-0 down to Fulham and the way we’re playing it looks as if we’ll be lucky to get a point out of this one. Now there’s 73 minutes on the clock, Hemed is taken down, the penalty is given! A calm and collected Tomer Hemed slots the ball to the right-hand side of the keeper and we all go nuts. We scream, cheer, jump and hug one another.

As I grew up supporting the Albion, supporting a club of the calibre of Chelsea or Barcelona, suddenly became unimportant.

Cain Suleyman, 18, is a student at the BRIT School, London, studying Musical Theatre and Photography

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An unheralded genius

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nderrated’. ‘Under estimated’. Two phrases the national media are starting to use when describing Chris Hughton. I think it is because it’s true. True to the extent that I think in Chris Hughton, we have the most underrated manager in the country.

When I started writing this article just before Christmas, little did I know our good run of form would go from decent to brilliant! I was writing on the Sunday after a euphoric Saturday in Birmingham, after a day on the beers in the amazing Christmas market, and a last-minute Glenn Murray winner. Since then, we have won all our games, in a run that has seen five straight wins in a sequence of 18 games undefeated stretching back to TAM2! Small in stature, softly spoken, unassuming in character, yet Hughton must be one of the most respected men in the game. When he arrived, we were relegation fodder, doing our very best to drop in to League One with a team void of any ideas, passion or direction. Now look at us. We have averaged over two points a game for nearly 18 months, sitting pretty at the summit of the Championship. What a turnaround! In a recent press conference, a journalist asked Hughton about his second anniversary at the club and the transformation he has made. He

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talked about his first task being to stop a defence haemorrhaging goals. The second was to formulate patterns of play to suit the squad he inherited. And the third – to build on the team’s survival and make the Albion competitive again. It was an intriguing listen, one which, to me, re-affirmed just how underrated he is. It is no coincidence he is bringing success to our club. He comes across as a very articulate man, whose preparation knows no bounds. I also love his calmness. Even in the most euphoric moments during his tenure with us, he never looks more excited than ‘mildly satisfied’. When there’s pandemonium all around, there’s one man whose feet are firmly on the ground, making sure the job is done. He is quiet and studious, when others are not. This is what I believe makes him a great manager. Whenever a manager is sacked, Hughton’s name is never in the frame, but he has worked wonders wherever he has been. His, and our, relative success seems to frequently go under the national media’s radar. I can’t figure out why, but it is good for us. Fans of Newcastle United, Norwich City and Birmingham City always speak highly of him. Albion fans love him too! He led the Toon to a Championship title with 100 points and 100 goals before harshly being sacked in


(All images: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)

the Premier League, with the Magpies sitting 12th. It was a dismissal which shocked the locals. He was described as bringing calmness, dignity and respect to the famous club. That is a sentiment I would very much attribute to Hughton and what he has done for Brighton now. At Birmingham, he took the helm for a Europa League campaign, as well as leading the Blues to the play-offs, where they suffered semi-final heartbreak – much like us last year. He kept the Canaries up

A CV like his doesn’t come around that often, so why he is often overlooked is beyond me. Here, Bloom has given him something not many managers – bar Arsene Wenger – gets. Time! In a footballing world where money is king, Hughton has enjoyed comparative success spending barely any. Yes, we have spent more than we ever have before, but we don’t have the luxury of parachute payments like everyone around us. We also don’t have

“In a footballing world where money is king, Hughton has enjoyed comparative success spending barely any.” on the final day of the season, before being shown the door in his second season with Norwich sitting five points clear of the relegation zone. Their loss was our – quite frankly – brilliant gain. Hughton’s managerial path had seen him promoted from the Championship and avoiding relegation from the Premier League. That vital experience gained at a higher level is now paying dividends with us.

There are other great bosses with loads of potential, but they are never given time, especially if there’s a bad run of results. Look at Gary Rowett, Gary Monk and Paul Clement. All have done well, but none were given time to improve and realise their potential. They lost their jobs. It’s a shame football is such a cut-throat business, but it not surprising, given the financial rewards for being in the top flight. Hughton and Bloom appear to be the ideal match. A manager with tremendous potential – a chairman prepared to back his man with time and money. It’s not something you see too often in the game these days.

too many superstar players, like other teams.

Let’s hope it leads to our Premier League dream! TAM.

Chatting to mates the other day, I suggested Poyet had more much better players at his disposal when he was in charge, but Hughton has made a much better team, a close knit outfit with a togetherness like I’ve never seen before. That is a huge credit to the manager and how well he has done since he arrived.

Brett Mendoza

@BrettMendoza

@TheAlbionMag

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Seagulls Down Under The Albion is a big part of people’s lives, and not just in Sussex. In his own words, a fan from the other side of the world tells us his story…

“J

ohn Sowden, Sydney Seagull’ are the words proudly inscribed on my bit of history at the Amex. My fanatical support of the Albion began in 1966, when I was 9. My Dad took me to the Goldstone to see Brighton versus Scunthorpe United, in the old Third Division. Even now I can remember walking up the steps and peering out into the sunlight, and the sight and smell of the beautifully cut green grass. I must admit I don’t remember much about the game, but I did know that I was converted for life. I do recall many freezing cold afternoons against the likes of Southport, Leyton Orient and Carlisle, standing on the East Terrace, firstly with my schoolmates and then with my close friends and girlfriend who was destined to become my wife. The hip flask filled with whiskey was an absolute must! Another odd memory was the visit of Luton Town who ran out in the most lurid cerise coloured kit I have ever seen in my life! The first team in the early to mid-1970s, I recall, had Brian Powney in goal, John and Kit Napier, Norman Gall, Eddie Spearitt, Fred Binney and, of

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course, the wizard on the wing, Peter O’Sullivan. Harry Wilson was left back and seemed to have a liking for slicing his clearances on to the East Terrace. A worthwhile team was starting to come together by 1976. After the brief spell of Brian Clough as manager, and then Peter Taylor, Alan Mullery took the reins. I’ll never forget the midweek thumping of Walsall. I stood behind the South goal and witnessed, right in front of my eyes, all seven second-half Albion goals; shared between Peter Ward and Ian Mellor. I was fortunate to have a South Stand, front row, season ticket for the glory First Division years when there were too many highlights to mention. “He shot he scored, it must be Peter Ward” was on all of our lips! In 1979, I finished my degree, which included a thesis on goalkeeping. I rang up the Albion and Eric Steele invited me to spend a couple of days training with him to see the professional side of the game first hand. I was playing a lot of football and squash at the time, and thought myself pretty fit. At the end of the second day with Eric, I could hardly stand up! The FA Cup

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run of 1983 holds many memories, especially when my wife’s hometown team, Norwich City, visited the Goldstone in the quarter final. A wayward shot fizzed past the post and was heading straight for my wife’s head, like an Exocet missle when, nonchalantly, I leaned across, caught the ball, and saved my wife from almost certain pain! The semi-final at Highbury against Sheffield Wednesday was a very special day, which in many ways eclipsed the Wembley final itself. I have replayed the video of ‘and Smith must score’ many hundreds of times, in the hope that the shot will eventually just squeeze under Gary Bailey and give us victory! In December 1986, I watched my last-ever live Albion match against Bradford City in Division Two, which ended in a disappointing 2-2 draw. The next day we were off to live in Australia. We settled in Sydney and I have been privileged to work at four of the country’s top


“I do recall many freezing cold afternoons against the likes of Southport, Leyton Orient and Carlisle, standing on the East Terrace.”

