Tag Archives: perry digweed

The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue

Here are the the 12″ and 7″ versions of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup Final song, with ‘The Goldstone Rap’ as the B-Side, released on Energy Records:

theboysintheoldbrightonblue

With superb attention to detail, the front and back covers had lavish designs that helped to soften the blow to club sponsors British Caledonian Airways, whose name would not feature on the players’ shirts on Cup Final day, due to TV regulations at the time:

boysin1

boysin2

Back row: Michael Robinson, Steve Gatting, Gordon Smith, Graham Moseley, Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Jimmy Case;

Middle row: Sammy Nelson, Giles Stille, Neil Smillie, Tony Grealish, Graham Pearce, Gary Howlett, Gerry Ryan;

Front row: Terry Connor, Chris Ramsey.

I originally bought the 12″ from one of the second hand record shops on Trafalgar Road, Brighton. Not sure how much it cost me, but it was considerably less than the £50 forked out by one of The Seagulls Love Review fanzine lads, Stefan, at a BHACHS auction at Withdean about five years ago!

You can see a dance performance to this song here:

The song can be heard in its entirety below:

In case you want to have a sing-a-long, the rather corny lyrics are:

Chorus
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
come on you seagulls, we’ll see you through
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

verse 1
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
we are the team who’ll be out there for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 2
here we are on the road to wembley way
fighting hard for our place on that day
for the pride of our town down by the sea
we’ll do our best to bring them victory

verse 3
cause we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

reprise chorus

verse 4
as we go on our way to meet the best
once again we’ll be put to the test
but we’ll play like we always try to do
we won’t give up until the game is through

verse 5
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 6
follow the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue (twice)

reprise chorus with last line sang twice

I have been told that the lyrics of Albion’s FA Cup final song were reproduced on an A4 sheet which was distributed over the counter at the Seagulls Shop.

In the end, the song reached number 65 in the UK singles chart. Not a bad achievement considering the song wasn’t all that good!

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Pre-Season 1991-92 photo shoot

rocker959 posted some excellent pre-season snaps on North Stand Chat a few months ago. Austrian Gull sums it up nicely:

Great photos.

Worst shorts worn by a professional football team EVER.

Perry Digweed:

Perry Digweed

John Crumplin:

John Crumplin

John Byrne:

John Byrne

Garry Nelson:

Gary Nelson

Gary O’Reilly:

Gary O'Reilly

Clive Walker:

Clive Walker

Mike Small and Ian Chapman:

Mike Small and Ian Chapman

David Clarkson:

David Clarkson

Dean Wilkins:

Dean Wilkins

Mark Barham:

Mark Barham

Gary Chivers:

Gary Chivers

John Robinson:

John Robinson

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Stick in the mud

On this day in 1982, Mike Bailey led Brighton to an astonishing 1-0 triumph over Liverpool at Anfield. As Peter Welbourn of the Sunday Express wrote:

The defensive discipline which has been the cornerstone of success on Brighton’s travels emerged triumphant again at Anfield. An untidy goal snatched five minutes before half-time was enough to cost Liverpool vital championship points. Alan Hansen could only watch in despair as Andy Ritchie’s shot struck his knee to skid over the line.

There was further luck for the Seagulls late on when mud played its part. Bob Greaves believed that Liverpool:

…were well beaten by a combination of an own goal and a wicked pitch. Take that moment 13 minutes from time when Grealish committed a horrific back pass to give Rush an equaliser on a plate. The Liverpool man hit the ball towards an empty net from some 12 yards, it suddenly stopped in the mud and was cleared.

Here’s some photos from that pivotal moment:

liverpoolmud1a

Keeper Digweed looks helpless here but Foster was able to make the clearance:

liverpoolmud2a

No wonder Perry Digweed quipped about the mud after the match: “I think I’ll take a bucketful of this stuff and spread it in the Brighton goalmouth.”

