As a reader, having outgrown Shoot! and with Match dumbing down to becoming little more than a poster magazine, I became a big fan of 90 Minutes magazine in the 1990s. Irreverent and intelligently written, it’s a weekly magazine that I wish was still going. Here’s a fascinating read from its pages on 28th January 1995. Interview by Kevin Palmer:
Des Lynam may spend his Saturdays discussing the ins and outs of the Premiership with his Match of the Day colleagues, but what he’d really like to be doing is breathing in the sea air and cheering on his beloved Brighton at the Goldstone Ground. 90 Minutes dons a jacket and tie and asks our Des to spend an imaginary £8million on his Seagulls Dream Team.
My family originally come from Ireland, but when we moved over here and into the Brighton area I started going to watch and developed a real interest. I started to go to the Goldstone Ground more and more as time went on, but I did play on Saturdays for school teams which meant I missed some games. Since I’ve been working on TV I’ve become associated with Brighton and have even been offered a place on the board, although I wasn’t mad enough to take it.
I clearly remember the first game I ever attended at Brighton and it wasn’t especially for the football. It was around 1952 and they still used those big, heavy leather footballs. I went along to the game with a neighbour and his daughter and unfortunately a ball smashed the child in the face and knocked her out cold. We were dragged away from the game while they got treatment. I have always said it was the first time I had ever experienced a woman’s headache getting in the way of a lot of fun! We did manage to see some of the game in the end, but it was an interesting afternoon that was somewhat spoilt by the pre-match ‘entertainment.’
I don’t get to see the team as often as I like because I have to work every Saturday with Match of the Day, but I follow their fortunes very closely. I also live in the London area now which makes it a little more difficult to go. But a team like Brighton are always going to find it very hard in a modern football environment. Liam Brady is doing a good job, but they’ve had a bad run of late which has pulled them down somewhat. I still feel Brady has a lot to prove as manager, but Brighton is a great place for him to make his mark. There has been talk of him moving in as the new Arsenal manager if George Graham was to leave, but I don’t think Arsenal would want to make such an ambitious appointment with an unproven manager. The main aim for Brighton this season has got to be survival in the Second Division and then we can look to build from there.
An £8 million injection would surely have been enough to stop the club from selling the Goldstone Ground. But if it had to go on players who would Des have chosen?
Current club: Blackburn Rovers
Fee: £2.95 million
He’s a great competitor and would give us the extra edge we need in the midfield, although we do have Jimmy Case who’s still a good performer even if he is past his 40th birthday. Batty would win the ball for you and let the others play the football, though he has improved his passing game immensely in recent years.
Current club: Wimbledon
This will be a surprise choice for most, but he is perhaps the sort of player we could hope to sign with the financial situation at brighton. Harford would put the fear of God up the defenders in our division and would cause a lot of problems. He’s proved he still has the ability with his recent burst of goals for Wimbledon in the Premiership.
Current club: Nottingham Forest
One of the most sought-after players in the Premiership and it’s not surprising. Everything he does makes him look like a class striker. I wouldn’t say he’s the best in the country, though. Alan Shearer’s the best striker around, but with just £8million to spend, I wouldn’t have enough to make a bid for him.
If you wish to reminisce about 90 Minutes magazine, a good starting place is Dispatches for a Football Sofa blog, with an interview with Julliette Wills http://dispatchesfromafootballsofa.com/2011/08/24/when-dispatches-met-90-minutes/