As I have a wonderful family of six children, it has been impossible to get home, even for a holiday. Nevertheless, my passion for the Albion has never wavered. I rarely miss a

live Radio Sussex commentary via Seagulls Player, even if it means staying up until 2am for kick-off. I wasn’t there when we survived at Hereford, but I was listening to every kick! At last count, I have over 50 Albion kits, including every home, away and second away versions from the last 35 years! Both my eldest sons, Tim and Tom, have visited Withdean and the Amex and it is my ambition to return home for a visit and once again chant ‘Seagulls, Seagulls, Seagulls’ live from the stands!” TAM.

private schools, teaching Maths and, of course, coaching football and running the sport as Master in Charge. I currently work at The King’s School and a chance encounter five years ago with the president of Seagulls Down Under resulted in the REMF charity match, Oz version, being hosted at the Wanderers’ field at King’s. The match has now been played annually for four years and the scores have seen three wins for Seagulls Down Under, and a draw!

@TheAlbionMag

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The Mark Farrington 2 W 1 e, as Brighton & Hove Albion supporters, have a long and glorious tradition of celebrating virtually any signing as the second coming of Christ (or Bobby Zamora) without actually knowing anything about them.

A new player arrives and the hype machine on forums and social media goes into overdrive. They are exactly what we’ve been missing/one for the future/a bargain buy. And then, more often than not, they float off into obscurity a year or two down the line. The latest of these was Jack Harper, signed amid great fanfare from Real Madrid only to have now departed to Malaga without a first-team appearance to his name. In honour of young Jack and his Albion ‘career’, we’ve put together a top five of recent players who were meant to be good but were actually rubbish.

Joe McBride’s match reports CARDIFF CITY 0-0 ALBION ALBION 2-0 LEEDS UNITED 24

JACK HARPER

The man who inspired this article. Signing a player from Real Madrid looked good on paper – if you conveniently ignore he was actually in their C team which, in the Spanish football structure, is the equivalent of Sussex Sunday League Division Two. Plenty of people did this. Harper did, however, have a positive effect on us at WeAreBrighton.com when Nando’s approached us to run an article on his signing, and how he was a regular in their latest shop, in exchange for a lot of free chicken. The snag? The restaurant in question was at a certain Goldstone Retail Park. Great research from their people on that one.

DIEGO ARISMENDI

Uruguayan international. Cost Stoke £2.5m. Rocked up on loan towards the end of the 2009/10 season amidst great fanfare. His only memorable contribution was a brilliant red card for fighting at MK Dons away. Even more brilliantly, Wikipedia notes that Arismendi forced one of his neighbours to move due to being ‘a noise pest’ and hosting late night parties on a regular basis. What a man.

And then, more often than not, they float off into obscurity a year or two down the line

CARDIFF CITY 0-0 ALBION 03/12/16

Albion miss chance to go top After Newcastle lost their second successive match, Brighton would have leapfrogged their promotion rivals with a win. However, they were frustrated by

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Cardiff in a stalemate neither side looked like winning. Albion did have the ball in the net via Glenn Murray but there was a foul by Duffy in the build-up. A late Bong dismissal left Albion with ten men but the game ended how it started. Goalless.


memorial garden 3 4 5 CRISTIAN BAZ

GRAEME SMITH

In the YouTube generation, Cristian Baz was the ultimate YouTube footballer. After his signing from Argentinian Division Three side Comunicaciones, Albion supporters flocked to the video sharing site in a desperate attempt to garner something about the young Argentinian. What lay in wait was a number of videos showing spectacular long-range goals. Based on this evidence, Baz was destined to be a star. Except, of course, that his only contribution in his one season at the club was a cheeky penalty dinked down the middle to win a firstround FA Cup shoot out at Woking. He had style, but frankly he wasn’t very good.

After several seasons of dominance of the number one shirt, it finally looked like Michel Kuipers would have a worthy challenger for 2009/10 when Russell Slade signed Scottish goalkeeper Graeme Smith from Motherwell. It all looked so good on paper. He’d helped ‘Well to a third-place finish and been called up to the Scotland squad along the way. What we all forgot in the hullaballoo around his arrival at Withdean is that Scottish football is rubbish and this became pretty evident when he conceded five goals on his debut at Huddersfield after Kuipers had been sent off. He was released after ten games in which he conceded a commendable 30 goals.

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ALBION 2-0 LEEDS UNITED 09/12/16

Albion close gap Glenn Murray broke the deadlock from the spot after 20 minutes after a penalty was awarded for handball – and Leeds were reduced to ten men. Albion dominated,

JOE GATTING

Yes, we know Joe Gatting wasn’t actually a signing but sod it, he is going on the list. He was a player who was scoring goals for fun when Mark McGhee threw him into the desperate battle for Championship survival in 2006 and heralded him as the striker we so badly needed, despite the fact that 90% of supporters don’t actually bother to watch the youth team. He managed five goals in 52 games before switching sports and taking up cricket with moderately more success. And no, we didn’t realise he’d played 52 times either.

@wearebrighton

forcing saves from Green. However, despite constant pressure, it took the Albion until the 82 minute to double their lead when Dunk was brought down and Hemed completed the scoring from 12 yards. @Joseph_McBride_

@TheAlbionMagUTA

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EXILES

I

t’s a warm summer’s day and I shout, really quite loudly, ‘Seagulls!’ across the road. I have spotted an Albion shirt over the road and he turns as if I’ve called his name, he pumps his fist in the air and walks on. It’s Whitworth Street West in Manchester outside the old Hacienda club and people think I’m mad. The site of a fellow fan warms me – I hope it’s mutual – and we both just go about our business.

This is the reality of being an exile. A fan in a foreign city of a team that rarely registers on the radar of most fans. To see some stripes, and then for them not to be that of Wednesday or Wigan, is really quite a treat for the likes of us. That’s not to say there’s not many of us outside Sussex – There’s plenty. The most I saw was in a pub showing the first leg of our play-off game against Palace in 2000-whatever. I had put a note on North Stand Chat inviting exiles to watch in one place and I counted 50 souls in there that night. Not bad, eh? I have been in Manchester over ten years and all these exiles seem to fall into one of four groups. Firstly the martyrs. The ones who have season tickets and go. And I mean week in, week out. It’s a long, long drive that costs a significant wedge – hundreds of pounds – every other week. I envy them in ways but we all know those fans who really have not a lot else going on. They’ve made they’re choice. They married Brighton and Hove Albion.

www.tslr.bigcartel.com

Joe McBride’s match reports BLACKBURN 2-3 ALBION BIRMINGHAM 1-2 ALBION 26

BLACKBURN 2-3 ALBION 13/12/16

Top of the league! Albion extended their unbeaten run to 15 games after a win at ten-man Blackburn. Duffy gave his side the lead, converting an Oliver Norwood corner.

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After the break a Stephens’ volley doubled the lead. Sam Gallagher grabbed one back but Murray chipped Albion’s third late on to secure the points. ExBrighton skipper Gordon Greer was shown a second yellow card in the 74thminute for a foul on Murray.