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Even so, the good fortune would have counted for little if it wasn’t for the gritty determination that kept the Seagulls in the game despite the second half onslaught by Liverpool. The Evening Argus’ John Vinicombe was moved to write:

For a display of character and defensive ability, Albion’s performance could not be faulted. The spectacle, while being almost entirely one way, was full of excitement and passion as Albion gradually came to terms with the demands imposed Liverpool on visiting sides•. But that is not to say that Albion didn’t stretch Liverpool’s defences and there were times when the European champions were forced to sweat it out. Everybody performed beyond the line of duty in this action packed drama and Digweed, brought in on the big occasion, had an excellent game. To come to Anfieid and play like this was the highlight of Albion’s season so far, and reinforced the view that their best games have all been away from the Goldstone.

Both Steve Gatting and Steve Foster had immaculate matches at the back. Despite almost gifting the home side an equaliser with his rush of blood moment, Tony Grealish’s industry and excellent play also caught the eye in helping to take Brighton to 8th in Division One. Following the game, manager Mike Bailey was understandably delighted:

“The result at Liverpool was one of the most satisfying it is possible for a manager to get. Although we were all very happy after the game and it was a good journey home, I don’t think the players realised quite what they had achieved. Not many teams go to Anfield and come away as winers, and I certainly never did it as a player. It just shows how far this club has come in the last few years. Five years it would have been unthinkable for Brighton to have gone to Anfield for a League game and come away as winners.

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Digweed’s meteoric rise

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From either Shoot! or Match Weekly in 1980/81:

The opportunity of playing First Division football as Brighton’s first choice goalkeeper seven days after playing in front of a meagre 400 spectators for Fulham reserves left Perry Digweed with no doubts about leaving Craven Cottage.

“I’d asked for a move about a month before. I’d only played in a handful of first team games in five years and felt the time had come for me to establish myself somewhere.

“I was a little surprised to join a First Division club,” Digweed admitted, “although I had read that Brighton were interested in me.” But even though Digweed conceded two goals against West Bromwich Albion on his First Division debut and his 16th League appearance, Alan Mullery felt his new ‘keeper had justified the £150,000 gamble he had taken in plucking Digweed out of obscurity.

“Obviously we were after the best when it became clear that Graham Moseley was costing us vital points, but neither Peter Shilton nor Ray Clemence were available, which is why we had to look to the future,” Mullery explained.

“OK, so the lad was at fault with the first goal he let in, but his overall debut convinced me more than ever that we’ve signed someone who’s going to become a very good ‘keeper,” Mullery commented. And as if to confirm Digweed’s rapid arrival at the top, he was recently called into the England Under-21 squad for the game against the Republic of Ireland.

“He had to withdraw from the squad due to League commitments, but although he could not hide his disappointment, Perry was undoubtedly encouraged by his sudden arrival in the limelight. Digweed, who lives just a stone’s throw from Stamford Bridge, has always been an avid Chelsea supporter and is confident that he will be playing against his heroes in the First Division next season.

“Of course it will take time for me to adjust to the First Division, but it hasn’t taken me long to settle with Brighton as they’re such a young team. This is why there’s such a terrific spirit in the club, which makes me feel that once we’re established in the First Division we must be candidates for European football,” Digweed predicted.

Moving to Brighton has also enabled Digweed to rejoin Brighton’s assistant manager Ken Craggs, who was largely responsible for Digweed joining Fulham.

“My uncle, who played for Hounslow, is a great friend of Ken’s, and because of this, started training with Fulham when I was 13. Eventually Alec Stock saw me play and signed me up.

“It baffles me how Fulham have slipped so quickly,” Digweed continued. “They’ve always played attackinq football and should have pulverised some sides. Their problem has been that they haven’t scored many goals which is, after all, what the game’s about.

“It doesn’t worry me that I’ve joined a struggling club, because there is so much difference between playing here and the reserves. While my immediate aim is to help Brighton maintain their place among the elite, my main aim is to play for England,” Digweed stressed.

Digweed wrestled the first team keeper’s jersey from Graham Moseley, and ended up playing fifteen of the last sixteen matches of the 1980/81 season. However, when Mike Bailey took over the following season, the ex-Fulham player found himself back in the reserves again. Nevertheless, he had the distinction of playing in both the famous victories at Anfield in 1981/82 and 1982/83 and remained with Albion into the 1992/93 season. Despite his long service for the club, he was not awarded a testimonial match, and was fobbed off with a ‘golf event’ to celebrate his decade at the club.

