Here’s the magnificently named Giles Stille, fan of Steely Dan, chicken kiev and Minder, proudly showing off the resplendent flared collars of the adidas British Caledonian kit of the early 1980s.
The young bearded Brighton midfielder made his debut as a substitute in December 1979 against Manchester City. Then he really made an impact the following season with a burst of three goals in five matches as he enjoyed an extended run in the side in February and March 1981.
Shoot! Magazine took up the story:
Brighton’s unhappy season in the First Divsion has been boosted by the progress made by their midfield newcomer Giles Stille.
Alan Mullery discarded his burgeoning young talents for the crunch games in the climax to the season but there is no doubting the high regard the Brighton manager has for Stille as he plans to reshape the South Coast club for next season’s campaign.
Stille is more than just a football player. He has a degree in history from his days at London University, and that’s why he didn’t play first team professional football until he was 22.
“I was playing part-time football for Kingstonian while I was working at London University,” he explained. “Brighton asked me down for a trial and signed me after I’d played in a few practice matches. But at the beginning I could only turn up for training two days a week because I was finishing my degree course. I knew I was fairly fit, but it wasn’t until I came to Brighton that I realised how much more there was to learn if I wanted to be a professional player.”
Stille is a right-sided midfield player who battles for every ball. He works hard throughout the game, in both attack and defence. He proved he had an instinct for moving forward at the right time with a brilliant second half header which gave Brighton their second goal against Southampton.
There was to be no new season for Mullery to help develop Stille as Mike Bailey became Albion boss, and Stille only made three League starts in 1981/82. The first of these was a home game with Leeds United, and Stille’s first half winner kept Albion soaring high in ninth position. In 1982, he had to cope with being diagnosed as diabetic. Nevertheless, Stille stayed on as a fringe player in the side before a back injury forced his retirement from League football by December 1984.
Stille currently works as a football coach in Sweden. If you’re a Giles Stille fan, I’ve seen that you can buy a t-shirt featuring him at Cult Zeros.