Monthly Archives: April 2013

With Clough By Taylor: The Peter Ward Story


Fascinating extract from this book by Peter Taylor first published in 1980:

I wish Peter Ward had signed for us earlier. I saw Ward slotting straight into Woodcock’s position, with Trevor Francis striking from midfield; everything about the deal looked right, yet everything went wrong.

I had signed Ward for Brighton from Burton Albion – a deal that came about through appointing Ken Gutteridge, Burton’s manager, as a coach at Brighton. He told me, ‘I’ve two or three players at Burton who are good enough for the Third Division. They are Ward, Corrigan and Pollard. Clubs have looked but turned them down. Now will you have a look?’ I sent my assistant manager Brian Daykin, who watched them in an away match and gave the thumbs down. Gutteridge, though, persisted and said, ‘You must rate me to have fetched me all the way from Burton to Brighton so at least give me the satisfaction of seeing these three for yourself.’

There was no answer to that, so I went to Burton and watched them in the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final against Buxton, whose centre-half was Peter Swan, the old England player. Swan gave Ward a hard time and Burton lost, but I still thought, ‘Yes, he’ll do.’ Burton played at Maidstone four days later and I took Brian Daykin with me. He’d seen Ward once and voted no; I’d seen him once and voted yes, so it seemed a good idea to watch him together. The pitch was bad; Burton, who had turned up with a scratch side, were bad; and Ward was bad – yet he still showed a few class touches, enough to make him worth a £4,000 gamble.


Ward has scored a hat-trick for England Under-21s and had a place in the full England squad but I don’t think he’ll realise his full potential because of inconsistency. Yet I like him. He is very good with his back to goal because he can turn and lick defenders and finish. That’s a rare quality – sticking it in the net.

I thought he would be good value for Forest at £300,000, the price I agreed with Brighton chairman Mike Bamber on the night before leaving for a European Cup tie in Romania. The signing was arranged for the day after our return but, shortly after landing, I heard a story that Derby were hoping to exchange Gerry Daly, their Irish midfield player, for Ward. Efforts to contact Alan Mullery, Brighton’s manager, were unsuccessful, which made me suspicious. Then Brian, for the first time in our partnership, doubted my judgement and asked, ‘Are you right about Ward?’

I felt floored and insulted. ‘Right?’ I shouted. ”I’ve got every detail about him except his fingerprints. I’ve bought him once; I’ve played him. He’s tried and tested. I know him as well as I know you’ – and with that, I left the ground. Brian, on seeing my conviction and eagerness to complete the deal, then got in touch himself with Mullery and Bamber but found them no longer anxious to sell, because Ward was returning to form. He played at Forest in November and gave a dazzling display in Brighton’s 1-0 win. This was our first home defeat in the League for fifty-one consecutive matches, stretching back to April 1977. Mullery said afterwards, ‘You couldn’t have him for £600,000.’


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Robert Codner: Talent in his boots and balance sheets in his briefcase


An interesting article in Shoot! Magazine about moonlighting midfielder Robert Codner. This piece is from the early part of the 1988/89 season:

Brighton’s Second Division stock may have been devalued by their loss-making start to the season but for manager Barry Lloyd there is one glimmer of future prosperity amid the gloom. That’s the form of Robert Codner, the city whizz-kid with talent in his boots and balance sheets in his briefcase. Lloyd paid GM Vauxhall Conference club Barnet £115,000 for Codner in September, fighting off the First Division money men of Tottenham, Millwall and Wimbledon, and Second Division Leicester City, just days after he paid the same sum for Barnet defender Nicky Bissett.

But his signing is no ordinary rags-to-riches tale of the non-League nobody who found the football pitches of the Football League paved with gold. For the 23-year-old midfielder, while keen to make a living from full-time soccer, has kept his job as a financial consultant in London’s West End. “My work is going to be part-time now, rather than my football,” says Codner, adding with a touch of understatement: “I suppose it isn’t all that common in the League.”

