Monthly Archives: March 2013

Brighton’s ‘Preston mob’


From Shoot! Magazine in 1978/79:

Mark Lawrenson and Gary Williams have always been certain Brighton will win promotion to the First Division this season.

They are both stars in a team which has been in top form in the League since November and neither player regrets moving from Preston nearly two years ago.

“Things are great at Brighton with the club at the top of the Second Division.” says Lawrenson.

“We have no qualms about leaving Preston North End because with Brighton we have joined a club that is just as good and which also has more money.

“We only just missed getting promotion last season when we took 15 points out of the last 16 only to be pipped by Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference.”

“The team had a sticky patch after the 5-1 win over Preston in September, probably because we thought we were better than we were.”

“But Alan Mullery got the Divisional Bell’s Manager of the Month award for December, in a great Christmas when we took six points out of six, and we have not lost many matches since.”

In 1978/79, just like Lawrenson and Williams at Brighton, bustling centre-forward Michael Robinson had hoped to get into the First Division himself with Preston. However, the Lilywhites suffered a terrible start. Nevertheless, he was sure he had nothing to fear. As he said to Football Handbook (Part 31): “I can’t see how we are going to go down. We have only the poor sides to play.” Speaking of the 5-1 score at the Goldstone, he added, “There’s nothing to fear because only Brighton have hammered us.” Preston eventually finished seventh, helped by winning the return match at Deepdale 1-0 in February.


The Preston holy trinity was complete when Williams and Lawrenson were eventually joined at the Albion in the summer of 1980 by Robinson who arrived at the Goldstone via an unhappy spell at Manchester City.


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The video age arrives at the Goldstone

john king films

In a scene befitting a ’70s sci-fi movie, Alan Mullery goes over footage of a recent match with some of his star players. As the Brighton v Nottingham Forest programme from 1979/80 reports:

Every home game at the Goldstone is recorded on video by John King Films and Manager Alan Mullery spends a considerable time looking through the replays for tactical purposes.

John King are now marketing a brand new form of television. It is the biggest screen on the market operating on a sophisticated projection system. Our picture shows Alan with players Mark Lawrenson, Peter Ward and Brian Horton viewing the action of a recent match and envying the chance of such a set at him.

If the picture quality was really as good as that, JKF were really ahead of their time. And whatever happened to all the video footage from Albion’s first in the top flight? If only it still survived…

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Evening Argus Newspaper stand poster


A beautiful effort from the local newspaper in 1983.


Third Division Brighton are first-class, says Phil Beal


From Shoot! magazine:

A gladiatorial display by Phil Beal for his new club Brighton, against Rotherham, was loudly acclaimed by the supporters who revelled in the strength and guile the ex-Spurs player had brought to their side.

The immensely experienced Beal had wielded a pattern of play that sent the supporters home humming happily, relishing the 3-0 win and calculating the prospects of the new season.

Beal went home happy too: “It’s a great feeling to have a crowd behind you like that. Their reaction impressed me just like everything else did when I visited the club for the first time to meet manager Peter Taylor.

“I knew nothing at all about the club and, to be honest, I thought it might be a tin-shed type of place. What an eye-opener it turned out to be!

“I had imagined the Third Division to be a big step-down, not just in terms of football but in everything else too. But I found they had new offices, new dressing rooms and medical rooms and when they travel they go first class, stay in first class hotels and even use the same coach company as Spurs.

“The set-up is easily as good as many First Division clubs. The pitch, for instance, is a nice size and allows you to make room to play. Some pitches are tight and cramped but not at the Goldstone Ground.

“When I saw how great things were off the field I felt they must want the same quality on it and that persuaded me. Like Tottenham, Brighton aim to play football.. which is what I am all for.”

On page 104 of ‘An Autobiography’ (1985), Alan Mullery paints a rather different picture of Beal’s reasoning behind joining the club:

I was a new manager and a few of the senior professionals tried to ‘find me out’. I had played in the same Spurs side as Joe Kinnear and Phil Beal and couldn’t believe the money they were earning at Brighton in the Third Division. Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, who had managed the club together for a short period, had given some of the senior professionals amazing signing-on fees. Kinnear was one and I got the impression that he and one or two others had gone to Brighton to take the easy way out. They had been enticed away from big clubs with massive signing-on fees between £5,000 and £20,000.

