TSLR031 / August 2011 / £1
THE SEAGULL LOVE REVIEW Inside this month; - How the other half live; Life in the East Stand - A tiny interview with Ian Chapman - Romain and other observations in the Flairwatch - Exploring the most appropriate Amex attire - Pre-season review - Your guide to August’s Championship fun - A bit more stuff too
You’ve come a long way, baby TSLR
A collection of badly edited Albion related-ish drivel that will roll up and fit in your back pocket.
We kind of bled dry any suspicious, tacky, incorrect and downright weird Albion merchandise off eBay over the last 3 years, so in the spirit of our beautiful new surroundings we will be looking into objects of wonder found on the world’s favourite online auction site. First off, and a must for your loved one this birthday, a giant flag from the ‘83 cup final. It might take some explaining when your wife asks where the photo of the kids above the mantlepiece has gone, but eventually she’ll grow to love this silky masterpiece. Pick them up for around £10-20. TSLR
TSLR031 The Seagull Love Review is an independent Brighton and Hove Albion Magazine.
Issue 31, August 2011.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, or The Seagull Love Review.
Welcome to a place we can finally call home (unless you bought this at Portsmouth - a place you certainly can not). 14 years we’ve been waiting and it will take some time before Falmer finally feels real.
We do hate Palace though, officially.
This is the first issue of the fourth season of TSLR and it is testament to you - the paying customer - that we have been able to start (and continue) a print fanzine launched in 2008 - a time when most print fanzines have given up the ghost.
Thanks this issue to LE, GC, SK, AS, BM, GE, IC, TH, RM, PS, AW, TS, NB, SK, TC, JS, JE, AC, AH, KK, SW, ED and LW. Edited by SS and SS. Artwork by SS, ML, Dom Alves and SK. Printed by MCR Print of Hove www.mcrprint.co.uk TSLR is printed using eco-friendly paper and ink The Seagull Love Review Apt 19 City Heights, MCR, M1 7AX firstname.lastname@example.org www.theseagulllovereview.com http://twitter.com/tslr Signed off 1314 03/08/2011
And what a treat we have in store for you this month. The usual suspects are back - Mendoza, Flairwatch, The Hovian, Meade’s Ball, Midfield Diamond and the ever present Carter pen their awesome jottings for your reading pleasure. Plus we have a number of new signings who we hope to tie up long term deals with. Peter Grummitt’s Bright Green Gloves looks back at the last time it was all this exciting, Bitter & Twisted looks back at Withers, Tim Herbert talks us through the Fan Mosaic, and Hobo Living and Football Masochism pen their opening ditty’s. On top of that, we’ve blagged Stewart Weir’s photees for the centre fold. It all looks too good to be true this year and, in a classic Albion mindset, it probably is. Up the Albion! S&S Co-Editors
Your weekend footy fix starts here... For all your Albion news, opinion, interviews, malicious tittle-tattle and some downright fibbing, tune into:
THE ALBION ROAR Every Saturday from 12pm til 1pm on Radio Reverb 97.2FM (if you’re in Brighton/Hove)
or at www.radioreverb.com
Missed the show?
Listen again at www.albionroar.co.uk or on iTunes The Albion Roar is a guaraneteed Phil Collins-free zone AND we have far better studio guests than every other show. FACT.
CONTENTS 2. EBAY GOLD 5. MENDOZA 6. NEWS IN BRIEFS 8. REVIEWS 12. PREVIEWS 14. PETER GRUMMITT 15. BITTER & TWISTED 16. STEWART WEIR 18. IAN CHAPMAN 20. ALBION FAN MOSAIC 22. HOBO LIVING 23. FOOTBALL MASOCHISM 24. MEADE’S BALL 25. FLAIRWATCH 26. MIDFIELD DIAMOND 27. MONTH IN NUMBERS 28. THE HOVIAN 30. PROG ROCKS 31. CARTER use your You won’t need to R - 4th Gold Card on TSL ly £1 season and still on
WHAT’S HOT WHAT’S NOT
Prince of Portu gal, PSG oracle, cu te little nose, it’s Men doza
Comedyfending We thought those days were behind us when Gus came to the party, but this pre season has showed that we have the makings to beat last seasons Colchester away PEARLER! Ankergren, Brezovan and Vincelot take a bow sons, some textbook comical goals conceeded already!
Pre Season Friendly Being crowned champions of League One with a brand new stadium to be proud of, the Brighton fans wanted to play a massive team in a friendly to mark such a great sense of achievement. Instead we got Tottenham Hotspur. Twice!!
Gullys Girls They have new recruits, a new kit and a PA system that you can actually hear, but best of all they are another season older! (but sadly, so am I)
Fans Forum If you thought Geordie Shore was the worst hour ever broadcast to the public, Brighton fans trumped it with a series of moans about our brand new, £90million state-of-the-art new home, which we had waited for 14 years for. Not only were there more moans and groans than a German porno, there were more moans and groans than The Ladies Wimbledon Final.
Chrystal Palace They have provided us with our greatest rivalry, our nickname, a great manager and now our latest terrace chant. We even get to feel glad all over when we visit our nearest branch of McDonalds. Season Ticket Smart Cards Not only do they let you into the magnificent AMEX, they also double up as a terrific fluff and dust collector. Gone are the days of a yellow cloth and a can of Mr Sheen. Just place your card in the middle of your living room, and 10 minutes later, the room dust free! Recognition Bobby Z who? Mark Lawrenson who? Steve Gritt, meh! Robbie Reinelt what you talking about Willis? Taking into account all they have done and the importance they have played in the clubs history, finally the club did the right thing and recognised THE true greats of the club in the Legends Parade. They gave the people what they always wanted - Dean White and Gary Hobson!!
Tragic It was sad to hear about the death of Amy Winehouse. The word tragic is banded about too loosely these days, but the fact there are no chips to be sold at The AMEX is indeed tragic. Burger and chips, Pie and chips, they are meant to be together! The AMEX PA System Get... a PA syst.. to b. wors. Th.. the one at With..n ..s some ach….ment. Introd….g the gr..te. Lege… the club has .ver had M..e B..ley.. Andy Naylor Andy Naylor called Brighton’s internet based fans moronic idiots. Brighton’s internet based fans think Andy Naylor is a moronic idiot. When will we all realise?... TSLR TSLR031
There was massive disappointment when here at TSLR Towers we heard that the North Stand museum would not be in ship shape at Falmex until the autumn. But it is coming so don’t worry your pretty little heads. Talks are ongoing regarding a TSLR exhibit - seriously though, there will be scope for a wider Albion fanzine temporary exhibit at some point. Don’t forget to purchase copies of Build a Bonfire II when it’s released later this year. The amazingly brilliant Build a Bonfire I has been reproduced and you can get copies from this thing they call the internet. It is also now available in both club shops. The best thing about it is a picture of one half of the editing team but we declined to be interviewed for it then because, ahem, we were too busy playing table football on the pier that summer. The best thing about the sequel is that both of the editing duo have been interviewed although, we suspect, a load of our drivel will probably remain on the cutting room floor.
