Category Archives: Club Colours

Sully’s testimonial

Here is Peter O’Sullivan in a rare Bukta-branded shirt from the end of the 1976/77 season. This blog featured this shirt in a previous post a few months ago.

Sporting a Rivelino-moustache, he truly looked the part on the cover of his testimonial programme at the end of the 1979/80 season:


Inside, an advert for the Seagull Line wished him well:


The editorial was by Tony Millard who paid tribute to Sully:

These days very few footballers spend ten years at one club and when Peter O’Sullivan recently completed 400 League games in Albion colours it was certainly quite an achievement.

When, on April 20, 1970 the youngster with the ‘Beatle’ style haircut came to the Goldstone from Manchester United not many would have thought that 10 years hence he would still be turning out and still wearing the number ’11’ shirt.

In fact, when Peter made that 400th appearance he had never been chosen as substitute but since then he has worn ’12’, for the first time, at Derby 10 days ago.

When he first came to the Goldstone the little Welshman with the Lancashire accent was an orthodox winger. As the game has changed and patterns of play have altered he has become a midfield player and he has been chosen once for Wales as a full cap, that against Scotland in May 1976 while he has also twice come on as a substitute in a full international, against Scotland in 1973 and against Malta just under a year ago.

Peter has played for the Albion in Three Divisions of the Football League. When he came to the club the side was in the Third Division and Peter was in the promoted side in 1972. Unfortunately, after just one season it was down again to Division Three and there they remained until the current ‘Alan Mullery era’.

Promotion from Three to Two in May 1977 was followed by disappointment a year later when the team just failed to gain promotion to One on goal difference. Ironically it was the failure of tonight’s opponents Southampton to beat Tottenham Hotspur at the Dell that meant that ‘Sully” and his colleagues were destined to have another season in the Second Division.

However Peter’s ambitions, and those of many more were finally fulfilled just under twelve months ago on that marvellous day at Newcastle. Ambitions that seemed to have been ended with his release from Manchester United were, nearly 10 years on, finally to be realised.

On October 9 last year Peter ran out at Old Trafford in front of 52,000 fans and he knew that he’d finally made it. Although, at that time, Albion were struggling in the League; Peter has now played quite a part, hopefully in ensuring the Club’s future.

As the programme continued:

During the year a number of benefit functions have been organised for Peter and the Committee of ‘Friends of Sussex Football’, the benefit organisers, have worked hard to make it a successful year.

One of the functions held recently was a businessman’s lunch at the ‘Sussex Pad’ in Lancing where landlord, Wally Pack and friends provided a marvellous spread. Our picture shows Sully helping Wally and his staff with the carving.


sullydinner At the Grand Charity dinner in March 1980, with guest speakers Dickie Davies, Peter Brackley and Alan Mullery, the dinner guests enjoyed the delights of asparagus mousse with smoked turkey as a starter.

This was followed by grilled trout with almonds, and then roast contra fillet of beef, sauce madeira, garden peas with bacon and parmentine potatoes.

Desert was pineapple cheesecake with fruit salad, and then petit fours and coffee.

As for the benefit match itself, a month later, Lawrie McMenemy’s Southampton won 3-1. Albion fans had the curious experience of seeing manager Alan Mullery score the Seagulls’ consolation from the penalty spot:


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Seagulls soar over BN3 7DE

Yesterday, Brighton won 3-1 against Port Vale in the FA Cup 4th Round. In April 1977, though, they battled in the Third Division in front of 23,446 supporters at the Goldstone, with Gerry Fell getting the only goal.

The jubilation surrounding the goal was captured by photographer Ken Tyhurst of the Brighton Gazette, and used in a magnificent poster for the Post Office:


As you can see, Peter Ward and Sammy Morgan led the celebration (with a mixture of Bukta and Umbro branding on their kit), plus Ken Tiler in the background.

According to a piece by Tim Carder:

Bill Swallow of the Swallow Company, designers of the current Albion programme, tells me that he was the Post Office’s Press Officer for the South East in 1977 and the poster was his idea. Apparently the ‘bean counters’ wouldn’t allow him to get it printed until promotion was certain, but he wanted to get it on the side of mail vans as soon as possible after the date so it was prepared it in advance.

In the article, Bill said:

“The image was actually a bit of a cheat. Although the Goldstone crowd was over 23,000, the terraces didn’t go back far enough to take the image to the top of the poster. So, in those pre-Photoshop days, we fiddled it by adding a tier or two of faces from elsewhere.”

Tim Carder added:

The poster was a great success. It went on nearly all local vans during May 1977 and, to Bill’s delight, numbers of them were stolen off the sides, probably an unprecedented occurence! Bill later did a Reading FC poster – very similar but obviously not as nice!

albionbookI won my copy of the poster at an auction at Withdean many seasons ago. It is also on display in the BHAFC fan bedroom at the new museum at the Amex stadium, which will hopefully be opening very soon.