Then there’s the lonewolves. There’s loads of these. Exiles who you recognise from away games, have seen in the pubs when we’re on Sky, but are quite happy keeping themselves to themselves. They’ll wear a scarf but are far happier in the company of a freshly printed programme than that of an Albion fan. There’s the opposite too. Gangs of exiles who snowball in size as a Sussex accent is heard or a car sticker is spotted. I was part of a gang once – a medley of students and Albion immigrants – who met at Piccadilly Station once and decided to sit together and stick together. Add a few cans and the camaraderie of simply being in a niche group and friendships are formed for life. I met Ant and Annie in this way (they went on to start the NSK group) while Sam and Loz, two strangers studying up here, went on to become best

of Sussex earth and whose blood was actually brewed in Lewes.

mates. We’ve all gone our separate ways now but I love seeing them at the Amex at Christmas or whenever. Finally there’s the oddest of the bunch. The actual northerners. The mud-blood offspring of second and third generation Brightonians who moved up a long time ago and brought their kids up the only way they knew how. The accents would cut through the small away crowds at midweek trips to Bury or Huddersfield and you realised what they were. Truly inspirational and a bit of an eye opener to me who thought Albion fans were exclusively born

I’m jealous of those who can go to the Amex week in-week out. A routine potted with prematch pints in some of the best pubs in England, which you just happen to have as locals down there. Sitting in the same group each game and then seeing regulars in those concourses that act as vast, fantastic social clubs at Falmer. You don’t know how lucky you are. But we’re lucky too. As exiles we have odd accents, but our identity is forged through our rabid commitment to our local team – a team that people really, really don’t know much about up here. It’s instinct to shout when you see another exile. I’ll never stop, you never know who you’re going to meet, but you know you have one fantastic thing in common. TAM. Sam Swaffield

@SamSwaf

Sam Swaffield is the co-founder of The Seagull Love Review (TSLR), the Albion fanzine that ran between 2008 and 2014, releasing 60 issues as the club moved from Withdean to the Amex. TSLR now release unofficial Albion merchandise online for fans who aren’t into the whole megastore thing.

BIRMINGHAM 1-2 ALBION 17/12/16

Last-minute drama at St Andrew’s After a stalemate first half, Blues started the second brightly and took the lead with a well-executed Jutkiewicz header on 52 minutes. Albion struggled to

break down the home side but a bit of magic from sub Solly March set up Knockaert. Momentum was now with Albion and in the final minute of stoppage time, Murray converted from a corner to earn a huge three points, and just a point behind leaders Newcastle.

@TheAlbionMag

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Anything but Craven (Fulham Away) I normally try to get to at least one a season and the trip to Fulham for New Year 2017 seemed like the perfect choice. While the West London club currently has no plans to move from its quaint old ground, we don’t know how many more opportunities we might get. My partner Tanya elected to drive us up as she had a tip-off from her wily awaydayer dad regarding some free all-day residential parking just a few minutes’ walk from the ground, plus – y’know – the railways, right? Making an early start we beat the traffic to the extent that we arrived fully four hours before kick-off. No matter, ‘twas a fine winter’s day and the Thames made for a perfect spot for a stretch of the legs, to take in one of the more ‘well-heeled’ areas of London.

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Numerous runners wearing all the gear, high-end hounds taking their constitutionals, and the yummiest of mummies playing with their little cherubs in the park…

fixtures (despite Stockdale’s penalty heroics at the Cottage – once again in top form against his former employers), their supporters looked somewhat nonplussed on the way out.

An idyllic scene, marred only by the two young children in their scale electric Range Rover who carved us up on the footpath. We lunched at a hip(ster) place on the river: The Blue Boat – recommended for fancy ravioli and a decent pint.

I think most of us were concerned when Hemed argued his way to taking the penalty, but it turns out we needn’t have worried. The stats show he’s actually one of the best in the game at dummying the keeper. The club’s ‘Sea of Crimson’ promotion may not

“Game time and the Albion faithful were out in force. Estimates say there may have been almost 7,000 there.” Game time and the Albion faithful were out in force. Estimates say there may have been almost 7,000 there – more than a full house at Withdean used to be (pre-expansion). Fulham can justifiably feel hard done by to have come away with nothing from both matches against us. Having outplayed the Seagulls for extended periods and taken the lead in both

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(All images: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)

I

’ve hardly missed a home game in years but, due to lack of money and other commitments, I’ve never been a regular away supporter.

have been in evidence looking at the terraces (or perhaps just too many of us wrapped in overcoats), but the red tide was in full effect when Dunk went on his second-half rampage. It felt as though the entire Brighton side, all force of will and indignant defiance, were bearing down on Button’s goal after he parried Knockaert’s shot. And: scenes. What a lovely day out. This remarkable season continues.TAM Leon Cox @ratsoalbion

caneandrinse.com


Join Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s official business club and entitle your company to host of exclusive benefits. Powered by Albion’s business club partner, Network My Club, Network Albion provides one of the most exciting networking opportunities in Sussex for business of all sizes.

BENEFITS OF JOINING • 1 x place at monthly networking events at the Amex Stadium • Company listing in the match day programme for every Albion home match (approx 9,000 sales per match) • Company profile page on the Network Albion website • Promote offers to other members, local businesses and Albion fans on the Network Albion website • Exclusive use of the Network Albion logo • Be part of a group of local trusted suppliers for Albion fans • Monthly members e-newsletter • Discounted rate to join or attend business clubs powered by Network My Club throughout the UK

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP PER COMPANY £600+VAT (one month free) or £55+VAT per month

JOIN To join the business club, please contact the Network Albion team at Network My Club at info@networkalbion.co.uk or visit www.networkalbion.co.uk.


Classic Away Days No.3 Brentford

L

(image: www.goldstonewrap.com)

BRIGHTON BUT ONLY AT HOME’S

a number of reasons – and four of them are pubs. It’s a short train journey (relatively speaking) and then you arrive at a ground with a pub on each corner. Having missed the cup match I arrived for the league match in March 1988 as a naïve 16-year-old with two other away games to my name. Brighton fans were smashing up one of the pubs as I arrived and I was quickly frogmarched to outside the

et me take you back to the 1987/88 season. The Albion had been relegated to the third tier of English football the previous campaign and were under the ever-interesting stewardship of Barry Lloyd, a man famous for his Gull’s Eye caricature, his ashtray and the song ‘Barry, Barry, Barry – Out, Out Out’.

Having been in the top two divisions for nearly a decade we’d perhaps forgotten what it was to play in round one of the FA Cup and we were drawn away at Brentford, a side we’d previously played in 1975. We won 2-0 and Nelson scored (apparently) one of the best goals ever seen in an Albion shirt. I say ‘apparently’ because there’s

Yet he also guided us to promotion that season and very, very nearly got us in to the top flight, albeit with a negative goal difference.

“Having been in the top two divisions for nearly a decade we’d perhaps forgotten what it was to play in round one of the FA Cup”

In 87/88, however, Lloyd had a decent team at his disposal. In fact, we had (for the level we were playing at) two outstanding strikers in Kevin Bremner and Garry Nelson and a quality, psychopathic centre back named Doug ‘Is Evil’ Rougvie. Current fans will appreciate how far quality in those positions gets you.

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no footage of it and I wasn’t at the match. I did go to Brentford that season though. I just picked the wrong game. I’ve had to make do with Al from the Albion Roar’s descriptions of the goal, which get more flowery with each pint. Brentford is a classic destination for Albion fans for

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away end where we were kept waiting by a jolly turnstile operator who one wag had named ‘Ploppy the Jailer’. I stood through an unmemorable 1-1 draw, was chased back to the station by a police horse and thrown on a train full of noisy Brighton boys. Any sensible young man would have made that his last away trip. It turns out


We play Brentford away on Sunday 5th February, thanks to Sky moving Huddersfield to a Thursday but it remains, for now, a destination with an atmospheric away end and those four pubs. There is also a keen rivalry in the boardroom and a good deal of similarity with us. Hardly surprising when you consider their owner, Matthew Benham, is a

Matthew Benham

from the statistical betting he and Bloom have in common. He uses a statistical approach around the club to try to get value for money. They espouse good attacking football throughout the organisation. Benham could even have been said to have made similar mistakes with managerial appointments in the past, inexplicably getting rid of Mark Warburton who had them punching way above

brightononlyathome.wordpress.com/

(image: www.goldstonewrap.com)

Benham is a real fan who attended his first Bees game at the age of 11. He bailed them out of a £500,000 hole initially and has since pumped in tens of millions – at a conservative estimate. Part of his fortune has come

Gary Nelson scores

their weight. Warburton was replaced with the unknown Marinus Dijkhuizen who lasted all of eight games. Now, however, they have a conventional manager in Dean Smith and are the only team to win at the Amex this season. They are also edging painfully slowly towards building a new ground at Lionel Road, though building work is yet to start. With a terrace for away fans, the four pubs and a bit of revenge in the air I’d expect tickets for our Sunday date to sell fast. The way we’re going it might be the last time we play them in a while. No doubt that would give Tony Bloom even more reason for celebration.TAM. Jason Thackeray

(image: Londonist)

Over the years that’s what Brentford has become for me. A place where off the field is more interesting than on it, unless we play them in the cup when I’m not there (I also missed Chris O’Grady, of all people, scoring at Griffin Park). I have, though, found an open pub at 11am on New Year’s Day. bumped in to a very old school friend who I didn’t even know supported us in the middle of the away terrace and joined in with ‘bantz’ directed at an enormous man on his own in the home seats – ‘he’s taking up two seats’ etc.