“My work doesn’t affect my football. It probably helps as I am able to take my mind off the game if things go badly. If you are out of the side you can get depressed but I have another avenue into which I can channel my energy. Now I am a footballer people want to be associated with me and it is easier to get clients,” he says. Indeed he’s already taking advantage of his new-found fame, interesting SHOOT’s reporter in his services!

Unsurprisingly, having hung up his boots, Robert Codner is now a football agent. I wonder if he fulfilled his stated ambition when he was at the Goldstone Ground: his goal to be become a millionaire.


Wing wonder Tony Towner


Extract from the Millwall v Brighton programme from 2005/6:

“It was a dream come true when I joined Brighton, and I remember my debut against Luton as it were yesterday. They were on a great run at the time, unbeaten in 12 games I think, whilst we hadn’t won in as many, but we beat them 2-0 that day although we still got relegated. We regularly played in front of 15- or 20,000 at the Goldstone Ground and there were certainly some eventful times, most notably when Brian Clough took over as manager. In one game that was shown on TV we were beaten 8-2 at home by Bristol Rovers, with Bannister and Warboys having a field day. Mr Clough wasn’t best pleased with that afternoon. I played with some decent players there, people such as Peter Ward, Brian Horton and Ian Mellor. Alan Mullery was the manager when I left. he called me in one day and told me George Petchey wanted to sign me for Millwall, and that was that. I wasn’t in the side regularly at that stage so I thought it would be a good move. As it turned out, Brighton were promoted to the old First Division at the end of the season whilst Millwall were relegated to the Third.

I later had a spell in the First Divsion with Wolves, although we only won four games in the whole season. I actually didn’t do two badly personally and there were one or two highlights, including winning at Anfield and scoring with a header past Chris Woods when we beat Norwich 3-1.


I was very sad a few years back when the Goldstone Ground was sold and Brighton ended up playing at Gillingham. At least they’re playing back in Brighton now, and I have been along to see them once or twice.”


My Football Heroes Annual 1984


This relatively unknown publication was billed as an annual, but I’m pretty sure that there was never a sequel.

‘My Football Heroes’ was published by Opal Quill Limited in 1983, and includes articles about a selection of First Division teams and players of the time such as Simon Stainrod (QPR), Gordon Cowans (Aston Villa) and Ian Rush (Liverpool). As well as profiling the career of future Albion winger Mark Chamberlain (Stoke), some Brighton interest comes in the form of a piece on ex-boss Peter Taylor that asked:

‘Who was the real boss… Brian Clough or Peter Taylor? Thats been the biggest riddle in football as the rest of the game’s pundits watched first Derby then Nottingham Forest reach the heights under this very idiosyncratic managerial partnership.’

Peter Taylor had recently saved Derby from relegation into the Third Division as well as putting Clough’s Nottingham Forest out of the FA Cup. So it must have seemed a pertinent question at the time. Even so, that article disappointingly overlooks Clough and Taylor’s spells down on the South Coast. And, just like the other pieces in this annual, it also suffers from the drawback that ‘My Football Heroes’ didn’t have direct access to the players and managers, unlike the interviews that appeared in ‘Shoot!’ Annual.

Nevertheless, this rather obscure publication does rather eulogise the Manchester United team and players of the time, with pieces on Alan Davies, Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside and Ray Wilkins. Through this, we get to enjoy some colour action shots from the 1983 FA Cup Final, ones that I have not seen any where else.

Steve Gatting and Michael Robinson combine to clear the danger:


Norman Whiteside made himself very unpopular with Brighton fans during the final when he deliberately handled the ball twice in goalscoring positions (would have been cautioned twice to be sent-off nowadays) as well as his X-rated tackle on Chris Ramsey that led to Manchester United’s equaliser. Do I still sound bitter after all these years? Yes, you’re right. Cheating Norman Whiteside is all elbows here against Steve Gatting:


Next up is Frank Stapleton showing his aerial prowess before joining Brighton some eleven years later:


The amazing shrinking midfielder Gary Howlett is the filling in a United sandwich of the ill-fated Alan Davies, who committed suicide in February 1992, and Norman Whiteside:


And finally, Ray Wilkins scores one of Wembley’s finest goals before wheeling away.



