Monthly Archives: March 2013

Frank Worthington rolls back the years


To celebrate 100 years of the Football League in 1988, Leaf issued a collection of 100 stickers. Measuring 10cmx6.5cm, these were substantially larger than the Panini and Daily Mirror stickers of that year.

Here you can see Frank Worthington in a Brighton shirt, skipping past a Manchester City defender in the 0-0 draw in November 1984.

This is probably a lot quicker than a certain horse he bet on in his time at the Goldstone Ground:

“The biggest bet I had on a horse was when I went to Folkstone while I was playing at Brighton. It was a five furlong sprint and I thought I’d have a go. I probably had £100 on which was a sizeable figure 20 odd years ago. It gave the others about 20 yards start and never got out of the stalls. Finished about fourth and we’d done our money. It was a lesson well learned.”

(Source: Backpass Magazine, Issue 7)



And if you thought Gully’s Girls were Albion’s first cheerleaders, this might cause you to do a double-take.


The Albion team come out of the tunnel in their last match of the 1970s, at home to Manchester City, to an enthusiastic welcome from this troupe.

Brian Horton looks as pleased as punch. It seemed to do the trick. Albion triumphed 4-1.

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The Anglo-Scots: Gordon Smith


The above feature came in Programme Plus, a magazine insert that several clubs carried in their matchday programme in the early 1980s. While Brighton did not include it in its programme, there were occasional pieces that related to the club. Here’s an interview with Gordon Smith, including a wonderful photo of the match against Wolves on the opening day of the 1980/81 season. Just look at the faces of the crowd!

In the feature, Smith is in diplomatic mood:

I felt settled at Ibrox and when they told me they had accepted Brighton’s offer my first reaction was one of bitter disappointment, he said. “But I decided to travel down and see what Brighton had to offer. Now I should really thank Rangers for letting me go because I might never have had the opportunity to play in the English First Division!

“What I want most of all is to help Brighton to become even more successful. A lot has been achieved in a short space of time and there’s an exciting atmosphere around the place, a sort of feeling that there are good times ahead.”

It’s the kind of respectful attitude that meant Smith is not hated by Albion fans despite not sticking the famous chance away two seasons later.



Farah Fit

farah fit

Another evocative advert from Farah Slacks, responsible for providing the first-team with the official club dress. This advert is from the Middlesbrough programme from September 1981. Elsewhere in this issue:

We mentioned in Tuesday’s programme that shortly ‘Farah’ trousers, as worn by the Albion players, would be available from the club shop. In fact these are now in, but a misplaced paragraph in the Swansea programme suggested that leg measurement would be needed to obtain the new club sweaters.

So, did you kit yourself out in Farah slacks and jeans? Were they really all the rage in the early 1980s?

See also Albion Wear Farah Slacks


DC comic covers Brighton v Palace rivalry

Click the link above to read the full blog entry by Walt Jabsco from Not Worth That.

An incredible find. Details about the comic were originally posted on North Stand Chat by RowleyBirkinQ.C(deceased). He gave his synopsis as:

“It’s about 3 arsenal fans can’t go to see the gooners as they haven’t got a game so they decide to join up with palace fans to kick the shit out of the evil Brighton. At the end of the game the 3 arsenal decide to run over to Brighton fans to kick off but the palace boys “whimp out” and lone arsenal boys get their heads kicked in by Brighton hoolies. One of the hoolies is Hellblazer in a blue and White scarf who stabs one of the gooners to death and drags him to hell. All quite philosophical and heartwarming really.”

You can also buy the digital edition of Hellblazer #101 at


Backpass Magazine: Steve Foster interview


Backpass Magazine is a fantastic read for anyone who loves football culture of yesteryear. Priced £3,95, the magazine has been going since the summer of 2008. The current issue, issue 27, with cover star Liverpool’s Roger Hunt, features the Steve Foster photo above in the glorious Highbury sunshine in April 1983. It also includes a two page interview with Fozzie. He says:

I started there under Alan Mullery. He was followed by Mike Bailey, a lovely man and manager who was sacked for not smiling enough! Jimmy Melia took over and that’s when everything started to take off, especially with the FA Cup run.

There is a mistake in the interview as Foster appears to suggest that Albion finished 13th under Mullery in 1982 before becoming defensive under Bailey. That high finish was, of course, under Bailey. However, this does not take away from the fact the interview is an enjoyable read with Foster characteristically forthright in his views about managers and players.

Anyway, I won’t spill the beans as this magazine is in some newsagents despite problems with the barcode restricting supply.