Of course, the image from the 1-0 victory over Port Vale was also used on the front cover of ‘Albion – An illustrated history of Brighton & Hove Albion FC’ by John Vinicombe. This rather error-ridden book was published in 1978, covering the story up to the end of the 1977/78 season in Division Two. At the time, the matchday programme described how ‘the sales of the book from our Promotions shop was both brisk and plentiful.’ It was almost certainly helped by having such a striking image on the cover.

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Last hurrah for yellow away kit

Worn by the likes of Steve Foster below, this all-yellow Adidas number was Brighton’s away kit in the First Division from 1980/81 to 1982/83:


Its most famous appearance came in the 1983 FA Cup Semi-Final when Brighton beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1.

What is forgotten is that it was worn several times for the following season, 1983/84.

By then, though, with Albion in the Second Division, pinstripes and V-necks were all the rage. Here’s young winger Steve Penney showing his trickery while donning Albion’s sublime new white away kit with blue and red pinstripes:


You can also see this adidas shirt in more detail at Phil Shelley’s Old Football Shirts website.

However, there was a sartorially tricky League fixture in the 1983/84 campaign at Blackburn Rovers, and a cup tie at Bristol Rovers (Milk Cup) that meant both the blue home shirt and the white away top could not be used as change kit.

Instead, Albion were forced to reuse the previous season’s yellow shirts, minus reference to the lapsed sponsorship deal with British Caledonian Airways, of course. Despite the flakey picture quality, you can just about make out those flappy blue collars here in the Bristol Rovers second leg in October 1983, where Albion prevailed 5-4 on aggregate:

For a closer look, here’s, ahem, ‘Jerry Connors’ smashing in the vital away goal:


In the next round of the Milk Cup, in November 1983, Brighton travelled to Upton Park, Again they revived their old yellow kit, this time going down 1-0. Here’s Alan Young on the ball:


By the following season, 1984/85, adidas launched a new yellow change shirt for the Seagulls. It was worn in this 2-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers:

Fast forward three more seasons, to 1987/88, Spall took over the supply of Albion’s playing and replica kit, introducing a snazzy yellow shirt with shadow stripes. It was the first yellow away shirt worn in a promotion season since the Bukta design under Alan Mullery all those years ago.

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Great Albion kits: 1977-80 away (blue)

It seems slightly absurd that a team that plays in blue and white would choose an away kit that was …blue and white. However, that’s how things were in 1977 when Bukta won the contract for supplying Brighton & Hove Albion’s kit:


The advantage was that the Seagulls could maintain their home colours (albeit not their home kit) on away trips to Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke and Crystal Palace in the Second Division in 1977/78. The downside was that it necessitated that Bukta supplied Albion with the extravagance of a third kit, with red shirts, for matches at the likes of Oldham and Millwall.

This blue number was very smart indeed, with the white Buks down the sleeves looking rather like the white seagull on the new round crest. It made its debut on the opening of the league campaign, at the Dell, for Brighton’s well-earned 1-1 draw with Southampton. By the time of Albion’s match at Sunderland on 1st October 1977, Peter Ward had hit a rich vein of goalscoring form, with four goals in three matches.


At Roker Park, this exquisite first half goal was testament to Wardy’s close control, speed on the turn and deadly finishing:

The strike made the score 2-0 and put Albion on top of Division Two, at the time the highest Football League placing in the club’s history.

By the following month, the blue away kit was worn, strangely, with white shorts and red socks for the famous 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in November 1978, in front of 48,613 fans, still Albion’s highest ever league attendance. Hate to say it, it made us look like Portsmouth, although we were far, far better than the Pompey side of that time!

Two seasons later, in September 1979, the Spurs v Albion match at White Hart Lane was a First Division fixture, which the Seagulls lost 2-1 despite Horton’s goal. Here’s some images from the game:






In the summer of 1980, Adidas had taken over the deal for supplying Brighton’s kits. After three seasons, the blue Bukta away shirt was no more but the spirit of it lived on: the new Albion home shirt was a plain royal blue jersey.

