Thank heaven. Four little goals!

Pint-sized striker Bryan Wade is profiled in the Brighton v Oldham programme from 1990/91:


Legend has it that he scored ‘four goals on his Albion debut’ but ‘was not really used by Barry Lloyd, who preferred the Byrne and Small partnership for the rest of 1990/91’. The reality is rather more complicated.

After playing for his home-town club, Bath City, and a spell with Trowbridge Town, he joined Swindon where he scored ten times when the Robins clinched the Division Four championship in 1985/86. The forward then had a spell with Swansea City before being released at the end of 1989/90. After a stint at Haverfordwest, he was given a trial with the Seagulls at the Goldstone by Barry Lloyd in September 1990. Wade scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of Southampton in the reserves and was offered a contract the following month.

Wade made it on the first team bench five times in the autumn, eventually coming on for John Crumplin in the 2-3 home defeat to Middlesbrough on 27th October 1990. However, hamstring problems halted his first team involvement but, after a break, he was given a starting place at Wolves on 12th January 1991. He responded with this headed goal:

Sensationally, he then hit all four Brighton goals in a legendary home debut performance against Newcastle four days later, on the day the Gulf War began in earnest:

Unsurprisingly Wade kept his place but his run in the side did not produce any further goals. After a 3-0 win over Watford, he gave this interview:

He appeared in the FA Cup clash at Anfield but was substituted. His contribution in 1990/91 thereafter was mainly from the bench, but he proved to be no supersub. The following season, with Albion battling relegation, Wade started seven League games and scored three goals. Again, this was a pretty impressive goal ratio but following Albion’s relegation, Wade was released. A knee injury marked the end of full-time football for him and he played for Frome Town before returning to Trowbridge.


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