This amazing photograph appeared in Total Football magazine in May 1997, showing fans all over the country uniting behind Brighton supporters on Fans United Day, from 8th February that year:
Click the image for a close up.
The match the fans watched turned into a 5-0 triumph over Hartlepool. As The Argus reported, the players were not slow to show their appreciation to the supporters:
Hat-trick hero Craig Maskell had a ball against Hartlepool, then showed the Albion fans just how much their support meant.
He grabbed hold of the match ball, kissed it and threw it into a packed North Stand after Saturday’s 5-0 victory at the Goldstone.
“I just wanted to give something back to the fans,” he said. “I’ve not had a brilliant time since coming here and it was nice to give them something to cheer about.”
Seagulls boss Steve Gritt declared: “It was a nice gesture by Craig. Perhaps he’s got so many match balls at home that he doesn’t want anymore!”
Maskell made it a perfect day for Albion. The Fans United show of strength organised by supporters produced a bumper gate of 8,412, the biggest of the season, and the players rewarded them with their biggest League win for 12 years.