Category Archives: Photo Opportunities

Farah fashion 1983


The Brighton Cup Final squad of 1983, a good thirteen years before Liverpool arrived for Wembley in cream suits.


Merry Christmas from Bobby Smith


Former international striker Bobby Smith, who hit nineteen goals for Brighton in 1964/65 in Division Four. As goalkeeper Brian Powney said: “Not only was he ex-Tottenham and England, he was a very good player. Having him with us really lifted everyone.” Merry Christmas, everybody. Let’s enjoy ourselves like it’s 1964.

Robert Isaac interview: Have You Ever Had It Blue?


After getting stabbed by rival supporters and leaving the club you support, the last thing you’d want are injuries, relegation and bust-ups with the boss. But that was the way of things for Robert ‘Bob’ Isaac, a promising defender who helped the Seagulls return to the Second Division in 1988.

As a Chelsea apprentice, he appeared on The Sun front page after he was hurt by Millwall hooligans going to a match. However, there was much better news on the pitch. The Hackney-born youngster played for the reserves aged 15 and broke into the first team in March 1985. It was doubly sweet as he supports the Blues:

‘We lived in Chelsea and my great grandfather went to the first ever match at Stamford Bridge. My family have been going to matches home and away since. I went to see Chelsea play Stoke in the League Cup Final aged six. The hairs on my neck stood up just walking up Wembley Way. I went with my granddad and stood on a wooden stool. Shame about the result!’


By contrast, he tasted victory on his Chelsea debut in the First Division some thirteen years later. His speed and aerial ability helped secure a 3-1 victory at Watford: ‘It sounds soppy but I was welling up in the warm up.’

He did fine but all was not well at Stamford Bridge: ‘The management was losing support of the players. I asked for a transfer as I wanted regular first team football. When I joined Brighton in February 1987 they were in freefall. The dressing room was even more at odds with the manager than at Chelsea. Barry Lloyd dropped Dean Saunders, our only hope of surviving the drop. I found Barry rather rude. He’d blank me in the corridor and make me train on my own.’

Robert missed his team’s two victories at the end of the miserable 1986/87 season and was injured for much of the following campaign when Garry Nelson’s goals lifted the side. Indeed, it took fourteen months for Robert to experience his first victory in an Albion shirt, against Notts County in April 1988. Sensationally, captain Doug Rougvie had been dropped in March in favour of Isaac: ‘I don’t think big Dougie took it well but we’ve seen each other since and he holds no grudges.’

Isaac played in the final six matches, with Albion winning five times to win promotion on the last day against Bristol Rovers to euphoric scenes: ‘The run-in was something else. We felt unbeatable. It was such a contrast from the previous season.’

The following 1988/89 campaign, back in Division Two, Albion got a rude awakening, losing their first eight matches.


This was stemmed with a welcome 2-1 victory over Leeds United but then disaster struck: “I got injured at Leicester. I didn’t feel it until the next day and then it really hit me. My knee just blew up. Come Monday morning I couldn’t even walk.’

In August 1990, Robert was forced to call it a day. Since retiring, he has worked as a chauffeur for the Maktoums, the ruling family in Dubai, before becoming self-employed with his own vehicles.

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Grandmaster Fash

Here is mascot Gavin McLean, then 12 years old, posing with new Brighton striker Justin Fashanu on the opening day of the 1985/86 season, before the 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town at the Goldstone in August:


Fash had a fine spell with Notts County in 1984/85, leading to considerable interest from the likes of Manchester City, Norwich, Chelsea, Birmingham, Oxford and Oldham. In Jim Read’s superb biography of Justin Fashanu, he provides a vivid anecdote:

Also interested in Justin was the manager of another Second Division team, Chris Cattlin of Brighton & Hove Albion. Feeling he might be a difficult player to manage, Cattlin decided to invite Justin to stay at his house for four days so they could get to know each other. They obviously hit it off and the transfer was agreed.