(image: Dave Shopland)

I’m not sensible.

former business partner of Tony Bloom who has fallen out with our chairman.

Lionel Road

@TheAlbionMag

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I Never Felt More Like Singing The Blues… …when Brighton win, and Palace lose. Ohhhhh Brighton, you got me singing the blues!

Exiting that dear old ground glowing with the warmth only an Albion win can give, thoughts would turn to other results around the country. Smartphones were still some years away so, unless the bloke behind you in the ground had an AM radio pressed to his ear, you’d not get a proper chance to properly take in other scores until you got back to your car or, perhaps, settled in front of Teletext (kids: ask your Dad) at home. Needless to say, finding out that Palace had been stuffed was always the icing on top of an Albion victory cake. The 2015/16 campaign brought many such treats

to Albion fans. Palace being well and truly Pardew-ed was, at times, a humorous diversion from the stresses of our own season. This season, one NSCer, ‘kingcole’ decided to make this particular interest a step further and, weekly, back the Albion to win doubled with Palace to lose. He’d start off with a £10 wager and, if successful, the stakes for the next bet would increase by 50%. When any particular bet lost, the stakes for the next would be reset to the £10 level. He took to NSC to document how this went for him. Things started well, a season opening bet of Albion to beat Forest and Palace to lose to West Brom paid out at a little over 7-1, and his pot immediately swelled to £80.18. From there, the Albion had a little early season stutter whilst Palace enjoyed their only real positive results of

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£

the season, but then things took an upturn for one side and a downturn for the other and kingcole’s pot has gradually increased ever since. The New Year saw Albion eek out a win at Craven Cottage with more than a little bit of good fortune. The following evening Palace entertained Swansea in a ‘must win’ encounter. Surely Big Fat Sam would be able to earn his first win since taking the job? No, no he couldn’t. After equalising, Palace fell apart, allowing Swansea to take all three points. It was a true footballing delight. Swansea’s late winner gave a bumper boost to kingcole’s pot which, at the time of writing, stands at a not-too-shabby £452. Will Allardyce’s arrival signal the end of the good times for kingcole’s ongoing wagers? TAM. You can follow his progress here: cgul.co/singblues

£452

00

@TheAlbionMagUTA

(Image: www.goldstonewrap.com)

T

his particular song might be new to some younger Albion fans, but it was a mainstay of the Goldstone era and would be sure to feature on ‘Now… that’s what I call Albion terrace chants from the 80s’.

p

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3

Cult # heroes Bas Savage

B

asir Mohammed ‘Bas’ Savage is the latest entrant into the Cult Heroes list. Whilst he was far from blessed in the talent department, he sure made up for it with his likable personality, famous celebration, and controversial exit from the club. Savage grew up in Wandsworth and was snapped up by Reading as a youngster, where he was mainly deployed as a wide midfielder. After falling out of favour, he joined Bristol City where he netted his first career league goal against Scunthorpe in 2005/06 season. He was generally well liked at City due to his extravagant style of play, but he once again found himself down the pecking order and was released. Gillingham was his next stop but Savage and the club were unable to agree further terms and once more he was shown the door.

(All images: Paul Hazlewood - BHAFC)

This is where his career gets interesting. Dean Wilkins’ young Albion side had made a faltering start to their 2006/07 campaign and it was a lack of goals that were costing them dear. The big man was brought in on a one-year contract in January 2007. He quickly endeared himself to the Withdean faithful with four goals in his first eight appearances which helped the Albion pull away from a relegation battle and into mid-table obscurity. His spell at

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(All images: Paul Hazlewood - BHAFC)

Brighton was relatively fruitful for a man who had struggled to consistently score goals throughout his career. Savage has scored just 29 times during his career, nine during his 12 months at the Albion. What his spell at the club is really remembered for is the nationwide fame he achieved for his ridiculous moonwalking celebrations. Savage was a keen dancer and would practice his signature move on a regular basis (possibly more than his football?). It certainly paid off and his dancing caught the attention of Soccer AM who would showcase his dancing skills on a weekly basis. There were T-shirts and TV appearances: for a fairly mediocre player playing in a mediocre League One side. Savage’s unorthodox playing style had certainly endeared himself to Albion fans. He was as strong as a bull, reasonably quick and had that ability that only exists in the lower leagues of being able to dribble with the ball without ever being in control of it. My favourite Savage goal came away at Hartlepool United. I was living in Newcastle at the time and therefore Albion games were a rare treat. I had to be satisfied with away trips to places like Carlisle, Doncaster and the aforementioned Victoria Park in Hartlepool. Emotions were high for this game following the sad death of young Hartlepool player

Michael Maidens who had died in a road traffic accident just a week before. The game was tied at 1-1 going into injury time when Savage picked the ball up on the left wing. Without ever seemingly having the ball under control he managed to beat several United defenders (via a possible hand ball) before curling the ball beautifully into the bottom corner to win the game. Savage performed his trademark celebration. But, Bas Savage unfortunately, due to the layout of Victoria Park, this ended up taking place just several yards in front of the grieving relatives of Michael Maidens (unknowingly to Savage, of course). This sparked a borderline riot between the two emotionally charged sets of players with both clubs picking up fines. Dean Wilkins had a cup of tea thrown at him from the crowd and games between the two clubs have carried a certain edgy element ever since. Never has the performance of a moonwalk caused so much trouble.

question but in hindsight, breaking the bank on a player of Savage’s limited calibre would not have made much commercial sense for a club in Albion’s position at the time.

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Cult # heroes

In November 2007, Dick Knight began contract talks with Savage. However, it became clear the two parties were on different pages, despite Knight offering a much improved 18-month contract. With time running out (Savage’s contract was due to expire in January), it became clear that an agreement would not be reached. The ambition of the club was being called into

Savage joined Millwall, where he featured in just 11 matches. A reasonably successful time at Tranmere Rovers preceded spells at Dagenham and Northampton. He currently plays for Thai side TOT. In truth, he is from a large collection of former Withdeanera players for whom the grass was never really greener. He never hit the heights of what he achieved in his 36-game spell at the Albion. He will always be fondly remembered for his occasional moments of brilliance, multi-coloured haircuts, his awkward style and for executing probably one of the best goal celebrations in Albion history! TAM. Tom Stewart

@OfficialTStew

BRIGHTON GHTON BRI HOVE ALBION ION VE ALB & &HO BAS SAVAGE BAS SAVAGE

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(image: Paul Hazlewood BHAFC)

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Terrace Humour Good Old Sussex By the Sea.

