Tag Archives: gary stevens

Delightful player badges and discs

Thanks to Nick Spiller for lending me these marvellous items.

A pair of badges from the late 1970s:


…some discs from 1979/80:


…and yet more discs, this time from 1980/81:


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue

Here are the the 12″ and 7″ versions of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup Final song, with ‘The Goldstone Rap’ as the B-Side, released on Energy Records:


With superb attention to detail, the front and back covers had lavish designs that helped to soften the blow to club sponsors British Caledonian Airways, whose name would not feature on the players’ shirts on Cup Final day, due to TV regulations at the time:



Back row: Michael Robinson, Steve Gatting, Gordon Smith, Graham Moseley, Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Jimmy Case;

Middle row: Sammy Nelson, Giles Stille, Neil Smillie, Tony Grealish, Graham Pearce, Gary Howlett, Gerry Ryan;

Front row: Terry Connor, Chris Ramsey.

I originally bought the 12″ from one of the second hand record shops on Trafalgar Road, Brighton. Not sure how much it cost me, but it was considerably less than the £50 forked out by one of The Seagulls Love Review fanzine lads, Stefan, at a BHACHS auction at Withdean about five years ago!

You can see a dance performance to this song here:

The song can be heard in its entirety below:

In case you want to have a sing-a-long, the rather corny lyrics are:

come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
come on you seagulls, we’ll see you through
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

verse 1
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
we are the team who’ll be out there for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 2
here we are on the road to wembley way
fighting hard for our place on that day
for the pride of our town down by the sea
we’ll do our best to bring them victory

verse 3
cause we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

reprise chorus

verse 4
as we go on our way to meet the best
once again we’ll be put to the test
but we’ll play like we always try to do
we won’t give up until the game is through

verse 5
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 6
follow the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue (twice)

reprise chorus with last line sang twice

I have been told that the lyrics of Albion’s FA Cup final song were reproduced on an A4 sheet which was distributed over the counter at the Seagulls Shop.

In the end, the song reached number 65 in the UK singles chart. Not a bad achievement considering the song wasn’t all that good!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Albion’s World Cup connections

Howard Griggs of the Argus has put together an immensely fascinating series of interviews relating to Brighton & Hove Albion and the World Cup.


On Wednesday he speculated whether Gary Stevens could have stopped Maradona’s wonder-goal in the Mexico ’86 Quarter-Final between England and Argentina.

The chances are he would have made a better effort at chasing back than the half-fit Peter Reid.

As Stevens told Spencer Vignes in ‘A Few Good Men’:

I came on as a substitute for Peter Reid in that Paraquay match. We won it comfortably and after the game were having our debrief when Peter Shilton started going on about how we had lost our shape when ‘Reidy’ went off, careering forward and what have you. I looked at him and said “Shilts, what you’re saying is that when I came on we lost our shape.” And he was going “No, no, when ready came off.” I said, “Yeah, but I came on. You’re having a pop at me.” That was the old pals act. It was done to some extent to guarantee that Peter Reid played in the next match against Argentina, which he did.

Then, on Friday, the Argus published Griggs’ piece about how Steve Penney’s participation in the tournament in 1986 with Northern Ireland was ended by Spain’s Emilio Butragueno’s challenge..

Finally, Gerry Armstrong’s World Cup exploits also get an airing. Like Stevens and Penney, he also figured in Mexico ’86 but, of course, his moment of triumph came in 1982.

Tagged , ,

Panini Football 82 – a reshaped Brighton


The wind of change blew in 1981/82, and not just for Brighton & Hove Albion. Panini introduced new stickers with a tweaked layout. While the head and shoulder shots remained, the photos now sported rather spatially uneconomical oval frames instead of the standard rectangle. Elsewhere, the one year experiment with two stickers for a First Division club squad photo was abandoned, with team groups reverting back to one sticker.

