Recently, I’ve discovered a rather curious collection of coloured drawings of players who played for the Albion and Portsmouth. Leant to me by Nick from Fishersgate, they are neither stickers nor cards. These Victory Blend illustrations are simply printed on small sheets of paper.
Maybe the rest of the collection includes the players of Fratton who have fraternised with Southampton… or Crystal Palace… or Millwall – I just don’t know! If anyone has any details about this series, please comment. For now, I will concern myself with these ten collectables. Give or take a Warren Aspinall, I wonder if it’s possible to construct a decent, well balanced football team out of these players:
Goalkeeper: Doug Flack.
Fulham’s goalkeeper who joined the club in 1935 and made one war-time appearance for the Albion in January 1940, losing 1-0 at Reading. Also guested for Portsmouth in the war years before being a regular in Fulham’s 1948/49 Second Division championship side.
Centre-back: Gary Stevens.
Outstanding, classy defender during Albion’s glory years in the top flight. He joined Tottenham and played for England before injury problems wrecked his career. Joined Portsmouth on loan in January 1990, which became a permanent deal.
Centre-back: Steve Foster.
Beginning with Portsmouth as a centre-forward, he turned into a central defender and transferred to Brighton after the club had gained its First Division status in 1979. After spells with Aston Villa, Luton and Oxford, Fozzie rejoined the Albion in the 1992/93 season.
Midfielder: John Ruggiero.
Joined Brighton in June 1977, scoring on his League debut against Southampton. Loaned to Portsmouth for a month in December 1977 before making his final Albion appearance in the famous match with Blackpool in April 1978.
Inside forward: Bert Barlow.
Portsmouth’s Bert Barlow scored in the 1939 FA Cup Final, but I could find not record of him playing for Brighton. Perhaps there was confusion with K Barlow, a Southampton born lad leant to the Albion for a game against his own club in 1944/45.
Inside-forward / Centre-forward: Albert Mundy.
With his 87 goals in 165 League appearances for the Albion from 1953 to 1958, mainly as an inside forward, Mundy is the second highest scorer in Albion history. He joined the club from Portsmouth where he established a growing reputation.
Centre-forward: Jackie ‘Jock’ Anderson.
A Portsmouth player for thirteen seasons, he scored against Wolves in the 1939 FA Cup Final victory. Played three times for Albion during the war as a guest, beginning with a home match with West Ham in 1943.
Inside forward: Bill Pointon.
A Port Vale player who made a single appearance guesting for Brighton at home to Portsmouth in April 1944. I’m unsure when he played for Portsmouth, but it was probably as a wartime guest player as well.
Inside forward: J. Lewis.
Looking rather like a member of Frankie Goes To Hollywood! He played for Portsmouth in between two spells with Bristol Rovers. The second time at Eastville led to a call up to Wales’ team, where he figured in a 1-0 win over England in March 1906. Two months later, he left for Brighton where he played 43 times before joining Southampton.
Winger: Mark Chamberlain.
Explosive winger who made his name with Stoke and England early in his career. An unsuccessful move to Sheffield Wednesday marred his career before returning to form with Portsmouth. He had a so-so spell with Brighton in the 1990s before being released. You can read more about him here.
As you can see, even though with only ten in the side, this team is refreshingly attack-minded. If only Oscar Garcia could choose an Albert Mundy or a ‘Jock’ Anderson (in their prime, of course!) to solve Brighton’s very current striker crisis!