Monthly Archives: August 2013

How Millard, Pavey & Mullery led The Goldstone Goldrush

At the Brighton v Millwall match today, there will be a full tribute to the life of Tony Millard, who sadly passed away last week.


I’m not sure which magazine this cutting is from, although it’s probably Shoot! It covers the increasingly lucrative commercial side of the game of the late 1970s, with Albion doing a much better job than Arsenal at the time!

As Brighton battle to win praise and points in their first season of First Division football, Alan Mullery’s other side are already top of their League! When it comes to making money for the club, commercial manager, Ron Pavey, and promotions expert, Tony Millard, have started a Goldstone Goldrush!

This season, the Seagulls’ financial team look set to earn £600,000 from lotteries, promotions, club shop sales, programmes, ground advertising and TV fees. And that puts them above huge clubs like Arsenal, in the money game.


“You’ve got to have it,” says manager Alan Mullery, “because you can’t get your revenue back through the gate. We were averaging gates of around 22,000 at home last season. Now, that will pay people’s wages, but it won’t put any money in the bank for you. So the commercial side is very important.

“For example, we have match ball sponsors for every League match. We’ll use 21 in a season and each ball costs about £35. If we had to pay for them, it would be expensive over a full season. It’s the same with boots. We’re sponsored by Puma. They supply us with about 250 pairs a year. That’s a big saving too.”

Mullery has seen Pavey and, more recently, Millard make great steps, since his arrival at the Goldstone in July, 1976.

“At that time, the club was taking around £800 a week, from all sources. Now, it’s over £500,000 a year. So, what they’ve done on the commercial side has been fantastic. All right, our success on the field has been a help and people don’t really want to advertise and bring money into a club if it’s not doing well. But they’ve put in a lot of hard work.

“Basically, they’re trying to help me. If they can bring money into the club, and I need to buy new players, it’s a boost for me. Since I’ve been here we’ve had a new pitch, built a new stand and spent £1,250,000 on players. There’s no way we could have done these things without the commercial side.”

In the 1970s, even the commercial aspect of the game had a certain naive  charm to it, unlike nowadays. The Seagull Lottery is held weekly every Monday at a different venue around the County. The second lottery was held at the Southdown Hotel in Worthing and together with Ron Pavey (commercial manager) and the lottery promoter Joan Shipp are vice-chairman Harry Bloom and players Peter O'Sullivan and Peter Grummitt.

In the 1970s, even the commercial aspect of the game had a certain naive charm to it. The Seagull Lottery was held weekly every Monday at a different venue around the county. The second one was held at the Southdown Hotel in Worthing. That contraption is a lottery drawing machine. Very hi-tech, I’m sure!

One of the biggest money-spinners at Brighton is the lottery system. The club runs two weekly lotteries and these produce a yearly profit in the region of £250,000. Ron Pavey is the mastermind behind this area of big business. When he joined the club, five years ago as commercial manager, Brighton were £200,000 in the red. Things have changed a little since then!

“I think we compare quite well with the bigger clubs in the First Division,” says Ron. “We’ve made quite a lot of progress and we’re learning all the time. Being a small club helps us in a way. There’s more of a family atmosphere here. We’ve got a good team, working closely together.

“Everyone who’s involved wants to do their best, because at hear, we’re all Brighton fans! And if we do a good job on the commercial side, we know it can only help the team.”

Tony Millard echoes that brand of positive thought: “Everyone knows football must be commercial to survive. All of us involved in the game love it. We all know football is the number one. But we also know it needs financial support and every aspect must be explored. There’s no doubt about that.

“People who suggest the game has become too commercial are burying their heads in the sand. The way we look at it, we need the support of companies outside the club and we intend to give them value for money. As far as we’re concerned, you’ve got to ride with the times.”

Brighton toured America last summer. Like most lovers of the game, Mullery was irritated by the commercial circus that surrounds every match in the States. He knows British fans don’t want their Saturday afternoons dressed up in gimmicks and candy floss. But Brighton are proving to the soccer world that it is possible to milk the commercial possibilities, without any loss of dignity or pride.

