Category Archives: Club Colours

Great Albion kits: 1985/86 Away

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Worn in the famous snowy away tie in the FA Cup against Peterborough in February 1986, this striking kit is fondly remembered by Brighton fans of that time.

It had three large bold horizontal stripes on the side of the collar, a design that was unique to us despite all the other clubs that adidas manufactured shirts for at the time.

At the Peterborough game, the freezing Albion fans were given free red scarves. Brighton fan and North Stand Chat user Stat Brother has kept his in very good nick:

redscarf

… although with Stat Brother’s six month old golden retriever Lionel around, it may not last forever!

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A season later, NOBO replaced Phoenix Brewery as the sponsor for the Albion shirt.

As for Steve Gatting, he continued to serve well in whatever shirt he was asked to play in, red, blue, or even the green goalkeepers’ top:

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A retrospective piece in the Albion programme in 1994/95 stated:

It has not been often in modern times that a player has served Albion continuously for ten years – Steve did so in defence or midfield and battled back from a bad pelvic injury to play again when many might have thrown in the towel. He was, indeed, a versatile player but he never scored an FA Cup goal for Albion – in fact, he once played for much of a League Cup match in goal when, at the City Ground, he replaced the injured Perry Digweed between the posts for Albion and he didn’t do at all badly.

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The Bukta shirt you never knew of

Every Albion fan over a certain age knows the famous Brighton home shirt of the late 1970s, with the buks running down the white sleeves and round Seagulls badge. But what about this one?

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Well, this shirt design, with blue and white striped sleeves and no buks down t’sleeves (and no badge either!) was also an Albion home shirt of the Mullery years.

In 1976/77, Brighton had crazily inconsistent manufacturers’ branding on their kit. White or black Umbro logos adorned the home shirts. Then, sometimes, there was no branding (maybe some ironed on logos fell off!). At other times, there was an Umbro logo on the shirts and a Bukta logo on the shorts. And sometimes, different Albion players in the same game had different combinations. It was an absolute mess! Certainly wasn’t someone with OCD in charge of the player’s kit.

Around April 1977, though, for the first ever time, some Brighton players had the Bukta logo on their shirts. Why does this matter? It doesn’t other than it means this was the first ever Albion Bukta shirt. For example, here’s Ian Mellor in action against eventual Third Division champions Mansfield:

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(Infuriatingly, other players in the same game, such as Peter Ward, did not have this logo on their shirt. His was unbranded).

However, Ward did get to wear this Bukta-stripey-sleeved shirt over a year later in August 1978, in a pre-season friendly against Queen’s Park Rangers at the Goldstone.

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By that time, the classic Buk-sleeved Bukta shirt, that we all know and love, had been worn for a good year within its three year lifespan. So it’s a mystery why the first ever Bukta design made a brief revival, now with shorts that didn’t particularly match its aesthetics. Probably to confuse Albion shirt connoisseurs thirty-five years down the line, I expect! Yeah, that’d be it.

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Shirts of the wrong era

Here’s the yellow away shirt of the 1978/79 as worn by the regular centre-half during that season… er, Martin Keown.

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And here’s the mid-1980s adidas kit with NOBO sponsor, as worn by the main goalgetter in that side… um, Peter Ward?

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Somewhere, I’ve also got video footage of Michael Robinson wearing the Albion shirt of 1972/73.

It’s strange seeing these ‘out of time’ pictures, especially when players become so associated with certain kits. The Wardy one is obviously from a cameo appearance at a testimonial. However, in the case of Keown and Robinson, old Albion gear was used for training and practice matches years after they ceased being used in first team matches, and then chucked. A pity, as they’d be worth a fortune now!

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Back to the ’50s

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Cashing in the retro kit craze that Umbro ushered in with Spurs’ long baggy shorts in the FA Cup Final of 1991, the Sports Express Shop (a.k.a Seagulls Shop) introduced this cotton beauty during the following season.

The caption reads: ‘…as worn by Albion’s youngest first teamer Stuart Munday.’

The shirt seems a bit pricey at £29.99 each in 1992, methinks.

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Hostess tackles Lawro and Nobby

This is from an edition of ‘Roy of the Rovers’ magazine. A spot of foul play by Nobby, I suspect:

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From the Brighton v Bristol City programme of April 1980:

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Last Wednesday we held a very successful buffet lunch for the firms that have helped the club during the year with sponsorship and advertising.

With us for the first time were our new sponsors British Caledonian and we have reproduced here a novel action picture that shows Brian Horton and Mark Lawrenson in the new Albion kit that will be worn next August.

The Caledonian hostess seemed to enjoy the action in front of the North Stand and we hope that supporters will equally enjoy seeing the team play in its new strip next August.

It was certainly a radical change. Nothing quite screams top flight Albion football as that all-blue Adidas kit with the British Caledonian sponsor, making Brighton the first side in the south to be involved in shirt advertising. The Brighton v Nottingham Forest programme from March 1980 says that:

the colour change was decided upon after consultation with the players and they were virtually unanimous about the new strip. To many the stripes associate the club with the Third Division days and we are determined to be a First Division club in every way.

The Albion vs Forest matchday programme also includes this image:

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Here you can see Albion chairman Mike Bamber shaking hands with Adam Thomson, the Chairman of British Caledonian Airways, as a helicopter waits to whisk Mr Thomson back to Gatwick. Yes, the 1980s had certainly arrived!

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Mystery of the white British Caledonian adidas away kit

White British Caledonian shirt
It was a bit of puzzle to find the above photo on the cover of a Birmingham v Arsenal programme from 1981/82. Did Brighton really don a white away shirt in their top flight days? Or had there been some pre-Photoshop hocus-pocus done to remove the yellow from Tony Grealish’s shirt?

The Birmingham v Liverpool programme from the same season featured Gary Stevens, apparently also sporting a white shirt.

White British Caledonian shirtAfter I posted a thread on North Stand Chat, the question was answered by Phil Shelley of www.oldfootballshirts.com who steered everyone in the discussion to the Brighton v Southampton programme from April 1982 with the caption: ‘Gordon Smith in full flight at Birmingham in an unfamiliar white Albion shirt.’

Mystery solved! Although why we ran out in white when the usual away kit of all yellow would have sufficed is something we’ll probably never know.

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