Brighton have been very well served by the magazine over its 27 issues:

    Issue 1 has a short article on Bristol Rovers’ Bannister and Warboys, the nemesis of Brighton in 1973 in the 8-2 defeat
    Issue 2 has a short article on how Brighton got the Seagulls nickname, and a summary of the 1982/83 season with a review of the FA Cup Final. Also mentions the club ‘unveiled plans for a new £7 milion stadium to be opened in 1985. They are still waiting!’
    Issue 4 has memories of Norman Gall and a feature on the Leatherhead Lip giantkillings
    Issue 5 has an interview with Jim Walker
    Issue 7 has an interview with Mel Hopkins although there is no Albion references other than a photo of Hopkins
    Issue 10 has reviews of the Peter Ward and Martin Chivers biographies, an interview with Peter Ward, and Mike Tiddy obituary
    Issue 13 has an interview with Jimmy Melia, a feature on the famous ‘penalties’ match with Crystal Palace in 1988/89, and a Bobby Smith obituary
    Issue 14 has an Alan Davies retrospective with comment by Gary Stevens. Also, a Mel Hopkins obituary
    Issue 15 has interviews with Ian Goodwin and Gerry Ryan
    Issue 16 has an interview with ex-Albion coach Ray Crawford
    Issue 17 has a flashback to the epic cup tie between Brighton and Walsall in 1969/70
    Issue 18 has a Ken Beamish interview and Goldstone retrospective
    Issue 19 has a Bernie Gallagher obituary
    Issue 24 has a retrospective of Southern TV’s football coverage and the Preston days of Alex Dawson – only a very brief Albion mention in each plus a photo of Dawson in a Brighton shirt
    Issue 25 has a feature on Brighton & Hove Albion kits and an Ernie Machin obituary
    Issue 26 has an interview with Brian Horton
    Issue 27 has an interview with Steve Foster
    Issue 28 has a short article on Spencer Vignes’ ‘A Few Good Men’ book
    Issue 29 has a synopsis of the John Shepherd book, an article on the 2-8 defeat to Bristol Rovers, and obituaries of Tony Grealish and Freddie Jones

Some back issues are still available. Get them from their website before they go! Digital back issues will be available soon.

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Celebrate Red Nose Day with Barry Lloyd and Doug Rougvie


Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day first kicked off 25 years ago in 1988, and who better to launch it than Barry Lloyd and ‘Doug The Thug’?

Sadly, there was not much time left together for this comedy double act as Lloyd dropped his skipper Rougvie in favour of Robert Isaac in the Division Three promotion run-in.

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Club Call from 1972/73

This is taken from Roy of the Rovers magazine:


The line-up is this:

Back row: Ian Goodwin, Kit Napier, Stewart Henderson, Alan Dovey, Brian Bromley, Brian Powney, Eddie Spearritt, John Templeman, John Napier;

Middle row: Mike Yaxley (trainer / physio), Bert Murray, Norman Gall, Willie Irvine, Pat Saward (manager), Ken Beamish, Bertie Lutton, Peter O’Sullivan, Ray Crawford (coach);

Front row: Steve Piper, Tommy Armstrong, Alan Boorn, Steve Breach.

For more about these players during this disastrous campaign, please visit my other Albion site Seagulls TV.

The summary in Roy of the Rovers magazine includes these ‘facts’:

Formed: 1900.
Nickname: “Albion” (or Shrimpers).

I’ve seen the club erroneously nicknamed the Shrimps. But this is the first time I’ve seen us down as the Shrimpers which is equally wrong. I suppose it’s preferable, though. Wouldn’t have liked to have been the Shrimps and having to play Southend (the ‘Shrimpers’)!


John Napier poses for the Jimmy Hill Football Weekly


Strappling centre-half John Napier was Brighton’s record £25,000 signing from Bolton in August 1967. A year earlier he made his full debut for Northern Ireland in Belfast, losing 2-0 to West Germany.

Along with Norman Gall, Napier formed the bedrock of Albion’s defence in the late 1960s, winning the club’s first Player of the Season award in 1968/69.

Two years later, he was still turning it on for the Albion. In particular, his performance at Reading in April 1971 warmed the cockles of the heart of Evening Argus’ John Vinicombe, who wrote: “This was a magnificent display by John Napier. He was absolutely commanding and this rated as his best perfomance of the campaign. Nothing beat him and this mastery inspired confidence all around.”


Sex god Keith Dublin


Something rather sleazy about this photo, don’tcha think? Would you ask an autograph from this man?!

Signed from Chelsea for £50,000 in the summer, Keith Dublin was an ever-present left-back during the 1987/88 Third Division promotion before blossoming into a classy central defender.

Extracts from his profile in the Brighton v Bristol City programme from February 1988:

Most embarrassing moment: Smacking the ball into the referee’s face, but it was a pure accident.
Favourite Food: Chicken Kiev.
Radio: L.W.R. and T.K.O. pirate stations
How I Would Improve Football: Have a change of referee at half-time! But serious, I’m quite happy the way it is.
Ambitions: To further myself in my chosen career and live a happy peaceful life.