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The lads who gave Seagulls their name


(left to right): Peter Warland, Derek Chapman, John Bayley, Jeff Walls, Kevin Bayley, who is twin brother of John, Lee Phillips and Stevie Smith.

A brilliant story from the Argus ‘Division One Here We come’ supplement in 1979:

Albion are called the Seagulls because of Crystal Palace. The group who dubbed them the Seagulls begrudgingly give their arch-rivals a little credit. But we have traced the lads who thought up the name and, as the revelry over promotion continued, they explained how it all began.

The Seagulls were christened with liberal swiggings of beer on Christmas eve of 1975. Christmas festivities were in full swing in the Bosun pub in West Street, Brighton. A group of Albion fans were analysing their vocal failings after a visit to Crystal Palace and decided how to put things right. Said Jeff Wells of Bowring Way, Brighton: “At Selhurst Park the Palace supporters started chanting ‘Eagles’ and the volume was so loud that we could not sing anything louder than them.”

The cry Dolphins never roll easily off the frenzied lips of even the most ardent fan – even when your team was getting the better of Crystal Palace. The Albion have always tried to develop the seaside theme and in pre-war days were known as Shrimps. Many would suggest the nickname was rather appropriate: they were rather small fry and inclined to be gobbled up by the Football League’s big fish. Added to that, Gillingham were also known as the Shrimps, which complicated things. The re-named Dolphins was intended to develop the local link as the Brighton town crest has them, but it never had popular appeal.

Jeff Walls had the marine connection in mind at this Christmas booze up, when he queried: “What do you call those birds down the seafront?” His mate Lee Phillips chanted “Seagulls” and then the nickname was out. It soon spread around the pub, a favourite meeting place for fans. By February the terraces were picking it up and by the end of the season it caught on good and proper. The police had given a helping hand, as well. A crackdown on behaviour in the North Stand led to migration to other parts.

The chant of Seagulls had the Albion soaring to new heights… and it left Rob Pavey, now commercial manager with a Dolphin-sized headache. The fervour from the terraces had to be kept up with. Already one sports shop in Brighton was selling Seagull scarves. Said Ron: “We had a whole lot of stock with Dolphins on it and really all I could do was ditch it. Alan Mullery gave scarves and things like that to children’s homes and we concentrated on the Seagulls.”

Said Derek Chapman, one of the group who gave them the name: “We didn’t really mean to give Albion a nickname. All we were trying to do was have a go at Palace and find a chant that could drown their fans.”

Now, as they toast the Seagulls, with lager, and Newcastle Brown of course, they can admire the Seagull emblem which they helped put on Brian Horton’s jersey. Said Jeff’s mum: “I said at the time that maybe the new name would bring them good luck. Now look at them in Division One.”

Nowadays, Derek Chapman is a director at the club. Also, as mentioned before on this blog, despite what the article says, the club were never known as the Shrimps.


Gerry Ryan’s Golden Goal

Beginning his dribble half-way in his own half, this wonderful solo goal by Gerry Ryan against Manchester City in December 1979 was given the Match Weekly magazine diagrammatical treatment.

The game was a 4-1 triumph and Ryan’s solo effort was Brighton last ever goal of the 1970s.

“I thought about passing it on a couple of occasions, but the gaps seemed to keep opening up.”


You can see the goal here…


Tony Grealish (1956-2013), Rest in Peace

It’s very sad news to hear of a former Brighton & Hove Albion player who has died. It’s particularly regretful that the first Albion player from the glory years of 1976 to 1983 to no longer be with us is the man who captained the side at its first ever FA Cup Final, in May 1983.

