Monthly Archives: June 2014

It’s a Wrap!


The American sportswriter ‘Red’ Smith (1905-1982) once wrote:

‘There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.’

While The Goldstone Wrap hasn’t been a blog where I’ve made any serious attempt to bare my soul to you (for that, read my memoirs when I’m famous 😉 ), I hope that it has helped to stir some of the joy, despair, disappointment, anticipation and nostalgia that comes from being a Brighton & Hove Albion supporter down the years.

From 11th February 2013, I began writing this blog, aiming for one new post every day. Through covering past matches, players, managers and kits, my aim was to share a love of football via all the magazine cuttings and memorabilia that I had collected about the Albion down the years. It also gave me a good excuse to delve more deeply into chapters of the club’s history that I didn’t know that much about, such as the Freddie Goodwin, Pat Saward and Peter Taylor eras, tracking down old match reports along the way. And truth be told, I was also curious to see if there were other people out there for whom phrases such as ‘British Caledonian Airways’, ‘Farah Slacks’, ‘The Seagull Line on 8049’ and ‘Rediffusion Player of the Year’ created a warm fuzzy feeling!

Today, it’s post number 500 on The Goldstone Wrap, and I feel it’s the right time to call time on it as a daily blog. I feel I’ve pretty much accomplished all that I set out to achieve, and didn’t wish to repeat myself too much. No seventh article on how Gordon Smith failed to score in the dying seconds of the 1983 FA Cup Final, in other words… I’ll spare you that.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog on North Stand Chat, Seagulls Chat, Twitter and Facebook. Other blogs such as The Football Attic, Not Worth That, Brighton Lines and TSLR have also been very encouraging. Much appreciation also to those who have shared their memorabilia, video archives and newspaper cuttings. And major props to everyone who has subscribed on WordPress and those who have commented frequently such as Chris Worrall, Steve Cowdry, Richard H, John Mackie, scherben909, Giles Metcalfe, Ian Fennell, Jackie Dinnis, Chas Sargent, as well as Paul from Cult Zeros.

Just to be clear, this blog is not going to die, exactly. All entries will remain online and I will add new entries every so often. It’s just it won’t be daily any more! Boo!

As you’ve probably figured out by now, this blog’s name is a play on the title of the track ‘The Goldstone Rap’ but with ‘Wrap’ to signify that it’s kind of a publication. By a strange fluke, I recently discovered the blog’s title found itself into the managerial notes written by Mike Bailey in the Brighton v Tottenham programme of March 1982!


See you all soon.


The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue

Here are the the 12″ and 7″ versions of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup Final song, with ‘The Goldstone Rap’ as the B-Side, released on Energy Records:


With superb attention to detail, the front and back covers had lavish designs that helped to soften the blow to club sponsors British Caledonian Airways, whose name would not feature on the players’ shirts on Cup Final day, due to TV regulations at the time:



Back row: Michael Robinson, Steve Gatting, Gordon Smith, Graham Moseley, Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Jimmy Case;

Middle row: Sammy Nelson, Giles Stille, Neil Smillie, Tony Grealish, Graham Pearce, Gary Howlett, Gerry Ryan;

Front row: Terry Connor, Chris Ramsey.

I originally bought the 12″ from one of the second hand record shops on Trafalgar Road, Brighton. Not sure how much it cost me, but it was considerably less than the £50 forked out by one of The Seagulls Love Review fanzine lads, Stefan, at a BHACHS auction at Withdean about five years ago!

You can see a dance performance to this song here:

The song can be heard in its entirety below:

In case you want to have a sing-a-long, the rather corny lyrics are:

come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
come on you seagulls, we’ll see you through
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

verse 1
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
we are the team who’ll be out there for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 2
here we are on the road to wembley way
fighting hard for our place on that day
for the pride of our town down by the sea
we’ll do our best to bring them victory

verse 3
cause we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

reprise chorus

verse 4
as we go on our way to meet the best
once again we’ll be put to the test
but we’ll play like we always try to do
we won’t give up until the game is through

verse 5
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 6
follow the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue (twice)

reprise chorus with last line sang twice

I have been told that the lyrics of Albion’s FA Cup final song were reproduced on an A4 sheet which was distributed over the counter at the Seagulls Shop.

In the end, the song reached number 65 in the UK singles chart. Not a bad achievement considering the song wasn’t all that good!

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Brighton hit City for four… again!