“before I came here, I remember reading about Brighton manager, Pat Saward, going along the seafront with a box, collecting for the Save Brighton Fund,” said Mullery, finally. “We’ve certainly come a long way since then.”

The special souvenir programme for the Brighton v Arsenal match, the Albion's debut in the First Division, in August 1979. Price 50p. Sponsored by Sussex Mutual Building Society.

The special souvenir programme for the Brighton v Arsenal match, the Albion’s debut in the First Division, in August 1979. Price 50p. Sponsored by Sussex Mutual Building Society. I wonder what became of them.

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Kit Napier gets back among the scorers


Kit Napier is rightly considered an Albion legend. He was a ball-playing attacker, skilful with both feet, and with tremendous talent for goalscoring. At the Goldstone, Napier’s class and quick-witted play endeared him to the crowds. After being top scorer for the Albion in four of the previous five campaigns, Napier again was having a prolific season in 1971/72 as the Albion flew high in the Third Division.

From Goal magazine on 18th March 1972:

While Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Notts County have been stealing the promotion headlines this season, Brighton, strugglers for part of last term, have slid quietly into a threatening position and are poised for a takeover bid that could shoot them into the Second Division.

Much of the credit for the Hove team’s confident aspirations must go to manager Pat Saward, the former Coventry coach. Saward worked himself to a standstill last season to make the players believe in themselves.

Now his determination and drive have brought their own reward. His players have responded to his inspiring example and are playing the best football the team has produced since Albion were promoted from the Fourth Division in 1965.

One player to benefit from Saward’s hard work is 27-year-old striker Kit Napier. The player who has played over 200 first team games and scored more than 70 goals is once again among the club’s leading scorers.

His goals could be instrumental in bringing Second Division soccer to the Goldstone Ground for the first time in 10 years. Kit has spent only five of those years with the club, but he believes that the club is now ready to leap into Division Two and stay there.

Says Kit: “There isn’t a better team than us in the Third Division and I really fancy our chances of going up. Once we get there I don’t think we’ll have trouble staying up.

“The standard of football we are playing this season is so high that if we were in the Second Division now we would probably be pushing for promotion.

“We would not have any trouble with the financial burden of playing in a higher division either. Brighton has a a tremendous crowd potential as was proved by that 30,000 crowd we had at Christmas against Bournemouth. If we were in the First Division I’m sure we could get gates of 40,000 regularly.

“Possibly the only trouble with our fans is that they are a bit fickle. We have a few bad results and they start to stay away. But they come round in the end. Ad for myself, they’ve always treated me fairly.”

That is why northerner Napier, who was previously with Blackpool, Preston, Workington and Newcastle is so happy down south.

“Brighton are the best club I’ve been with,” says Kit. “My wife and I are happy. We never had any bother settling down here. It is such a nice town. I much prefer it to living up north.

“The only regret of my career is that I never had more of a chance in the First Division when I was at Newcastle. I only played nine games for them.

Having played for five clubs Kit has a vast experience of the wide differences and he believes that the third Division is the hardest to play in.

“In the First Division you have time to play the ball,” explains Kit. “but in the Third Division you don’t have that time.

“But the quality of the football is definitely improving.

“You’ve got good teams like Aston Villa coming down or Bournemouth coming up. And of course the referees clampdown has helped things as well. It has certainly helped me my play. Now he is determined to achieve his ambition – to win something. “All the clubs I’ve been with before Brighton have never done well,” says Kit, “So I’d be happy and satisfied just to win promotion with them.”

The way he and his team-mates are playing, Napier could be in the Second Division next season.

By the end of the 1971/72 season, Kit Napier was top scorer once more with sixteen League goals, although this feat was equalled by Willie Irvine. Albion won promotion, as runner-up after a phenomenal season of attacking play.