NEWS IN BRIEFS AUGUST 2011
On the Saturday of the Tottenham friendly, our good friends over at the Albion Collectors’ and Historians’ Society unveiled a plaque at the Goldstone Ground. The Goldstone Heritage Board sits in the south-west corner of Hove Park. Tim Carder, who needs no introduction and has been the main man, said: “This heritage board will allow us to tell our younger supporters and those not yet born something of the story of that well-loved venue.” As it was paid for by the Society and the Supporter’s Club (not the club), contact us (email@example.com) if you would like to donate to or join either. TSLR031
The disabled parking issue has been a farce and a real embarrassment for a club attempting to look professional. In one guest blog post we wrote over the summer, TSLR suggested that the new club’s professionalism is as unnerving as it is exciting and the situation over disabled parking is more of the latter unfortunately. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the situation will be progressing towards a viable situation. However, forcing those with disabilities to park and travel from the University of Sussex side of the A27 is a proper disgrace. Welcome to Falmex and Dick’s Bar which will play host to the amazing Albion Fan Mosaic - created by some more fantastic people who we claim to be friends with. It will be the part of the ground where everybody will be crowding to catch a glimpse of their 7-yearold face alongside Garry Nelson (oh, just me then). Seriously though, when looking for your good self, keep your eyes peeled for a few famous faces holding their favourite fanzine. If you’ve always bought TSLR then you’ll know the pictures we mean and, no, we can’t name the British athletes either.
Perhaps we should see what the attendances are like in the second season at Falmex before we rush into installing another 8k seats. I mean, it wasn’t so long ago that Micky Adams had us playing the worst football in a decade at the Withers and we couldn’t fill the 8k capacity there. So the club announced the individuals who worked on the artwork inside Falmex and it turns out two of them already worked within the club. We encouraged our resident artist
to put himself forward but it seems as if it’s who you know and not how you paint. It’s time to start thinking about our annual football watching away weekend and the unanimous entry for this season is Perth in Scotland. Why? Well that’s where the horse, Fran Sandaza, has signed a one year contract with St Johnstone. That’s of course, the team who sponsors the St Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Thoughts over the summer invariably turned to how we will cope without being able to sing the Elliott Bennett song (you know the Heartbeat one that’s in your head already). Well, if we call him William Buckley then the song still scans. If not, we can surely get something out of Kazenga LuaLua - we have to do it if only to annoy the killjoys who hate the song. In fact, one person at the tail end of last season didn’t buy a copy of TSLR because we ‘sung the Elliott Bennett song for too long at Brentford’. Liam Dickinson added to his Leon Knight-esque footballing woes over the summer. Having been released by Barnsley he signed a contract with Plymouth and then asked to be released only a few days later. Perhaps Argyle hadn’t informed him until he arrived at the club that he would probably go most of the season without being paid. That or Dicko was appalled at the number of exotic fish Peter Ridsdale had in the boardroom. Credit where it’s due - the club can be shoddy at a number of things (disabled parking for one) but their support, alongside the Justin Campaign, for Tackle Homophobia - an East Sussex County Council project that hosted a successful 5-a-side tournament in Seaford last month - is commendable. For more details on how you can fight homophobia in football, check out www.thejustincampaign.com
As we stated on Twitter (@tslr) during the summer, anybody prepared to wear a Colin Hawkins mask (search on our website for the template) in front of the Sky TV cameras at Falmex against Leeds will be financially rewarded. The amount of money will be established depending on the number of fanzines sold against Donny. Full details on our blog will follow - www.theseasgulllovereview.com - but there will be free issues for anybody who waves a copy of TSLR at the viewing public. Transfer round-up - players in: Craig Mackail Smith (£2.5m, Peterborough); Will Hoskins (£1m, BRovers); Will Buckley (£1m, Watford); Romain Vincelot (£100k, Daggers); Anton Rodgers and Ben Sampayo (Free, Chelsea); Kazenga LuaLua (Loan) and Roland Bergkamp (Grange Hill). An unbelievable £4.5m at least has been spent and that could rise should all go well. Not bad really, not bad at all. Back in the throes of summer 2010, TSLR Towers was abuzz with the thought of getting hold of a ‘unique heritage stone’ at Falmex. Well, judging by the quality of the stones, we’re jolly pleased we didn’t shell out £99 (plus VAT) for the honour. After the Tottenham friendly, it quickly became apparent that a full marching band should be playing Sussex by the Sea as the players come onto the pitch every week. And news just in courtesy of @JDS_ BHAFC on Twitter: Colin Hawkins’ return from injury was scuppered with a “pulled hamstring in the warm up…” as he was “making a return but went off injured after 15 mins…” Gutted. Indeed. Get well soon, Mr Hawk. TSLR TSLR031
REVIEWS Albion Reserves v Eastbourne Borough (Sussex Senior Cup Final) I just couldn’t wait to get back to the Amex after the little tease we were given at our North Stand “familiarisation” event (at which I was most disappointed to discover that the spirit of the original North Stand was not kept alive in the toilets as I was greeted with shiny porcelain and steel - where the fuck is our uncovered brick outhouse and black pissing wall?). After getting my Japanese tourist impression out of the way on my previous Amex visit my concern on this occasion was the Joker style grin I would wear on my face for most of the afternoon; I needn’t have worried as the majority of those I saw were also flashing their pearly whites with every corner turned…and my smile was soon to be turned into a pout made out of boredom and lethargy as the incredibly monotonous and cagey spectacle that was the Sussex Senior Cup Final 2010/2011 was played out on the gigantic Amex pitch. Gary Hart was making his last ever appearance for the Albion and rightly skippered the “development” squad whippersnappers. The players of Eastbourne Borough looked like they had been up all night dreaming about scoring that historic first Amex goal, especially their midfield general who had two - shall we say - “speculative” efforts in quick succession. Speculative and shit. Albion weren’t doing much better: despite keeping the ball well we lacked penetration apart from one occasion where little Barker scampered onto TSLR031
a Hart through ball but took one touch too many before the danger was snuffed out. Albion looked better attacking their favoured North Stand in the second half and forced a few chances. The tiny Rodgers had an excellent effort from a free kick turned behind. From the resulting corner came the moment that was written in the stars: Eastbourne failed to clear, the ball eventually finding centre back Hall whose cross-shot was deflected into the net by the same head that scored the first goal at Withdean 12 years ago: the head of Gary Hart. On that previous occasion the delight that encompassed my younger self resulted in a few shed tears - they were not forthcoming now but don’t expect me to hold back should we go 1-0 up against Doncaster. Still the 7,000 inside our magnificent arena rose to their feet to applaud the first, and sadly last, goal at the Amex for Gary Hart. I sent a text to a friend who was attending the Brighton beer festival to inform him of this wonderful moment and I wondered how long he had been there when the reply came back: “Excellent mate - was it a screamer?”! Not long after a free kick was whipped in for the impressive Cook to rise and head home the second goal at the Amex. Eastbourne hit the crossbar late on and Pokey had a couple of goes at handing the visitors a consolation but the scoreline remained intact. The cheers rang out as our skipper lifted the coveted trophy that seals our European spot for next season and everyone left happy, excited, and full of Hart. The Night Train guard. TSLR