The Mike Bailey era was known for its tight, defensive football. However, when the Southern TV cameras arrived for their last ever two broadcasts from the Goldstone Ground, before TVS took over broadcasting in the region, they were treated to two goal-fests in the shape of Brighton’s matches with Manchester City and Liverpool in October 1981.

Here’s Michael Robinson in action against his former team mates from Manchester:


Brighton had beaten Manchester City, Robinson et al, 4-1 over Christmas in 1979/80. They repeated the scoreline on 3rd October 1981, with the help of the former Preston centre-forward.

After a drab, scoreless first half, Michael Robinson opened the scoring, before Andy Ritchie (2) and Gary Williams put the game out of reach of City:

A fortnight later, the Goldstone crowd was treated to another classic in the rain, this time a 3-3 draw with Liverpool, with another Seagull – Jimmy Case – scoring against his former side.

Note: Just a quick reminder – this blog is finishing in two days time as a daily blog…

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Pre-Season 1991-92 photo shoot

rocker959 posted some excellent pre-season snaps on North Stand Chat a few months ago. Austrian Gull sums it up nicely:

Great photos.

Worst shorts worn by a professional football team EVER.

Perry Digweed:

Perry Digweed

John Crumplin:

John Crumplin

John Byrne:

John Byrne

Garry Nelson:

Gary Nelson

Gary O’Reilly:

Gary O'Reilly

Clive Walker:

Clive Walker

Mike Small and Ian Chapman:

Mike Small and Ian Chapman

David Clarkson:

David Clarkson

Dean Wilkins:

Dean Wilkins

Mark Barham:

Mark Barham

Gary Chivers:

Gary Chivers

John Robinson:

John Robinson

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Brighton’s baptism of fire


In Part 60 of Marshall Cavendish’s ‘Football Handbook’ in the late 1970s, there is a superb account of Brighton’s First Division debut against Arsenal on the opening day of the 1979/80 season:

From the Fourth Division to the First in 14 years – that’s the Brighton & Hove Albion success story. Handbook went behind the scenes for Brighton’s baptism of fire against FA Cup holders Arsenal, and discovered how nerves and lack of experience played a big part in the Seagulls’ day-one disaster…

August 18, 1979 should have been the greatest day in Brighton & Hove Albion’s history–their first match ever in Division One. Unfortunately, Arsenal were to spoil the celebrations…

Before the match the team meets in the usual hotel. The old brigade who clinched promotion for Brighton chat noisily, while the new boys – like John Gregory, bought in the summer from Villa – smile nervously on the edge of it all.

Peter Ward sits alone and bleary-eyed. He has been up all night while his wife gave birth to their second daughter.

There’s a studied air of calm about the Brighton squad, but the prospect of making their First Division debuts has several of them inwardly buckling with nerves.

This, and the fact that FA Cup holders Arsenal are the visitors, has given everyone the flutters. All the Gunners’ players are familiar to the Brighton lads. Arsenal receive enough press exposure and TV coverage for a team-talk to be almost unnecessary. Alan Mullery concentrates on morale.

‘They’ve only got two feet, same as you. They might pass the ball better than Second Division sides, but they also let teams play which Second Division teams don’t do. We’re not going to respect anyone in this League – we’re going to chase, fight and tackle.’

Mullery to Maybank: ‘Ted, I want you back in our area for corners. I don’t care how tired you are, you’ve got to get back to knock that ball away with your head.’

Before they board the coach that will take them to the Goldstone Ground, Mullery tries one last piece of basic psychology. ‘Now listen. We know them, but I’ve just been talking to their physio, Fred Street, and they haven’t a clue what to expect from us.

‘You beat Arsenal today and you’ll believe in yourselves for the rest of the season.’

As the coach nears the ground, the jitters begin to surface again. Maybank senses the mood and tries to defuse it with a joke. ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic,’ comes his Corporal Jones impersonation from the back of the bus.

"Hello, hello, grannie aggro'? The arrival of First Division football in the Sussex town captures the imagination of everyone - young and old

“Hello, hello, grannie aggro’? The arrival of First Division football in the Sussex town captures the imagination of everyone – young and old

Inside the ground, the atmosphere is electric: a pipe and drum band march past the brand new stand, and then the Albion players emerge in their ‘civvies’ to walk around the pitch and acknowledge the fans’ tumultuous applause.

Striking up the band... Alan Mullery salutes the Goldstone crowd before the match. Despite their vociferous support, Albion failed to deliver any points on their big day.