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Football Pictorial Pennant from 1970/71

Fix your eyes on this Albion pennant from the Football Pictorial Pennant Collection, cut out from the magazine. Yes, it’s a cheapo paper one and it doesn’t come with any tassels:


It does, however, include the official badge. Featured most prominently on the ‘blue Arsenal’ kit from 1964 (and indeed, a few jersey designs before), this crest was dropped from the shirts in the Pat Saward era from summer 1970, in favour of B&H AFC calligraphic lettering. Nevertheless, the badge made it onto this unofficial pennant (above) and continued to be used to some extent until about 1974. As Football League Review described:


The club’s official badge features the arms of Brighton and Hove, set against the club colours of blue and white, The Brighton arms feature two dolphins surrounded by the six gold martlets of Sussex. Above the shield, a further pair of dolphins divided by two branches of coral refer to the sea and the South Coast climate. Hove’s arms also feature the County martlets. The ship at the top of the Arms represents a 16th Century French Galley, commemorating French attacks on the Hove coast.

At the time, the club also had this metal lapel badge, on sale to the public, price 3/6:


This particular crest was used on the matchday programme throughout the 1970/71 season. It took four more seasons before the club moved beyond the whole ‘coat of arms of the local boroughs’ paradigm and came up with the much simpler, cleaner Dolphin design for the first season under Peter Taylor. However, even this new badge didn’t feature on the club shirt.

Only in 1977/78 did a badge return to the club shirts. By then, we were, unmistakably, the Seagulls.


Number jacked

Nothing particularly unusual about this photo of Brighton’s match with Cambridge on New Year’s Day 1994, you may think:


However, it was at this match that Brighton became the first League club to abandon a squad numbering system and revert to the original 1-11 shirts. Squad numbers were optional under Football League regulations, with ten clubs utilising the system in the 1993/94 season.

As Ron Pavey, Albion secretary, said to Matchday magazine in March 1994:

‘It was one of the first things that Liam Brady suggested when he came to the Goldstone that we should revert to the traditional system. The squad numbering system was beginning to look very messy, with players’ numbers ranging up to 25, and it also caused chaos in our programme.’


That was the last we saw of squad numbering at the Goldstone. It was only a temporary reprieve for traditionalists, though, as by 1999-2000, it was back for the first season at Withdean.

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Coast to Coaster

These magnificent coaster-sized cards were leant to me by Nick from Fishersgate. I trust no-one was wasteful as to actually used them as beer mats, although that would make existing ones even rarer, pushing up their value, which might be good news for those who own some.

From the text printed on the back of four of these, it appears that they were issued by J. Baines in Bradford, at 82 Oak Lane or 15 North Parade. So proud of his status as ‘Sole Inventor and Originator of the Famous Packet of Cricket and Football Cards’, that his invention was registered at the Patent Office, with ‘Trade mark No. 197161.’ Yes, because obviously football and cricket cards did not exist before his!

In fairness, although the idea of collector cards was not due to his ‘Eureka’ moment, J Baines’ ones were cut in such extravagant shapes of which I have never seen of football cards before. Take this natty blue and beige number:


This full colour one here, my favourite, is an absolute beauty, and suggests our Argentina-style kit of the 2000s was not a wholly new idea:


Its reverse has the rather peculiar words:

Once more I wish to remind Boys who go in for my Competitions that all Prizes are given at once. Prizes for Cricket and Football are given all year round. J BAINES’ decision to be final.

Quite what the nature of these competitions were is not clear.

The next two have the abridged name ‘Bright’n&Hove’, with a goalkeeper in a chequered shirt. I wonder if an Albion keeper has really ever worn such a design:



Again, there is a special notice on the back of each:

‘If shopkeepers find any difficulty in getting our Packets, kindly write direct to Bradford, when they will get prompt attention. ESTIMATES GIVEN FOR ANY QUANTITY.’

‘Jerseys and Shirts will be sent in all cases if the instructions on Show Bills are strictly followed, as there are several competitions. Please examine your Cards before sending to prevent any disappointment.’

Despite the urgent nature of the messages, I’m still none the wiser as to what J Baines was in the business of. Where they a sports collector card company? A sportswear company? We might not ever know.

Still, the series continued with these two, finally giving the ‘Albion’ part of our club’s name a mention in the gold, vase-shaped design:



I’m not sure what decade these came out. If anyone would like to make an educated guess, please do.


Great Albion kits: 1983/84 Home


You may notice that this pin-striped beauty from 1983/84 is also the shirt in the logo of The Goldstone Wrap. I bought it from Phil Shelley of Old Football Shirts.

It was an updated version of the elegant number that Brighton wore at the 1983 FA Cup Final. If you look very closely at images from the Final against Manchester United, you can see that the V-neck and shirt cuffs of the Brighton players were plain white. By the start of the 1983/84 season, however, a very smart thin blue and red trim was added by adidas, as you can see here.


There are some other lovely touches to the shirt, such as the red pinstripe running through the badge behind the seagull on the crest. The pinstripes also ran through the cut out letters of ‘Brewery,’ following the sponsorship deal clinched with Phoenix Brewery in October 1983. Before the deal, Albion had started their return to Division Two sponsorless, as the three year deal with British Caledonian Airways had expired at the end of 1982/83.