H

owever you choose to sing it: whether you’re a Stand Or Fall sort, or you’d rather be Going Up To Win The Cup, it is, unmistakably, the definitive Brighton & Hove Albion anthem. Our Blue Moon, our On The Ball City: our You’ll Never Walk Alone even.

It’s often lamented that we don’t hear it as much these days, that it’s been left behind in favour of simpler, shorter or more modern songs. In truth, it does sometimes feel like that’s the case, which makes it all the more special on those occasions where the massed ranks of Seagulls rise up as one and join in. Better still, when it starts, slowly and heartily, with the full first verse too. These days, the Amex crowds belt it out with increasing enthusiasm as the boys take to the field for home games, in a manner and volume that, let’s be honest here, was never done

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at the Goldstone pre-match. The rendition prior to last season’s play-off against Sheffield Wednesday sent shivers down the spine. Football crowds can be full of genuine wit at times, and I wish they’d show it more often. Advising opposition fans that their support isn’t – euphemistically – all that good, feels tediously predictable these days. I’ve always had a notion that, if the Albion somehow found themselves competing in Europe, a section amongst our support would observe, without even a trace of irony, that Monaco’s a ********, I Wanna Go Home. One of my favourite Albion crowd moments came during a game against Mansfield Town during the Gillingham exile. The Town goalkeeper emerged in a fetching yellow and black hooped jersey, and soon found his every goal kick greeted, not with the usual abuse, but by a furious

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buzzing noise coming from the ‘home’ fans assembled behind his goal. You could see him struggling not to giggle as he lined his kicks up. A chorus of You Only Sting When You’re Winning was ultimately topped by What A Waste Of Honey, to laughter all around the (small) crowd. Another occasion saw Albion fans at the KC Stadium responding to the Hull contingent suggesting You’re So Southern, You’re Practically French with Bonjour, Bonjour, We Are The Brighton Boys. More of that sort of thing, please, and less of the lazy, school playground abuse. It’s starting to look like now might just be our time to be marching towards the Premier League. Come the season’s end, hopefully ALL our hearts will be gay. TAM. Victoria Lank

@ThickBlueLine


Festive Idiocy

A

s a teenager I can safely say the festive season brought out the idiot in me. Back in 1967, I decided that, at the age of 13, I was perfectly capable of travelling to the game at Shrewsbury two days before Christmas, thus defying a parental ban. Three years later I was obviously older and wiser and with two others hit upon the idea of walking to Reading for the Boxing Day fixture to raise money for Pat Saward’s ‘Buy A Player Fund’. Thus, December evenings were spent knocking on doors to collect money to bring some new talent to club. By the time Christmas Day Pat Saward

arrived we had the princely sum of £100 in our coffers. By this time I think my father either thought this might be an easy way to get rid of a troublesome teenager once and for all, or had seen the weather forecast and knew the project was doomed from the start. Ever the optimists we reckoned we could easily average three miles an hour, so at three o’clock on Christmas Day, myself, former Sussex groundsman

Once inside the garage we took to running on the

“The club rewarded us with tickets for the cup tie and season tickets for the remaining home games of the season.” Bob Major and for some reason I can’t recollect, Leeds fan Phil Lorimer, set off towards the Downs under threatening skies. We hadn’t bothered to check the forecast and within minutes were walking through a blizzard. Yes, I know we should have given up there and then, but fortunately teenagers know everything so we pressed on. It wasn’t long before the decision was made to thumb a lift and were soon in the back of a van which deposited us in the village of Slinfold, near Horsham.

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By now it was dark and we were starting to really feel the cold so we wandered down a long drive where we could see lights in the distance and knocked on the door. Fortunately, the owner took pity on us and allowed us to shelter in his garage. To this day I have no idea who he was but remain eternally grateful. We really should have used his phone to ring my father to rescue us and I have no idea why we didn’t ask.

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spot to bring some sort of warmth to our frozen bodies. Then, in a moment of inspiration, I tried the door of the black Bentley parked in the middle of the garage and to our delight it sprang open. We climbed inside and huddled together on the back seat for warmth and even managed a few hours’ broken sleep. We left as soon as dawn broke and without waking our anonymous host headed off through the snow. Our plan was to make it by some means to Redhill and catch


the train to Reading in time for the game. And before you ask, back in those days British Rail ran a regular service on Boxing Day. East. We were lucky enough to find two or three benevolent motorists and by noon arrived at Redhill station only to be met by a sign that read: ‘Reading versus Brighton match postponed due to snow’. After a few audible obscenities we trudged wearily on to the platform to catch a train home. A warm bath and 24 hours solid sleep cured my aching feet. We decided to keep the £100 and present it to the club before the FA Cup tie in Cardiff the following month. Any residents of Withdean wanting their money back please contact the editor (Ed: Thanks, Si!)! The club rewarded us with tickets for the cup tie and season tickets for the remaining home games of the season. In February, the club set up a properly organised

Thanks to the generosity of Tony Bloom, there’s little danger of sponsored walks being required to raise funds these days. Here’s hoping this is the year that his generosity is rewarded with promotion to the Premier League. TAM. Simon Levenson

@Kampervan

Simon Levenson @kampervan Simon used to work for BBC Sussex as a producer on home matchdays and previously presented the non-League round-up on Saturday evenings. He has been following the Albion since watching his first game in 1962 and rates winning promotion to the old First Division at Newcastle United as his favourite Albion moment. And Hereford, the most stressful.

(All images: The Goldstone Wrap)

Bert Murray

sponsored walk along the seafront, which attracted hundreds of fans and raised enough for the club to complete the purchase of Bert Murray. The man who would become known as the People’s Player was to prove an inspiration as form improved rapidly. The following season the Albion carried almost all before them with Saward’s attacking brand of football, finishing runnersup to Aston Villa to regain a place in the Second Division for the first time in a decade.

When he’s not following football, Simon writes for Brighton’s satirical Treason Show. Pat Saward

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A sublime day in May

M

y paternal grandfather’s abiding passions were his vegetable garden, barley wine, horse racing and Newcastle United Football Club – not necessarily in that order. But one thing was certain, enter his living room any time after 4.40 on a Saturday afternoon – once the BBC tele-printer was running – and there was complete silence, as he waited for the Newcastle result to come in. Grandfather, or ‘Pop’ as he was known, was born and raised in Throckley, seven miles west of Newcastleupon-Tyne, the son and grandson of coal miners at the village’s Maria Pit. He was Geordie to the bones. He had moved south in 1933, during the Depression, with my gran, my dad and his three siblings, to find work and a better life. With his health failing, aged 86, he returned north early in 1979, following the death of my gran. He wanted to live out his final years on his beloved Tyneside. So, we come to the evening of Friday 4th May, 1979, and I

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Peter Ward goal

am sipping a large whisky with Pop at his comfortable new home on Tyneside and talking excitedly about the reason I am staying with him for the weekend. I am enthusing about my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion and their end-ofseason fixture at St James’ Park against his beloved Magpies. He smiles, asks me

the top of a remarkably tight Second Division table, with just one point separating the top four clubs. A win would secure us promotion to the First Division for the first time in our history against a Newcastle side in ninth place, with little to play for, bar pride. So that morning, in bright sunshine, but with a chill wind in the air, I hopped on the local train into the city.