In the Second Division Division the following season, Napier’s optimism was dashed as Brighton’s campaign was unhinged by lack of funds and his falling out with manager Pat Saward. Made just three appearances before being sold to Blackburn Rovers for £15,000 in August 1972.


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Fanzine vs Programme: Gull’s Eye fires an opening shot


By the second half of the 1980s, the Brighton & Hove Albion matchday programme had become incredibly dull. Save for its colour cover, the rest of the publication was looking increasingly stale. Black and white action shots previously seen in the Evening Argus, lots of unimaginative PR stories (some business chap holds cheque in front of camera alongside a club rep), Tony Pullein’s summary of news in the division and a page where the manager (Barry Lloyd) excuses last week’s unlucky defeat while urging fans to get behind the boys today. You know the score.

The formula had barely changed since the start of the decade, but at least then it was fresh, it had the sparkle of Tony Norman’s photo-journalism and the lustre of First Division football as its subject matter. Now, the bland, lifeless writing and page layout perfectly reflected a club where the likes of Dudley Sizen, Greg Stanley and Bryan Bedson were running the show.

Yet an incendiary letter found its way into the letter’s page in November 1988. Here, for your perusal:


Although the official match programme hasn’t yet admitted it, there is now a lively unofficial rival called ‘Gull’s Eye”. Perhaps the Editor hopes it will go away! In fact its existence should be a reminder to those who produce Seagull Review that they are missing out on genuine controversy regarding the performance of the team, its players and manager. The topics dealt with in your letters’ columns are dull and of secondary importance. The fencing, the public address system and hospitality to visitors to the ground are not subjects to stimulate our interest. What is needed is constructive comment on club policy, tactics and performance, with replies from the Chairman, Manager and Chief Coach where appropriate. I do not believe in hounding unfortunate players who are out of favour with a section of the crowd, but we the supporters, many of whom are players, past or present, pay the wages of the Club’s employees and should be treated as intelligent and knowledgeable.

Gull’s Eye is brash and a bit brutal. It lacks intelligent comment on skills and tactics, but it is never dull and tries to come up with the behind the scenes news which we really should be reading in Seagulls Review. I challenge the people with authority at the club to allow genuine debate in the pages of your magazine and to reply to the questions the supporters really want answered. Will you print my letter, and will my challenge to debate the issue publicly or privately be taken up?

John Attree

Steve Rooke, the programme editor at the time, replied: “That’s exactly why this page was put here, John, and it’s up to fans like yourself to respond.”

By the following season, 1989/90, the colour content of the match programme dramatically increased, and its design was spruced up, perhaps in a bid to see off the challenge of Gull’s Eye. It never did become the irreverent publication full of debate that was desired by some fans, hardly surprising considering the increasing chasm between supporters and the Board as the nineties rolled on.

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Match report: Brighton 7-2 York City, 1976



Well, here’s a treat for you. The match report from the Evening Argus, by Sydney Spicer, after the famous rout in front of the Match of the Day cameras on 18th September 1976. Brighton scored 7 – yes, (seven)!

Alan Mullery must be a past master at giving players a rocket! Brighton were being held to a 2-2 draw by lowly York at half-time – and then manager Mullery went into the Goldstone Ground dressing room to talk to his boys. The result? Albion swept to an impressive triumph with five more goals.

This put them back on top of the Third Division.

Afterwards, Mullery said: “I had a few words to say in the interval! They went out for the second half with an entirely different attitude.

“After we scored the third goal, the floodgates were open. I don’t think we will ever play much better. It was superb.”

Indeed, it was.

Peter Ward beats a defender to get in a shot.

Peter Ward beats a defender to get in a shot.

In a splendid team performance 20 year-old Peter Ward, so quick in turning with the ball, was outstanding. Peter O’Sullivan and the leggy Ian Mellor in his first full game of the season were thoroughly impressive and substitute Gerry Fell who replaced centre forward Fred Binney after 50 minutes led the bemused York defence a merry dance.

