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Spurs in the Milk Cup

Here are some photos from the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the Milk Cup 2nd Round 1st Leg in October 1982. The Seagulls came away with an excellent 1-1 result. Steve Gatting challenges Steve Archibald while Tony Grealish closes in:


Below, Gary Stevens tackles substitute Mark Falco:


Transimage Football 79-80

Transimage Ltd, a company based in Ashford, Kent, made their only foray in the football sticker market in 1979/80, just in time to cover the Seagulls’ debut in the First Division:


In a 528-sticker collection, covering the English and Scottish top flight teams, Brighton’s pages looked like this:


It was a pleasing spread. Given the small size of the stickers, there was much more room to develop a fresh design based on round rects.

The album I had was missing Eric Steele, Peter O’Sullivan and Gary Williams. Happily, I had some spares. Impressively, despite the passing of some 36 years, I was able to peel the backs off and they all stuck!



Sew on Seagulls

Once, sew on football-themed patches must have been all the rage, judging from these striking designs lent to me by Nick from Fishersgate. We kick off with this printed cloth by B.D.V Cigarettes, featuring an Albion player sporting broad white stripes:


Then, to the other extreme, a rather messy interpretation of the stripes, makes this Albion shirt look like a Luton away shirt from the 1990s:


However, it is the classic round badge with the seagull facing left that was undoubtedly the most popular for sewing on jackets, jeans and bags. Here is a plethora of interpretations and re-interpretations of the crest that first made it onto the Albion player’s shirt in 1977:






But if you were bored of the circle badge, you could rebel by going for these unofficial rectangular and shield designs, with the latter definitely catching the eye:



Or even a triangle! One of the first Albion seagulls to face right.


And look! Here’s a familiar sight for users of this blog who’ve been reading it from the beginning. The ‘King of the League’ patch from an exquisite Brighton tortoise!


And who wouldn’t want this imaginative Y-fronted Superman for sewing onto their favourite underpants?


Finally, there are these three military-themed items. V for victory, a pledge of allegiance and some army sergeant stripes, the latter signed by Eric Steele:




This was amble proof that in the 1970s and 1980s, when it came to patches for enhancing your clothes and school bags, Brighton & Hove Albion definitely had things covered. Respect to anyone who had all fifteen stitched onto one garment…

‘Saturday Afternoon’ by Fred Yates, 1953

Here is a beautiful painting of the Goldstone Ground by the renowned artist Fred Yates:


All the idiosyncrasies of the stadium are captured in a larger-than-life fashion, such as the advertising hoardings, the stands that don’t cover all the spectators, down to the corrugated metal walls that survived into the 1990s.

According to Wikipedia:

Fred Yates was born in Urmston, Lancashire, England in 1922. He began his working life as an insurance clerk but this career was cut short by the Second World War.

After the war Yates took up painting on his return to Manchester – initially as a painter and decorator. It was whilst working in Manchester, and training to become a teacher, that Yates began painting – much in the vein of L. S. Lowry; although he strove for recognition in his own right, and achieved this in his later years.

The supremely vivid ‘Saturday Afternoon’ was used on promotional material, and was on display, at ‘Brighton & Hove Albion – 99 Years of Entertainment and Passion’, an exhibition at Hove Museum and Art Gallery from September to November 2000.

It was also on show at Brighton & Hove Museum’s ‘Paintings Unwrapped’ exhibition from December 2008 to April 2009.

Regretfully, Yates died of a heart attack in July 2008. To find out more about his life and work, visit The Fred Yates Society.


No way back for Jack


The 32 year-old Jack Eyres was a rare beast in football, a goalscoring inside-left. With Walsall in Division Three (South), Eyres proved he knew where the net was, hitting the target 16 times in his last season with the club, 1930/31. Unsurprisingly, he attracted the attention of Brighton boss Charlie Webb, especially when he hit a hat-trick for the Saddlers against the Albion in a 3-3 draw at the Goldstone. It was the penultimate match of the season, and a fortnight later, Eyres was transferred to Brighton.

He had little chance to make an impression at the Albion, however, as the sparkling form of the incumbent inside-left Potter Smith meant Eyres had to wait until February 1932 to make his League debut for the Albion, scoring in a 4-0 triumph at Bristol Rovers. In the end, he registered three goals in his eleven appearances for his new club by the end of the season.

Unsurprisingly, at the close of the campaign, Eyres did not wish to stay with Brighton, as this illuminating letter by Charlie Webb on club headed paper, in May 1932, indicates:


Mr J Charnley

Dear Sir

J Eyres
As the above player has not accepted the terms we have offered him for 1932-33, my directors have decided to withdraw each offer.

I am therefore requested to ask you to remove him from our retained list and place him on our transfer list at a fee of £150 (One hundred and fifty pounds).

The terms we offered him were £4 per week summer and £5 per week winter plys 10/1 extra per week when in 1st team.

We paid £180 for his transfer from Walsall last May.

Yours faithfully

C. Webb

Eyres’ exit was swift as he left for Bristol Rovers that month. He joined York City in July 1934 before becoming player-coach of Gainsborough Trinity.

Tagged ,

Thank you, Steve!


Despite the Seagulls having to play their home matches in Kent, there was not much chance of relegation in 1997/98, due to Doncaster Rovers’ abject performance. However, with the Albion only seven points clear, Steve Gritt was relieved of his duties in February. Nevertheless, it led to an outpouring of heartfelt appreciation for the manager who performed heroically in the club’s darkest days during the previous campaign. It is unquestionable that without the former Charlton man’s efforts, the club would have slid out of the Football League.

Seagulls fans undoubtedly wished to pay tribute to Gritt. Online, you can still find a 1990s guestbook of thanks to the great man.

Like many supporters, Stephen Cowdry was eager to write a letter of gratitude to the ex-Albion boss after hearing of the sad news. Here is the reply he received:


In his letter, Steve Gritt mentions joining Millwall as reserve team coach. He also had a short spell as caretaker manager at The Den before becoming Mark McGhee’s assistant up to 2003. However, while his spell with us was much shorter, he will always live long in the affections of Brighton fans. The home form after Christmas in 1996/97, and the Doncaster and Hereford matches see to that.