Mark’s fire and skill

Brighton striker Mark Gall was a guest tipster in Shoot! magazine for one week in 1991/92, vying with readers to accurately guess the scores of the forthcoming fixtures:

markgall

With the Seagulls struggling, defeat was probably a ‘safe’ prediction for Brighton during most weeks. But with Gall fighting fit, there was always the chance that his influence could turn some matches in Albion’s favour.

While ultimately, Gall was unable to stop the Albion from suffering relegation, his strength, trickery and goal touch ensured the club had a fighting chance right up to and including the last day of the season. Signed from Maidstone for £45,000 in October 1991, he immediately lifted the Goldstone crowds that were still mourning the departure of John Byrne and Mike Small. Gall’s 13 goals from 30 League appearances for the struggling south coast side was an excellent return for a mid-season signing.

Emphatically, he also scored the opener in the FA Cup match with Crawley in January 1992:

Two months later, he notched the only goal at St James’ Park in a victory over Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United. Strangely, it was the only League fixture where Gall’s scoring contributed to an Albion victory. Indeed, when the Londoner hit a goal in each of the first four games in April 1992, Brighton only secured a single point.

One of his most telling performances came in the 2-1 victory over FA Cup Semi-Finalists Portsmouth later that month:

Although he did not score, Gall repeatedly gave the Portsmouth defence the runaround.

Unsurprisingly, he was voted Albion Player of the Season at the end of 1991/92. A knee injury from early on in his career then sadly caused problems that forced him to retire, aged 29.

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