After his storming game against Rotherham on the opening day of the 1975/76 season, Beal lost his place at the start of September under Peter Taylor, making just eight League appearances. Under Mullery, the following season, he played just one League match although he did figure as right-back in the famous League Cup win against Ipswich at the Goldstone. And then, after being much more accepting of Mullery’s axe than, say, Kinnear, Beal was off …to the United States for spells with Los Angeles Aztecs and Memphis Rogues.

For the Aztecs, here he is using all the know-how he learnt at the Goldstone to try to take on Pele.



Ken Armstrong, the Albion player that never was

Sandwiched between keepers Corrigan and Digweed, here’s 6ft 3 defender Ken Armstrong in the Brighton team photo for Shoot! Magazine in 1984/85:


The photoshoot took place during the advanced stages of negotiation of his transfer from Southampton, where he played with future Albion stars Frank Worthington and Ian Baird. Unfortunately, the deal for Armstrong fell through and we never got to see the centre-half in action for us at the Goldstone. (Mind you, we didn’t get to watch Corrigan and Digweed either during the campaign, as Graham Moseley – strangely absent here – was ever-present and ‘Big Joe’ was given a free transfer).

It was not the last transfer shenanigans for Armstrong who later joined Walsall from Birmingham for £10,000 in February 1986, broke his ankle in his first training session, and retired from the game nine months later aged just 27.


A restaged team photo of the one below was subsequently taken, minus Armstrong:



They love tough-guy Justin Fashanu at Brighton


From Shoot! Magazine in 1985/86:

“At 24, the born-again Christian has put a controversial past behind him, and following a £110,000 move from Notts County in June, he is already a hit with the fans.

They love his power and skill, and Cattlin has opted for a front duo of Fashanu and Alan Biley, the £50,000 buy from Portsmouth late last season.

Unfortunately for the muscular striker, his Brighton career was only four games old when he was sent off for the third time in a year during the club’s recent 2-1 home win over Bradford.

“It was a ridiculous decision,” he says. “I was slightly late with a challenge and when the ref went for his book I just said, “You must be joking.” That was it. I was off!”

Brighton’s players were keen for Fashanu to join them early last season when they beat Notts County in a tremendous battle at The Goldstone.

Fashanu was involved in incidents that put Jeff Clarke and Eric Young in hospital and figured among seven names in the book of referee John Moules.

Danny Wilson, Brighton’s skipper, and an ex-Forest player like Fashanu, said at the time: “He certainly puts himself about, but I would like him in my side.”

Enthuses Fashanu: “This is the most important move of my career. Coming to Brighton is not just a financial thing; it is the best chemistry for Justin Fashanu, and I shall give 100% in every game.”



Carol Manns – ‘Seagulls’ (1979) – a video!

Thanks to North Stand Chat user Fork Me, last week I got hold of a digital copy of this rarely heard song about Brighton & Hove Albion from the late 1970s.

I decided to make a video to it and you can see it here

As well as watching the video, you can have a sing-a-long. Lyrics are here:

I live near a football ground, Albion is her name.
I tell you it’s almost hell when they play a game.
Saturdays are all the same, football fans about
And when you pass them in the street
This is what they shout:

Seagulls, Seagulls.
They’ll play on and on.
Seagulls, Seagulls.
Forever playing strong.
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
We are the Brigh’on North Stand!

Other teams’ supporters may as well go home
While in the North Stand, our boys sing: “You’ll never walk alone”
And you could be in Timbuktu and still know when they score.
Cos it’s enough to deafen you
When you hear that roar:


And now they’ve finally made it, we’re in Division 1
Brighton and Hove Albion have only just begun.
So when somebody asks you, “What team do you support?” (Seagulls!)
Stand up proud and sing out loud
And shout this in retort!


Lovely how she drops the ‘t’ from Brighton in her pronunciation in the chorus, for that authentic local dialect.

There has already been a thread on NSC about the song here. Feedback about this video can be viewed here Feel free to add your own!

