That navy blue bomber jacket still looks the bees’ knees!
As Eric Steele made his way to Watford in October 1979, within weeks of his clash with team-mate Gary Williams at Old Trafford, Albion fans were given something to chuckle over when they saw this piece in the women’s page of the Evening Argus:
Eric Steele models an executive suit in pure wool, with a sophisticated blue-grey hairline stripe.
The goalie’s a proper gent! By Irene Morden
Footballers these days have to be businessmen as well, dealing with six-figure transfers and the world of commerce away from the pitch.
Eric Steele, Albion’s much-discussed goalkeeper now transferred to Watford for £100,000 is one of the new breed of executive players – and he dresses the part.
He has a teaching degree and would like to run a hospital for handicapped children. He has a leisure management diploma and has just completed a business studies course.
It’s this other world of promotions which dictates the business clothes he picks – well-cut, well-groomed classics like the two-piece Jaeger suit he wears here.
Leisure wear with style: Eric chose one of Jaeger’s new blouson jackets in a brown Donegal tweed (£69), with toning tweed trousers and a plain creamy coloured shirt in a soft mixture of cotton and wool. The car he’s trying for size is the new Rover V8S.
Eric is a Jaegar man and has other suits of theirs, at £125 a go following the same theme: slim-fitting and conventional, straight but not tight-fitting.
‘They’re clothes that are going to last a long time but always look good,’ he says.
Eric selected his suit at Jaeger’s shop in East Street, Brighton, last week, when they showed their autumn collection to regular customers, along with a glass of wine, a film show – and the latest Rover V8S which mysteriously turned up in the ground floor men’s wear department.
How did it get through those glass plated front doors? The doors were taken off and the car squeezed through with an inch to spare either side.
The article even got a mention in the 1979/80 match programme v Arsenal (League Cup). It said: “There is no truth in the rumour circulating that Eric Steele departed from the Goldstone solely to avoid the snide remarks of his team-mates following his appearance last week as the subject matter of the Women’s page in The Evening Argus.”
In this perm, Wardy hit ten goals to help fire Albion into the top flight and then another sixteen to help keep Brighton amongst the elite. In Scoop Magazine, from 12 July 1980, it says:
Although he’s a hero down Brighton way, life hasn’t always been easy at the Goldstone Ground for star striker Peter Ward.
He was on the transfer list last summer and again in the autumn.
But when Brian Clough failed to whisk the talented star away to Nottingham Forest, it triggered off a South Coast revival!
Peter sat down and had a long chat with his manager, Alan Mullery, and sorted out a lot of problems. He felt much happier after that and it showed in his big match performances.
“I had a very good Christmas,” Peter smiled. “First there was my first hat-trick in Division One against Wolves. Then I scored again on Boxing Day, when we beat our old rivals, Crystal Palace. Those results obviously helped everyone at the club and we went on to hold our First Division place last season quite comfortably.”
Sadly, in the summer of 1980, Ward ill-fatedly grew a moustache to add to the perm. Not sure why – perhaps the additional weight – but he was never the same again. He scored just one League goal in eleven games at the start of the 1980/81 season before signing for Brian Clough, where again he was far from prolific. Ward did rejoin the Albion on loan in 1982/83 and his two League goals in 16 League matches barely hinted at what kind of player he was in the late 1970s. Goldstone regulars spoke of how his movement was not what it was.
Some players are weighed down by their big transfer fee. Ward may well fit into the rare category of star players weighed down by their ‘taches.