Tag Archives: brian horton

Mullery in V-sign storm

Image as featured in the excellent Not Worth That blog at https://notworththat.wordpress.com

Image as featured in the excellent Not Worth That blog at https://notworththat.wordpress.com

In a ‘friendly’ match in August 1973, Albion beat Crystal Palace 2-1, with goals from Ken Beamish and John Templeman. Regrettably, there was crowd trouble at the Goldstone. Even so, cooling the potential for antagonism, the two clubs didn’t get to play each other in the League that season and, in any case, the respective managers Brian Clough (once Pat Saward got the boot) and Malcolm Allison were good friends.

By the time the 1974/75 season kicked off, though, Crystal Palace were slumming it in Division Three with Brighton. In an encounter on the opening day, there was an intensity to the game that hadn’t been seen before in a clash between the two clubs. Again, there was crowd trouble. Argus reports in 1975/76 certainly talked of a rivalry between the two sides. Reporting on Palace’s 1-0 home defeat to Brighton from Sept 1975, John Vinicombe explained that:

‘The exchanges were conducted in a cup-tie atmosphere, and the cut-and-thrust carried through with the zest of deadly rivals.’

However, it was the infamous FA Cup 1st Round second replay at Stamford Bridge on 6th December 1976 that turned the flickers of ill-feeling into a fire. Here is how it was reported in the Daily Express:

Brighton crashed out of the FA Cup last night… and manager Alan Mullery made it an undignified exit.

Mullery had to be restrained by police after striding on to the Stamford Bridge pitch for a face-to-face confrontation with referee Ron Challis, who had disallowed two second-half Brighton goals.

And as Palace fans jeered from their seats near the tunnel, Mullery waved two extravagant double-handed V-signs at them.

According to Palace Echo, ‘He flung down about a fiver’s worth of notes change into a puddle and screamed “You’re not worth that, Palace” whilst flicking the viccies.’

The Express continues:

Mullery was unrepentant afterwards. He explained: “I asked him [Challis] why he had disallowed the penalty which Brian Horton had scored for us.

“He said to me, ‘I can’t talk to you on the pitch.’ I said that I was only asking him a question. I wanted to know how he could turn an advantage he had awarded to us for the foul on Chris Cattlin and then make it a disadvantage because a Palace player had stepped into the penalty area.

“The referee waved me away. He said: ‘I’ve told you you can’t talk to me on the pitch. Get off.”

Challis, who needed a police escort to get him safely past a group of angry Brighton supporters, did not caution Mullery for his protest. And he refused to comment on the incident. But it seems certain Mullery will now face disciplinary action.

He raged: “How can you get beaten like that? There was only one team in it. We were in a different class and if it was a fight it would have been stopped in the second round.

The controversy began in the 73rd minute when Ian Mellor’s header from a corner went past Palace goalkeeper Paul Hammond – but Brighton’s celebrations came to an abrupt halt when referee Challis awarded Palace a free-kick for handball against Peter Ward.

Mullery said: “The ref was the only one out of 14,000 people who saw Ward handle. I’ve got better eyes than him – and I wear glasses.”

But the real drama unfolded 13 minutes from the end when Mr Challis pointed to the penalty spot after Cattlin had been fouled by Barry Silkman.

Brighton captain Brian Horton pushed the penalty out of Hammond’s reach and into the left hand corner of the net. But the referee ordered him to retake it after he had spotted players encroaching illegally inside the area.

The penalty that started the row... the ball's in the net but the ref says 'no goal'

The penalty that started the row… the ball’s in the net but the ref says ‘no goal’

The retaken penalty... this time Hammond blocks Brian Horton's spot-kick

The retaken penalty… this time Hammond blocks Brian Horton’s spot-kick

Horton elected to try for the opposite corner. Hammond guessed that he would and dived to his left to palm the ball to safety.

Brighton’s experienced defender Graham Cross complained: “The referee made Brian take it again because Palace’s Ian Evans had pushed me inside the box as he took the first penalty. It was a disgraceful decision.”

Hammond explained the secret of his successful guess when he said, “I almost reached the first penlty, and I thought he would try to hit the second one the other way. I ‘sussed’ him out, although the second shot was not the best penalty the lad’s taken.”

The one goal which did stand came from Palace’s diminutive midfield player Phil Holder in the 19th minute.

Holder, given a free transfer by Palace in the summer, showed great composure as he drove David Swindlehurst’s centre into the net to wipe out the memory of Palace’s FA Cup semi-final defeat against Southampton on this ground eight months ago.

Palace now have prospects of another healthy Cup run, beginning with a second round tie at home to Enfield on Saturday.

For his troubles, Alan Mullery was ordered by the Football Association to answer charges of bringing the game into disrepute:

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He was fined £75 in 1977.