REVIEWS Portugal Albion kicked off their annual pre-season ramblings again in the Algarve against a Tottenham XI, Gus named a strong line-up against Tottenham RESERVES, we should’ve had no problem - right? Wrong. Will Hoskins scored the first after a very Albionesque passing move leading to him shooting just inside the area past the keeper. All looking good early on - ey? Just before half time that young Norwegian made it 2-0 with a diving header. At this point it was all looking rosy and a easy win seemed on the cards - but yet again, wrong. Just one minute later Andros Townsend - who Albion know all too well after his brief spells with Yeovil and Orient - made it 2-1 with a spectacularly good goal just outside the box. Lua Lua was looking as quick as ever as he just walked past whoever was in front of him. Albion the happier side going into half time but Spurs were looking threatening at times. Then ten minutes after half time the Tottenham RESERVES scored with a deflected shot. Oh dear oh dear. Final score 2-2. It was somewhat weird seeing Albion fans wonder around Albufeira centre all looking typically English - burnt, hot and wearing football shirts, not a good combination. The next game would be a little bit more of a test - well, a huge test - as Albion took on Paris St Germain. The Albufeira stadium looked like a shit Withdean and as the game started it became clear that we were a match for PSG until Ankergren slipped and put it on a plate for the PSG striker. The game gradually petered
out and was in truth rather boring but i don’t think anyone cared - it was 30 degrees and we were watching our home team - couldn’t have got much better! The last game on the tour was at Olhanese, about an hours drive from Albufeira where most Albionites were staying. An expat had told all Albion fans to go to an island a 20 minutes boat ride from Olhanese and so did about 50 supporters, packed out a restaurant on the seafront and had meals overlooking the Atlantic Sea - not bad. When it finally came to the game, Albion took the lead with a typical KLL run down the left hand side squaring for Spadge to make it 1-0 happy days. However the Olhanese players, especially Mauricio (sounds like a 1960’s maid) took it into their own hands to try and snap Kazenga’s right leg - unsuccessfully. But Gus was so worried that after Mauricio stamped on Kaz a fight almost broke out again - seems like a bit of a repeat of last year. Anyway Olhanese went on to win - bringing back memories of the old Albion, Vincelot (sounds like a head of the Russian mafia) chested it back to Ankergren only for the moody Dane to slip and their player proved his worth with an open goal from 2 yards. That was it for another year, grown men would not step foot onto the Albufeira streets wearing football shirts and looking burnt for another year, Gus and his little gems would not return for another year and most importantly Kaz’s leg was not in half. TSLR TSLR031
REVIEWS Albion v Spurs This was my third visit to the Amex so knowing a bit more what to expect I could enjoy the reactions of those who were seeing the place for the first time, in particular the esteemed co-editor who’s excitable nature led to the performance of a Dick Van Dyke style dance/ jig on several occasions! Due to the quick service allowed by the smartcard system it was possible to get reasonably tipsy before taking our North Stand seats, which was just enough to get us through the embarrassing attempts to work a PA system (to be fair it was probably due to shitty mics rather than the system) and had us searching for our hymn sheets as prayers were said before some crooner sang that synonymous Albion anthem “Abide With Me”(?). Then it was time for the action. Albion were led out by Gully and a tiny little person who was holding hands with his daughter, young Miss Bloom. Albion started very strong and super Kaz was back, skinning full backs and slicing crosses out of play, but we all know for every 4 or 5 shit ones there will be one destined for an Albion striker. Only 11 minutes had been played before CMS went racing clear and squared for Barnes to tap home, the place erupted - it’s a weird feeling to celebrate this wildly for a completely meaningless goal but we let rip. The blue and white stripes were really playing with some swagger and looked more than a match for a strong Tottenham line up. The North Stand crossbar was rattled for the first time by a cracking shot by Livermore as Spurs gradually got into the game. A few TSLR031
weak tackles but some excellent wing play from jug eared Welshman Bale helped set up Kaboul for a tap in and the way it crept over the line made it a difficult one for the Yids to celebrate the first away goal at the Amex properly…unlucky. Two minutes later, and with the hyperactive co-editor down in the concourse getting a round, the pace of LuaLua could not save him as a defensive slip allowed Corluka to score despite “Slam” Dunk’s last ditch effort to clear. Not long into the second half we witnessed the finest goal yet into the North goal - LuaLua stepped inside and unleashed a fierce low drive that not even an actual goalkeeper (opposed to ringer Gomes) could save. Cue joyous scenes in the North Stand and the first ever backflip performed on the Amex pitch. Albion continued to match their Premier League opponents but disaster struck when sub goalkeeper Brezovan was too busy contemplating the Amex as the subject of his next masterpiece as he passed straight to Livermore who coolly finished in front of the away end. The late introduction of Noone added a bit of spark to the attack and he came closest to leveling again for the Albion. The official opening ended in defeat but Albion were by no means disgraced, and after giving ourselves minor migraines trying to find our pictures on the mosaic in Dick’s we were on our merry way home performing a step in time that threatens to turn into a full-on breakdance routine against Doncaster. Jonny Come Greatly. TSLR
REVIEWS Brighton ‘Til I Die (Theatre Royal) The ultimate curtain-raiser (and there really was a curtain raised!) to this unprecedented start to an Albion season, EVER, was the theatre performance of Brighton ‘Til I Die. Written by Albion fans Paul Hodson and Dave Blake (they have both written for TSLR), the play is an amusing view of the trials and tribulations of the Albion over the past 40 years, focusing on the Dastardly Duo of Archer & Bellotti, from the perspective of two fans, Southy & Gerbil; as well as a potted history of the club woven in, through an amusing cameo from Mark Brailsford as Mr Albion (in a somewhat Max Miller vaudeville style). Playing to an audience of football fans, keen to join in any chants emanating from the stage, required exemplary performances from the cast - Steve North, Jem Wall, Beth Fitzgerald, Ann Penfold, and the multi-talented Brailsford (The Treason Show).
This play was previously performed some 10 years ago at the Gardner Arts Centre, a place where this play would have had great impact today as punters would have left to be greeted by sight of the stadium. However with extra material provided by such an excellent season last year - and all the other events over the past ten years, namely the fight for the stadium, it was not surprising that the last twenty minutes of the play presented the boardroom changes in a musical pastiche featuring masks (Sir Dick replaced by Sir Tony) and the Fat Boy Slim track “Praise You”. Amongst the punters this time saw Tony Bloom & family, Dick Knight (who received a standing ovation when he took his box seat), Peter Ward and Fat Boy Slim. Praise You, indeed, Brighton Theatre Events, and my money is on this show being reprieved somewhere (Amex?) soon, in the meantime I believe there is a DVD, contact @BuildaBonfire via twitter for details. TSLR
TSLR’s hot ti p for 2012, both foot ball and bromanci ng
PREVIEWS Doncaster Rovers (h):
So then, the fairytale came off. And no thanks to that non existent fixture computer - no, we lobbied for this one, and rightly so (although probably proof that Sky lobby the fixtures ‘computer’ so their schedule is good). Donny arrive at Falmex and will get a wonderful reception. That is, until they take the lead in the opening ten minutes. The last time we played Rovers at home was in March 2008 when Nicky Forster scored the only goal of the game. They beat us at Withers 2-0 the season before that but, other than the ‘home’ match on Valentine’s Day 1998 in Gillingham, the last time we met at home was at the Goldstone in 1997. It means that of the last five away outings for Donny to us, they’ve been played at four different stadia. Their fanzine is called Popular Stand and is available in paper format having been launched back in 1998.