The Brighton squad was also significantly revamped, under new boss Mike Bailey. Right-back Don Shanks was drafted in while, surprisingly, this was the first Panini collection to feature Gary Stevens in the Brighton double-spread:


New midfielders Jimmy Case and Tony Grealish are featured here, while youngster Giles Stille also appear for the first time for the Albion. Filling the void left by Horton and Lawrenson, all three players enhanced the quantity of facial hair found within the Brighton squad. Up front, Robinson, Smith and Ritchie powered on with a clean-cut Albion strike force:


Of the other teams, Steve Gatting still appears on the Arsenal pages even though Brighton signed him quite early on in the season, in September 1981. Panini clearly didn’t get round to updating their stickers. The Welsh rapscallion Mickey Thomas is also on the Everton spread, despite his ill-starred spell at Goodison Park. His time with Brighton in the same 1981/82 season proved just as disastrous. And, surprise surprise, Peter Ward makes no appearance in the Nottingham Forest pages.

Perhaps that’s fitting. As a sticker collection, Football ’82 was a bit like Brighton & Hove Albion that season: solid, no thrills and not very much flair. All that would change the following season when Panini added a healthy dose of innovation back to its flagship football sticker collection.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Stevens maps his path to glory


I’m not sure if its from Match Weekly or Shoot! Magazine. However, Gary Stevens’ determination to reach the top is unmistakeable:

Ambitious Brighton defender Gary Stevens has mapped out his path to the top.

Stevens, who has played more than 150 First Division matches is one of the most promising defenders in the First Division.

Stevens recently made his first appearance for the England Under-21 side, helping the youngsters defeat Hungary 1-0 at Newcastle.

“I am the sort of player who simply isn’t satisfied to jog along without success and ambitions. I’m very ambitious and I want to achieve things in the game,” he says.

“Despite my age I shall be available for the Under-21’s for another couple of years in the European Championship. And after that I want to be pushing for a place in the senior England squad – with caps to follow.”

Stevens, who hails from Ipswich, might be considered over-ambitious by some critics. But he insists: “You must have targets. I need to push myself as much as possible. I see nothing wrong with that.”

Transfer talk has already suggested Stevens could become a prime target if Brighton slip into the Second Division at the end of the season. His smooth, silky performances have been noted by some as displays of a future star.

But Stevens says: “I don’t want to leave the club. It’s a good lifestyle down here and the team has ability even if we have disappointed everyone in the League this season.”

Stevens also wants to improve aspects of his own game, especially his pace. “I am working hard on it and it’s getting better. At the moment I am automatic choice for Brighton’s first team but I want to become an automatic selection for the England Under-21s and then for the full England team.

“I’ve played four seasons in the First Division and have learned something every year. But I’ve benefited from Jimmy Melia’s appointment as our manager because he encourages me to get forward a great deal.

“At times this season everyone at brighton has been guilty of letting themselves and the club down. But one look at our players makes it obvious we are not a Second Division side.”

Stevens grabbed back the central defensive slot when Mike Bailey left the Goldstone Ground. “He didn’t think I was a good enough central defensive player and I had to fill in at full-back. But I prefer playing in the middle although it’s meant Steve Gatting has had to adapt to full-back or midfield.”

Now Gary is hoping that next week’s FA Cup Final is just the first of many games at Wembley.

“Reaching the FA Cup Final is unbelievable,” he says. “Now I may have to take over the main defender’s role in front of millions because of Steve Foster’s suspension.”



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…

Tagged , , , , , ,

Ipswich 1-1 Brighton 1979/80 – Gary Stevens’ V-sign


Gary Stevens made the headlines as Brighton held high-flying Ipswich to a 1-1 draw at Portman Road, and not just because he scored against his former club. From a match report by Philip Osborn in February 1980:

Brighton manager Alan Mullery leaped from the dug-out when the final whistle sounded to acclaim the spirit and perseverance of his men which magnificently maintained their recent League revival. A last-minute equaliser by 17-year-old substitute Gary Stevens earned Brighton their sixth point in their last four away games.

More significantly, it demonstrated that they have the character to withstand a series of cruel blows. Everything seemed to be going wrong for Brighton in a fierce game in which three men from each side were booked. They fell behind to a controversial 28th minute penalty and even saw a possible chance to equalise accidently blocked by referee Jeff Bray.

And to cap it all Gerry Ryan was carried off with an ankle injury after 68 minutes and looks likely to miss Eire’s match against England on Wednesday.

But despite the set-backs Brighton continued to dominate with Peter Ward leading the attack in sizzling fashion and Steve Foster superbly marshalling the defence.