Here, he delighted the watching millions by wearing a headband to show solidarity with the suspended Steve Foster:





It’s fair to say that Tony Grealish was not so popular with fans when he was signed from Luton Town for more than £100,000 by new manager Mike Bailey in July 1981. The tenacious midfielder was not in the best of form in his first season, and he had the difficult job of replacing ex-skipper and crowd favourite Brian Horton who found his way to Tony’s previous employers, Luton.

Even so, he seemed in good spirits in this pre-season photoshoot and player profile from the Brighton v Swansea match programme in 1981/82:



Over time, Grealish won over his detractors with his steely determination in breaking up opposition attacks, supplying colleagues with the ball and occasional forays upfield. He was the engine of the side. You can see a fine performance and goal from him from Brighton’s 3-1 win over Everton at the Goldstone in February 1982 (23 mins):

In total, he made 121 appearances for the Seagulls between 1981 and 1984. His contributions to the FA Cup run of 1983 are fondly remembered, such as this dribble past two Manchester City players before a defence splitting ball for the first of Michael Robinson’s double in the 4-0 win (2 mins):

He teed up Jimmy Case’s scorching goal in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Sheffield Wednesday with a cheeky backheeled free-kick (1 min).

As well as a characteristically wholehearted performance, the Seagulls’ number four was involved in the build-up of both of Brighton’s goals in the FA Cup final against Manchester United, switching the ball out wide for Gary Howlett to cross for Gordon Smith’s opener and then pushing the ball into the path of Gary Stevens. In the following season, Tony Grealish (and Danny Wilson) ran the Liverpool midfield ragged in another famous FA Cup game.

The industrious Republic of Ireland international eventually left in March 1984, signing for West Bromwich Albion in a £95,000 deal.


If not a player what job would you do? ‘Don’t know. In the current recession I wouldn’t have a lot of choice. Perhaps an airline pilot!’

That’s rather fitting, and not just because of his British Caledonian shirt! In the words of a North Stand Chat user called ‘rool’, Grealish now joins Alan Davies in the 1983 FA Cup Final reunion in the sky.


Match Cover: Michael Robinson (23 April 1983)


Marvellous colour images abound in Match Weekly, living up to its curious strap line ‘the up-to-date football magazine.’ Of particular interest here is the cover of the very popular Michael Robinson, scorer of the winner in the the FA Cup Semi-Final against Sheffield Wednesday in sunny Highbury.

Inside there is this gorgeous centre-spread. Print it out and stick it on your bedroom wall for old time’s sake!


Some photos from this….

Jimmy Case’s 35 year free-kick howitzer:

The Wednesday equaliser by Ante Mirocevic from a mere one yard:

Steve Foster’s spectacular clearance:


Mike Bailey: Brighton for the title!

Many thanks to Chris Oakley from The Football Attic for scanning this article from Shoot! Magazine from November 1981:


It may seem fanciful to talk about the title in relation to a club that eventually finished in 13th position but the club seemed to be in good shape in 1981/82. Brighton and Hove Albion were fifth in Division One in late September following Andy Ritchie’s winner at Wolves. It was the club’s highest ever league placing. In December, the Seagulls were still soaring high, getting to sixth spot after a 2-0 win against Southampton at The Dell. A place in Europe beckoned.

Said Bailey:

“I am an ambitious man. I am not content with ensuring that Brighton survive another season at this level. I want people to be surprised when we lose and to omit us from their predictions of which clubs will have a bad season.

I am an enthusiast about this game. I loved playing, loved the atmosphere of a dressing room, the team spirit, the sense of achievement. As a manager I have come to realise there are so many other factors involved. Once there on that pitch the players are out of my reach; I am left to gain satisfaction from seeing the things we have worked on together during the week become a reality during a match.

I like everything to be neat – passing, ball-control, appearance, style. Only when we have become consistent in these areas will Brighton lose, once and for all, the tag of the gutsy little Third Division outfit from the South Coast that did so well to reach the First Division.

We sold Mark Lawrenson, Brian Horton and John Gregory. I believe it was necessary because while I agree that a player of Lawrenson’s ability, for example, is an exceptional talent, it is not enough to have a handful of assets. We must have a strong First Division squad, one where very good players can come in when injuries deplete the side.