Pas de deux in the York City penalty area with goalkeeper Graham Crawford looking on.

Pas de deux in the York City penalty area with goalkeeper Graham Crawford looking on.

This was an inspired substitution by Mullery, who explained: “Fell was eager to get on and run at them and I felt he could pass them on the flanks.” It all went to plan.

Brighton went ahead in 22 minutes with a delightful goal. Ward, seemingly hemmed in, turned smartly and sped past two defenders before lodging the ball in the far corner.

Five minutes later Steve Piper rammed home the second from Brian Horton’s free kick and Brighton looked to be on their way.

Not just yet, though. Dennis Burnett breasted down a Jimmy Seal cross which he could have headed clear and there was Jim Hinch a yard or two out to slam the ball home on the half hour.

To the further embarrassment of Brighton, Piper dallied over a clearance and Brian Pollard nipped in and scored from an acute angle.


After the break we saw a supercharged Brighton. In the 50th minute O’Sullivan took a pass from Ward to score from 30 yards, and Ward would have quickly added a fourth had not Peter Scott run across to kick away for a corner.

But after 60 minutes a sweeping move – so typical of Brighton’s more open play in this half – involving Ward and O’Sullivan, resulted in the simplest of chances for Mellor.


Three minutes later O’Sullivan crossed for Fell to head the fifth and, with Brighton taking the York defence apart with ridiculous ease, Ward scored from an O’Sullivan pass in 71 minutes and, to complete the slaughter, Mellor headed home Fell’s centre five minutes from the end.

Ian Mellor goes through despite being impeded by the York defenders.

Ian Mellor goes through despite being impeded by the York defenders.

York’s Northern Ireland international defender Peter Scott let in the scorers for the last two, and his afternoon’s misery was increased by a booking for upending Fell on one of his deadly runs. James was also booked for dissent.

Wilf McGuinness, York’s manager, put on a brave face on this crashing defeat, admitted: “Every time Brighton attacked in the second half they looked like scoring.”

Brighton: Grummitt, Tiler, Wilson, Horton, Cross, Burnett, Mellor, Ward, Binney, Piper, O’Sullivan. Sub: Fell

York: Crawford, Scott, Woodward, Joy, Topping, James, Pollard, Holmes, Hinch, Cade Seal. Sub: Downing.

Another one in the back of the net for Crawford to pick out.

Another one in the back of the net for Crawford to pick out.

(Thanks to Guy for supplying the match report)

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Eddie Spearritt v Stan Brown – before they became team mates

Here’s a nice action shot from Goal Magazine in the summer of 1970, in the edition just after England have been knocked out of the World Cup, judging from the letters page on the other side of the sheet. Never mind all that, because Eddie Spearritt has Fulham’s Stan Brown for company in this match during Albion’s 4-1 defeat at Craven Cottage in March that year. (And yes, I can see them almost holding hands). Little did they know that they would one day be team mates.


Spearritt was a versatile, cultured wing-back who could score goals and had a great eye for a pass. He had six months with Arsenal before becoming an Ipswich apprentice in February 1965. Mainly as a winger, he scored thirteen goals in 72 League appearances for the Suffolk club before he joined Albion in January 1969. At the Goldstone, boss Freddie Goodwin used Spearritt on the left-side of midfield. He also had another important job in the side, as he discussed in December 1972:

“I used to be the club’s penalty taker. But after I missed an important one at Mansfield in 1970 I lost the job. Penalty taking is all about confidence. After I missed that one which cost us a point the players lost confidence in me and the job went to John Napier and was then taken over by Bert Murray.”

All of this was probably old news for Stan Brown. This equally adaptable utility player made 397 League and cup appearances for the Craven Cottage side in a fifteen year spell. Despite his diminutive size, Brown was commanding in the air as well as showing fine ability with his passing and tackling.