Striking up the band… Alan Mullery salutes the Goldstone crowd before the match. Despite their vociferous support, Albion failed to deliver any points on their big day.

Ten minutes later they re-emerge. This time it’s for real – and within minutes Brighton’s First Division career has begun. After 60 seconds Talbot and Horton tangle and the free-kick to Albion bobbles tantalisingly around the Arsenal box. Ryan latches on to it, wriggles through and swivels to send in a left-footer which the shovel-sized hands of Jennings tip away at full stretch.

Three minutes later it’s Ryan again. This time the toe-end of Willie Young’s despairing lunge relieves the pressure. The Brighton crowd scream their support. Although Ryan yet again comes close, Arsenal are starting to settle. Their offside trap is beginning to frustrate Mullery’s men and, ominously, the Rix-Brady shuttle service is starting to roll down the left.

Malcolm Poskett, who came on for the injured Teddy Maybank, finds out what it's like to trail a world-class player - Liam Brady. It's all afar cry from Brighton' s Second and Third Division days...

Malcolm Poskett, who came on for the injured Teddy Maybank, finds out what it’s like to trail a world-class player – Liam Brady. It’s all afar cry from Brighton’ s Second and Third Division days…

Brian Horton clatters into Teddy Maybank

Brian Horton clatters into Teddy Maybank

Then, inside the space often bewildering minutes, Brighton’s dreams come crashing down around them. First Stapleton receives from Sunderland to crash a 20-yarder past Eric Steele; before Brighton have time to reflect on the seeming injustice of it all, Arsenal make it two – from Brady’s freekick, Young’s header drops to Sunderland, who nods in from a yard out.

Albion skipper Brian Horton goes into the book after a clash with Talbot, who was also involved in several incidents.

Albion skipper Brian Horton goes into the book after a clash with Talbot, who was also involved in several incidents.

Mark Lawrdnson has just fouled Liam Brady... and nervous Brighton form the inevitable wall.

Mark Lawrdnson has just fouled Liam Brady… and nervous Brighton form the inevitable wall.

By half-time Brighton are dead. Rix lofts a pass through the middle. Sunderland delays his run and then sprints past Rollings and scoops the ball over Steele. The keeper gets a palm to it but the ball still drops into the net; 0-3.

As Albion troop in disconsolately at the break, Mullery tells them, ‘You’ve lost the game. Now get out there and start again with a clean slate…’

But it’s all gone flat. Only the jigging of the Arsenal contingent breaks the silence as they mimic the ‘Sea-gulls’ chant with one of ‘Three goals, three goals’. And then a Brady penalty makes it four in the second half to really rub Brighton’s noses in it.

As Brighton file sadly into the dressing-room at the end, their big day ruined, Terry Neill comments, ‘We posed them a few more problems than they’re used to. But I’m sure Alan Mullery is not the type of individual to get discouraged.’

Though bitterly disappointed, Mullery still finds time to praise Arsenal and pinpoint the difference between the sides. ‘They taught us a lesson in cold, clinical finishing,’ he says.

‘It was like a Clint Eastwood movie. Out came the guns, and bang bang – we were dead…’

Under the title ‘Frank’s zapper’, Football Handbook then turned its attention to Frank Stapleton’s goal:



The most meaningful lessons are usually the most painful to learn – in life, in football.

For Brighton and Hove Albion the moment of truth came on the opening day of the season, their first-ever First Division contest.

FA Cup winners Arsenal were the visitors.., and the teachers.

All the exuberance that took Brighton to promotion hardly dented the composure of silky Arsenal, to whom First Division pressure was nothing new.

Manager Mullery’s ‘treat it like a cup tie’ approach – ‘we’re going to chase, fight and tackle’ – lost all significance once Arsenal took the lead approaching half-time.

Brighton had had most of the play and, like an underdog boxer, must have fancied their chances of an upset.

And, like many a ‘softener’ for the knock-out blows to follow, the goal that put them firmly in their place had an almost dream-like essence to it.

Inertia ruled among the Brighton players as Sammy Nelson played the ball down the left to Alan Sunderland.

He was given space to cross where he liked and almost certainly aimed deep for Brian Talbot, who had made a typical run behind the home defence.

His mishit went straight to Stapleton instead. Stapleton stumbled. The crowd laughed. Stapleton recovered but his shot from 20 yards was hardly a hammer blow.

Nevertheless, it went in, the ball looping over the despairing Eric Steele.