“I am sipping a large whisky with Pop at his comfortable new home on Tyneside and talking excitedly about the reason I am staying with him for the weekend” to pour him another whisky – this time with a splash of ginger wine – and whispers: “Don’t get carried away, lad, your team haven’t done it yet, they still have to encounter the Mags on God’s own soil.” I went to bed that night with a huge grin on my face. Saturday 5th May was our big day. But, strangely, it wasn’t the last day of the 1978/79 season. A snow laden winter had left many clubs playing catch-up with their remaining fixtures, and we were going into our last game at Newcastle, at

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At the station I met an old friend Pete – a Geordie with whom I had gone to many Newcastle games, while we were at university together in West Yorkshire. He had a black and white scarf wrapped around his neck and was grinning widely. “Why aye, Nic, let’s do some beer,” he enthused, “There are quite a few pubs that open at 10.30.” And so we began a two-man pub crawl for the short distance between the city station and the Newcastle ground. We eventually reached The Strawberry, an infamous


(All images: thegoldstonewrap.com)

Gerr y Ryan goal

drinking hole outside the Gallowgate End of St James’ Park. It was (and still is) a pub for home supporters only. “Keep yer trap shut inside,” Pete winked, “Or I am not responsible for taking you to hospital!” Then, merry with beer, Pete and I shook hands and wended our respective ways to either end of this legendary football stadium. What followed, was the stuff of real legends. The weather was sunny and dry as the game kicked off, in front of 28,434 fans. The first ten minutes was all Brighton as we attacked the Leazes End, where our 10,000 fans were gathered. We were dominating, and suddenly from a left wing Williams’ corner, skipper Brian Horton snuck between the Newcastle defence to bullet a header into the net: 1-0 Albion. With Rollings and Cattlin immense in defence, Horton running the midfield, and Peter Ward inspiring, Albion began bossing the game. A few minutes later Ward let Maybank in with a clear shot on goal, but Teddy shanked it wide. That was the key for Newcastle to up their game,

Brian Horton goal

and they twice came close to an equaliser. But they hadn’t counted on Peter Ward, whose sublime mazy run through their defence and a directed shot, which somehow managed to cross the goal line, doubled the lead: 2-0 Albion. Our football was expansive as the rain started to team down. It was end-toend stuff, before Ward fired at goal and Gerry Ryan poked in the rebound from a Newcastle defender: 3-0 Albion.

Tears flowed, voices shouted, cheers echoed, hugs were exchanged and smiles enveloped every face.

But the Magpies were not about to give up and they began to put steady pressure on our goal before the half-time whistle blew. We were almost there… just 45 minutes to make history.

After the game I tried to find Pete for a celebratory pint, but in the days before mobile phones, and amid thousands of cheering supporters, the task was impossible.

The second half was rocky in comparison as Brighton nerves made their way around St James’ Park. But the clock was ticking and when Alan Shoulder pulled one back for Newcastle, it was too late for a comeback. As the final whistle blew, the moment (and the game) was savoured. We went wild as our heroes in yellow ran towards us. Manager Alan Mullery ran onto the pitch, hugged Horton and joined in the celebrations.

We were promoted to the top flight for the first time in our history! But it had gone to the wire: with a game in hand, Palace won the title with 57 points, we were second on 56, just ahead of Stoke on goal difference and Sunderland fourth on 55 points.

A few days later, he telephoned me at home to say; “Where were you afterwards? We were all waiting for you in The Strawberry!” But later that sublime Saturday evening I arrived back at Pop’s home, to be greeted with a smile, a handshake, a “well done, lad” and a very large whisky. Pop sadly passed away, two years later. I will never forget him, or that day.TAM. Nic Outterside

@seagullnic

@TheAlbionMag

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Half way home Anthony is a 28-yearold media graduate currently enjoying all home – and as many away – games as possible. Born in Brighton and never straying far from GOSBTS, his Albion history began at Withdean with a few early memories of the Goldstone, but not nearly as many as he’d like!

Twenty-three games down. Twenty-three games to go. Brighton & Hove Albion are halfway to that Premier League ‘promised land’. The wealth of options available to Chris Hughton, coupled with the upcoming returns of both Beram Kayal and Liam Rosenior, made this festive period a very exciting time to be a Albion supporter. It’s very difficult to not get carried away – to not dare to dream. Everything around our club right now simply oozes optimism. We’re scoring with real flair and confidence (Sam Baldock raise your hand), we’re never giving up and we’re grinding out wins and points we simply wouldn’t have done this time last year. It really does feel like it’s now or never. This article is written the morning after an emphatic 3-0 home win against the troubled Queens Park Rangers at the Amex. It was our fourth sell-out in the last five home games. We as fans are clearly offering Chris and the team our full support. Us being the 12th man could really be the difference between getting the job done and heartbreak in May 2017. In December’s public release of the club accounts, chairman Tony Bloom accompanied the figures with another of his heartfelt statements further reaffirming his commitment to the club and to the cause – promotion. When you look at clubs such as Birmingham City having a club owned by a proper fan makes both a

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huge and clear difference. After two defeats in two games for Gianfranco Zola, the Chinese businessmen who harshly sacked fan favourite Gary Rowett have certainly learned that coming straight in and making snap decisions is not always best for the club. When you’re leading the way in a league that contains big-spenders such as Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich, you will always have other clubs wanting to lure your prized assets away. It’s fairly obvious clubs will ‘enquire’ about Dale Stephens, Anthony Knockaert and Lewis Dunk, but the aforementioned statement by our chairman fills this fan with nothing but confidence – the squad WILL still be whole by February 1st. The embodiment of the club’s ‘Together’ motto has never been more apparent. We have always been a club that’s had a real transparency between the board (Archer era aside), the team and the fans, but this season it’s really hit home. The poignant dedication of Anthony Knockaert’s goal to his late father against QPR only added to that relationship. As we enter 2017, let’s keep the noise levels high, the Amex full and help the team take that final step… Anthony James

@AJ_BHAFC


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ALBION 3-0 QPR FULHAM 1-2 ALBION ALBION 2-0 MK DONS PRESTON 2-0 ALBION ALBION 2-1 SHEFFIELD WED ALBION 1-0 CARDIFF CITY

Joe McBride’s match reports ALBION 3-0 QPR 27/12/16

FULHAM 1-2 ALBION 02/01/17

ALBION 2-0 MK DONS 07/01/17

Brighton breeze past the Rangers

Classy performance at the Cottage

Israelis dominate third round

A completely one-sided contest saw Albion extend their unbeaten run to 17 matches, topping the league ahead of Newcastle. Baldock opened the scoring with a great strike after some clever footwork and after the break Murray calmly converted a penalty after Stephens was fouled. QPR were reduced to ten men after captain Onuoha denied a goalscoring opportunity before Knockaert saw his curled effort creep under Rangers keeper Smithies to wrap up three points.

Albion came from behind to beat Fulham to start the year as well as they’d finished 2016. The home side dominated the first half and saw a penalty saved by David Stockdale. Fulham finally broke the deadlock through a Lucas Piazon strike early in the second half. With only 15 minutes left, Hemed equalised from the spot to level the scores. A determined Albion broke through the Fulham midfield just 60 seconds later where Lewis Dunk was first to a loose ball, heading the winner.

Brighton cruised into the fourth round for the seventh time in eight seasons after an easy win at home to MK Dons. It was a welcome return from long injury for Beram Kayal, who put the Albion ahead after just ten minutes with a low drive into the bottom corner. In the 73rd minute, Tomer Hemed scored to finish off a lifeless MK Dons and set up an away tie against Lincoln City.

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(All images: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)

PRESTON 2-0 ALBION 14/01/17

ALBION 2-1 SHEFFIELD WED 20/01/17

ALBION 1-0 CARDIFF CITY 24/01/17

PNE end Brighton’s unbeaten run

Knockaert brace overwhelms Wednesday

Hemed fires Brighton top

Brighton failed to turn pressure into goals as they fell to their first defeat since September. Paul Huntington headed in a Gallagher free kick to put the hosts in the lead. After the break, Albion started slowly again and just eight minutes into the second half, Callum Robinson put Preston 2-0 to the good. Hemed missed a late penalty. Albion slip to second, but with a game in hand on Newcastle.