As a youngster Brown had played for East Sussex schoolboys and captained Sussex Schools. When he joined Albion on loan in October 1972, with the side struggling in Division Two, he said in the Brighton v Sheffield Wednesday programme:

“It was as if I had been playing for Albion all my life. You see, I live at Lewes, the training ground is only four miles from my house and I have known Bert Murray and Barry Bridges for a long time. As for the rest of the lads I felt I knew them too from reading about them in the Evening Argus every night. So when it actually came to turn out for Albion at Huddersfield I knew all the players by their first names.”

Slotting in effortlessly in midfield, he enjoyed helping the Albion to a 2-0 win at the Terriers, but did not experience another victory in his other eight games with his loan side before returning to Craven Cottage. Brown’s last five games saw Brighton lose all five without scoring a single goal.

The goal-shy spell ended in the very next match, when Eddie Spearritt returned to penalty-taking duties. He said:

“Bert Murray would have taken the penalty at Carlisle. He has already scored two penalties this season. But he had gone into goal after Brian Powney had been carried off with a broken nose. And it was decided that it was too risky to fetch Bert out of goal to take the penalty. Nobody else seemed to want to take it so I just picked the ball up and put it on the spot. We were 5-0 down by then. But I thought just from a morale point of view that it was extremely important that I scored. You can understand my relief when I saw the ball hit the back of the net.”

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Robbie Reinelt’s magic boots

robbie reinelt

It seems long forgotten that Robbie Reinelt scored a brilliant goal for Colchester against Brighton in his then side’s 2-0 win in September 1997. However, after mixed fortunes at Layer Road during the season, the young striker was signed by the Seagulls in February 1997, and promptly wrote his name in Albion history. From the Argus, 5 May 1997:

It was Robbie’s boots that did it!

Reinelt, the goal hero of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Hereford, saved Albion from relegation wearing a pair of blue Valsport boots his wife, Lisa, bought him for his 23rd birthday eight weeks ago.

He had only worn them twice before, against Northampton and Cambridge, and he hit the target in both of those games as well.

And he had the whole army of Albion fans jumping for joy when his magic boots, bearing his initials R.R, kicked the crucial second-half equaliser at Edgar Street.

He said: “Lisa said they would be my lucky boots.

“I’ve worn them three times and scored three times, so she was right. Women always are, aren’t they?

“I was a bit wary of weaing them. I’ve looked at people before and thought what fairies they were for wearing flash boots.

“But Lisa told me off for not wearing them and said she would take them back.

At the end of the nail-biting match, Robbie presented the mud-splattered footwear to a delighted fan who waved them proudly aloft.

Albion’s hero ha only been on the pitch in place of Paul McDonald when he scored and earned his place in football history.

He said: “I was one of Gritt’s inspired substations.

“His actual words were: ‘This is the one, this is the time to prove yourself. Go out and do it.’ I think I did that by scoring.”


After his moment of triumph, Reinelt joined Leyton Orient midway through the following season in 1998 before winding down his career with Stevenage Borough, St Albans City, Braintree Town and Ford United.

(Many thanks to Jim for supplying me with this and other newspaper articles, and to Pete for lending me the second photo and some Albion cuttings from the 1970s).

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Ritchie’s got a Brighton future


Until Brighton & Hove Albion signed winger Will Buckley from Watford for £1 million in June 2011, Andy Ritchie was still the Seagulls’ record signing. Astonishingly, and as indication of the club’s financial health, it took over two decades of football to smash the £500,000 deal that took Ritchie from Old Trafford to the Goldstone Ground in 1980.

Albion fans never fully warmed to Ritchie, even though he was voted Rediffusion Albion player of the season in 1981/82.

His twelve League goals made him the club’s top scorer and it was hoped that he could continue his form to establish Brighton as a top club in the First Division. In Shoot Annual 1983, it charts his progress from teenage prodigy to a leading goalscorer:

Local-born Andy Ritchie always dreamt that one day he would pull on the light blue shirt of Manchester City. Instead, the talented striker was eventually signed by arch rivals United.