Somewhat bizarre that Donny got the first match at Falmex and Gillingham got the second - first under lights - but what a chance to show those from Kent just how far we’ve come. Gillingham, on the other hand, can only boast of the added Withers style temporary seating at Priestfield since we played there with such giants of the game as Jamie Moralee. The most recent previous visit of the Gills was also on a Tuesday night which resulted in a comfortable 2-0 Albion win in late TSLR031
2009. We beat them at home in early 2008 as well. What else could we possibly inform you in regards to Gillingham - it’s a horrifying place; interviewee Ian Chapman played for them; they have played only five seasons at our current level; they employed David Bellotti and they let Andrew Crofts leave so he could join us before making the Albion a tidy profit in heading off to East Anglia, and the top flight. Brian Moore’s Head - the fanzine of the Gills haven’t updated their website since 2008 so we assume that it got eaten up the plethora that is the internet.
Fresh from our demolition of them in the FA Cup last season, we travel to Pompey for our first away match of the season. This time last year, we made countless jokes around their 12 man squad but, somehow, 12 months later they still find themselves in the second tier. Even Fran Sandaza managed a goal against them last season but the last time we travelled to Fratton Park was in August 2002 when we lost 4-2 under Martin Hinshelwood and Guy Butters got sent off. For the last victory the Albion secured in Portsmouth, you have to go back to Boxing Day 1985 when a goal apiece from Terry Connor and Dean Saunders gave the travelling masses a corking 2-1 win. Their current squad still seems inadequately small and includes inadequate players from yesteryear such as Tel Ben Haim; Nwanko Kanu; Herman Hreidarsson (Palace scum) and Aaron Mokoena. And, more disappointingly,
PREVIEWS they seem to have done away with a proper paper fanzine as well.
Cardiff City (a):
Now seems like the perfect opportunity to ask - how on earth can Cardiff on a Wednesday night earn you as many loyalty points as Portsmouth on a Saturday? Some of us will be taking time off work for the ten points on offer on this Tuesday night fixture in Cardiff. It will be a great opportunity to test ourselves against one of the more established Division Two clubs. The positive news is that we’ll be travelling to another newish stadium. We last played City at their place in the League Cup of the 2007/08 season when they beat us 1-0 but only after extra time. The last time we visited south Wales in the league was at this level in November 2005 when a Colin Kazim Kazim goal meant we took a point back south with us. The last Albion victory there came at Ninian Park way back in September 1984 in a season we picked four points up off Palace. The Ayatollah Fanzine seems to be the latest in operation.
It will be awesome to host Ollie and his Blackpool team at a proper stadium, and a cracking chance to play against what was very recently top flight opposition. The last time the Tangerines visited Brighton was in October 2003 when Chris McPhee netted twice in a 3-0 win so it’s safe to assume they have improved somewhat since then. The Seasiders
don’t seem to operate a proper paper fanzine anymore. They have quite a decent sized squad (well, they ain’t paid very much) and the obvious highlight is Brett Ormerod who has played for them in every single English professional division following their foray into the top flight last season. Ormerod was beaten into submission in the goals department by one R. Zamora. Bob Stokoe managed the nectarines from 1970-72 and they actually won a trophy during that - the 1971 Anglo Italian Cup. Honours don’t come much better than that.
Peterborough United (h):
Some people, outside of the Albion family, think it appropriate to have a stag party during the day of a match at Falmex. This is unacceptable and proof that some people have nothing in their lives. For the rest of us, the visit of a rejuvenated Peterborough (well, rejuvenated since we smashed them home and away last year) offers the chance for CMS to get his obligatory goal against a former side. We did the double over them last season so it was excellent that they beat Huddersfield in the Play-Offs - a Huddersfield who ended up doing the double over us. Blue Moon is the last known printed fanzine. They dodgily have two players currently on loan from Manchester United but, should Darren Ferguson get sacked, the old man will call in his debts. Their biggest honour in history is the Division Four title which, in all honesty, makes us look like a proper club. TSLR
PETER GRUMMITT’S BRIGHT GREEN GLOVES For many Albion fans, the success of last season and the anticipation and expectation of the Amex and the Championship are unprecedented. And I defy any Albion fan to recall a more ‘perfect storm’ of a title winning team, classy football, a top, top manager and, of course the glory that is the Amex. Fans of a certain age will recall a more eagerly awaited season - the first in the top flight in 1979 but it is the close season of 1977 that I find myself drawn back to for comparison with our current position. Although the Albion didn’t win the 3rd division in 76/77, we led it for much of the season under a dynamic young manager, Alan Mullery. Home crowds averaged over 20,000 and the Seagull Special trains were at their height, helping to encourage huge away support. As a young teenager I remember regularly queuing outside the East Terrace prior to its 1.30 opening in order to secure a good vantage point. When we were promoted in 1972, the club still operated on a hand-to-mouth basis - a key player was Bert Murray who was paid for by the fans - and the expectation levels were low, and realised as we finished bottom of the second tier. Not unlike our more recent excursions under Coppell and McGhee. But in 1977, there was a feeling we could push on. Mike Bamber’s property business acumen was transforming the club off the pitch. We broke the club transfer record in pipping grander clubs (sound familiar) to bring in the best player I ever saw in the stripes, Mark Lawrenson. TSLR031
Carder and Harris’s superb Seagulls! book tells me the first away game was a 1-1 draw at Southampton watched by 5,000 Albion in the 24,306 crowd crammed into the Dell. I suspect we would take as many to Pompey if we had the tickets. Despite a great start that saw us 2nd in November, Ian Mellor, virtually ever present as striking foil to Wardy, was replaced by further record signing Teddy Maybank. One highlight was standing with some amiable Sunderland fans (this was the last season before segregation) when Eric Potts came off the bench to score twice in injury time to turn around a 1-0 deficit. And a barnstorming goal from Paul ‘Tank’ Clark in the 3-1 beating of Spurs at the Goldstone was more memorable even than that day’s worst violence I ever saw at the Goldstone, perpetrated by cowardly Cockney thugs (smashing an old man with a fist of cygnet rings made this young lad feel physically sick). All Albion know what happened at the end of that season. Victory against Blackpool in front of 33,431 was only enough for fourth place as Spurs and Saints conspired. Somehow I think we’d settle for fourth this season, thrashing a ‘big’ London team and averaging 25,264 as we did in 77/78 (well the last might be tricky). Let’s make a great noise at our new home to do our bit. Who knows we may be able to repeat that 1979 expectation in due course. TSLR
BITTER & TWISTED The Falmex experience - live the dream. Is there no mission statement, strapline, icon or cute furry animal motif? Any number of desperate Gully spin offs won’t gain us market share against meerkats or nodding bulldogs. What we need here is some blue sky thinking, so going forward gentlemen… The readers of this August journal will by now have taken their extremely comfortable seats to be greeted with a personal text message from the chairman and some may even have had the added pleasure of waving desperately away from the camera when their image is flashed up on the big (make that medium sized) screen. And if you are stuck for most of the second half waiting for a burger and a beer console yourself in the knowledge that as you flash your season ticket / loyalty card at an unresponsive reader you will be moving closer to the front of a far greater queue for that coveted prize, a ticket for Albion’s glorious exit from this season’s FA Cup sponsored by… I must put my hands up and point out the poverty of my own cultural experience - last I went to a stadium concert was a free Nelson Mandela gig and in those days the nanny state had not yet dictated our smoking habits so my recollections are sketchy to say the least. I also seem to recall Grace Jones attempting her androgynous sex show in an aircraft hangar and determined never to venture into the Brighton Centre again. What I am getting at it