Want to show your appreciation? You can buy a Perry Digweed T-shirt or hoodie at Cult Zeros. I wonder if they do special tracksuit bottoms as favoured by Perry himself…

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Fulham v Brighton, December 1977

digweed2

Looking for all the world like he’s dressed in a set of pyjamas, here’s a rather startled-looking Perry Digweed, second from left, showing off his Admiral England clobber along with fellow Fulham lads Mark Lovell, Tony Maloney and Tony Gale. While Brighton striker Peter Ward was banging in a famous hat-trick for England Under-21s against their Norwegian counterparts at the Goldstone around this time in late 1977, Digweed had played in the FA Youth team against Norway at Craven Cottage. The young keeper ended up joining the Albion three seasons later in a £150,000 deal, an incredible fee for a teenage reserve goalie. Nevertheless, he repaid the faith, serving twelve years with the club.

The photo above is taken from the Fulham v Brighton match on Wednesday 28th December 1977:

fulham

The programme has some nice tidbits, such as what a ‘TV Video-set’ for rental looked like in 1977, some colour photography of recent matches (rare at this time) and a half-time quiz asking which two former Fulham players have managed Brighton (Barry Lloyd and Micky Adams can now be added to the answers of Archie Macaulay and Alan Mullery). Some words and photos also shed some light on the lives of the Lilywhites’ assistant manager Ken Craggs and young apprentice professional Tommy Mason, 17, before they eventually arrived at the Goldstone Ground.

Unsurprisingly, there is a warm welcome offered to the Brighton boss:

The name of Alan Mullery is something of a legend here at Craven Cottage – and it was a sad moment both for Fulham and for English football when he decided to quit the playing side of the game at the end of the 1975-76 season.

It is rather prescient that the piece finishes:

One of Mullery’s biggest assets – and some say his faults – is single-mindedness. But he’s just single-minded enough to get Brighton into the First Division – and good luck to him if he does it.

Indeed he was. The point about being single-minded is particularly apt given that recollections of this quality of Mullery’s that led to his appointment as Albion boss in 1976. Brighton chairman Mike Bamber had been asleep, dreaming of the time the then Fulham midfielder had struck team-mate Jimmy Dunne in a Second Division match with Albion in January 1973. (Yes, because that’s what we all dream about when we go to sleep!) His wife, Jean Bamber, though, was rather startled when he woke her up by announcing Mullery’s name, declaring ‘that’s who we’ll get as the next manager.’ As Mullery wrote in his autobiography in 1985:

Fulham had been winning 2-0 when our centre-half Paul Went was concussed in a collision with Brighton’s centre-forward Ken Beamish. I told Dunne to change his role in the team until we could get Went examined at half-time, but he ignored the instruction and within minutes a ball was played over the head of a wobbly Went and Beamish scored. I argued with Dunne. He told me that Beamish wasn’t his man and so I hit him hard on the chin. Brighton did the same a minute later only this time goalkeeper Peter Mellor made a great save and I had another go at Dunne. The argument continued in the tunnel at half-time and I smacked him a third time, until at last he saw sense and we eventually ran out 5-1 winners.

Hitting a team-mate is something I’m not very proud of, but it was done in the heat of the moment, and that first punch got me the manager’s job at Brighton. Bamber felt that if I could hit a member of my own team, nothing would stand in my way. ‘He must be a winner.’ he added as his startled wife tried to go back to sleep.

Mullery certainly proved a success as manager at the Goldstone Ground and wasn’t afraid to pay big to enhance his squad. Starting his tendency of paying astronomical prices for Fulham players, that continued with Digweed, the Brighton boss had completed the £238,000 signing of Teddy Maybank from Craven Cottage the previous month. With the transfer being too soon to be dismissed as overly expensive, the match programme is optimistic about the striker prospects: ‘Teddy immediately started to repay Alan Mullery’s faith in him by scoring in his first two games.’

