Where are they now? Brighton’s promotion squad of 1987/88

Back row: Mark Leather (physio), Richard Tiltman, Trevor Wood, Gerry Armstrong, Grant Horscroft, Mike Trusson, Garry Nelson, Dale Jasper, John Keeley, Damian Webber, Ted Streeter (youth development officer);  Middle row: Barry Lloyd (manager), Steve Gatting, Chris Hutchings, Robert Isaac, Perry Digweed, David Gipp, Ian Chapman, John Crumplin, Martin Hinshelwood (coach); Front row: Kevan Brown, Darren Hughes, Kevin Bremner, Doug Rougvie, Gary Rowell. Dean Wilkins, Steve Penney.

Back row: Mark Leather (physio), Richard Tiltman, Trevor Wood, Gerry Armstrong, Grant Horscroft, Mike Trusson, Garry Nelson, Dale Jasper, John Keeley, Damian Webber, Ted Streeter (youth development officer);
Middle row: Barry Lloyd (manager), Steve Gatting, Chris Hutchings, Robert Isaac, Perry Digweed, David Gipp, Ian Chapman, John Crumplin, Martin Hinshelwood (coach);
Front row: Kevan Brown, Darren Hughes, Kevin Bremner, Doug Rougvie, Gary Rowell. Dean Wilkins, Steve Penney.

In 2012, The Football League Paper put the spotlight on Brighton’s celebrated 1987/88 squad that unexpectedly won promotion as runners-up in the Third Division. It makes for a fascinating reading although some of the details may have changed:

Back row:
1. Mark Leather (physio) – runs his own practice and is a senior lecturer at Edge Hill University.
2. Richard Tiltman – Runs CTW Financial Services Ltd in Worthing.
3. Trevor Wood – the former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper is now believed to be living in the Eastbourne area.
4. Gerry Armstrong – after managing Worthing and two spells as Northern Ireland assistant manager, he is now a television pundit for Sky Sports and ESPN Star Sports.
5. Grant Horscroft – is now living in Uckfield. Has become a data controller for a fastener distributor.
6. Mike Trusson – became youth team coach and then first team coach at Bournemouth. Is now a coach educator, working for various county football associations.
7. Garry Nelson – based in Essex where he has a number of business interests.
8. Dale Jasper – was last known to be living above a pub in South London and working in the building industry.
9. John Keeley – after six seasons at Brighton as goalkeeping coach and pitman, he left to make the switch to Portsmouth.
10. Damian Webster – he now works in the rail industry and is operations director of a trackside systems company.

Middle row:
11. Ted Streeter (youth development officer) – lives in Horsham, where he ran the Ted Streeter Football Academy.
12. Barry Lloyd – after managing Worthing and working for a BMW dealership, he returned to Brighton as chief scout and now scouts for the development squad and youth set-up.
13. Steve Gatting – the brother of England cricketer Mike has been an academy coach at Arsenal since 2007.
14. Chris Hutchings – he has managed Bradford and Wigan in the Premier League as well as being in charge at Walsall. Is now Paul Jewell’s assistant at Ipswich.
15. Rob Isaac – Became a personal assistant for a well-known racing family.
16. Perry Digweed – lives in London and is a property owner who runs an executive chauffeur service for racehorse owners.
17. David Gipp – lives in Barkingside. Earns a living by buying and selling as an East End trader.
18. Ian Chapman – Managed Whitehawk and coached at Brighton. Is now coaching at Lancing College Prep School in Hove.
19. John Crumplin – He has managed various clubs in Sussex and Surrey and is now working in the building industry.

Front row:
20. Martin Hinshelwood (coach) – is currently the Seagulls’ director of football after holding a series of other posts including caretaker-manager twice and a brief stint as manager.
21. Kevan Brown – he is now director of sport at St Francis School, an independent school based in Pewsey, Wiltshire.
22. Darren Hughes – Lives in Warrington and has been a painter and decorator.
23. Kevin Bremner – worked in the academies of Millwall and Gillingham and works as a subcontractor in the building industry.
24. Doug Rougvie – is now living in the Aberdeen area and works in engineering after running his own design company.
25. Gary Rowell – after working as a financial consultant in Burnley, he worked as a summariser for Real Radio and a columnist for the Sunderland Echo.
26. Dean Wilkins – he held various jobs for Brighton after hanging up his boots before moving on to Southamtpon where he has been assistant manager and now first-team coach.
27. Steve Penney – returned to his native Ballymena in Northern Ireland where he became an optician.

The article also focussed on one of Albion’s main strikers that season:

Kevin Bremner proved he was something of a lucky mascot for the Seagulls when it came to winning promotion from the Third Division.

The Scottish striker had already helped former clubs Millwall and Reading climb out of the division before moving to the south coast. And then for the third time in four years he scored eight goals and was part of a promotion winning side as Brighton finished runners-up to Sunderland.

Sunderland ran away with the title, finishing nine points ahead of Brighton, who themselves were two points ahead of third-placed Walsall.

Promotion was secured in the last game of the season when Bristol Rovers were defeated 21 at the Goldstone Ground thanks to goals from Bremner and Garry Nelson, who netted 22 in the campaign.

Bremner recalled: “Nigel Martyn was in goal for Rovers at the time and they were a very good team, but they weren’t good enough to stop us.”

Despite the champagne corks popping in the changing room, Bremner and fellow Scot Rougvie decided against hitting the town.

“We never went out to celebrate, we just stayed in with our families and ended up in the street playing football with our kids!” he added.

Bremner and Nelson - the Y front men!

Bremner and Nelson – the Y front men!

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