Great Albion kits: 1977-80 away (blue)

It seems slightly absurd that a team that plays in blue and white would choose an away kit that was …blue and white. However, that’s how things were in 1977 when Bukta won the contract for supplying Brighton & Hove Albion’s kit:

bluebuktashirt

The advantage was that the Seagulls could maintain their home colours (albeit not their home kit) on away trips to Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke and Crystal Palace in the Second Division in 1977/78. The downside was that it necessitated that Bukta supplied Albion with the extravagance of a third kit, with red shirts, for matches at the likes of Oldham and Millwall.

This blue number was very smart indeed, with the white Buks down the sleeves looking rather like the white seagull on the new round crest. It made its debut on the opening of the league campaign, at the Dell, for Brighton’s well-earned 1-1 draw with Southampton. By the time of Albion’s match at Sunderland on 1st October 1977, Peter Ward had hit a rich vein of goalscoring form, with four goals in three matches.

peterwardbluebukta

At Roker Park, this exquisite first half goal was testament to Wardy’s close control, speed on the turn and deadly finishing:

The strike made the score 2-0 and put Albion on top of Division Two, at the time the highest Football League placing in the club’s history.

By the following month, the blue away kit was worn, strangely, with white shorts and red socks for the famous 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in November 1978, in front of 48,613 fans, still Albion’s highest ever league attendance. Hate to say it, it made us look like Portsmouth, although we were far, far better than the Pompey side of that time!

Two seasons later, in September 1979, the Spurs v Albion match at White Hart Lane was a First Division fixture, which the Seagulls lost 2-1 despite Horton’s goal. Here’s some images from the game:

tottenhampfront

tottenhamp3

tottenhamp1

tottenhamp1a

bluebuktamag

In the summer of 1980, Adidas had taken over the deal for supplying Brighton’s kits. After three seasons, the blue Bukta away shirt was no more but the spirit of it lived on: the new Albion home shirt was a plain royal blue jersey.

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