In the 1977/78 season, the Brighton programme featured page profiles of its first team. In the Albion v Burnley edition on 11th February, it spotlighted rising star Glen Geard who had joined Brighton in October 1976 as an apprentice. He turned pro in the same month as this feature, although this bubble perm was to come a little later:
After impressing for the reserves, Geard eventually made his debut, starting in the number 7 shirt in a dreadful 4-0 League Cup 4th Round replay defeat to Arsenal at Highbury on 13th November 1979. He was eventually substituted, with Gerry Ryan coming on.
Most of the players already featured in this series are regulars in the first team but always at any Football League club there are youngsters waiting in the wings for an opportunity to make their name.
One such young man is Glen Geard who, although not born in Brighton, is very much locally bred. Glen was in fact born in Malta on February 25, 1960, but was educated in Brighton. He spent his junior days at Bevendean School and then went on to Patcham Fawcett, a school very much to the fore in local football.
A single man, Glen lives at home with his parents and sister Julie and he also has a married brother, Damon. At schoolboy level he represented both Brighton and Sussex Boys and went on to trials with the England Boys side although not being lucky enough to receive a cap.
Very much an all-round sportsman, Glen represented his school at rugby, basketball and athletics as well as football. He joined the Albion after a spell with Lewes who at that time were in the Athenian League.
As befits a youngster on the Goldstone staff, his first ambition is to play first team football for the Seagulls and he also hopes that one day he may be good enough to play for England. For a young man not yet 18, he certainly has a promising career in front of him.
Musically, Glen is a fan of Stevie Wonder and the Stylistics and from the world of films Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson are his favourite stars. Steak and Chicken are his favourite foods and, as yet none too widely travelled, a home loving Glen says England is his pet country.
The next stage in this ambitious young man’s career is first team football and that, says Glen, is a chance he is eagerly awaiting… there are many youngsters in Brighton who would like to have come as far as he has already… here’s one who hopes to go a little further.
Seen by many people as a truly gifted midfield player, Geard’s attempt at becoming a hard man proved to be part of his undoing. Alan Mullery once tipped Geard for a full England cap. However, poor discipline led to the wayward pro being handed a free transfer by the Brighton boss in March 1981.
In 1981/82, he joined Horsham, becoming top scorer in the League with nine goals from 40 matches. He also masterminded a famous comeback in the FA Vase, scoring twice as the Hornets came back from 3-0 down against Hastings to force a draw. In the replay, Geard got the winner in a 3-2 victory.
Because of good form, Geard was given a second chance by Albion boss Jimmy Melia in 1983 but he did not make the most of his second chance.
one source on North Stand Chat, Geard’s view of himself is that he ‘wasted his talent.’
As well as Horsham, he hotheaded midfielder played for many local sides in Sussex including Whitehawk, Eastbourne United, Worthing, Southwick, Shoreham, Crawley, Lewes and Littlehampton, before embarking on a managerial career.
When he left as Ringmer boss in 2002, having felt let down by many of the players, he said:
To be honest I’d like to get my boots back on and play against a few of them.