‘To fight back after all that has happened and get a point away from home against a side that has been in such great form recently was marvellous,’ said Mullery. ‘It confirms that we have the skill and application to do well in the First Division.’

The penalty row came when Frans Thijssen drove the ball into the Brighton area and it struck Peter O’Sullivan on the hand.

The Brighton winger could hardly have evaded the ball as he was only two or three yards away, but the referee astonishingly awarded the spot-kick and John Wark hit the ball home. The referee was surrounded by angry Brighton players and he booked skipper Brian Horton for protesting too strongly. Mullery said later: ‘It’s got to be harsh when the ball is blasted at you from close range.’

Brighton, who had provided some excellent football, were furious again in the 60th minute.

Peter Ward, a constant danger with his sharp running and turning, was brought down just outside the Ipswich area. Horton and O’Sullivan combined to find a promising gap for Williams to aim at but as the Brighton man was about to shoot he found the referee blocking his way.

However, Brighton were not to be denied. Gerry Ryan’s injury led to a substitution, as John Vincombe, in the Evening Argus, reported:

Into the fray stepped Stevens, who two years ago was on schoolboy forms at Ipswich only to be rejected by manager Bobby Robson. At the parting, he wished Stevens well. Robson had been perfectly fair. In his opinion there was no future for Stevens, particularly with George Burley a permanent fixture in the League side. He also doubted Stevens’ physical qualities were enough for the pro game.

By sheer coincidence, Stevens, then an apprentice, made his League debut in the 2-0 defeat of Ipswich at the Goldstone on September 15.

He was subsequently offered and accepted full pro terms by Alan Mullery, and shortly before the return match both managers and Stevens met in the tunnel.

Young Gary and his former boss shook hands, and Robson again wished him well.

Once on the field, he went to right back. John Gregory moving up, and Albion started to push Ipswich back once more. Then, with referee Jeff Bray looking at his watch, Brian Horton clipped a short ball to Gregory who promptly knocked it inside for Stevens.

By this time, he was on the edge of the box, and without more ado he hit a right-footed shot that corkscrewed away from Paul Cooper.

As the ball hit the net, Stevens leapt and gave a jubilant V-sign to the crowd. No disrespect was intended. It was his first league goal, and over in the opposite stand his mum and dad went wild.

So did a few hundred Albion fans, who had seen their side claw a way back into an evil-tempered but rousing match. For Stevens, it was a story-book finish. He won’t be 18 until the end of next month, and to score in such circumstances bordered on fantasy.

‘I thought the keeper was going to save it,’ he said. ‘It’s funny, but when it went in I instinctively turned to the part of the ground where I used to watch with my old friends.’


Recalling the incident years later, he told Spencer Vignes in ‘A Few Good Men’:

‘I’d come on late, got the ball on the edge of the box, controlled it with my left and hit it with my right into the net. The following day it hit the papers that I had run towards the directors’ box in celebration and stuck two fingers up in the air, supposedly because the club had let me go. I went into the training on the Monday and all the lads were taking the mickey out of my sticking two fingers up at Bobby Robson. I don’t remember doing that at all. It’s not in my nature to do something like that anyway. I’ve not seen any photographic evidence that I did, and I doubt that there were any cameras there either.’


Whatever happened, Robson was full of praise for Stevens:

‘There was too much competition for him here but he had a lovely time today and good luck to him. He showed our right-back the way to hit cross shots.’

It certainly didn’t hurt the defender’s international prospects as six years later, Bobby Robson, then England boss, chose Stevens to be part of his World Cup squad for Mexico ’86.


FKS’ last hurrah: Soccer 83-84 stickers

Poor FKS. They once dominated the ’70s football sticker scene with fabulously grandiose album titles such as ‘The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Gala Collection.’ Which suitably sideburned and flared young kid wouldn’t want to be in on that? By 1983/84, probably due to the intense competition from Panini, FKS had reached the end of the line with the rather dubious ‘Soccer 83-84’ series. Following on from their ‘Soccer 82′, it appears that they were trying to cover two seasons’ worth of top flight soccer with this inept collection. Here are the Brighton players:

Graham Moseley

Graham Moseley

Chris Ramsey

Chris Ramsey

Graham Pearce

Graham Pearce

A stray ball seems to be trying its darnedest to try to muscle in on the limelight behind Moseley’s shoulder. But is this really true? As you can see, the grass behind Moseley and Ramsey looks suspiciously unnatural in its greenness, especially as the unaltered green on the side of Ramsey’s arm rather gives the game away. The mixture of the head and shoulders shots of these players and the zoom-in on Graham Pearce’s head bestow an untidy look for this collection. No wonder Chris Ramsey looks uncomfortable.