Referee Ron Challis was dubbed ‘Challis of the Palace’ by Brighton fans, becoming something of a hate figure. Was it really just a season before when Brighton’s matchday programme devoted a whole page to his photo?! Suffice to say, his image was now dartboard material:

Centre-spread of the Brighton v Palace programme from February 1976.

Centre-spread of the Brighton v Palace programme from February 1976.

As for Brighton, who were without a win in seven matches following the FA Cup exit, the team responded with eight wins in the next twelve matches to regain momentum, as well as leadership in the Third Division.

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Watching Forest at the Town Hall

From Football Handbook (part 25):

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In a scintillating League Cup Quarter-Final, Alan Mullery’s men put on a great performance against the reigning English League champions and League Cup holders on 13th December 1978. The Seagulls succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Clough’s side that retained the trophy and then also lifted the European Cup that season.

An estimated 5,000 Albion supporters cheered the Seagulls on at the City Ground. However, the support would have been even more if two of the three charter trains had not broken down en route.

In the Brighton v Stoke programme from 1978/79, there is a nice piece on how the club in January that season made it up to the supporters who missed this exciting cup tie:

With all the recent bad weather there has been a lot of work for the Promotions Office with re-arranging trains, etc. But one event that we had to work particularly hard on was the film showing of the Notts Forest Albion League Cup quarter-final. It was, of course, staged for the benefit of our unlucky supporters who were stranded on the two special trains which didn’t reach the City Ground.

Just under 1,000 people attended Hove Town Hall for the evening last Tuesday and several of the players came along to the delight of the supporters. The row shown in the picture shows the lads really enjoying some of their glory moments.

Some of the comments from the players made commentator Hugh Johns’ sound almost an amateur. Naturally everyone hopes we would never again have a similar situation but we hope supporters will agree that we’ve done our very best to make up for the disappointment.

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Each one of the audience at Hove Town Hall was even issued with a black and white copy of the matchday programme:

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Update 26/12/15: Two of the goals (from John McGovern and John Robertson) made it into the recent ‘I Believe in Miracles’ film:

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Port Vale ‘hard man’ Horton signs for Albion

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From the Evening Argus on 10th March 1976:

Brian Horton, Port Vale’s midfield general, signed for Albion today. A £30,000 fee was agreed between the clubs after manager Peter Taylor made his approach last night when Horton played in the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.

Horton, 27, visited the Goldstone this morning when formalities were completed. He will watch his new club against Shrewsbury Town tonight.

The signing is highly regarded as one of the hardest players in Division 3, and Taylor has never concealed his admiration of the player.

No doubt Taylor wants a harder approach away from home by his promotion-striking squad, and sees Horton as just the man to inject more power.

Captain Brian Horton, third from right in the middle row

Captain Brian Horton, third from right in the middle row

Captain of Port Vale, Horton has played over 250 games for the club, and joins another former Vale player at the Goldstone, striker Sammy Morgan. He cost £30,000 from Aston Villa.

When the transfer was completed 24 hours before the deadline, Taylor said: ‘I have always admired Brian. He has been very loyal to Vale, and he possesses the qualities I want in players.

“His age is right in terms of experience, and I am delighted he has agreed to come to the Albion.”

A final check was made on Horton last Saturday when Vale won 2-1 at Rotherham. He has been under close scrutiny for the past two months.

Port Vale earlier had inquiries about Horton from Hereford and Peterborough, but these were turned down. When Albion came in with their bid, there was no hesitation by Vale’s directors.

The move is the first in Horton’s career, although he began as an apprentice with Walsall. He has been at Port Vale six seasons and captain the last two.

“I knew Brighton were interested only last night. I had no doubts about coming in such a tremendous set-up. The support and potential is wonderful, and this is what attracted me.”

With Vale, Horton played a left-side, midfield role. Injury kept him out of the team when Albion drew 1-1 at Vale Park on September 6, and he has been injured recently.

There was a possibility of a second signing before the deadline, but Taylor said that he was now content to play a waiting game to get the player he wants.

Albion expect a 20,000 plus Goldstone gate tonight for the visit of promotion rivals Shrewsbury Town.

Injured winger Gerry Fell will enter hospital tomorrow for a knee operation.

Victory would give Albion a 15th straight home League win and close the gap between them and leaders Hereford United to two points.

A 15th consecutive home win proved beyond Brighton, as Shrewsbury took a shock 2-0 lead before half-time. However, Albion rallied to secure a 2-2 draw. Horton made his debut for Brighton in the following match, at Preston on 13th March 1976, and played for the remainder of the 1975/76 campaign. Even so, if Taylor had hoped for an immediate upturn in results away from home, he was to be disappointed. Brighton lost 1-0 at Deepdale and would not gain another away victory for the rest of the season. Three points short of Millwall in third place, this ultimately cost the side promotion to Division Two.