He also scored a consolation in this fixture from December 1977 against his former side. Unfortunately for him, though, the Seagulls went down 2-1.

maybank4

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Double A-Side single: ‘In Brighton’ / ‘The Goldstone Rap’ (1982)

First Division footballers they may have been, but Brighton’s team of ’82 also made an audacious bid for pop fame and hip-hop credibility.

From left to right, here are the rather earnest-looking Gordon Smith, Steve Gatting, Perry Digweed, Andy Ritchie, Jimmy Case, Gary Williams, Gary Stevens, Gerry Ryan, Michael Robinson and Steve Foster seeking to set the world alight with their dulcet tones and Farah slacks, not to mention their previously unrevealed rapping skills:

goldstonerapstudio

In the Brighton v Tottenham match programme from March 1982, it was announced:

Last Wednesday our first team squad had a unique day out when they travelled to recording studios in South London to cut their first record. The record is entitled ‘In Brighton’ and should be available on general sale in early April.

Howard Krugar, who lives in Hove and specialises in organising concerts for some of the world’s biggest stars, is the man behind the idea and he is hopeful of the disc making the charts. In fact it is highly likely that the Albion squad will appear on ‘Top of the Pops’.

Also involved in the record is BBC football commentator Peter Brackley who livens things up with commentary on a memorable Albion goal… which one? Well, for that you’ll have to buy the record.

Thanks to the lads at We Are Brighton, you can hear ‘In Brighton’ here:

Based on the Drifters’ song ‘On Broadway,’ the song received a positive response from John Henty who gave it a spin at Radio Brighton on Sunday 4th April. With dubious lyrics such as ‘Big Fozzie keeps it tight for Brighton’ and the boast of ‘Playin’ at the Goldstone Ground, where good football’s always found’ (sadly, no football of any kind down there now), not to mention even dodgier singing, the song probably did not have much of a fanbase outside of Brighton supporters.

Nevertheless, it was also played by Peter Powell on Radio One. However, as notes that month in the Brighton v Manchester United programme lamented:

Last week Peter Powell played the disc on his Radio One show but allowed his own support of Wolves to colour his comments on the merits of the recording.

The song was also erroneously aired on BBC’s ‘Match of the 80s’ series in the 1990s in its coverage of Brighton’s FA Cup run of 1983, with Danny Baker hesitating about even calling it a ‘song’! And, just in case you are wondering, the Andy Ritchie goal that Brackley acts out a commentary on is almost certainly this swerving free-kick belter from the Brighton v West Bromwich Albion game in February 1982:

The other track on this Double A-side was ‘The Goldstone Rap’, which this very blog you are reading takes its name from. Looking at it now, it’s amazing to think that Brighton & Hove Albion were at the forefront of the UK hip-hop scene in 1982, especially as this was almost certainly the first ever football song to feature rapping.

Unlikely to win any prizes at the MOBO awards, the rap memorably includes such lyrical gems as:
‘When you make that cross you’re gonna cross it fine / Give the ball to the player on the dead ball line.’

Never mind the MOBOs, though. Were you at Busby’s Night Club on Kingswest, Kings Road, in Brighton on the evening of Tuesday 6th April 1982? If you were, you would have been present to the grand launch of the single, as Brighton & Hove Albion’s first team squad belted out their musical masterpieces on stage! Sadly, I have no video footage of this priceless moment.

When released to the general public, the colour sleeve of the 7″ looked splendid, with the players proudly posing in front of the temporary Lego Stand in all its glory:

inbrighton-front

inbrighton-back

The price was a bargain £1.20. Buyers of the single from the club shop were also given a chance to enter a great competition to win two tickets to Dallas, Texas, with British Caledonian Airways.

inbrightonad

So, was the Brighton release a launchpad to instant chart fame and fortune? Unfortunately, the single sank without trace but it gave Steve Foster (whose vocals also featured on the England 1982 World Cup song ‘This Time’), an opportunity to meet up with proper singer David Soul and wing a copy to the ‘Starsky and Hutch’ star:

steve-foster-david-soul

Years later, I was wondering about ‘The Goldstone Rap’ and imagining what it would have sounded like if it adopted the electro sound of 1982’s other great hip-hop release, ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Thanks to the power of the internet, and due to a discussion on North Stand Chat, I got to find out.

