Tag Archives: graham winstanley

Life’s a riot as Brighton crush Spurs

Here’s Brighton team photo in August 1977, before a momentous Second Division campaign where Alan Mullery’s attacking side proved themselves serious candidates for a second successive promotion:

Back row: Ken Gutteridge (assistant manager), Ken Tiler, Mark Lawrenson, Ian Mellor, Andy Rollings, Eric Steele, Peter Grummitt, Chris Cattlin, Gary Williams, Sammy Morgan, Graham Winstanley, George Aitken (coach); Front row: Tony Towner, Eric Potts, Peter Ward, Brian Horton, Alan Mullery (manager), Steve Piper, John Ruggiero, Peter O'Sullivan, Glen Wilson (trainer).

Back row: Ken Gutteridge (assistant manager), Ken Tiler, Mark Lawrenson, Ian Mellor, Andy Rollings, Eric Steele, Peter Grummitt, Chris Cattlin, Gary Williams, Sammy Morgan, Graham Winstanley, George Aitken (coach);
Front row: Tony Towner, Eric Potts, Peter Ward, Brian Horton, Alan Mullery (manager), Steve Piper, John Ruggiero, Peter O’Sullivan, Glen Wilson (trainer).

On 15th April 1978, Albion overwhelmed leaders Tottenham Hotspur, but not before Spurs hooligans had tried to bring the game to a premature end. Terry Smith from the Daily Mirror reported on this crucial match:


Referee Alan Turvey praised Spurs’ skipper, Terry Naylor, for the way he tried to calm his fans after they had rioted twice, the second time to try to save their team from a heavy defeat.

The game was delayed for thirteen minutes after spectators had spilled on to the ground with this crucial Second Division promotion match only twelve minutes old.

Spurs fans who stole sixteen cars and burned one when they got to Brighton, started fights early on and local spectators were forced over the barriers for safety.

Turvey stopped the match and sent the players to the dressing rooms. The game resumed 13 minutes later after he said he would play all night to get the game completed.

League leaders Spurs, on their first visit to Brighton had just gone 1-3 down and had Don McAllister sent-off when their hooligan fans rushed the pitch in the seventy-fourth minute, this time to try to get the game abandoned.

But police stopped the invasion and the game continued after another four-minute delay.

Brighton people who refused to let Millwall play one of their ‘banned’ home games at homely Hove, saw ticket touts selling £2.20 tickets for £50 each and heard a constant wall of ambulance sirens in the town.

There were 91 arrests during the day and 83 people injured.

And ex-Detective Chief Superintendent Jim Marshall, a keen Brighton fan, said: “I’ve never seen such scenes in all my life.

“The time has come to give these thugs custodial sentences in establishments akin to wartime glasshouses, rather than holiday camps.”

Brighton manager Alan Mullery, a former Spurs’ star, accused rioting Spurs supporters of attempting to get this promotion battle abandoned.

He said: “Tottenham are a great club but their fans tried to get the match stopped.” Referee Turvey admitted: “If I was honest I would say I was a bit frightened during the crowd trouble. I thought the police did a good job and I must praise Spurs defender Terry Naylor for the way he tried to calm the fans down.”

A senior police officer said: “The trouble started before the game when Spurs fans got in early and occupied the space behind the goal normally reserved for the home fans.”

Brighton took the lead with a solo goal from midfielder Paul Clark after 16 minutes.

Chris Jones equalised six minutes later after a bad goal kick from Eric Steele.

Brighton defender Graham Winstanley made it 2-1 after 43 minutes.

The third goal which killed off Spurs was surrounded in controversy.

Eric Potts, the Brighton sub, claimed the final touch but Spurs argued bitterly that striker Malcolm Poskett had been offside.


It was tight at the top. Spurs, Southampton and Bolton were all on 53 points with Brighton four points behind, but (just like Bolton) a game in hand over the top two clubs. With four matches to go for the Seagulls, Mullery’s men were hoping for one of their rivals to slip up in order to capitalise. No doubt about it: Tottenham were beatable. The promotion battle really was going to the wire.

Here are some images that Trev Smith has kindly allowed me to use on this site:


Tagged , , ,

Player badges from the late-1970s

A trip to the home of Nick from Fishergate led me to scanning these rather lovely 65mm x 65mm badges from the late 1970s:

Top row: Gary Winstanley, Mark Lawrenson, Paul Clark Middle row: Andy Rollings, Peter Ward, Chris Cattlin Bottom row: Brian Horton, Gary Williams, Peter O'Sullivan

Top row: Graham Winstanley, Mark Lawrenson, Paul Clark
Middle row: Andy Rollings, Peter Ward, Chris Cattlin
Bottom row: Brian Horton, Gary Williams, Peter O’Sullivan

Apparently, according to Nick, there were shops along Sackville Road, Hove, that used to sell badges such as these on Saturdays, to make a bit of money as supporters made their way to the Goldstone Ground on Old Shoreham Road.

I was actually given a set of these when I was about five or six in the mid-1980s, as I decided that making badges was a very fine hobby. So, yes, I took off the head and shoulder images of the various Brighton players and replaced them with my own designs. Silly me.

Suffice to say that I won’t be doing that with these!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Graham Winstanley as you’ve never seen him before

A myth seems to have grown around Peter Taylor’s time at Brighton being some kind of halcyon era-lite for Albion’s side that eventually won two promotions in two seasons in 1977 and 1979. That it was expertly and steadily pieced together from 1974 onwards. All that Alan Mullery had to do afterwards was to not cock things up, and it’s Division One, here we come.