Comments so far have included:

“Brilliant, thanks for sharing. Great to see the old footage and the Goldstone. Horrible to see the fences that we used to stand behind. It’s so good that those days have gone. Catchy little tune.” – Thisistips

“Fabulous” – Jackcgull, Eye On The Seagull

“Absolutely fantastic” – kevo

“Love it” – D’Angelo Saxon

“Fantastic! Brought lots of happy memories of a great time in the club’s history. All the players look so young! Nice to have a reminder of what a great finisher Peter Ward was and to see the skill of Sayer out wide again. It’s amazing now to think we were made to watch from behind those fences. I well remember how they obscured the view” – ChilternGull

“That thing in the middle of Churchill Square was a eaterie I believe. And sorry the song is pants” – Beach Hut

Does anyone know any more about this singer? Google draws a blank in the matter. Can’t even find a photo!

And did anyone buy the single at the time?


Here’s where you can download the audio file of ‘Seagulls‘ (AAC format). It will play on digital music players such as iPods and iPhones.

The B-Side is called ‘You, Me & The Boogie’ and isn’t Albion-related.

Opening of the Seagull Tavern

seagull tavern

Taken from the Brighton v Crystal Palace programme of December 1979:

Two weeks ago the nearest hostelry to the Goldstone took on a new name. The former Sackville pub on the corner of Old Shoreham Road and Sackville Road was renamed the ‘Seagull Tavern’ and there for the opening were a number of Albion players to wish landlord John Sainsbury well. Our photo shows the lads together with some ‘Seagulls’ lovelies.

Anyone who owned a replica of that Bukta shirt can vouch for its nipple-scratching effects of the sandpaper-like material. I hope the, ahem, ‘lovelies’ weren’t too discomforted. Gerry Ryan appears to be somewhat distracted by the young lady with Peter Sayer’s perm!

And a few drinks later, things get a bit more cosy…

seagulls tavern 2

(from Brighton v Southampton, Peter O’Sullivan testimonial programme, April 1980)

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Teddy Maybank thinks ‘Brighton will be among the best’


From a piece in Shoot! Magazine:

Teddy Maybank, Brighton’s expensive signing, is at last accepted by the Goldstone Ground fans.

Maybank, who cost Brighton £238,000 from Fulham, found luck wasn’t on his side when he arrived on the South Coast. Last season’s goalscoring hero Peter Ward was in the middle of a long goal famine, something the fans had never seen before from the striker. So when costly Maybank arrived, everyone looked to him to start hitting the score-sheet regularly.

Maybank scored a few early goals. But he was honest enough to admit: “I wasn’t playing well. I knew that.

My early form was a disappointment to the fans. They expected me to come in and start scoring regularly and doing incredible things. It’s always hard when you change clubs and you need a while to settle in. I have to adjust to my new team mates but they’ve had to change and adapt to playing with me.”

Maybank, despite his initial problems, is in no doubt he has made the right decision. “I believe in a couple of seasons, Brighton will be one of the best sides in the country. The whole club wants to go places and I’m convinced we’ll do just that.”

it is worth noting that after his signing in November 1977, Maybank hit ten League goals in the promotion campaign of 1978/79, same as Peter Ward. This included a Boxing Day hat-trick against Cardiff in 1978. He also notched up the club’s first two goals in top flight football, at Villa Park and Maine Road in August 1979. However, he never fully won over his detractors, returning to Fulham in December, having fallen out with Alan Mullery, for £150,000.

Maybank later appeared as a contestant on Blind Date and The Weakest Link.


Eyes Off Nelson


A lovely piece in Shoot! Magazine as Brighton mounted a late promotion bid in 1988. Says Nelson:

“I want to play in the First Division. After all, it’s the only division I haven’t played in. But to suggest I will leave Brighton to do it is pie-in-the-sky. I’m very happy at Brighton, and I’m delighted at the way things have progressed since I’ve joined.

“I was originally bought to play wide on the left, not down the middle. The manager was trying to buy another striker to partner Kevin Bremner, and when he couldn’t find anyone he decided to push me inside.”

Nelson eventually hit 32 goals during the campaign, an outstanding personal achievement although four short of Peter Ward’s club record of 36 in 1976/77. Nevertheless, it certainly helped the promotion push that ended in success on the last day of the season.