Major props to Ian, the DJ who created this ‘Goldstone Message':

A much enhanced version, I hope you’ll agree. In terms of pushing at the limits of what was possible for music and Brighton & Hove Albion footballers, it was certainly close to the edge.

Some MP3 files for your listening pleasure:
(right-click to ‘Save Target As…’ or ‘Download Linked File’)
In Brighton
The Goldstone Rap
The Goldstone Message

Other Wrap posts about Brighton & Hove Albion songs:
Carol Manns – ‘Seagulls’ (1979) – a video!

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Pro Set Cards 1990/91

Anyone remember collecting these cards in the early 1990s?

Pro set was a Dallas company founded by Ludwell Denny. It began with a set of cards covering American football from 1989 onwards. Indeed, ‘pro set’ is the name of a formation commonly used in this sport. (After a look at wikipedia, it’s roughly a 2-1-8 formation, I think!). By the early 1990s, ice hockey and golf enjoyed the fledgling company’s card-making ways, as it made great use of the deals it had signed to gain access to extensive photo libraries. It even put together a patriotic ‘Desert Storm’ series based on the Gulf War!

Skipping over the Atlantic ocean, in 1990/91, Pro set also launched a set of 328 cards based on the English Football League, designed to be housed in plastic wallets within an oversized binder. Division One clubs enjoyed thirteen or fourteen player cards each while little Brighton & Hove Albion, together with the other Second Division sides, were allocated two to four player cards.

Here’s the set of three Brighton cards in this series:

proset-91-digweed1

proset-91-digweed

With me having been schooled in the ways of Panini, it certainly was unmistakeable that Pro set cards had a different sensibility, with the head and shoulders shot of the player relegated to the back of the card. The front of the card featured a high quality borderless action shot of the player in the home or keeper’s kit (not in a tracksuit nor away shirt, unlike some other collections I could mention!) within the drama of a match. Drawing from a rich stock of images, you can also be sure that this really was Perry Digweed that you were looking at, with absolutely no photo jiggery-pokery of superimposed heads on other players’ bodies!

proset-91-byrne1

proset-91-byrne

For me, as a school child, having only really known Panini stickers and not having yet clapped my eyes on the Topps’ cards of the 1970s, it was so novel to see that players plying their trade below the top flight were getting their own individual card or sticker. John Byrne had previously had his own individual sticker in Panini Football 86, 87 and 88, although that was, of course, with a Division One club at the time, Queen’s Park Rangers.

proset-91-chivers1

proset-91-chivers

John Byrne is joined by Gary Chivers, his former team-mate at QPR, who played 42 League games during the 1990/91 season. It was a fine time for Brighton devotees to collect these cards, as our team had a great season, reaching the Play-Off Final. Had we beaten Notts County, we’d have had even more incentive to collect during the following season. As it was, I can only remember my brother and I still showing interest in them by 1991/92!

proset

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Perry Digweed – My Fair Laddie

perrydigweed

From Programme Plus:

Perry Digweed and Elisa Doolittle have a lot in common. Brighton’s brilliant young goalkeeper and ‘My Fair Lady’ share Covent Garden, London’s famous fruit and flower market, as their launching pad to stardom. Shaw’s heroine is, of course, a purely fictional filly. Brighton’s 21-year-old goalkeeper, signed for £150,000 from Fulham Reserves at the start of the year, is very much for real.

So real, in fact, that Ron Greenwood recently chose him for an England Under-21 International, after only three appearances in the First Division.

Since the international debut of the goalkeeper with the strange-sounding name – it could have been snipped from the pages of Boys’ Own Paper – has been delayed. But when Greenwood announced Digweed’s name in his squad to face Eire at Anfield, he also admitted:

“Perry was recommended to me when he was at Fulham, but playing in the reserves, it was difficult. Since joining Brighton, I watched him twice, and was very impressed.”

If and when he does win a full cap, the Digweed rags-to-riches story will be a real-life repetition of the Elisa Doolittle classic.”

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