“I was a regular visitor to Maine Road as a kid,” remembers Ritchie. “I went along with friends who were City fans.”

While playing junior football, Ritchie started to impress as a striker and it was not long before the scouts started to watch him with more than a passing interest.

“It was while I was playing for Stockport Boys that I first realised I had a chance of a career as a professional footballer,” he says. “I was selected for the England Under-15 side and played at Wembley Stadium.

“The first was against Wales. We won 4-2 and I scored a couple of goals. I then scored another when England beat France 6-1. They were great moments for me and my family.

“Appearing for England was definitely the highlight of my young career but I also enjoyed playing for Stockport and in local Sunday football.

“I played for a team called Whitehill, who were sponsored by Manchester City. It was then that I realised I could play for the Maine Road club.

“I had trials with Leeds United, Burnley and Aston Villa, but I only wanted to play for City.

“Then Manchester United approached me and my dad, Jim, advised me to listen to them.

“I wasn’t interested but agreed to follow my dad’s advice and go for a trial period. However, it didn’t take me very long to soak in the atmosphere and appreciate the tradition and name of Manchester United and in the end I was quite happy to sign for the Old Trafford club.”

Ritchie was 15 years-old when he put pen to paper. Three years later he pulled on the red shirt of United in a senior game.

Recalls Ritchie: “It was in a friendly against St Etienne of France during the 1977/78 season.

“Stuart Pearson, a £200,000 signing from Hull City, was out injured and I replaced him and played in the next four League games.”

When Pearson recovered, however, Ritchie found himself back in the reserves.

“I was naturally disappointed. I believed because I was a local lad, and the club had paid a late fee for Pearson, that as soon as he was fit he would automatically be recalled.”

Although Ritchie did well in his first team appearances, he failed to establish himself in the First Division with United.

The time had come for him to seek a future elsewhere.

“I didn’t want to leave Old Trafford,” says Ritchie. “It was certainly a wrench to leave but I needed regular first team football.

”Although the manager Dave Sexton assured me I had a future at Old Trafford, I decided a move was right because I needed to further my career.

“Both Newcastle and Chelsea made good offers for me but with respect to both clubs I was confident that I could still perform regularly in the First Division.” Brighton then stepped in and after talks with manager Alan Mullery, Andy signed for the Seagulls.

“Alan Mullery certainly sold Brighton to me,” recalls Ritchie. “He loved the club and made a big impression on me.

“Even when Alan left and moved to Charlton, his replacement Mike Bailey didn’t take long before he felt the same way.

“I believe the club is on the right lines and are ambitious enough to compete with the Liverpools of this world.

“I think we proved that point when we travelled to Anfield during the 1981/82 season and beat the famous Reds 1-0.

“Although Alan Hansen deflected my shot, I was credited with the goal and it was one of my highlights as a professional footballer.

“It was also the first time in the history of Brighton that we had won at Anfield.

“After struggling for a couple of seasons after promotion, Brighton have now established themselves and could be one of the leading clubs in the Football League.”

And looking at their results last season when they took points off leading clubs like West Ham, Tottenham, Southampton, Arsenal and Liverpool it is easy to realise why Andy is enjoying life on the South Coast.

If the former Manchester United striker can continue his run as a top goal-getter he may even force his way into the full international reckoning.

Things didn’t go to plan, and despite the fact he could take a mean, curling free-kick, he hit just five goals in 24 League appearances for relegation-bound Albion in 1982/83 before moving to Second Division Leeds in March 1983 in an exchange for Terry Connor.


Tony Millard, Rest In Peace

Tony Millard, sports commentator, ex-Brighton & Hove Albion matchday programme editor and the brains and voice behind the Seagull Line, has died, aged 74, yesterday morning.

He played a key role in bringing the shirt sponsorship deal with British Caledonian Airways to the club while his eye for a good promotional venture also led the Brighton team to record and release two music singles in the early 1980s, as well as fly to the 1983 FA Cup Final via helicopter.