here in a roundabout kind of way is it would not surprise me to hear the MC announce ‘put your hands together for Take That’. Who is the very self assured young man who appears on the pitch before the game you may be asking yourself? I have no answers only a feeling of apprehension at which way this is all heading. Come back Paul Samrah all is forgiven. When ever, if at all, will we be greeted with White Man In Hammersmith Palais? This is football, Jim, but not as we know it. Once football was a gentleman’s game played by thugs and watched by thugs, now it is watched almost exclusively by gentlemen, and not just gentlemen but their wives and children too. My father’s language was poor but paled by comparison to the vulgarity of the North Stand. Where are the youth of today expected to learn the appropriate use of the vernacular? What I therefore propose is that a breakaway team is formed. How about Brighton & Hove United? It has a nice ‘original club’ ring to it and I am sure the Withdean stadium would welcome us back. In the spirit of nostalgia we could perch on the muddy bank where the South Stand once less than proudly stood. The advantages are obvious, we could wallow in our past glories, get wet, eat chips & drink cold stewed tea at lower league grounds. Who were best supporters bar none to grace the away end at the Withers - undoubtedly FC United. I rest my case. Now if I can just get this bloody barcode to scan... TSLR TSLR031
Former Chairman Dick Knight at The Amex, July 2011. Perhaps heâ€™d just been told how the club was going to honour his involvement in the Falmer project? Picture by Stewart Weir 2011 TSLR031
IAN CHAPMAN The Brighton born, Albion loving former player and assistant coach Ian Chapman gave us a few minutes of his time this month. He was last at the club in an official capacity as assistant to Dean Wilkins in 2008. He played for the club from 1987 to 1996 scoring 14 goals from 214 appearances from the left back position - and he scored one glorious own goal against Leeds in front of the North Stand at the Goldstone (which you can find on YouTube for guffaws aplenty). Chapman then joined Gillingham but almost made an Albion comeback in 1999. We caught up with Ian ahead of the new season to have a few words with him, mainly about that own goal, his role as coach under Wendy and what his favourite biscuit is. Expect to see Chappers frequenting Falmex this season read on to find out that he’s such a legend, his best ever Albion game isn’t a match he even played in. TSLR: Where did you stand at the Goldstone when you went as a kid? Ian Chapman: South Stand before it was a seated area TSLR: Who did you hang out with at Lilleshall? Do you have any famous player gossip? IC: Alan Miller, the goalkeeper and John Ebrell. I once got in trouble for breaking Mark Robins nose over a game of snooker. Bit embarrassing now! TSLR: The own goal in front of the North Stand against Leeds - do tell? IC: To this day, I swear it hit the biggest divot ever but why did I try to chase it to the line? TSLR031
TSLR: Was/is Barry Lloyd as stupid as he looks/sounds? IC: Barry’s a top man, but loved the senior players. I got blamed for every goal we conceded because I was one of the youngest. TSLR: The play-off final in 1991, how painful was that? IC: Gutted. Didn’t realise at the time how big it would have been to get into the premiership. Come on Gus and the boys - take us back where this club belongs. TSLR: What was it like to play wearing the deckchair and chewit kits in the 1990s? IC: Bad kits. Away from home the pink kit was very popular with the home fans for some reason! TSLR: Did we lose the play-off final in 1991 ‘cos of the crazy pink kit? IC: Let’s blame the kit, even though on the day we were crap. One TSLRite had this to say on that question: “I remember the gasped intake of breath from the Brighton end as the players walked out the tunnel. Just like when the Death Star blew up Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderan, and in the words of Obi Wan Kenobi, when we appeared “it was as if millions of people (e.g. the Brighton fans) screamed out...and were suddenly silenced (gasps of WTF etc)....I fear something terrible has happened (it had - Brighton’s eagerly awaited new kit resembled a strawberry chewit wrapper and immediately went into the top 10 worst football team kits of all time) “We were f***ed from that moment, the players never got over the humiliation to concen-
CHAPPERS trate on the game. Tommy Johnson ran riot... and the rest is history as they say. Albion, still playing in that kit the following season, were relegated. Whilst County went on to become founder members of the Premiership. Key players left, not because we had to balance the books. But because they wanted out from having to play in the polyester chewit wrapper. It was a horrible horrible moment for the club. Every bit as bad as selling the Goldstone, which has only taken 14 years to recover from. It’s taken 2 decades to recover from that kit. And you can still find it on Google. It’ll haunt the club for a long time yet I’m afraid.”) TSLR: Why did you let your gorgeous wife have that infamous plastic “trout pout” surgery and how is the restaurant trade going? IC: You’ve got me mixed up, my wife is the famous Tracey Chapman but we haven’t got a fast car. TSLR: Best game? IC: I wasn’t playing at the club at the time, but staying in the league was massive so Hereford away. TSLR: How close were you to re-signing after your trial with the club in 1999? IC: Jeff Wood said he wanted me and I was desperate to comeback, but unfortunately my knee wouldn’t allow it. TSLR: Thoughts on Bellotti and Archer? IC: I think I’ll keep that to myself, I do think they would have made good Barclay’s Bankers. TSLR: Some bloke came to a contributor’s door trying to buy antiques; he said he was related to Ian Chapman. Is this true?
IC: Not true. TSLR: What happened when you came back to the club on the coaching staff with Deano? IC: Loved being back. Wish it could have lasted longer, but now delighted the club have the right people in control. TSLR: What were the first things Dean Wilkins said to you after being told he was to be replaced by Micky Adams? IC: Very disappointed. He wanted to take the club forward like the current regime and he thought with a bit of backing we could have. TSLR: After you left Micky said “Ian felt uncomfortable with the whole scenario which is understandable” - is uncomfortable an understatement? IC: I don’t dislike Micky, but felt after coming 7th we should have had the opportunity to add to what was a young squad. TSLR: Do you still speak to Deano now? IC: Yes all the time. Last season he told me after seeing Brighton play that we would win the league easy. True. TSLR: How good was, and how was it to play alongside, a contributor’s first Albion hero Junior McDougald? IC: Great and great. TSLR: Are you looking forward to Falmer? IC: Big-time. Not been yet. LOOKS INCREDIBLE - BIT BETTER THAN SELHURST PARK!!! TSLR: What is your favourite biscuit? IC: Jammie dodger. TSLR TSLR031
FAN MOSAIC The 2006 World Cup in Germany was memorable for a handful of things: England’s utter crapness from the penalty spot, Cristiano Ronaldo’s wink and, a rare bright spot during that miserable summer, a giant flag that England supporters had carted out to Germany, made from thousands of photos of fans. Created by a Brighton fan (of course) called Warren Dudley, the ‘mosaic’ flag was based on the famous photo of Bobby Moore holding up the Jules Rimet trophy after ‘Our Boys’ had won the 1966 World Cup. I quite fancied the idea of being at the 2006 tournament ‘in spirit’, so I sent Warren a mug shot and ended up on the flag. It turned into a really successful project (though the flag itself was nicked, cheers for that, whoever’s still got it!) and we wondered whether something similar could be done for the Albion, when (and if) we got a new ground. TSLR031
So when Ruth Kelly finally gave Falmer the thumbs-up the following summer, I posted a message on NSC, to test the water and find out what people thought about a ‘fan mosaic’, a permanent way of celebrating our brand new home, paying tribute to the fans who’d helped make the stadium a reality, and remembering the fans who’d died since the last game at the Goldstone. The response was overwhelmingly supportive. Four years and several tonnes of paracetamol later, the finished Albion Fan Mosaic has pride of place in Dick’s Bar at the Amex. Containing 3,200 photos of Albion fans, players, managers, celebrities (Norman Cook, Des Lynam) budgies, dogs, unborn babies and even a zombie, it’s a reminder of what this club is all about - the Albion community. Charlie Webb’s grand-daughter sent in his picture. Noah Clark, one of the club’s founding fa-
FAN MOSAIC thers, is on there too, thanks to a photograph emailed over by his great nephew. And there are many pictures of supporters who, sadly, are no longer with us - including Warren’s own dad and grandad. It also contains Albion memorabilia, plus photos and campaign leaflets from the Gory Years, documenting the fans’ fight to save the Albion.