‘FA Cup Finalist 1983’ is proudly added under the crest. Of course, the classic three stripes running down the sleeves for that vintage Adidas vibe and the sponsor’s logo, crest and manufacturer’s logo are very tastefully balanced together. One surprising aspect of the shirt is that it is made of cotton rather than polyester. In 1983/84, the shirt was usually worn with white short and blue socks, and it received national exposure in January 1984, when ‘The Big Match Live’ broadcasted Brighton’s famous 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup, with Eric Young, Steve Penney and Tony Grealish giving Liverpool a torrid time. It may have helped that they were wearing a bit of #kitporn as classy as this!


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David Rose Sports

On the backpage of the Albion Handbook 1978 was this advert for David Rose Sports, a name that evokes strong memories for many Brighton fans:


Nowadays, it’s almost unthinkable that you wouldn’t get your Brighton & Hove Albion replica shirt from the club shop. However, it seems the Albion were rather slow to catch onto the burgeoning replica kit market in the 1970s. So if you wanted to get your Bukta shirt, shorts and socks in the style of your heroes at the Goldstone, such as Gary Williams (above) or Peter Ward, and risk Full Kit-ism prejudice, it was better to wander off to Dyke Road to your local sports shop rather than Old Shoreham Road. I think even the yellow one was available as a replica kit.

As Alan Wares, of The Albion Roar radio show, said:

I got my first Albion kit from David Rose Sports when it was in Dyke Road. 1978, Bukta, stretchy knitted blue and white striped shirt, blue shorts with the Bukta stripes, white socks with two blue bands at the top, and a pair of Gola boots.

Not bad for a ninth birthday present. Seemed to recall it came to £32 all in.

David Rose was a lifelong Albion supporter who died in 2005 after a battle with cancer. He is fondly remembered for his expertise, excellent customer service and idiosyncratic discounts.

As The Spanish said on North Stand Chat:

David Rose’s constant 10% Off offer. Everything was always 10% off if you could prove you played for a mini minor league club, your birthday fell on a Tuesday that year, or you had a tortoise called George etc etc.

By the time of his death, business was not good, not because of losses incurred from his own discounts but because the big chains such as Sports Soccer and JJB Sports had muscled in on the market, buying their massive bulk of stock at cheap prices, making it hard for the traditional local sports shop to survive. For this reason, David’s stepson Michael was not keen to continue the business.

On hearing the news of the death, bigtomfu said:

What a great guy, always eager to give people money off even when there was no reason to. if you wanted an honest opinion on sports goods then you always went to him. What a guy and such a shame!

Alan Wares lamented the shift away from the likes of A A Baker, Swift Sports and David Rose Sports in a wider context:

In a city this size, there is only one quality sports shop (Swift Sports) – that’s disgraceful. David Rose Sports is symbolic of a dying trend – a trend that needs to be reversed. Whatever happened to knowledge, service and integrity in your local sport shop?

You go into a shop and see a row of football boots or cricket bats, all at massively different prices, and you ask the assistant what is the difference between each type of bat. Why one is one price, and one is another. In JJB, Sports Soccer etc, you get a monosyllabic grunt. In a REAL sports shop, you get intelligent responses, someone prepared to discuss your needs and requirements, someone who knows what they are on about. It doesn’t take much, and the customer is so much more grateful for it.

But where are these places? You see, it’s all wrong nowadays.

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Draw your heroes… and get their autographs!

Which football fans haven’t had a go at illustrating their heroes with pencil and paper some time in their life? But not everyone was as enterprising as a young Christopher Worrall, who used his ingenuity to acquire the signatures of his heroes.

Chris sent me this photo yesterday evening:


In an attempt to stay ‘on message’, note this supporter’s respect for the commercial side of the game, with nods to Phoenix Brewery and Adidas, two great names associated with Albion in the mid-1980s. Both are highly evocative of those times and fondly remembered, unlike, say, Focus DIY in the 1990s.

Chris said:

This is my rather unique collection of Albion autographs from 1984/85. I drew the squad, rolled it up, shoved it in a tube and sent it to the Goldstone. Back it came, as requested, fully autographed and given the official club stamp.

Still to this day on my study wall, 29 years later! Keown, Ferguson, Cattlin, Wilson, Kraay, Pearce, Gatting, Young, Hutchings, O’Reilly, Connor, Ryan, Biley, Smillie, Jacobs, Muir, Penney, O’Regan, Moseley, Worthington and Digweed are all here, drawn in home, away and third kits.

A splendid, creative effort, Chris!

If, like Chris, you have self-produced Albion creations that you’ve kept (or anything else of potential interest!) feel free to email a photo to seagulls@me followed by .com