If that was a dream-like moment, it soon became a nightmare as Arsenal added two more quick goals before half-time.

In the end it was a humiliating 0-4 scoreline, a result that Mullery rightly saw as a lesson in cold, clinical finishing.


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RIP Stephen Rooke

Former Brighton & Hove Albion secretary and local radio broadcaster Stephen Rooke has lost his courageous fight against cancer this week. He was aged just 57.

Stephen became well known to Seagulls supporters in the 1980s as a regular contributor to BBC Radio Brighton sports programmes, including coverage of the Albion:


He was also a chief reporter of a local newspaper and a qualified and active referee on Sundays.

As part of his role as the Albion’s club secretary, by then known as ‘Steve Rooke’, he also edited the matchday programme for a time in the latter part of the decade.

Commentating alongside Tony Millard, here is the cassette of the 1983 FA Cup Semi-Final featuring Radio Brighton’s excellent coverage of the match between Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday:


You can hear the broadcast here after a few seconds of silence:


When you’re young

Brighton supporter Gary Cook sent me a tremendous photo of himself with Albion players John Ruggiero and Eric Steele:


He says:

The raffle prize was at the Sussex Mini Minor League Awards 1978 I think. We came runners-up in the Cup if I am right, which may well be wrong. The Cup final was also played at Withdean, lost 3-1 to Coombe Rovers. Won the Cinzano, remember selling it to my willing Mum for a much appreciated fiver!

And Gary Williams and Mark Lawrenson also did their bit to encourage young players:


The Withdean photo was approximately 1979. As I recall a late summer 5-a-side tournie where Holiingbury Hawks (my team) came runners-up and got our medals from the players.

Thanks, Gary! If you have any vintage snaps of yourself with Albion players of the past, feel free to let me know in the comments section.

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1980/81 Evening Argus fixture card

When the fixtures were published for 1980/81, this vivid and confident fixture card design must have seemed apt:


Entering their second season in the First Division, Brighton had spent big on Rangers’ scheming attacker Gordon Smith and Manchester City’s hard-working Michael Robinson, both £400,000 purchases. The expectation was that a top half finish really was on the cards, with a rise in attendances to follow helping to pay for Mike Bamber’s spending bonanza.

Little did the club know, but the novelty of the top flight fixtures had worn off after one season. Made worse by the recession, fears of hooliganism and high ticket prices, this caused a financial meltdown of sorts, as Goldstone gate receipts in 1980/81 fell dramatically:


The season started as it would end, with victory at the Goldstone, but 1980/81 was to prove a traumatic struggle for the Seagulls, as form dipped and another relegation battle ensued.

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Albion’s World Cup connections

Howard Griggs of the Argus has put together an immensely fascinating series of interviews relating to Brighton & Hove Albion and the World Cup.


On Wednesday he speculated whether Gary Stevens could have stopped Maradona’s wonder-goal in the Mexico ’86 Quarter-Final between England and Argentina.

The chances are he would have made a better effort at chasing back than the half-fit Peter Reid.

As Stevens told Spencer Vignes in ‘A Few Good Men’:

I came on as a substitute for Peter Reid in that Paraquay match. We won it comfortably and after the game were having our debrief when Peter Shilton started going on about how we had lost our shape when ‘Reidy’ went off, careering forward and what have you. I looked at him and said “Shilts, what you’re saying is that when I came on we lost our shape.” And he was going “No, no, when ready came off.” I said, “Yeah, but I came on. You’re having a pop at me.” That was the old pals act. It was done to some extent to guarantee that Peter Reid played in the next match against Argentina, which he did.

Then, on Friday, the Argus published Griggs’ piece about how Steve Penney’s participation in the tournament in 1986 with Northern Ireland was ended by Spain’s Emilio Butragueno’s challenge..

Finally, Gerry Armstrong’s World Cup exploits also get an airing. Like Stevens and Penney, he also figured in Mexico ’86 but, of course, his moment of triumph came in 1982.

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Albion’s all-time 11? Take your pick

Here’s a splendid article from Not Worth That blog yesterday. My Albion all-time 11?

GK Peter Grummitt
RB John Gregory
LB Wayne Bridge
CB Gary Stevens
CB Mark Lawrenson
M Liam Bridcutt
M Jimmy Case
M Brian Horton
RW Elliott Bennett
F Bobby Zamora
F Peter Ward

I’d love to hear your own team. Please add them on Twitter using #BHAFCXI or add a comment below.