As for Port Vale, despite the need to balance the books, their supporters were understandably livid about the sale of their inspirational captain for such a low fee. From being eighth after Horton’s final match for Vale, it was unsurprising that Roy Sproson’s team’s form dipped. It took them until a 3-1 victory over Wrexham on 5th April 1976, with two goals from Terry Bailey and one from Colin Tartt, before they witnessed another win.

 Number 10, Peter Ward, on his home debut, extends a glad hand to Fred Binney who scored Albion's opener

Number 10, Peter Ward, on his home debut, extends a glad hand to Fred Binney who scored Albion’s opener

Five days later, Brighton rubbed salt into the wounds at the Goldstone, decisively winning 3-0 with goals from Binney, Mellor and Ward. By then, Brian Horton was the new Albion skipper, a role he held with great distinction for the next five full seasons.

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Panini Football 80 – Brighton’s first double spread

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I originally bought this second hand at the Sunday market outside Brighton train station in the early 1990s. I thanked my lucky stars that all the Albion stickers were there. This was years before eBay, so finding someone with a spare Peter Sayer sticker lying around would have been tricky, whereas now it would only take a few seconds…

Looking at the Arsenal pages now, it’s striking that out of the 14 Gunners on display, five would eventually join Brighton (Steve Gatting, Willie Young, Sammy Nelson, Liam Brady and Frank Stapleton). Neil McNab lined up as a Bolton player sticker for the last time, while future Seagull favourite Michael Robinson smiled for his Manchester City photo shoot with a joviality that was not reflected in his unhappy year at Maine Road.

However, it’s the Albion double-spread that really catches the eye!

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In these head and shoulder shots, we get to see the bubble perms of Sayer and Ward, but even these are outnumbered by the popularity of moustaches within the Brighton first team, through Lawrenson, Horton, Clark, O’Sullivan, Poskett and Ryan. Curiously, our players here are wearing flared collars with a triangular panel at the bottom, whereas during the season (I’m addressing fellow shirt anoraks, here!) it was open flared collars that were on display, at least for the home kit.

As the season unfolded, keeper Eric Steele gave way to Graham Moseley. Gary Stevens and Steve Foster also played much stronger roles in defence than either Chris Cattlin or Andy Rollings. Sayer, Maybank and Clark would be further casualties as Mullery moved his Panini stickers around his imaginary album to try to find a winning formula. Then, from nowhere (OK, Blackpool in the Third Division) Peter Suddaby took Lawrenson’s spot in defence while the Republic of Ireland international was pushed further forward. He would have taken one of the midfielder stickers, while Neil McNab and Ray Clarke would have been the new arrivals bringing high quality passing and forward play to the Goldstone. Good swopping, Mullers!

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Teddy’s hat-trick triumph

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Argus journalist John Vinicombe was in a happy mood, describing Brighton’s 5-0 annihilation of Cardiff City in December 1978. Helped by three goals from Teddy Maybank, the handsome result put the Seagulls in third place in Division Two:

Albion’s form in the two Christmas matches – at Charlton and yesterday against Cardiff City at the Goldstone – was nothing less than superb.

From the 3-0 success at The Valley, where Malcolm Poskett scored a second half hat-trick, Albion carried on where they left off when Cardiff arrived at the Goldstone.

And there to greet them was a numbing goal in the first 23 seconds by Gary Williams and Teddy Maybank bagging his first hat-trick for the club.

But for the courage of goalkeeper Ron Healey, City would have been taken for a cricket score.

The 5-0 victory was easily Albion’s most convincing display so far and helped lift them to third spot in the table as all the results went their way.

Before a ball was kicked, Albion knew that close rivals West Ham had crashed to a shock home defeat at the hands of Orient.

Albion needed six goals to eclipse them on goal difference alone, and the situation now is that Brighton have won more games (12) than any other side. On this form they face the New Year with confidence.

If Charlton were just as comprehensively outclassed as Cardiff, it should be borne in mind that Charlton picked up yesterday to take a point at Stoke.

Other results in Albion’s favour were the 1-0 defeat of Newcastle United at Bramall Lane and Sunderland dropping a point at home to Leicester City.

And while West Ham came tumbling down, there was a similar upset at Selhurst Park, where leaders Crystal Palace suffered a 1-0 defeat by Bristol Rovers.

This is a traditional time for crazy results, but there was no hint of Albion slipping up. I cannot recall them playing so consistently welt for the entire 90 minutes as Cardiff reeled under a succession of tremendous blows.

Never mind Cardiff’s bad away record… they had toppled Fulham in their previous match and are desperate to avoid the drop.

Not once did they remotely look like upsetting Albion’s approach, and it was realty a case of how many goals would finish in City’s net.

