From 90 Minutes Magazine, 25 January 1997:
Unless you’ve been living under a paving stone for the past couple of years, you can’t have failed to notice that Brighton and Hove Albion are in a bit of bother just now. Bottom of the Third Division and staring the Vauxhall Conference in the face, the beleaguered South Coast side’s directors have sold their Goldstone Ground, leaving the club homeless and on the verge of extinction.
To date, Brighton fans have already organised countless demonstrations and petitions, protested outside board members’ houses and even marched through London to FA headquarters to get their point across, all it seems to no avail. But they’re not finished yet. Not by a long chalk.
In their latest protest, Fans United, Brighton fans are asking all other football fans to put aside their own allegiances and to attend the Goldstone Ground on Saturday 8 February for the Seagulls’ clash with Hartlepool in a show of solidarity against the Brighton board and against greed and corruption in football as a whole. There’s no Premiership games and a restricted First Division programme so if you want to help a club and its fans in their hour of need, why not head for Brighton a week on Saturday. Your efforts will be appreciated.
Getting into the spirit of it was former Albion triallist Trevor Payne who planned to swap football boots for platform boots to help save the club. As The Evening Argus reported in February 1997:
Trevor, star of the musical That’ll Be The Day, in which he appears as Gary Glitter, has arranged a benefit show for the Fans United fighting fund.
Earlier this month, thousands of fans from all over Britain and Europe descended on the Goldstone to back Seagulls supporters protesting against the board, blamed for the club’s demise.
Worthing-born Trevor, 50, was a teenage triallist for the Seagulls in the Sixties, but chose to follow a showbiz career instead.
And now, as writer, director and star of That’ll Be The Day, he has offered to donate an entire night’s profits to the Albion fans’ cause.
The show will be held at Brighton’s Dome Theatre on March 5, as part of a 60-date UK tour,
Trevor said: “Most of the cast and production team are avid football fans and we were all impressed by the recent Fahs United day at the Goldstone.
“We all wanted to do something practical to help the fans and this seemed to be the best way, as well as giving them a great night out.” Sixties classics like You’ll Never Walk Alone, since adopted as a football anthem, feature in the show, which Albion supporters’ club vice-chairman Liz Costa is convinced will be a sell-out.
She said: “I was very emotional when Trevor contacted us to say he would be donating this money to the fighting fund. It could generate up to £7,000 for us.”
Fans are being urged to wear Albion strips to the show.
Suffice to say, these plans came before Gary Glitter was arrested in November 1997 on suspicion of indecent images stored on a computer he had brought to a store to fix.