The reality was that Taylor’s side played in fits and starts. Far from having a Midas touch, his dealings in the transfer market were hit and miss. While famous for capturing Horton, Binney and Ward, he also signed many players that did not set the Third Division alight. These included Allen Lewis, Steve Govier, Ricky Marlowe, Tommy Mason, Billy McEwan and Jim Walker. Even Ian Mellor only became a hit after Mullery took over, while skipper Ernie Machin spent much of the 1974/75 season out injured.

By 26th October 1974, Brighton were in 22nd position as the final whistle blew on Graham Winstanley’s debut for the side, a 2-1 defeat at Gillingham. Thankfully, things improved, in no small part to the new centre-back’s uncompromising performances. At the time, Andy Rollings was in his first year in the Albion starting line-up. The guidance that Winstanley gave to ‘Rollo’ helped the rookie defender’s game immeasurably.

With a curious emphasis on his wearing of glasses (yes, it’s definitely ‘of it’s time’!), here’s what John Vinicombe and Peter Fieldsend wrote about the man nicknamed ‘Tot’ in an article in the Evening Argus on 19th December 1974:


These are the two faces of Graham Winstanley, Albion captain.

One shows him in working gear, the other is the man fans could be excused for passing in the street without so much as a second glance.

Professional footballers aren’t generally reckoned to wear spectacles, and Graham Winstanley is one of a band that relies on contact lenses. Without the little plastic discs that stick close as a skin to the eyeball, Graham, and others like him, would be unable to earn a living in their chosen profession.

Graham has worn glasses since he was 18 and that is nearly eight years ago. The moment he realised he needed glasses was the day of his first driving test as when asked to read the number plate of a car some distance away, he could not pick out the letters distinctly.

At the time, he was with Newcastle United, the club he joined straight from school and served for six years.

The shock of discovering defective eyesight was cushioned by using lenses, an like others in the game he has overcome the discomfort of wearing artificial aides to better seeing.

Graham knows what it feels like to get a ball in the eye from close range and stare at a mirror with one good one at a rapidly discolouring and bloodshot optic.

He has lost lenses on the field, but his two previous clubs, Newcastle and Carlisle United, have picked up the £40 tab each time.

Since Graham joined Albion for a £20,000 fee from Carlisle last month after a loan period, the side have picked up.

His experience in the middle of the back four has rubbed off on to younger players, and for the first time in his career, Graham feels as though he is a vital link.

At St James’ Park he was by no means a first-team regular, with only five League games and two appearances as substitute.

When Newcastle sold him to Carlisle for £8,000 in 1969, he found himself with a club who run only one professional side. He had a total of 164 League outings but he was in and out last term when the club gained promotion to the First Division.

From the start, Graham was in but after the second game, when Carlisle crashed 6-1 at Luton, he was dropped and did not get back until 14 games later.

With only three points from the first six matches, it can readily be appreciated how well Carlisle pulled round to go up.

But Graham knew he did not figure in manager Alan Ashman’s plans.

This term, he played twice in the first team – in midfield against Colchester in the League Cup and at full-back when Spurs visited Brunton Park.

When Peter Taylor showed interest, Graham jumped at the chance to come to the Goldstone.

I am enjoying my football down here. It is a matter of settling in and concentrating on the job in hand. I don’t regard myself as being in the side purely as a sweeper. I get free as often as I can.

“It is important to know one’s strengths and to play to them.”

Considering Graham was short of match practice when he joined Albion, he has done remarkably well. Apart from those outings against Colchester and Spurs, he was on the sidelines in company with Eddie Spearritt who went to Carlisle on a free transfer in the summer.

Just a coincidence that Graham now lives in a house at Shoreham with his wife Joan only a stone’s throw from where Eddie had his home. Now more than 500 miles separate them.

How does Graham view the situation at the Goldstone? “We are in a false position according to the form of the last three or four games. We played great stuff at Halifax, of instance, but came away with nothing.

‘If we keep playing like that it has to come right. The side work hard and have skill. I haven’t seen anybody drop their heads and I don’t think I shall.’

Apart from schools’ soccer this is the first time Graham has captained a side.

Peter Taylor has high regard for his leadership qualities and ability to read a game. But ask Graham to reel off car numbers 75 yards away and he’d be sunk.

Brighton eventually finished 19th. Having promised promotion, Taylor was relieved to see his side stay in Division Three.

As reward for his leadership in strengthening the defence, Winstanley was appointed club captain in August 1975. However, he broke his nose and never again regained his place as a regular in the side. Dennis Burnett and Graham Cross were preferred as centre-back partners for Andy Rollings in the Third Division under Taylor and Mullery. Once the Seagulls hit the Second Division in 1977, it was Mark Lawrenson who took the number six shirt.


Even so, Winstanley was described by Alan Mullery as the ‘perfect professional’ for his excellent attitude and solid performances. While he rarely made the headlines on the pitch, one of his rare goals was a volley for Albion’s second in a 3-1 victory over Spurs in April 1978. Had I been writing the headlines that day, they would have been something poor along the lines of ‘Tot finishes off Tottenham.’ OK, I won’t give up my day job.

After Brighton secured promotion to Division One, Winstanley eventually returned to Carlisle on a free transfer in July 1979.