The three deposited by Maybank will do wonders for his morale. In a twinkling, a much-maligned player has earned many new admirers, although those who watch the side home and away will testify to his voracious work rate.

Significantly, Mark Lawrenson played a part in all three Maybank goals, and if there is a more gifted player in the division, I have yet to see him.

maybank2nda

When Maybank headed Albion’s second at 23 minutes it was his first at home for nearly a year! He last hit the Go!dstone net on January 21 against Mansfield and it is almost four months since he scored away from home.

The way has been far from easy for Maybank, but now that the spell is broken I look forward to his luck changing.

Although his damaged ankle ligaments are healed, there was no place for Peter Ward. How could Alan Mullery have changed the side that dazzled at Charlton? Now he has what managers like to call a ‘nice problem’. With nearly half the season remaining there will be plenty of chances for Ward to get back, but the good of the club comes first and personal feelings second.

It must be satisfying for Mullery to have found the touch with his players at such an important time. Aibion were long overdue for a good Christmas. but I don’t think even the most devoted fan thought in terms of two wins and eight goals!

The heavy conditions yesterday suited Albion, and skipper Brian Horton showed himself master of the long ball. Peter Sayer and Peter O’Sullivan ran and worked so hard that there was nothing for Cardiff to create. And Lawrenson, always ready to go on runs at Charlton. was equally hungry yesterday. He inspired that much confidence in Andy Rollings to mind the shop with the ever vigilant Chris Catilin to provide additional cover.

Twelve minutes from the end, Lawrenson limped off with a touch of cramp. It was a wise move to pull him out at that stage, as Cardiff’s defence lay in tatters.

Without any buses, the crowd was kept down to 20,172, but surely there must be a good 28,000 for Saturday’s visit of Newcastle.

They should prove a sterner test than Charlton or Cardiff, but in this mood I doubt if Albion care very much who they play.

Shrewd Mullery had the players in on Christmas morning to be weighed. Not one was a pound over – testimony to their professionalism. I lost count of the bails on Cardiff’s goal. Lawrenson hit the post early on, and midway through the first hall Poskett’s shot was deflected on to the bar. Two other Poskett efforts missed by narrow margins, and twice Maybank went very close and so, for good measure, did Cattlin.

When referee Tony Cox sounded the final whistle it was a merciful release for Cardiff, who were reduced to the stature of a park team.

One minute: The stopwatch showed 23 seconds when Williams hit a swerving shot from just inside the box from a pinpointed Poskett centre (1-0).
Twenty three minutes: A long ball from Lawrenson found Sayer and he quickly picked up Sully. When the ball came over to the far post, Maybank was in with his head (2-0).
Forty three minutes: A finely worked move involving five players ended when Ryan flicked across for Maybank. He pitched headlong when he shoved in the back by Roberts, and Horton nearly took the back of the net out from the spot (3-0).
Forty-eight minutes: A run of 20, maybe 25 yards by Lawrenson took him down the right, and the hard, low cross was met by Maybank with a diving header (4-0).

Jubilant Maybank completes his hat-trick

Jubilant Maybank completes his hat-trick

Sixty-two minutes: An almost identical move: Lawrenson raiding yet again, and Maybank getting in to force the ball home (5-0).

Albion: Moseley; Cattlin, Williams, Horton, Rollings, Lawrenson, Ryan. Poskett, Maybank, Sayer, O’Sullivan. Sub: Clark for Lawrenson (withdrawn), 78 minutes.
Cardiff City: Healey; Thomas, Pethard, Campbell, Roberts, Larmour. Attley, Stevens, Evans, Dwyer, Lewis. Sub: Bishop for Stevens (withdrawn), 63 minutes.
Referee: Mr T. Cox (South Croydon).
Bookings: Campbell (foul).
Attendance: 20,172
Albion Jackpot: Pink 88107 – £105; yellow, 1609 – £57.50; pink, 94905 – £34.50; yellow. 3819 – £23.

From his moment of triumph, Teddy Maybank didn’t quite run into a rich vein of goalscoring form. He popped up with the opener against Leicester City in early February at the Goldstone before embarking on another fruitless spell in front of goal. A sending off against Sheffield United in March threatened to curtail his participation in the final run-in as Mullery moved quickly to sign Martin Chivers as a stop-gap.

However, three goals in the last four matches meant Maybank ended the season with a bang. It was ample reward for a forward who unselfishly did the donkey work to create space for his more fleet-footed colleagues.

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Boxing Day 1979: Ace Ward shatters that jinx

Gerry Ryan in action on Boxing Day

Gerry Ryan in action on Boxing Day

Here is a splendid match report from John Vinicombe from December 1979 covering the Seagulls’ famous mauling of their arch rivals:

As Albion left the Goldstone after their 3-0 triumph over Crystal Palace yesterday, manager Alan Mullery grinned: “I’ve been waiting three-and-a-half years for that.”