We brought in Tony Grealish from Luton, Don Shanks from QPR, Jimmy Case from Liverpool and Steve Gatting and Sammy Nelson from Arsenal. Now the squad is better balanced. It allows for a permutation of positions and gives adequate cover in most areas.”


In an unusual managerial swop of sorts, Bailey had been appointed at the Goldstone in June 1981 from Charlton Athletic, with ex-Brighton boss Alan Mullery eventually taking over the vacancy at Charlton.

The new Albion boss certainly made Brighton a hard team to beat by mid-November 1981, with only two League defeats by then. A surprise 1-0 victory was even recorded against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in October, thanks to Michael Robinson’s goal.

‘Don’t concede away from home and try to nick a goal’, seemed to be the Bailey plan. The very cautious, defensive tactics he employed may have made the Albion a force to be reckoned with, but it bored many supporters who had been used to the free-flowing, attacking football played under his predecessor Alan Mullery. Only Liverpool attracted over 20,000 to the Goldstone before Christmas.

The return fixture against the Reds in March 1982 was the high noon of Bailey’s spell as Brighton manager. A backs to the wall display led to a famous 1-0 win at Anfield against the European Cup holders, with Andy Ritchie getting the decisive goal and Ian Rush’s goalbound shot getting stuck in the mud! The club stood eighth but the wheels came off thereafter with ten defeats in the last fourteen matches. With the club safe from relegation, Bailey had been persuaded by supporters at a fans forum to get the team playing a more open, attacking game.

And with that, the genie was out. The team was never the same solid, defensive force under Bailey’s reign, in this or the following campaign, and were never again lording it in the top half of the top division. If Bailey had stuck to his guns, and not listened to the fans, would the club have enjoyed a UEFA Cup place at the end of 1981/82?

What is clear is that it was important to keep the supporters on side, as gate receipts were the lifeblood of the club. The days of Sky Sports and big television money for top division clubs had not yet arrived. Falling attendances at the Goldstone had led to concern from the board. While many blamed the ‘boring football,’ in the Shoot! article, Bailey saw it more to do with a bigger problem, that of the club’s infrastructure:

“We don’t have a training ground. We train in a local park. The club have tried to remedy this and I’m sure they will. But such things hold you back in terms of generating the feeling of the big time. On the other hand, I must compliment the people who are responsible for getting the club where it is. They built a team, won promotion twice and the fans flocked in. Now is the time to concentrate on developing the Goldstone Ground. When we build our ground we will have the supporters eager to fill it.”


Albion players on World of Sport

A very, very rarely seen picture:


The Albion team of 1975/76 lined-up for a different sort of team picture when they had a break from training and went behind the scenes at the World of Sport studio at London Weekend Television.

‘World of Sport’ was ITV’s answer to Grandstand, BBC’s flagship sports programme on Saturday afternoons. WoS ran from 1965 to 1985.

The visit was arranged by Eric Flackfield, a director of LWT who was a frequent visitor to Goldstone matches. He is seated on the right. At the studios on London’s South Bank, the party met Brian Moore, host and presenter on ITV’s On The Ball (which later evolved into ‘Saint and Greavsie) and London Weekend’s The Big Match.

The line up:

Back row (left to right): Phil Beal, Peter O’Sullivan, Glen Wilson (physiotherapist), Steve Piper, Barry Butlin, Tony Towner, Dennis Burnett, Ken Tiler, Ken Gutteridge (coach), Gerry Fell, Peter Grummitt, Joe Kinnear, Ian Mellor, Harry Wilson, Fred Binney, Andy Rollings, Robin Madden, Ernie Machin.

Front row: Brian Daykin (assistant manager), Dudley Sizen (director), Harry Bloom (vice-chairman), Mike Bamber (chairman), Peter Taylor (manager), Brian Moore, Tom Appleby (director), Eric Flackfield.

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