Knockaert’s opening goal was cancelled out before half-time as Lewis Dunk headed into his own net. Glenn Murray was dismissed after handling the ball in the area but David Stockdale performed a brilliant double save to deny the visitors from the spot. Knockaert won the game late as he met Pocognoli’s cross at the far post. Two Wednesday players were then red carded for a rash challenge and violet conduct, respectively. Albion back on top.

A determined Cardiff side were beaten by a moment of brilliance from striker Tomer Hemed. The Israeli turned Sol Bamba and smashed the ball past Allan McGergor late on to claim all three points in a game full of missed opportunities. Brighton went close through Knockaert, Murphy, March and Hemed and had David Stockdale to thank after he made some outstanding saves to deny Cardiff anything from the match. @Joseph_McBride_

@TheAlbionMag

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Mixing business with pleasure

L

ocal businesses and the Albion have enjoyed strong links since the club’s formation in 1901. Depending on which historian you believe, the ‘Albion’ suffix was added as a reference to the surfeit of businesses in the area that shared the name. Fast forward 116 years and the business-community ties are deep-rooted and have lasted generations. With this in mind, an Eastbournebased company, FirmBalls,

decided to start a five-aside football league with a sole aim; to network local businesses through the sport. Former Albion favourite Kerry Mayo has been playing in one of their leagues for nearly four years now. The left-back played 413 games, scoring 12 goals, before retiring from the game in 2009. During his 16-year professional career with Brighton & Hove Albion,

Kerry enjoyed many highs and lows, including three promotions. Famously, he netted the own goal that nearly sent the Albion down on the last day of the season at Hereford in May 1997 before team-mate Robbie Reinelt saved the day with an equaliser. The Cuckfield-born 39-yearold now works for local company, Focus Group, and puts his boots on to play with work colleagues. When he’s not kicking a ball around, he delivers IT services across the south. Kerry and Focus joined the Falmer League in 2013 and have competed in several tournaments, as well as a weekly league. “Since I’ve stopped playing professional football, and due to the injuries that made me retire, I’ve always wanted to get back into

Would you like your business to speak to thousands of Brighton & Hove Albion fans through The Albion Mag? Email David Camici: dcamici@thealbionmag.com for more information. 50

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hopefully lead to more leagues and business opportunities” networking events FirmBalls host across the region, including quiz nights, poker nights, race days and drinks events. some competitive action,” said Kerry. “It’s great to be working at a company with lots of like-minded people, who want to have a friendly kick-about with their colleagues.” “The best thing about playing with the lads from the office is that extra little bit of banter the next day – and looking forward to the games coming up. I’ve found the leagues competitive, but also friendly, and that’s because it is only businesses and nobody wants to have the aggravation of dealing with bad tackles and, more importantly, a bad attitude on the pitch.” Focus have participated in many of the additional

The Albion legend continued; “It’s great to meet other businesses with a similar attitude. That’s why it’s important for us to not only play football, but get involved in the business side of things as well. Through FirmBalls we’ve secured contracts including dealing with law firms and other offices where we have provided IT services. We’ve also had a close working relationship with FirmBalls and our digital media team provided their new logo and website. This has been an excellent working relationship. Moving forward, we know that working with a business which focuses on business interactions – networking as well as sport – will

wwww.firmballs.com

Focusing solely on businesses and professionals to play in a friendly, yet competitive, environment, the goals of the company are team-building, networking and fitness. In addition to the leagues and networking events throughout the country, a charity tournament is to be hosted on the hallowed turf at the Amex at the end of the season. For more information on how to join a local league, get involved in networking events, or to sign up for any of the forthcoming tournaments, please contact Sam Thomas via sam@firmballs.com, or call on 07792 931816. TAM.

@TheAlbionMagUTA

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Signing up to my future

A

fter 34 years – and a bit – I found my self unemployed on December 31st 2016, having accepted the offer of voluntary redundancy and early retirement.

if you can get it signed, I probably have, although a friend of mine did get one of The Stranglers to sign his chest and then had it tattooed, not something I’ll ever be doing!

What do I do now? In truth, as little as possible is the plan but for more years than I have worked, I’ve enjoyed a hobby I have continued throughout, and still enjoy today on an Albion match day – collecting football autographs.

It all began in the mid-1970s. My first PE teacher was an acquaintance of Trevor Brooking and managed to pick up a football card, the kind you used to get in a packet, with bubble gum, signed for me. I still have it and so the collection began.

I have more than 7,500 spread across pictures in eight scrapbooks, plus various signed shirts, programmes, flags, trading cards… In fact,

My earliest Albion signatures were from the Alan Mullery days, when the squad included Brian Horton, Mark Lawrenson, Paul ‘Tank’ Clark, Sully, Eric

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Steele and Graham Mosley, the great Peter Ward and my favourite, winger Tony Towner. Great days, waiting outside the players’ entrance at the Goldstone and running down to the West Stand exit to get the away players when the coach pulled up to collect them, but keeping an eye on the top exit for the Albion boys. Albion seem to have had a happy knack of signing players who generally didn’t mind signing, although over the years there have always been the odd one or two who could be more difficult, either regularly, or if the game or result had not gone their way.


Here are a few examples of the more-difficult-to-obtain autographs.

majority of the Scotland squad signed reasonably, if not happily.

Gordon Hill: Manchester United number 11 and Norman Wisdom impersonator.

Franz Beckenbaur: German legend

As a closet Manchester United fan, I was really chuffed to get the Shoot double-page spread of the 1977 FA Cup Final team fully signed, except for Mr Hill. I had waited after a number of London-based United games and met him on more than one occasion, only to be met with; “I’m late for the bus,” “I’ll come back and sign,” “I’m injured.” I eventually obtained a scrap of paper simply signed ‘Gordon Hill’ by writing to the club, which is now stuck on the picture. It’s the only signature I have ever written off for. Of the modern era, Robert Green, the current Leeds keeper, has often appeared to study the Hill autograph-avoiding manual, although I will admit he signed freely after the recent Amex match – his mum and dad were watching! Paul Gascoigne: Troubled England favourite Over the years I have managed to get the ‘cry baby’s’ signature and I’ll never forget, after the England versus Scotland Euro 96 match at Wembley, a somewhat inebriated Mr Gascoigne telling me to ‘f**k off’. Oddly enough, despite their disappointment, the

He literally just brushed me aside, again outside Wembley and during Euro 96. He’s treated like German royalty but I did not see him sign anything for anyone. Back to the Albion and for me, it is also interesting to see the differences in autographs, not just between players but how they change from season to season. From those early years, it was possible to actually read the signature, the best perhaps being Eric Steele, Peter Sayer, Mark Lawrenson and Gerry Ryan. Just flicking through my oldest book, Stuart Pearson of Manchester United, Kevin Bond of Norwich City, Trevor Francis at Nottingham Forest and David Johnson of Liverpool all had really clear signatures. Less memorable would be, ‘GG’ by Gordon Greer, the occasional ‘SS’ from Steve Sidwell, although that does change to a full ‘S Sidwell’ from time to time. ‘Rio’ from Rio Ferdinand and ‘Vinny’ from Vinny Jones also stand out. ‘BZ’ does have some pizzazz by the way he signs it, although it had definitely got shorter the second time around! My wife says: “Why don’t you

just sell them all, they are probably not worth much.” So how much do I think they are all worth? I have more than 7,500 signatures but admittedly, there are probably at least 30 to 40 Gary Hart autographs, but he did live with us for a year and a half – but that is another story! There are a number that are no longer with us: Emlyn Hughes, Kazimierz Deyna, Bobby Moore, George Best, our own Justin Fashanu, plus another of my PE teachers, Dennis Foreman – so they can’t be obtained again. I would certainly put a greater value on my favourites, Johan Cruyff and Pele, as well as Figo, Kevin Keegan, and Kaka, obtained last year whilst on holiday in Florida, and George Best. At the end of the day, to me they are priceless and it will be for my kids to find out the true value when I am gone and they decide to cash in. TAM. Guy Brooks

@TheAlbionMag

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Keeping it in the community Sussex has a rich football history, across all levels of the game. Each issue we’ll be focusing on one of the county’s other clubs. This month, it’s Lewes.

