Tag Archives: giles stille

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!

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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.

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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:


Sadly for Horton, he missed the match through suspension.

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Mark Fleet – from soccer scrapheap to Skipton success

In Lawrie McMenemy’s ‘Book of Soccer’ from 1981, it gave an insight into the world of the football apprentice back then:

Life as an apprentice footballer is a hard slog – have no doubt about that. The basic hours are nine to five from Monday to Friday, with a game on Saturday morning. The social life is very limited. You still want to be an apprentice? Well read on, because if you love football, then – at the risk of repeating myself – it’s a wonderful life. Whatever you earn, you are being paid for doing what you enjoy. You have free lodgings and meals. You ‘play games’ for most of the time. And, if you’re with a big club, you mix with, and learn from, the stars.

The chapter went on to state that in the Football League, clubs were permitted a maximum of fifteen apprentices at any one time. At 16, the wages of an apprentice at the time were about £16 a week, rising to £20 at 17, the maximum the Football League would permit in those days. At 18, an apprentice would find out whether he will be retained or not. According to the book, these young hopefuls had a full programme of training in the morning and afternoon, with chores fitted in before or after training. Famously, the biggest chore was cleaning boots, which apprentices nowadays no longer do. However, as the old-school voice of McMenemy argued:

The chores that apprentices do are all connected with the cultivation of pride in the club. They are not provided just for the sake of finding them something to do. All are necessary jobs and someone has to do them. An apprentice is not a groundstaff boy, as youngsters used to be, although there are jobs connected with maintenance that he might occasionally help with.

At the Goldstone Ground, Mark Fleet was one of several Brighton & Hove Albion apprentice footballers in the early 1980s. Here he was proudly wearing the club colours:


Hailing from Southport, he came to the club as an apprentice in September 1980, featuring regularly for the Albion in the youth side that won both the Hampshire Youth League and Youth Cup in 1980/81, before playing for Albion reserves in the Midweek Football League. A left-back by trade, he had a strong robust physique for one so young. He was picked for the Irish youth trials in Dublin in November 1980. At the age of 16, he eventually became an Eire Youth International when he played in the number 3 shirt in a 2-2 draw against Wales in Swansea in February 1981 as part of the European Youth Championship. Despite international recognition, he suffered with his knees, and it soon blighted his progress.

Goalkeeper Simon Steele (below left), who was to play for Brighton against Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly in 1983, joined a little later than Fleet, around 1982 and he and Fleet were originally quite close friends and they both received support with their progress from Jimmy Melia, then working as chief scout and as part of the coaching staff.


Out of an intake of about nine second-year apprentices in 1982, Mike Bailey signed Fleet and Danny Deans (central photo above) on a year’s professional contract and Matt Wiltshire (right) on a two year pro deal. Although a matchday programme from March 1983 mentioned that Fleet had been “improving steadily among the defenders”, he had to have a knee operation that summer and then suffered a recurrence of knee trouble following a very crude tackle on him in a reserve game with Arsenal in the September that followed. It was his last ever game for the club. Fleet and Deans didn’t gain a further contract, and Wiltshire left too after his two year deal expired.

The matchday programme vs Portsmouth in December 1984 announced Fleet’s retirement along with Giles Stille’s. Regarding Fleet:

During the summer he had another operation, but unfortunately the specialists have decided he can no longer play full-time football. We hope each of these lads find a successful career outside the game.

Nowadays, Mark Fleet has certainly made a name for himself outside the game. Unlike midfielder Giles Stille who now works as a coach and manager in Swedish football, it’s in the world of financial services where Fleet has proved himself. He is currently Distribution Director at Skipton Building Society, having previously held been managing director at AWD Moneyextra and Skipton Financial Services.

Having done a Google search, I found that there are quite a few interviews and quotes of his on various financial news sites. As you can imagine, it’s mostly almost unrecognisable from the lingo you usually hear from professional footballers.

I did try to contact Mark Fleet at Skipton by calling his office to see if I could grab an interview and ask about his memories of his playing days as well as charting the dramatic change and upturn in his career. Sadly, I didn’t get a reply!

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Brighton rocks with Steely Dan fan Giles Stille

Here’s the magnificently named Giles Stille, fan of Steely Dan, chicken kiev and Minder, proudly showing off the resplendent flared collars of the adidas British Caledonian kit of the early 1980s.

The young bearded Brighton midfielder made his debut as a substitute in December 1979 against Manchester City. Then he really made an impact the following season with a burst of three goals in five matches as he enjoyed an extended run in the side in February and March 1981.



Shoot! Magazine took up the story:

Brighton’s unhappy season in the First Divsion has been boosted by the progress made by their midfield newcomer Giles Stille.

Alan Mullery discarded his burgeoning young talents for the crunch games in the climax to the season but there is no doubting the high regard the Brighton manager has for Stille as he plans to reshape the South Coast club for next season’s campaign.

Stille is more than just a football player. He has a degree in history from his days at London University, and that’s why he didn’t play first team professional football until he was 22.

“I was playing part-time football for Kingstonian while I was working at London University,” he explained. “Brighton asked me down for a trial and signed me after I’d played in a few practice matches. But at the beginning I could only turn up for training two days a week because I was finishing my degree course. I knew I was fairly fit, but it wasn’t until I came to Brighton that I realised how much more there was to learn if I wanted to be a professional player.”

Stille is a right-sided midfield player who battles for every ball. He works hard throughout the game, in both attack and defence. He proved he had an instinct for moving forward at the right time with a brilliant second half header which gave Brighton their second goal against Southampton.


There was to be no new season for Mullery to help develop Stille as Mike Bailey became Albion boss, and Stille only made three League starts in 1981/82. The first of these was a home game with Leeds United, and Stille’s first half winner kept Albion soaring high in ninth position. In 1982, he had to cope with being diagnosed as diabetic. Nevertheless, Stille stayed on as a fringe player in the side before a back injury forced his retirement from League football by December 1984.

Stille currently works as a football coach in Sweden. If you’re a Giles Stille fan, I’ve seen that you can buy a t-shirt featuring him at Cult Zeros.