In the time Mullery has been Albion’s manager, his side has failed to beat Palace in nine meetings, and he rejoiced: “They are not our bogey team any more! “What I just saw was our sweetest performance in the First Division, although we have played just as well before. This was something different, and has been coming on for the last seven or eight games.”

Underdogs

While Mullery was delighted with Peter Ward’s continuing good form, he preferred to talk in terms of a complete team performance. But the unerring eye for flair and excitement caused him to dwell on Ward, who scored and played a part in the other goals. Said Mullery: “He was superb. He is back to his old, sparkling self. He is playing like we know he can play and have seen him before. I would say the difference between the teams was a bit more than Ward. For a change we were the underdogs and we didn’t give Palace a kick. At the end, John Gregory turned round to Graham Moseley and asked if he had finished his crossword.”

Before the start, Mullery told Ward to go out and prove that Jim Cannon was not his master. Said Mullery, “I knew how it had been in the past, and last season I had Ward as sub because he just hadn’t been able to do anything against him in previous matches.”

When Ward netted after 33 minutes it was his first League goal against Palace. The display drew generous praise from Terry Venables: “Ward was brilliant… outstanding… the difference between the sides.” The Palace boss said he thought the penalty decision when Cannon brought down Ward, and Brian Horton scored from the spot after five minutes, was harsh. “I didn’t think the passing was very good from either side, but all credit to Brighton, they finished well.”

Albion’s first success against Crystal Palace in ten meetings took them out of the bottom three yesterday. A thoroughly convincing 3-0 Goldstone victory raised even further their hopes of staying in the First Division.

A 28,358 crowd witnessed the win that lifted Albion above Bristol City on goal difference. The manner of such a performance was such that Albion may justifiably entertain high hopes of climbing completely away from the relegation zone as the season enters the half-way stage. Ten points from the last seven games is a pretty broad indication that Albion are starting to turn the corner, and the visit of Manchester City on Saturday is awaited with confidence.

Peter Nicholas tries to stop the immaculate Ward

Peter Nicholas tries to stop the immaculate Ward

Inspiration
There is no more improved player than Peter Ward, who continued yesterday where he left off on the frozen Molineux pitch – scene of a famous hat-trick. He has now scored five goals in five games, and tops the scorers with nine. His appetite is growing notably sharper game by game and he scored Albion’s second after being involved in the early penalty converted by Brian Horton. It was Ward who laid the third goal two-third of the way through for Gerry Ryan. In fact, it was a game that bore Ward’s stamp of class, but in no way was this a one-man show.

The application of the entire team was just too much for Palace, and Horton’s inspiration made for a memorable encounter. There was no visible weak link, and yet Alan Mullery was understandably apprehensive at Peter Suddaby starting a three-match suspension. He needn’t have worried. Gary Stevens slotted in to shackle Mike Flanagan who didn’t have a kick. There were just three Palace shots on target, two from the immensely talented Vince Hilaire, and one near the end from Jerry Murphy. None of them gave Graham Moseley any trouble… now does that sound like a description of Albion and Palace?

The side put out by Terry Venables were never allowed to parade their rich plumage, but, to be fair, he had problems. Kenny Sansom started with a thigh injury, and couldn’t continue after 55 minutes, while Flanagan, returning from injury, looked woefully short of pace. So too did Gerry Francis, while Ward gave Jim Cannon, his old gaoler, the run-around from start to finish. You could tell straight from kick-off that Ward was determined to end Cannon’s domination. His first touch, after Gary Williams and Sully had scissored through, ended with John Burridge holding a low shot wondering how long it would take his skipper to catch up with the wraith-like figure.

Expression
Well, Cannon did make contact after only five minutes, but to whip his legs away just inside the box. When Ward bounced straight to his feet, and saw referee John Martin pointing to the spot, his face broke into a broad grin. Instead, Horton’s expression was of grim determination. He had a job to do, and did it perfectly by planting the spot-kick high and to the left of Burridge.

Before the kick was taken, Burridge walked up to the ball and repositioned it – a little piece of gamesmanship, which was entirely lost on Horton, who knew that the next second or two would surely decide the course of the match.

Muzzled
No sooner had Cannon shrugged his shoulders and indicated that he didnt agree with Martin’s decision, than Ward wriggled past him again, this time on a play with Ryan. The shot lacked power, but Burridge was entitled to ask questions of his defence, and it didn’t stop there. As Albion’s confidence grew and grew, Sully and Mark Lawrenson opened Palace down the middle, and Ward skipped in, only to handle before netting. It didn’t count, of course, but no side likes to see players getting through without a challenge.