Peter Ward loves it, which is a relief, seeing as it’s him you’re looking at when you walk into the bar. But walk closer, and you’ll start seeing the individual photos. It usually takes a good half-hour or more to find your pics! Hopefully, fans will approve - it’s great watching people who’ve submitted pictures trying to find themselves!
All the pictures were resized and fed into a piece of software that lightened and darkened them to correspond with the image we were trying to create - Peter Ward, in his heyday, looking over the Downs at the Amex. And when Warren and I went into Dick’s Bar on the day the mosaic was finally installed, we were blown away by how incredible it looked in the flesh. I’d spent hours on my kitchen floor, Sellotaping A3 printouts together to get a sense of the scale and Warren had square eyes from resizing the 3,000+ photos, but nothing prepared us for seeing the actual four-metre mosaic on the bar’s wall. We both nearly blubbed.
Importantly, the Albion Fan Mosaic was also about raising money for the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund, and by the time we’ve sold the extra prints, I reckon we’ll have raised more than £1000 for REMF - we’re hoping to auction off a print signed by Wardy himself. To find out more and to order prints (10% goes to REMF), visit www.albionfanmosaic. co.uk Tim Herbert @albionfanmosaic TSLR
HOBO LIVING When I was young, before the allure of Pamela Anderson and Yasmine Bleeth took a vice-like grip on my pubescent viewing habits there was one show I would turn to for solace. Or rather, to be more accurate, one dog.
thankfully, to The Amex. There were times when, much like you imagine Hobo thinking “Not another ruddy kid whose parents have lost their jobs and are being blackmailed by the local evil jock done good”, it was hard to believe what the words were saying.
His stage name was unknown. His real name, according to the credits, simply London. He existed under the purposefully ambiguous moniker of The Littlest Hobo. Like a vagabond Lassie he travelled the small towns of 1980s America, stopping only long enough to help a bullied boy, or bring comfort to a troubled little girl, before hopping on the nearest rail cart and heading to only he knew where.
“Down the road,” we thought in our most weary of moments. “That is where we’ll always be.” Like that dog on the train, only with less fleas. Hobo though, you imagined, was probably a lot drier in his disused mine or bivouacking under an old shed than we were at Withdean.
If Bruce Springsteen’s music had been small, furry and carrying its worldly belongings inside a handkerchief tied to a stick, it would have starred on this show. And - for those or you wondering where I am going with this - if Brighton and Hove Albion had been an animal, it would have been The Littlest Hobo. Or just plain Hobo to its friends. If quiz show compere extraordinaire Henry Kelly used Going For Gold as a way of teaching me about the ideal, utopian European community in which everyone got on, regardless of who started what war and who knocked out who on penalties, than Hobo taught me what I could expect from life as a Brighton fan. The Manchester United fans may have enjoyed the razzmatazz of Gladiators, the more prophetic Arsenal supporters may have watched Allo Allo and dreamed of things to come, and the randy Cardiff crew may have seen Hi-Di Hi and dreamed of Ruth Madoc, but for any aspiring Seagull you need look no further than a scruffy, homeless dog who just wanted to be loved. For more than a decade you see, the Albion have been following a distant, almost haunting voice - sometimes wavering, often no more than a whisper - but never failing completely. It called us, the fans, down the road. From The Goldstone, to Gillingham, back to Brighton and the ramshackle Withdean and now, TSLR031
The theme-tune - which incidentally would sound ace being sung by a football crowd - was every bit as pertinent to the Albion’s struggles as the show itself. “So if you want to join me, for a while,” it beckoned. “Grab your hat, we’ll travel light”. That is, after all, hobo style. And join we did. In our thousands. A so called lost generation of Albion fans clinging defiantly on in the belief that - just like we hoped Hobo would wind up in the loving bosom of a kind and dog-friendly family - so to, the Seagulls would find somewhere they could finally call home. Today - if you ignore last week - we find that home. Unlike Hobo - who I have long-since suspected was played by a myriad of posh, born with a silver bowl theatre school trained hounds - the Albion have found a home. The first series is over. Brighton. Are. Back. Please forgive me if I had the last few lines of this over to the final verse of Terry Bush’s theme tune classic. It could have been written for the Albion. “There’s a world that’s waiting to unfold. A brand new tale no-one has ever told; “We’ve journeyed far and know it won’t be long; “We’re almost there, and we’ve paid our fare with our hobo song.” @RichardMorris81 TSLR
FOOTBALL MASOCHISM Albion supporters know - or at least we should know - that a football club can be mismanaged, exploited and abused by its owners. The opening of the AMEX finally marks the end of just such a period for our club and allows us all to be incredibly smug. Smug about our 22,374 padded seats, our pies, our manager and his ‘philosophy’, and our chairman and his mysterious business interests. It’s a good time to be a Seagull. The club survived because of the efforts of a whole host of people but its progress has been accelerated by the support of one man: Tony Bloom. He has funded the building of a stadium and the purchase of new players far beyond what the average League One side had any right to expect. The Chairman did this because he is a fan and has Been for decades. Nonetheless our off-field progress had little to do with onfield performances. When Gus Poyet was appointed Brighton were facing relegation from the third division. Such transformations of fortunes are not unusual. Chelsea, Manchester City and Crawley have all based recent development and future Champions League ambitions on disproportionate injections of cash. It makes them unpopular but it also makes following them interesting. A club which can only spend what it has earned can only progress gradually and if, for some reason, it gets stuck in a municipal athletics stadium it would find its potential severely limited. We are quick to admonish clubs like Leeds, Portsmouth and Chrystal Palace for over-
stretching themselves: they should have known their limits, they should only have spent what they could afford, by winning on borrowed money they cheated other clubs. In this light we welcome ‘Financial Fair Play’, the initiative developed by UEFA for clubs in European competition and adopted by the Football League which - in short - requires clubs to live within their means. But do we really want financial fair play? Wouldn’t we rather spend £5 million on new players, complete a £100 million stadium and start work on a new training complex in the same summer? We must know it could all end in tears but we also dream (maybe privately) about becoming Premier League mainstays. You would be churlish not to be grateful for the opportunity to be an optimist but Albion’s current position is not founded on straightforward footballing success. This is the paradox for football fans. We have disdain when other clubs spend but revel in our own profligacy in the meantime. You can only take one of two consistent positions: (i) expect every club - including your own - to limit itself, to ‘know its place’ and let the clubs with the biggest stadiums, the most lucrative television deals, and the most Chinese fans to dominate, or (ii) wish Man City the best of luck, hope that Leeds enjoyed that Champions League semi-final and Portsmouth that FA Cup (because they’re paying for it now), and enjoy the ride at your own club while it lasts. The latter option sounds like more fun. At least when it all goes tits-up we’ll all know what to do. TSLR TSLR031