T

he Rooks have been playing football at the Dripping Pan for 132 years In 2010, the club became – part through a tremendous will, and part necessity – a ‘not-for-profit’ community outfit offering a ‘one share per person’ deal for a minimum of £30, inviting local businesses to help the club by providing small discounts as an incentive to drive ownerships.

There are now 1,200 owners in 22 countries, and 70 local retailers offer discounts across the region. The club has ten teams, including three academy sides, and a mental well-being team. The men’s first team is pushing for promotion from Isthmian League Division One South and the women’s first XI play in the FA WPL against the likes of Spurs, West Ham and Crystal Palace. Kevin Miller, the club’s CEO, talks through the

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club’s philosophy: “Since becoming a wholly community-owned entity, our core focus is to use football for the maximum benefit for all members of our community. That doesn’t just mean simply running lots of football courses and getting our teams as high up their respective leagues, but using the club as a catalyst for social and economic benefit throughout the Lewes area.”

added; “In 2015 we built a FIFA approved, 3G pitch next to the Pan – part funded by Sport England and various other bodies – providing new revenue opportunities and a new facility for community use. Next, we want to build a new clubhouse and changing rooms, and then a youth centre to give local youngsters the chance to be as creative as possible.”

“For business, this means being as inclusive as possible, and we can offer something different, actively encouraging them to get involved within the fabric of the club. This message of corporate democratic inclusion is reaching out beyond Lewes, and we have some fabulous initiatives with our partners, attracting new opportunities for them and the club.”

With just a handful of full and part-time staff and many loyal volunteers the club is looking to the future.

Lewes is also embarking on a major refurbishment of The Dripping Pan. Miller

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“We’re in the process of ‘professionalising’ the club.” says Miller. “By creating a solid commercial and structural base, we’re working with business and the community to offer the best packages available. It’s fun, and there is no reason why we cannot achieve great things – on and off the pitch – by working together.” TAM. @Lewes_cfc

www.storyoflewesfootball.club


Brighton & Hove Albion 1971/72 Back row: Ian Goodwin.

Defender/Midfielder.

20. Tough-tackler who fought his way into the side to play Aston Villa in March, resulting in captain John Napier being dropped.

Willie Irvine. Forward.

28. Joint top-scorer who developed a knack for late strikes. His curling effort against Aston Villa was second in the Match of the Day ‘goal of the season’ competition.

Steve Piper. Defender.

17. Tall, homegrown centre back awaiting his first-team debut. He gained junior honours with Brighton and Sussex Boys.

Brian Powney. Goalkeeper. 26. Small, agile keeper missed just two league games in 1971/72 and was granted a second joint benefit with Norman Gall in a friendly with Chelsea in May.

Alan Dovey. Goalkeeper.

19. Alan appeared against Norwich in the League Cup, making some daring saves despite the 0-2 defeat. He played twice in league matches, including a ‘Man of the Match’ performance at York.

John Templeman.

Midfielder.

23. A versatile player who scored seven times in 1971/72, including a wonderful lobbed winner at York in December. John’s terrific left-foot shot at home to Rochdale sealed promotion.

Alex Sheridan. Defender. 23. Slim full-back who did not play in the league campaign of 1971/72. He joined Maidstone in June.

Kit Napier. Forward.

27. Playmaking goalscorer who hit 16 league goals including a hat-trick at Mansfield in August. Two months later, he scored his 100th league goal with a header against Shrewsbury.

Middle row: Norman Gall. Defender.

28. A rock at the heart of the Albion backline. Norman was one of three everpresent players.

Eddie Spearritt. Defender.

24. Ever-present who scored a double at Oldham in January. A long-throw expert.

John Napier. Defender.

24. Classic, lanky centreback who took his dropping from the team in March without complaint.

Dave Turner. Midfielder. Other players who made appearances for the Albion in 1971/72 were Colin Dobson, Brian Bromley, Ken Beamish and Bertie Lutton. Ages correct on 1st August 1971.

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27. Wholehearted midfielder whose place was increasingly threatened by Brian Bromley. Joined Blackburn in August 1972.

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Alan Duffy. Forward.

21. Wayward striker who made nine substitute appearances. Left for Tranmere in March as part of the deal that took Ken Beamish to the Goldstone Ground.

Bert Murray. Utility player.

29. Voted ‘Player of the Season’ in his first full campaign after being bought with the proceeds from the ‘Buy A Player’ fund.

Front row: Stewart Henderson.

Defender.

24. Described by John Vinicombe as ‘the quiet man of the side, and rarely flustered’. Made 34 league appearances before being sensationally dropped against Villa in March.

Terry Stanley. Midfielder.

20. This local lad did not make any appearances during the season, moving to Ramsgate Athletic in May.

Alan Boorn. Midfielder.

18. A promising teenager who captained the England amateur side in 1971. He arrived at the Goldstone after a short spell with Coventry City.

Peter O’Sullivan. Winger.

20. ‘Sully’ contributed ten league goals and was ever-present in 1971/72. He scored a cracker against Notts County in September. @GoldstoneRapper


thegoldstonewrap.com

@TheAlbionMag

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The Dirty Tackle

A

s three young lads who love both football and radio, we started The Dirty Tackle as an outlet to express our interests while attempting to offer a cheeky sideways look at all things Albion. Two of the hosts, Ryan and Guy, had a show together at university and what we have today is very much an extension of that. We felt like there is definitely room for a show like ours – one that does include occasional serious bits of analysis, but is essentially three people trying to take the mickey out of opposing teams, players and Charlie Oatway – with obviously a heavy Brighton bias. You can imagine what we think of Charlie and Gus now coaching Carlos Tevez in China, the world’s highest paid player! The aim of the show is

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simple: talk about Albion in a way that enables listeners to laugh as much as we do while making the show. In fact, we can almost guarantee you’ll be laughing at least 3.5% of the time. We want to ask important questions like: “Who is the weak link in our team right now?” “Who should we sign in January?” “Would Shane Duffy actually put his head through a brick wall?” These are the issues we ‘tackle’ on our show, if you’ll pardon the pun, and we want to cover more of these questions in a way which every Albion fan can enjoy. We have a number of influences, most notably The Football Ramble, whose book we’ve seemingly pillaged for leaves. Like them, we enjoy looking at the lighter side of the game, aiming to mix our Albion chat with features

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such as Fantasy 5-a-side, and ‘Brendan or Brent’. Of course, we could never forget the Albion Roar guys, who although they present a very different style of show to us, no doubt share the same aim of getting the Albion out there into the community as much as possible. Finally, being three immature, recently graduated young fellas, we inevitably have no clear plans for the future. However, our one main aim is to always make sure our content is fresh, entertaining and accessible for Albion fans of all generations, whilst hopefully growing our fan base of ‘tacklers’. TAM. Listen to The Dirty Tackle fortnightly on 1 Brighton FM, 12-1 pm. @twitter.com/the_dirtytackle facebookcom/thedirtytackle

www.mixcloud.com/TheDirtyTackle/


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The Albion Mag - Issue 4  
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