Tag Archives: dave armstrong

Albion have never had it so hard

From the Evening Argus on Friday 24th July 1970:

Dave Armstrong (now with Dover) leading Howard Wilkinson up 'The Hill'

Dave Armstrong (now with Dover) leading Howard Wilkinson up ‘The Hill’

Albion players were unanimous: “We’ve never trained like it before… never.’ That was all they had breath for, and it was back to the start line for another race up a 90-yard one-in-four gradient at Stanmer Park, writes John Vinicombe.

This is what they call ‘The Hill.’ When manager Pat Saward first set them pounding up, many collapsed afterwards, several were physically ill.

This has been part of the training for several days now, and the times are getting faster. Some, like young Martin Tew and John Templeman, can make it in 12 seconds. Others take 15 – and several minutes to recover.

A session on ‘The Hill’ means six or seven dashes, and results are carefully noted and times posted for all the players to see.

Said Saward: “The lads are giving me 120 per cent. They’re putting everything into it, and training is going very well indeed.”

Geoff Sidebottom has collapsed, while Dave Turner (right) and Kit Napier sink to their knees.

Geoff Sidebottom has collapsed, while Dave Turner (right) and Kit Napier sink to their knees.

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Colour photo from 1969: Brighton v Barnsley

Here’s a stunning photo from 5th April 1969 in match with Barnsley at the Goldstone Ground, with an excellent view of the South East corner:

brighton barnsley 1969

The photo is from QueenSpark’s Brighton & Hove Photographic Collection

With a Tykes player on each post, it looks like the Yorkshiremen are defending a corner. Unlike what is common practice nowadays, it seems that back in the 1960s the attacking side did not throw that many players forward for this set-piece. At least from this photo, anyway. From left to right, The Albion players are Dave Armstrong, Alex Dawson and John Napier.

Dawson looks ready to pounce on any indecision. Legend has it that this is a scenario that would often lead to ball and goalkeeper in the back of the net!

The match ended in a 4-1 victory for the Albion in front of 11,410 supporters. Armstrong, Spearritt, Turner and Dawson scored. Having stood in 23rd position on 14th December 1968, the win took Freddie Goodwin’s side to sixth position in Division Three. However, poor form in the last three matches, and other teams having games in hand, meant that Albion eventually finished 12th.

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