By way of a change, Ward next appeared on the right, following Horton’s fluent pass. This time poacher turned chance-maker only for Burridge to pluck the ball from the flailing feet.

For a short while, Palace pushed players up, Hilaire threatening to open the floodgates, but, when Dave Swindlehurst tried his luck in the air and on the ground, he found Steve Foster his master. He came off second best in the physical battle that grew more bruising, and with Flanagan muzzled, Palace looked to their midfield, but to no avail.

Torment
They were too busy trying to stem Albion’s increasingly powerful attack and, at 33 minutes, Palace found themselves two-down after giving the ball away from their own corner kick. It was a short one involving Sansom and Francis. When Francis’ outswinger ballooned towards Horton, he didn’t hesitate. Away he went with a sustained burst over 40 yards to belie his years. On the right Ward pulled players towards him, and when the pass came across, Palace’s depleted back four were in disarray. Cannon was nowhere, Nicholas grounded, Burridge left with no alternative but to narrow the angle. Ward wrecked his geometry with a low shot that sent the North Stand into a joyful chorus…

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh! What fun it is to see Palace lose away.”

Euphoria
The solid V-shaped wedge of Palace people in the North-End corner was struck dumb.They had no reply as the Goldstone savoured a sweet moment, and the torment began afresh early in the second half. The boot started to go in, quietly at first, but not too sly to escape Martin’s notice. He began to take names, but Palace weren’t even good enough to knock Albion off their game. Albion knew they could be cracked again, and at 59 minutes Ward pushed open the creaking door that passed for Palace’s deface down the right, and laid on a tap-in goal for Ryan.

Now the mood around the ground was reminiscent of the promotion run-in games. Rapid calculations based on half-time scores had super-optimists thinking in terms of a mid-table spot in the next few weeks. The euphoria was understandable. Albion haven’t played so well at home for a long time, athough the handful who saw them at Wolves declared that stay-at-homers missed the best stuff.

The crowd, rather lower than expected, had been won over long before half-time and, for Palace, the rest was silence.

Men of the match
Horton (Albion)
Hilaire (Palace)

Teams
Albion:
Moseley; Gregory, Williams, Horton, Foster, Stevens, Ryan, Ward, Clarke, Lawrenson, O’Sullivan. Sub: Stille.
Crystal Palace: Burridge; Hinshelwood, Sansom, Nicholas, Cannon, Gilbert, Murphy, Francis, Flanagan, Swindlehurst, Hilaire. Sub: Fenwick for Sansom (injured), 55 minutes.

Referee: Mr J. Martin (Alton).

Bookings: Nicholas (foul), Hinshelwood (foul).

Albion Jackpot: White, 43233 (£125); Yellow, 28820 (£62.50); White, 41966 (£37.50), Yellow 26657 (£25)

If anyone has their unclaimed Albion Jackpot ticket from December 1979, I wonder if the club will still fulfil on the prize. Best to head to the Club Shop to find out!

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Dream signing… children’s TV star Tommy Boyd joins the Seagulls!

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Rescued from Shoot! magazine in 1979/80:

“This is a dream come true,” said Tommy Boyd, as he stood proudly on the Goldstone pitch, wearing the blue and white shirt of his favourite club, Brighton & Hove Albion. “The number of times I’ve stood on those terraces, wondering what it would be like to be out here. Well, now I know. It’s a great feeling!”

Thanks to the hospitality of Alan Mullery and his team, SHOOT was able to give the Magpie TV star a super day with the South Coast Seagulls.

His first call was at Alan Mullery’s office, where he also met assistant-manager, Ken Craggs.

After ‘signing on’ for The Seagulls, Tommy met the rest of the first team squad. Star defenders, John Gregory and Steve Foster, decided to check on Tommy’s fitness with a workout in the gym and afterwards he was happy to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea with skipper, Brian Horton.

“The thing I liked most was the happy atmosphere I found at the club,” Tommy said, later. “I think a lot of that stems from Alan Mullery. He’s a man with an open, friendly personality. He loves to laugh, but more than anything, he loves the game.

“I really enjoyed meeting him. He’s always been a hero of mine. He was a great player. Do you remember the way he marked Pele out of the game in Mexico, in 1970? I defy anyone to name a player who could have done a better job on the day. Mullery was so versatile. He could do the lot.

“Now, it’s great to see he’s carried his two best qualities, that’s skill at the job and a natural enthusiasm, into the world of management. I’m sure he loves every minute of what he’s doing.” Another Goldstone personality Tommy rates very highly is Brian Horton.

“Brian’s always had his critics and he has proved them wrong. I saw him make his debut for the club, when he was bought for peanuts from Port Vale. He impressed me right away. He’s got all the qualities you Io0k for in a captain.