While disliked by some who depict him as ‘rude,’ ‘obnoxious’ and ‘arrogant’, not to mention less than flattering comments about some of his supposed dalliances, Millard is mostly remembered fondly by Brighton fans for his tremendous work at the club as well as commentating on key moments in the club’s history.

Being a superb organiser and doer, the man was a driving force of so much that was great behind the scenes. Taken from the Brighton v Everton programme in April 1983:

tony millard

Walking into programme editor Tony Millard’s office at the Goldstone can be like stepping into a tornado!

If there is a sports personality in the town who lives a fuller life than Tony, I’ve yet to meet him. It’s not unusual for him to be talking to two people on different telephone lines, whilst looking through programme photographs and Albion promotional material on his desk.

If variety is the spice of life, Tony should be nicknamed ‘Heinz’. He’s always got at least 57 things on the go at the same time! As a sports journalist he has covered everything from speedway and golf, to cricket and basketball. His radio broadcasting has taken him as afar as Los Angeles.

But home is where the heart is and no aspect of Tony’s career is more important to him than his work for Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Together, with his friend of many years standing, Ron Pavey, Tony has spearheaded the club’s money-spinning promotions team. He also spends a lot of time fixing personal appearances and interviews for Albion stars.

His journalistic experience means he is never shot of ideas for the match day programmes. Many of the club’s supporters have commented on the improved standard in recent years. Tony also does a great deal as match day announcer. Some of his jokes may be in the Tony Blackburn class, but his professional style eases supporters through the afternoon with pop music, match details and sports news from around the country.

Tony’s match days don’t stop there. He broadcasts reports for local radio stations and he is a regular contributor to ITV’s ‘World of Sport’ big match coverage too. His Saturdays race past in a whirl of activity, but Tony wouldn’t have it any other way.

‘I came to the Albion full-time five years ago,’ says Tony. ‘My first jobs were to reshape the ground advertising contracts and also find sponsors for matches here at the Goldstone. Next I got to work on redesigning the programme and that tied in well with the match day announcing I’d already been doing for some time.

‘It’s a busy life, but I like it. You never quite know what the day ahead holds in store and that’s exciting.’

Tony is a useful cricketer and seems to cram more matches into his summer than Australian sponsors pump into their one-day tournaments. He also plays golf and he enjoyed a fair amount of success as a footballer, playing for Haywards Heath receives, after leaving school.

His flair for organisation shone through as early as 1961, when he became involved with the local football Sunday Leagues. His friendship with Ron Pavey dates back to that time. Now, Tony lives and breathes sport. His energy and enthusiasm combine to make him a popular member of the Goldstone staff.

‘I make my living from being involved with sport,’ says Tony, finally. ‘I really couldn’t ask for more.’

A great example of his intense commentary style can be found here in this famous heartstopping match with Hereford in 1997:

Finally, some classic Millard anecdotes gleaned from the pages of North Stand Chat. Enjoy!

El Presidente – The Albion Supporters Club XI played against the Southern Sound XI in 1985. Millard was playing for Southern Sound, I pushed the ball past him, ran onto it, and his response was to rip my shorts off.
gjh1971 – My favourite Millard moment was during the early eighties at the Goldstone, Andy Ritchie missed an open goal, and Tone had inadvertently left the microphone on, and Millard blurted out ‘pull your bloody finger out, Ritchie’ across the PA.
Harty – My top Millard Moment was at the York City game in 1996, with a near riot taking place and the goals already ripped down ‘our Tone’ comes out with an Albion PA golden moment.
“While we’ve got this break in the play, can I remind you it’s Steve Foster’s testimonial this Tuesday, when the Albion take on Sheffield Wednesday, 7.45 kick off? Hope to see you all back here.”
The Large One – After-match interview with Danny Cullip
Millard: Interesting goal you scored there, Danny…
Cullip: Yeah, well. A bit flukey, but to be honest, it doesn’t matter how they go in – as you should know, Tony.

