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.
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.