“When Brighton won promotion from the Third, some critics wondared hew Brian would get on in the Second Division. Well, he was a driving force there and it was the same story last season. He’s a fine player.”

Tommy started supporting Brighton when he was just atoddler. During his student days, at Sussex Umversity, he loved to spend his Saturday afternoons relaxing with The Seagulls.

“The funniest aftemoon I’ve ever spent at the Goldstone was during our college Rag Week,” he chuckled. “We did some collecting on the terraces for charity, before a match. My friend was singing and playing the guitar and I was going round with the tin. Most of the fans were happy to give us money … as long as we promised to go away and annoy someone else!”

Like most of us, Tommy dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, when he was at school. “The closest I’ve come was a charity match last summer, when I was marking the great Bobby Charlton. I thought I was fit, but even when he was dribbling the ball, Bobby could leave me standing.

“So, I’ll never make a top player, But SHOOT made one dream come true for me. I’ll really feel at home the next time I go to the Goldstone. When I’m cheering the players from the terraces, I’ll be able to use their first names!”

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Big Match Cross Talk: Brighton v Southampton

With Southampton going so tremendously well in the Premier League at the moment, you might be wondering how long until Brighton can join them.

Things were different in 1979/80, however, when fans were able to savour the first ever top flight match between the two clubs. When the fixtures for the season were published in the summer, Saturday 22nd September 1979 was announced as the date of the eagerly awaited south coast derby at the Goldstone Ground.

In the build up, there was this magazine discussion between the Seagulls skipper Brian Horton and Saints striker Phil Boyer.

"We're still adjusting to life in the First Division" - Brian Horton

“We’re still adjusting to life in the First Division” – Brian Horton

"Yes, but you are good enough to survive" - Phil Boyer

“Yes, but you are good enough to survive” – Phil Boyer

Don’t expect a fiery war of words between two rival players, though, as the conversation stays amiable, even matey, from start to finish:

BOYER: Your indifferent start to the season will mean nothing when we clash at your place on Saturday. We know you will make things hot for us.

HORTON: You can bank on that, Phil. We have not really done• ourselves justice in the First Division yet and that’s something we are desperately anxious to put right. You can imagine how relieved everyone at the Goldstone Ground was when we achieved our first victory since promotion against Bolton at home at the beginning of the month.

BQYER: It’s always tough in new surroundings and that first win is very important. Now you’ve got a couple of points in the bag the pressure will be off and you’ll be on your way.

HORTON: That’s the way we feel about it. We have too many good players to really struggle and we showed what we are capable of with our display at Villa a couple of weeks ago. We got beaten 2-1 there, but played really well and deserved something from the game.

BOYER: It’s two years since we last met – in the Second Division. But you still have the nucleus of that side. It’s a good all round team certainly good enough to survive comfortably.

HORTON: What we have got to do is adjust to the requirements of First Division football. We are, of course, facing a better class of player and any errors are punished more readily.

BOYER: That’s right, Brian, and I just hope you make some on Saturday for me and the lads to cash in on.

HORTON: You must be joking pal! You are the last person in the world we can afford to be charitable to. I’ve been playing against you for many years when you were at Bournemouth and I was with Port Vale… so I know exactly what you are capable of. Our lads got chatting recently when Brighton and Southampton were on the same train back from the North and they all said what a good player you are and how they would have you in any team of theirs.

BOYER: You have not done so badly yourself as it happens. And there will be a lot of good players out on the park on Saturday. You have several in your side and one that impresses me tremendously is Peter O’Sullivan, who seldom gets the praise and publicity he deserves.

HORTON: Yes, he does a steady, if unspectacular, job and is a vital member of the team. And what about the players you can call on? Apart from yourself there’s Steve Williams, a brilliant prospect, Chris Nicholl, a tremendous pro – and now you have Charlie George back to full fitness. What a class player he is.

BOYER: Absolutely. He can be world class on his day and our boss, Lawrie McMenemy pulled off a real coup when he signed him.

HORTON: And we are not forgetting that Alan Ball will be back from America and leading you again for this match. He adds a bit to your game, doesn’t he?

BOYER: He certainly does. ‘Ballie’s a great influence on us and his return should help to give us a settled side. That’s something we could not get in the, opening games.

HORTON: Will he captain the side?

BOYER: Oh, yes, unless Lawrie McMenemy has a rush of blood. That’s unlikely, for you couldn’t get a cooler boss. David Peach has done a good job as skipper, but ‘Ballie’ is the obvious choice. He’s a natural leader, Brian, just like yourself.

HORTON: Thanks for the tribute. But it’s the toughest job in the world, especially when you have been promoted to the First Division for the first time in your life. Not only do I have to make the right decisions, but have to play well to justify my place in the team. This is the ‘big one’ as far as South Coast fans are concerned. It’s a local derby and creates a very special kind of atmosphere.

