Measuring 35mm x 35mm, here are some beauties from the late 1970s:
With their fun, informal typeface, they were perfect to help young Seagulls supporters to declare their love and enthusiasm for their side.
As Nigel’s WebSpace puts it:
Following on from the undoubted success of the Swap cards the Sun followed up in 1971/72 with the ambitious Soccerstamps collection. The Soccerstamps were stamps, rather than cards, and came in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colours. The tokens for Soccerstamps appeared in the Sun each day. The Sun only accepted tokens in lots of six, plus 5p, to get your 12 Soccerstamps by return post.
The stamps were to be mounted in the spaces for them in the 164-page Football Encyclopaedia and Soccerstamp Album (available from newsagents for 10p). The album suggests that you stick them in with stamp hinges. Collectors of these stamps therefore distinguish between those which were (a) never stuck into an album, (b) stuck in with stamp hinges or (c) stuck in as stamps.
With 504 stamps in the collection, Third Division clubs such as Brighton & Hove Albion were afforded three stamps. Here is the team photo stamp:
Captain John Napier and the old style coat of arms also appeared on two smaller stamps:
Despite getting promoted in 1971/72, I’m pretty sure Brighton don’t feature in the 3D star cards that The Sun ran with the following season.
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.
This rather gorgeous item was found on eBay a few months ago. It is from the brief period of time in the mid-1970s when Brighton had adopted the Dolphins nickname. Flicking through a 1974/75 match programme, this Club Lapel badge would have cost 25p, while a pin badge would have set you back 5p.
Curiously, the Dolphin design never made it onto the shirts of the team but some enterprising Albion fans have taken a step in this sartorial direction. The very wonderful Albion fanzine The Seagulls Love Review have produced T-shirts in a range of colours (white, black and royal blue) with the Dolphins logo, cheekily sticking their zine name on it.
If you’re interested, you can buy one here. Good work, chaps!