Steve Gatting

Steve Gatting

Tony Grealish

Tony Grealish

Steve Foster

Steve Foster

Similar gripes with Messrs Gatting, Grealish and Foster here. Given where FKS had appeared to have swiped their photo shot of Tony Grealish from, you can understand why they had to put on a faux-grass background.

Gary Stevens

Gary Stevens

Jimmy Case

Jimmy Case

Gary Howlett

Gary Howlett

A nice, genuine photo of Jimmy Case, fresh from the barbers, follows another manipulated one of Gary Stevens. And whoa! An intensely dim shot of a young and rather frail-looking Gary Howlett. Suffice to say, if you met him in a dark alleyway, I don’t think you’d be that scared.

Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith

Gerry Ryan

Gerry Ryan

Some more bog-standard and doctored head and shoulders shots of some of Albion’s attackers follow. It’s like FKS were trying very hard to emulate Panini here, whereas some of the action shots that the company had previously used would probably have been more interesting to the young collector.

Neil Smillie

Neil Smillie

And then the final insult! Sticking in a shot of a player in a Crystal Palace kit on a Brighton page. Yeah, thanks, FKS! A bit like putting a sticker of Mo Johnston in a Celtic shirt within a Rangers sticker double-spread, I don’t think that would have gone down too well on the south coast at the time.

No need to be too resentful to FKS, though, after a stay that had lasted since the late 1960s. The company had introduced new ideas such as actual albums for affixing your stickers, something we take for granted today. Now, though, the game was up.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Double A-Side single: ‘In Brighton’ / ‘The Goldstone Rap’ (1982)

First Division footballers they may have been, but Brighton’s team of ’82 also made an audacious bid for pop fame and hip-hop credibility.

From left to right, here are the rather earnest-looking Gordon Smith, Steve Gatting, Perry Digweed, Andy Ritchie, Jimmy Case, Gary Williams, Gary Stevens, Gerry Ryan, Michael Robinson and Steve Foster seeking to set the world alight with their dulcet tones and Farah slacks, not to mention their previously unrevealed rapping skills:


In the Brighton v Tottenham match programme from March 1982, it was announced:

Last Wednesday our first team squad had a unique day out when they travelled to recording studios in South London to cut their first record. The record is entitled ‘In Brighton’ and should be available on general sale in early April.

Howard Krugar, who lives in Hove and specialises in organising concerts for some of the world’s biggest stars, is the man behind the idea and he is hopeful of the disc making the charts. In fact it is highly likely that the Albion squad will appear on ‘Top of the Pops’.

Also involved in the record is BBC football commentator Peter Brackley who livens things up with commentary on a memorable Albion goal… which one? Well, for that you’ll have to buy the record.

Thanks to the lads at We Are Brighton, you can hear ‘In Brighton’ here:

Based on the Drifters’ song ‘On Broadway,’ the song received a positive response from John Henty who gave it a spin at Radio Brighton on Sunday 4th April. With dubious lyrics such as ‘Big Fozzie keeps it tight for Brighton’ and the boast of ‘Playin’ at the Goldstone Ground, where good football’s always found’ (sadly, no football of any kind down there now), not to mention even dodgier singing, the song probably did not have much of a fanbase outside of Brighton supporters.

Nevertheless, it was also played by Peter Powell on Radio One. However, as notes that month in the Brighton v Manchester United programme lamented:

Last week Peter Powell played the disc on his Radio One show but allowed his own support of Wolves to colour his comments on the merits of the recording.

The song was also erroneously aired on BBC’s ‘Match of the 80s’ series in the 1990s in its coverage of Brighton’s FA Cup run of 1983, with Danny Baker hesitating about even calling it a ‘song’! And, just in case you are wondering, the Andy Ritchie goal that Brackley acts out a commentary on is almost certainly this swerving free-kick belter from the Brighton v West Bromwich Albion game in February 1982:

The other track on this Double A-side was ‘The Goldstone Rap’, which this very blog you are reading takes its name from. Looking at it now, it’s amazing to think that Brighton & Hove Albion were at the forefront of the UK hip-hop scene in 1982, especially as this was almost certainly the first ever football song to feature rapping.