BOYER: Exactly. Past results mean absolutely nothing when this one comes around. There’s a friendly rivalry between the clubs and I hope the same feeling exists among both sets of supporters. Interest is certainly sky high when we clash. We had two great games in the Second Division two years ago – both drawn – and as you don’t give too much away at home we are prepared for a right old battle.

HORTON: We hope to have picked up some more points by the time you arrive. But we will still be looking for a couple more – that’s always our target in home games. And if they should come against you they will be all the more welcome. They will certainly help ease the pressure a little. Anyway, see you Saturday, Phil. Look forward to a great game.

All together now: Awwwwwww, how sweet!

The match itself ended 0-0 in front of a crowd of 26,918. Teddy Maybank headed the bar against the woodwork twice in the second half, but Southampton generally had the better of the tussle. The return fixture in February 1980 was a disaster, with Brighton losing 5-1 at the Dell.

It took until February 1981 for Albion to get the better of Southampton in the First Division, with a Gary Williams penalty and a Giles Stille header (below) securing the victory:

gilesstille7b

Sadly for Horton, he missed the match through suspension.

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Brighton rock Wrexham

Football Handbook (part 21) was glowing in praise of Albion’s play in victory over Wrexham on 11th November 1978, a result that moved the club to sixth position in the Second Division. So much so, the partwork took the time to charmingly illustrate the decisive strike:

Brighton owe much of their success in recent seasons to their captain and midfield anchor-man Brian Horton.

The former Port Vale half-back played an important part in the Seagulls’ win over Wrexham in November, culminating with a well-taken winning goal.

brightonrockwrexham1

Mark Lawrenson, another key figure in Brighton’s promotion push, started the move when he intercepted a Mel Sutton pass intended for Bobby Shinton deep on the right of Albion’s defence.

brightonrockwrexham2

Lawrenson knocked the ball forward to Teddy Maybank just inside his own half, and Maybank laid it off first time to Peter O’Sullivan, who hit a long, raking pass for Horton to run on to.

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Two Wrexham defenders and keeper Dai Davies converged . . . but Horton – known as ‘Nobby’ to his team-mates – just got there first, knocking the ball with the outside of his right foot over Davies. It gave Brighton a 2-1 lead –a lead they preserved until the final whistle – and two more vital points in the close fought Second Division promotion race.

Graham Taylor’s analysis was this:

Certainly Brighton look ready for promotion – if this goal is anything to go by.

All four players involved did extremely well. It was one of those goals where everything comes right, all the training is suddenly worthwhile.

And it’s a tremendous boost to a side when a goal like this goes in. You can see them looking at each other and saying: ‘Look at that. That’s how good we are.’

I liked the way Lawrenson won the ball and was confident enough to turn with it and hold it.

Every back four needs at least one player like that, who’s quick to cover and can use the ball. And O’Sullivan did well, not only seeing the gap in the Wrexham defence but being quick and accurate enough to expose it.

Horton saw it too, of course. He found himself in yards of space with a clear run at goal. You could see him signalling for the ball – and probably he couldn’t believe his luck…

Because you’ve got to say that the defence wasn’t entirely blameless. You can forgive them for not picking up Horton immediately. After all, an attack had just broken down… and Horton was probably about on the halfway line when it happened. He didn’t present any immediate danger…

Wrexham’s first priority was to sort themselves out at the back. Instead they left that great gap-between Joey Jones and Gareth Davis, wasn’t it? – which Brighton used so well. O’Sullivan’s through ball was perfect… and there was nothing wrong with Horton’s finishing; he was very cool, even under considerable pressure. He kept his head, got to the ball first, waited for the right moment, then stuck it away well.

brianhorton6

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Those Albion men in Farah casual tops

It’s been a while since this blog posted a Farah Slacks-related missive. So here’s another one:

Gary Stevens, Ken Craggs, Mark Lawrenson, John Gregory, Alan Mullery and Brian Horton

Gary Stevens, Ken Craggs, Mark Lawrenson, John Gregory, Alan Mullery and Brian Horton

Don’t they look the business? What do you mean – no? As described in the Brighton v Leicester programme of 1981:

Many supporters will know that our first team squad have been fitted out by Farahs, the Gatwick-based supplier of American manufactured clothing.

Our picture shows a recent group of Albion personalities wearing their off-pitch kit of zip-fronted blouson-type casual tops in Farasuede fabric teamed up with versatile, easy care slacks from Farah’s famous hopsack range.

The total Farah men’s and boyswear range now includes casual and more formal trousers, sports slacks, denim jeans, mens’ leisure tops, blazers and informal jackets.

Anyone up for a Farah Slacks revival? If you know where you can buy them in Brighton & Hove nowadays, please let me know…

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