MEADE’S BALL We, humans that is, are rarely the same in two different places. On the way to work I cycle with a certain pedalling fury, judging ill-doers as I go and flicking imagined lightningbolts, as if I were Odin, at that time not voiced by Sir Anthony Hopkins but more Steve McFadden, at those I see as sinful on the roads. When I dismount and walk through the office doors, my brow and moral cauldron still combinedly bubbling, I soon saunter with a serene gentlemanliness – holding doors for anyone behind me and virtually never saying anything but a sarcastic no for as long as the day lasts. So, in a matter of moments I am two separate people – an unforgiving lone ranger with a mouth full of venom, and all of a sudden a merciful soul with a heart of gold. What this got me to wondering was what I would become at The Amex when its swivelling gates beep me in on opening day. One’s surroundings, I say queenily, seem to allow one to make a new person of oneself as one’s environment and landscape influence one differently. I’ll stop using ONEs now. It’s weird. It’s Sunday today as I write and this gives me exactly 6 days to work out who to be. I haven’t shaved for three days now. I am not a beardoid by ritual. But what if I grew in the allowed time a lucky moustache or goatee. I could, possibly, with that upper-lip rug or chin-tickler fashion a new sense of character. After becoming it, of course, there is no turning back, so I have to be careful in the decision-making process. My mind carries two clear images of myself come Saturday the 6th. TSLR031
The first is of me dressing a little more smartly than I am normally capable, my suit a seablue and flared in all directions, and me twizzling the tips of my neatly-brushed lipwarmer to ponder my next caddish move. Yes, I could be the Amex’s Leslie Philips. Some readers might think this a warning not to bring their partners, male or female, to the arena as I could pounce at any moment with a leisurely “ding-dong” and steal them from their arms, but those aren’t my intentions. Not yet at least. Maybe after a season trapped in character I couldn’t resist the possibilities of devilishness and swoop. We’ll see. The second, goateed this time, is to become a mindboggling observer of the human condition and generally annoy people by claiming I know what they are about to do. With that I could of course work behind the bar knowingly pouring specific drinks in advance or toss the most wanted hand-crafted pies in each customer’s direction, but I’d likely not offer my powers so innocently. With my forename having one letter changed in it so that I can sound mystical - just like my characteralike Darren-Derren Brown - I’d rent my deception to the Albion, leaving mental murmurings in the opposition’s splintery dressing room to rob them completely of confidence. I’d do this until the Amex was an invincible fortress and then let nature take fully over again. If and as you are reading this, keep your eyes out for a hobbling old charmer or a thinninghaired mind-reader. That might be me. Come over and shake my hand and tell me if my choice was at all right. TSLR
FLAIRWATCH Greetings disciples, and welcome to the very first flairwatch of our exciting new era at the AMEX......congratulations on reading this. As over 20,000 potential flairniacs pack into our new home, a brand new chapter in our clubs history starts- the chapter of flair. We have been gradually moving into this dynasty ever since sexy Gus came to our shores and now, with our new stadium, nothing can hold us back. I have been preaching the religion of flair for some years now, and my followers are growing in numbers daily, to the point where “Flairism” is predicted to be an official religion by 2012, with myself as the God of Flair, and Mario Ballotelli as my Jesus. You will all bow before me or I shall unleash my biblical flair vengeance. Anyway, what lies in store for us this season? Well, for starters, two of the flairest managers of all time - Sven and Shteve are set to make their first appearances here, which would normally be enough for any club. As for us, well any summer was going to be a disappointment after last year, when we signed Christian Baz and Agustin Battipiedi, but there is some room for hope. Roland Bergkamp is this years designated “flair hero”, which means that he is to be excused for anything bad he does, and will be blindly celebrated regardless of how shit he is- it just doesn’t matter. Being Dutch is obviously more than just a nationality.....it’s about kicking back with some sweet mary jane, sticking a middle finger up to the ‘establish-
ment’ and drop kicking someone in the chest in a World Cup final. This is what we can look forward to this season. But who else do we have? Well, to keep up the average sexiness of the squad, Gus has only gone and brought in bloody ROMAIN VINCELOT hasn’t he? Again, I don’t think it really matters what he adds to the team in terms of playing, he is purely there to expand our female fan base - see also Will Hoskins Kazenga has come back to add some african flair to our squad and is poised to pace the shit out of Championship full-backs and do some somersaults and all that. But best of all......all my prayers have been answered, something has happened that is set to alter the world of football forever. Brighton & Hove Albion have..........A BRAZILIAN. Raphael Rossi Branco will go down in history as potentially the flairest Albion player of all time. He’s BRAZILIAN, and yes, I know absolutely nothing about him, apart from the fact he’s BRAZILIAN, but when you’re from the land of Kleberson and Rafael Sheidt (look him up I dare you), you need nothing else. Plus, I admire Gus for his innovation......anyone can go out and get a Brazilian playmaker, or a striker, but Gus has gone for it and gone for the least Brazilian position out there - centre back. I have so much to thank Gus for, he has made my job as flair prophet so easy, and with our flair new stadium, the future is looking back. Thank you for reading, and enjoy our first carnival of flair at our amazing new home. @tomjuliostewart TSLR TSLR031
MIDFIELD DIAMOND Happy New Year again to all my loyal readers and, to those who are new to TSLR and the Albion family for this most exciting of seasons, welcome. I have a few tips on how to fit in with those of us that were there at the protests and demos and campaigns over the past 15 years or more that contributed hugely to the status of the Club you see today. Firstly, cry like a big girl whenever you are at Falmer, as I prefer to call the new ground. I understand the benefits to the Club of calling it the American Express Community Stadium and some new stadia have far worse names. Cheaterfraud’s B2net is particularly crap if you ask me. But we sang about wanting Falmer, there was the Falmer Yes Yes campaign and the planning application was for the Community Stadium at Falmer. To me, AmEx is a name change that I can’t quite get used to, like Snickers instead of Marathon. Whatever you choose to call it, it is much more than a new ground and you need to recognise that. It is symbolic of the battle for the Albion’s survival, of persistence, determination and the collective power of football fans. There is a dramatic story behind every brick and nut and bolt of that stadium, and profound emotions need to be expressed. Anyone with dry eyes will be considered to be a Johnny-Come-Lately. Next, talk animatedly about the ‘good old days’ when we were shit. Discuss going to Walsall on a freezing Tuesday night and getting served immediately in their social club rather than having to fight your way to the bar like we did in April. Explain that you TSLR031
didn’t have to queue for the Withdean bogs when Dean Wilkins was in charge. And how getting a half-time bovril at Gillingham was a breeze. Talk about great days out in Halifax, Mansfield and Darlington where we could mix with ‘proper’ fans in their pubs instead of being herded into horrible, crowded Away Fans Only pubs. If your Brighton-supporting stories involve only Millennium, West Ham and Villa, keep quiet. It’s best not to reveal yourself as a glory-hunter. Finally, moan about having to change your Withdean matchday routine. For both weekend and midweek games, we knew where to go before the game, when and what to eat, what waterproofs we needed, when to leave for the ground, who we were likely to meet at the ground, how we’d get back and what time we’d get home. Now it’s a nightmare of uncertainty over prematch beers and food, travel arrangements, where to meet your mates, and venues for post-match analysis. This season will be a struggle to re-establish some kind of order in our lives and that surely constitutes a good reason for moaning, despite Falmer’s obvious advantages over Withdean. To summarise, you are expected to cry openly in public, talk glowingly about the past and moan about the present, irrespective of how fantastic the future of our Club appears to be. If you don’t, there is a danger that you will be thought of as a glory-hunting Johnny-Come-Lately. Still, as socially unacceptable as that may be, at least it’s nowhere near as shameful as being a Palace fan. TSLR
THE MONTH IN NUMBERS
250,000,000 The amount of pence that Tony Bloom spent on Craig Mackail-Smith. The number of new followers who joined the TSLR twitter page whilst reporter Mendoza sent tweets from Portugal during the NaylorFailure.
