After a four year spell of uphill struggle, punctuated by some occasional famous victories, the team of 1982/83 was the last Brighton side to take part in First Division football.
As you can see, the dour Mike Bailey was still in charge when these stickers were printed. He gave way to Jimmy Melia and George Aitken as joint-caretaker managers in December 1982 after some horrific away performances in the League. The Albion board clearly felt they could do with a change.
And perhaps Panini also felt they could do with a change. The long, narrow stickers with a full-body pose marked a striking break from the tried-and-tested formula of head-and-body shots of previous Panini albums. Would have been interesting to see them trying to fit Melia and Aitken in the new sticker dimensions!
Graham Moseley, like all the other keepers in this album, was clearly instructed by the artistic director to hold the ball with his hands in some way, while the outfield players were possibly given the choice to put a foot on the ball or let it lay in front of them. Hands on hips / crossed in front / behind back also formed the orders of the day with only Jimmy Case ventured beyond the conventional to try some outlandish ‘both hands on one thigh’ combination. Elsewhere on the other pages of this album, you can see players with hands to protect their groin region or posing with socks but no boots on!
However, it was back to the standard head-and-shoulders fare by Football ’84. Didn’t make much difference as far as Brighton & Hove Albion was concerned, as never again were we to enjoy a double page Panini sticker album spread of our side.
Notable other stickers in Football ’83 include future skipper Doug Rougvie and future Brighton manager Mark McGhee in the magnificent Aberdeen side that was to taste European Cup Winners’ Cup glory in the 1982/83 campaign.
Future Albion goalkeeping coach Tony Godden was West Brom’s goalie.