Unlikely to win any prizes at the MOBO awards, the rap memorably includes such lyrical gems as:
‘When you make that cross you’re gonna cross it fine / Give the ball to the player on the dead ball line.’

Never mind the MOBOs, though. Were you at Busby’s Night Club on Kingswest, Kings Road, in Brighton on the evening of Tuesday 6th April 1982? If you were, you would have been present to the grand launch of the single, as Brighton & Hove Albion’s first team squad belted out their musical masterpieces on stage! Sadly, I have no video footage of this priceless moment.

When released to the general public, the colour sleeve of the 7″ looked splendid, with the players proudly posing in front of the temporary Lego Stand in all its glory:



The price was a bargain £1.20. Buyers of the single from the club shop were also given a chance to enter a great competition to win two tickets to Dallas, Texas, with British Caledonian Airways.


So, was the Brighton release a launchpad to instant chart fame and fortune? Unfortunately, the single sank without trace but it gave Steve Foster (whose vocals also featured on the England 1982 World Cup song ‘This Time’), an opportunity to meet up with proper singer David Soul and wing a copy to the ‘Starsky and Hutch’ star:


Years later, I was wondering about ‘The Goldstone Rap’ and imagining what it would have sounded like if it adopted the electro sound of 1982’s other great hip-hop release, ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Thanks to the power of the internet, and due to a discussion on North Stand Chat, I got to find out.

Major props to Ian, the DJ who created this ‘Goldstone Message’:

A much enhanced version, I hope you’ll agree. In terms of pushing at the limits of what was possible for music and Brighton & Hove Albion footballers, it was certainly close to the edge.

Some MP3 files for your listening pleasure:
(right-click to ‘Save Target As…’ or ‘Download Linked File’)
In Brighton
The Goldstone Rap
The Goldstone Message

Other Wrap posts about Brighton & Hove Albion songs:
Carol Manns – ‘Seagulls’ (1979) – a video!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Arsenal Annual 1982


Here’s Graham Rix rising like a salmon while Giles Stille sniffs the visitor’s shorts, as Kenny Sansom watches in the background.

It’s an arresting image, and one that makes for a captivating front cover for the Arsenal Annual released in time for Christmas 1981.

The match was played in April ’81 at the Goldstone Ground, and ended in a 1-0 defeat, leaving Brighton’s First Division survival on a life support machine. It didn’t help that boss Alan Mullery’s managerial record against the Gunners was lousy. Played 7 Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 6 Goals For 0 Goals Against 16.

Still, Mullery does get a mention in the annual:

We are now used to the idea that the fortunes of a football club depend very largely on the calibre of the man in charge, on his ability to recruit the right players, to make the right team changes, to plan effective tactics, to motivate his players. When Alan Mullery became manager of Brighton, the club entered the soccer elite for the first time in its eighty-year history.

However, although the annual is a fascinating read throughout there isn’t much in the way of Brighton interest, which was the initial motivation for buying it in the first place.

There are photos from Sammy Nelson’s testimonial match for Arsenal v Celtic before his departure to Brighton. Elsewhere, there is a bigging up of the John Hawley-Ray Hankin strike partnership. Hankin vowed forlornly, ‘I’ll make the fans forget Stapleton’. Maybe he could have competed against the 38 year-old veteran version of Frank Stapleton that helped out Brighton boss Liam Brady in November 1994 by playing two games, but not at a time when the Eire centre-forward was one of the most feared strikers in the Football League.

Also turning up at the Goldstone Ground in the 1990s was Raphael Meade, then a rising star at Highbury. In a profile of young Gunners, it says:

Raf got very close to a first-team game last season but finally got his reward this season. He’s got a hell of a lot of pace and is fantastically brave in the box. He’s got all the makings of a top player. However, he’s another one who has got to work on his control like Brian McDermott with tighter controls and lay-offs. But with his type of pace he will always be a threat.

Showing his attacking prowess, here he is getting the better of Gary Stevens to score at Highbury, about a decade before Meade’s two short spells with Brighton:


Tagged ,