The time that pompey tickets went on sale.
5,625 The amount of pence that Bill Archer bought the club for.
The haul of trophies won at the Amex so far. We were the green shirt because it was a neutral venue, nothing to do with marketing.
Stadiums we have now called home. This number won’t change for a while we hope!
Pounds cost to get 9 issues of TSLR delivered to your door with our subscription do-da. Includes P&P.
The number of times Gus Poyet said “ees complicated” in the last interview of the 2010/11 season.
The number of times Tanno said “ees complicated” in his recent BBC 5Live preseason interview.
Average wasp attacks in new away shirt. TSLR031
THE HOVIAN I took the decision to sit in Falmer’s East Stand earlier in the year. The thinking behind it was this – the West Stand is by far the most impressive in the stadium, while the other three are puny by comparison. Having the sky-scraping West as a backdrop to my football action might put my Falmer supporting experience into the same league as the San Siro or Bernabeu, or the closest thing to it while still watching the Albion. I’m right over near the away fans in the South Stand too, in fact my viewing position is strikingly similar to my old seat in Block H at Withers, with one crucial difference – I can actually see the away lot up close. Back in BN1 the away fans were a distant spectacle, so much so that you forgot about them until their team scored and you eventually heard them celebrating seconds after the match re-started. Even spirited supporting by the likes of flare-toting FCUM fans didn’t come close to igniting that home/away fan interface at Brighton home games. Not anymore. So, this here new column will, using a purely disinterested and empirical method, study the various new visitors to our beautiful new home in some detail. I like to think that the East Stand is the spiritual continuation of the genteel Withdean North Stand. “North Stand, North Stand, give us a song!” was always a joy when the South Stand rowdies fired it across the old athletics track on a freezing Tuesday night – the reply always a faintly embarrassed silence. Polite clapping and none of that youthful chanting from the Ruffian element behind the home goal thank you very TSLR031
much. So, the East is a perfect environment for scientific observation of the coming season when we have the likes of Cardiff, Leeds, Millwall, Birmingham, the Nigels, and other assorted troglodytes on the visitor’s card. My first experimental observation is of the followers of that most rarefied of cosmopolitan Premier League clubs, Tottingham Hotspuds. I reckon a slack handful of about 500-750 Yids made the trip down to Sussex on this glorious sunny afternoon. They kept to the unlit back of the oddly-shaped away area, I suppose they’re not used to smog-free fresh sea air and unlimited sunshine? Their rowdy/gobby element seemed to congregate over near the East end of the stand, perhaps the behemothic West Stand intimidated them, and they preferred to chopse off at the less imposing East Stand and our selection of peaceful souls? Looking at them, they were a fairly homogenous grouping of aging ‘boys’, not many replica shirts on view and when they scored their goals only a few fatties gave it ‘wanker’ signs and the like at us, but this was only a friendly folks, it will get better. We met a few self-proclaimed ‘retired boys’ down the Battle of Trafalgar after the game. “Brighton was always a good trip, youse lot always gave us a good row down here”, the teller’s THFC pin badge spun in his spit-flecked jacket lapel each time he slurred his reminiscences and quaffed his beer. Next up is Donny Rovers and Gillingham, stay tuned for Tales from the East. @TheHovian TSLR
Weâ€™re going to be looking at some great old programmes in TSLR this season. This one, from 1984, is from when we took on the mighty Liverpool for the second time in 2 seasons. Like the year before, but as a second division team, we actually beat them again, this time 2-0. The spreads below show a really odd pencil drawing of an Albion player with the other spread a montage of our win at Anfield the previous season. The club have since ceased using illustrations that would make kids cry in the programme, they also donâ€™t cut out the player pictures for the front cover with scissors anymore. Which is a shame. TSLR
CARTER It feels like the days have been passing in slow motion since May, when all eyes were on a certain goal scoring hero’s transfer to Palace on a free. When not Photoshopping (or in most cases MS Painting) Glenn enjoying life in a caravan, Albion’s online community obviously turned to thoughts of cheerleaders, free porn and the Thread Full of Beautiful Women. This is a period of the post-season that I like to call: ‘Murray for nothin’ and your chicks for free’. Personally, most of the rest of my summer has been spent looking at pictures of the Amex from every conceivable artistic viewpoint; in fact, I saw so many photos of our new home with poppies in the foreground that I began to convince myself that it had actually been built on the Somme rather than just off the A27. You also know you’re slightly obsessed with a stadium when you accidentally drop a Pringle in the back garden and get all whimsical because it resembles the curved roof structure of the Amex as seen from Ditchling Beacon.
club appeared to be seriously threatening a lack of fodder for the fanzine - ‘swooping’ for some decent footballers early in pre-season, releasing new kits on time and having Falmer ready for kick-off - hardly the ammunition for the self-depreciation we rely on here*. Hold on though...”Dick’s Bar” you say? Fanzine gold. That one is going to run and run, TSLR is going to be full of stuff about Dick’s all season. Incidentally, I had a dream where the main supporter’s bar at Falmer was a camp cocktail joint run by Dirk Lehmann; it was called ‘Möwe and Shaker’, which is admittedly only amusing to those with a broad German accent or people who spend too much time staring at Pringles on the lawn. *P.S. After the Spurs show-piece game, I turned to give the stadium another contented glance as I headed towards the exit. The super high tech scoreboard in the away end was showing: ‘Albion 0 - 0 Peterborough’ and listed the scorers in this bizarre goalless encounter as ‘Some Text’ and ‘Some Text’.
The greater the anticipation of the opening game, the slower the summer has seemed. To distract myself - and please forgive me for this - I toyed with the idea of writing a mystery novel based on the 1936 fire that destroyed The Crystal Palace. Seriously. Thankfully, the time I took attempting to buy tickets for the Spurs friendly and Gillingham cup game meant that I never got round to getting anything onto paper. Also, much to the delight of the residents of Brighton and Hove, my ‘order on the internet and get a fry-up by post’ idea hasn’t formed itself into a meaningful business plan; as such, I won’t be sticking my sausage through your letterbox any time soon.
I think the fanzine’s looking safe for another season.
A few ticketing teething problems aside, the
P.P.S. And don’t think for a second that I’ve forgotten about Scott McGleish. Apparently, the veteran has been banging them in during pre-season with current employers Bristol Rovers and was even on the same score sheet as Adam Virgo in a recent friendly against Gloucester City. I have a sneaky and slightly hopeful feeling that we’ll see Rovers heading to the Amex for a cup game this season. To give McGleish some shit in four separate ‘home’ grounds would be a marvellous achievement, so I’ll be excitedly watching that ball bag come FA Cup draw time.