Catlin explained: “Justin had a reputation of being a bit of a problem player with his other clubs but that is all in the past. In my dealings with him I’ve found him to be a smashing person and the sort of player our supporters will take to.’ He told the Evening Argus that Justin was ‘a dedicated player who has been asleep for a couple of years’, adding ‘I’m sure, with us, he will bring his talents to fruition’. For his part, Justin told The Times: ‘I only took this step after a good deal of thought and prayer. I am convinced Chris Cattlin can get the very best out of me.’ He described the move as the most important of his career. He must have felt it was his last chance to regain the form he had shown at Norwich and in his first few months at Notts County.

He signed in June 1985 for a fee of £115,000 given a generous three year contract, reported to be around £45,000 a year. He had passed his medical but there was an exclusion clause on his troublesome right knee. It would only be covered by insurance after he played 12 consecutive League games.

There was some lingering ill-will from supporters over various incidents when he had played against them including the injury to Jeff Clarke the previous season. When still at Norwich, he had broken the nose of Brighton’s defender, Andy Rollings, who was then sent off after swinging a punch at him.

Dismissing the broken nose as arising from an accidental clash of heads, Justin claimed: ‘I think I have become more subfie in my game. I would really hurt people in the past but that is all behind me, now.’ But, as one Brighton supporter put it: ‘He was the kind of player you couldn’t stand because you thought he was dirty, then he comes to play for you and you think he’s brilliant.’

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Delightful player badges and discs

Thanks to Nick Spiller for lending me these marvellous items.

A pair of badges from the late 1970s:


…some discs from 1979/80:


…and yet more discs, this time from 1980/81:


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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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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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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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Crazy Kraay

For a lad who only made 23 appearances for the Seagulls, Hans Kraay seems to have made an indelible mark in the memory of many Brighton supporters during the mid-1980s:


With young supporters brought up and influence by punk, he gained instant cult status for his off-putting goal-line ‘pogo’ dance. It was designed to cause chaos at corners as he stood in front of the opposition keeper, and copied by many in the North Stand.

He arrived for a trial in November 1983 having had spells with AZ ’67 Alkmaar and Exclesior Rotterdam in the Netherlands, as well as San Jose Earthquakes and Edmonton Drillers in the USA. Then, while with NAC Breda, he pushed a referee over at the end of a game and received a lengthy ban.

Brighton boss Chris Cattlin was not put off by Kraay’s misdemeanour. Instead, he was impressed by wholehearted play. As a result, the Dutchman made his debut at home to Fulham on 27th December 1983. After a handful of substitute appearances, he made a second starting appearance in the convincing 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough in May 1984.

The hallmarks of the Dutchman’s play were enthusiasm and commitment, as well a recklessness that meant he was never far away from being cautioned by the referee.

The following season was marred by an amazing incident when Kraay played for Brighton’s reserves against their Portsmouth counterparts in October 1984. He injured future Seagull John Crumplin in a tackle for which he was sent-off. Then, as the 17-year-old was receiving treatment, Kraay kicked him as he walked off the pitch!

Even so, it was not enough to curtail his Albion career just yet. He made his first appearance of the 1984/85 season against Grimsby two months later. He also flung his shirt to the ground on being substituted against Cardiff in February that season. From March onwards, he became a fixture in the side as Brighton nearly gained promotion back to Division One. They were helped by Kraay’s three goals in the last six matches, including the winner at Notts County in April when he crashed home Frank Worthington’s corner after Alan Biley had set him up in the goalmouth scramble. After the goal, he ran the length of the pitch to try to jump in amongst all the Brighton supporters! In May, Kraay also got the team’s opener as Albion stormed from 2-0 down at Grimsby to triumph 4-2.

All this was not enough to save Kraay’s career at the Goldstone and disciplinary problems eventually had a factor in him being released in September 1985. He subsequently played for Molenbeek, RKC Wallwijk, De Graafschap and Telstar in the Dutch league. However, memories of the ‘Hans is evil, Hans is evil’ chant at the Goldstone live on.