There’s also another one where he is commentating for radio and accidentally uses one of his catchphrases from his other big project: “You’re listening to Seagull Line on Brighton 8049, that’s the number for Albion information, everyday, 24 hours a day.” Oops. Thanks for the memories, Tony.


Super Ted shoots through the air

Having been taught a lesson by Arsenal, winners by four goals to nil at the Goldstone Ground on 18th August 1979, the Seagulls arrived at Villa Park four days later on a Wednesday evening hoping to kickstart their season. They lost 2-1 but, as Alan Williams reports, at least they got off the mark in one respect:


Teddy Maybank scored Brighton’s opening First Division goal but Alan Mullery’s battlers still seek their first point.

The inability to convert half chances stopped them giving Villa a real fright. They are a long way from starting to (justify) their hard-earned promotion. But it was clearly more satisfying than their embarrassing home defeat by Arsenal on Saturday. They can gain hope because they were able to create several openings. And no one worked harder than Maybank who had been a doubtful starter during the afternoon because of shin trouble.

Villa were still without their transfer listed stars Andy Gray an John Gidman. In addition Dennis Mortimer was unable to play because of a leg injury and his deputy Alex Cropley had to go off with a jarred ankle after only eight minutes.

Villa’s experience gave them long spells in command. They took the lead in the 14th minute when Mark Lawrenson lunged at Brian Little’s ankles on the edge of the penalty area. It was a border-line decision but I thought a penalty was fair and Allan Evans converted.

But 10 seconds before half-time, John Gregory, former Villa defender, broke away on the right and pushed the ball through.

Maybank turned quickly and fired a shot from the acutest of angles which spun into the net off Jimmy Rimmer’s fingers.

Brighton then needed a goal early in the second half and the hard-working Brian Horton raised their hopes with a header against the post.

But Villa proved the more resourceful and the winner came in the 66th minute. Little made a run but was fouled, this time by Andy Rollings a few yards outside the penalty area.

Cowans touched the ball a couple of yards for Tony Morley to cap an impressive first home appearance with a drive wide of Eric Steele.

Maybank followed up with a goal on Saturday three days later at Manchester City but Ted’s picnic was spoilt by the 3-2 defeat and a tongue-lashing by Mullery about his team’s play. While that was a hat-trick of losses for the Albion in three top flight matches, could the goals of the striker eventually turn the season around? Sadly, no more League goals followed for Ted, and he was dropped in favour of new signing Ray Clarke in November, who formed a remarkably effective striking partnership with Peter Ward until the end of the season.

Maybank fell out with Mullery and was sold back to Fulham. But he’ll always have his achievement at Villa Park to look back at.



Steve Foster joins exclusive 10-year club


No wonder he’s smiling. He’s signed for a club that would later ensure he’d never run out of money for headbands. This is from Football Weekly News, 9-16 July 1980:

Brighton defender Steve Foster has joined an exclusive 10-year club at the Goldstone Ground.

Last week the 22-year-old former Portsmouth centre-back signed the long-term contract which will keep him on the south coast for a decade.

“We want all our best players to spend their whole careers with this club,” said manager Alan Mullery, who purchased the player from Pompey for £150,000 last summer.

“Steve, added the boss, “is an outstanding prospect and could go to the very top of the tree.”

Republic of Ireland star Mark Lawrenson is already serving a similar 10-year stint with Brighton while Young England striker Peter Ward has signed on for eight years.

In addition, Michael Robinson signed a 10 year deal about twelve months later.

But so much for these eye-wateringly long contracts! Ward was gone within three months, Lawrenson after a year while Foster played three more seasons for the Seagulls. Even so, Foster did return, to great acclaim to the Goldstone in the 1990s, once again becoming one of the key players in the team. By then, of course, much shorter contracts were the order of the day for a financially impoverished Albion.

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