Tag Archives: jimmy melia

An interview with Jimmy Melia


A few months ago I was lucky enough to interview Jimmy Melia for Viva Brighton magazine. The best bits can be read here.

However, there were some other questions and answers that didn’t make the final edit. Here are some of them:

Is it true that you were an Everton fan?
When i was at school i used to watch Everton. I was an Everton supporter. I joined the Liverpool ground staff at the age of 15 because I knew Bobby Campbell, who eventually went on to manage Chelsea. He was in the same street as me and we were big mates. He went to liverpool so I followed him there. Everton were down at the household too I was at because i was captain of Liverpol schoolboys and also played for England Schoolboys.

You had a great career at Liverpool, getting promotion to the First Division and eventually becoming English champions in 1964. Why did you leave in March 1964, before the season had finished?
I got an injury and wasn’t playing well and felt I needed a change and Shankly was the manager and I was sold to Wolves after ten years of service, for £50,000 – a lot of money in those days. I stayed at Wolves for one year. They fired Stan Cullis and I spoke on his behalf and they transferred me to Southampton and stayed there for five years. We won the Second Division and I got the goal that got us up, i was player manager at Aldershot for four years and had a few good cup runs, then to Crewe for a few years – it was very hard work. We had no money. Then I went to Dubai for three or four years, then to California, before coming to Brighton as chief scout. Then I got the manager’s job.

What was it like working as chief scout to Mullery and Bailey?
Mike was a good guy. He knew the game but he had a way of playing that didn’t go down very well with the supporters or people at the club. He did a good job the first year he took over. Second year wasn’t very good so when he left they put me in charge. Unfortunately, we didn’t do so well in the league although I made a lot of changes that got them playing a lot better, even though results didn’t go our way.

Was it a deliberate decision to take the lead when you were joint manager with George Aitken?
It wasn’t done officially but with my knowledge and background, George let me take over. The players should a lot of respect for me too.

What do you remember about getting to the Cup Final?
It was a great day. It was a tremendous thing because we’d never been there. Seeing all the supporters there at Wembley was a great day. We had a great time. it was a tremendous feat. Great memories. People still remember. They ask me, “When are we going to have another cup run and get to Wembley?” I always hope they can get there again and maybe win it. It looks like they’re getting everything right at the club, and the stadium and the finances are right and are very stable.

Could you have turned the club’s fortunes around the Second Division?
When we went to the Second Division we sold so many players. Gary Stevens left for Spurs, Robinson went to Liverpool. It’s a pity we didn’t just stabilise. and leave things alone for about three years because I could have built the club up. I had all the contacts and knew who I needed. i didn’t get the time.

And is it true you never had a contract?
I remember Mike Bamber saying ‘Let’s meet. I want to talk to you about a contract.’ So we met at lunch and saw his mother – we didn’t even talk about a contract! I was happy doing what I was doing. I didn’t feel I needed a contract. I made a couple of mistakes bringing people into the club who i shouldn’t have brought in, but hey! That’s life.

Can you give your version of what happened with Chris Cattlin? Was he picking the side?
The chairman wanted him to get involved with the coaching with me as the manager making the decisions. I still wanted to be outside all the time with the team. It was a bad mistake on my part to put him in but the chairman seemed to like him – it happens. i wanted to bring in Laurie Calloway, a good friend of mine who I trusted, knew the game and played the game, as my assistant but we couldn’t get that to happen so he brought in Chris. Things happen – thats the way it it and life goes on.

When you look back at your time with the Seagulls, how do you feel about it?
I really enjoyed my time at Brighton. It was terrific. As soon as I left Brighton I went to Portugal and won another championship with Belanedas – and then finished 5th in the Portuguese League – they were a very good couple of years. Winning two championship medals as a player and getting a team to the cup final and winning a championship. My career has been good, plus I’m still working – nowadays I’m teaching the kids at Liverpool FC America.

And finally… what became of the disco shoes?
They are still around, but they don’t get much use these days!


Highbury to heaven!

In 1984, Match Magazine issued its first ever album featuring ’70 super colour picture cards’ focussing on great goals and goalscorers. On the cover of this 28-page publication was Jimmy Case’s blockbuster past Bob Bolder in the 1983 FA Cup Semi-Final at Highbury:


If you look at the crowd closely enough, you may even see some familiar faces. It’s a cracking image and one that doesn’t appear to be given much of an airing these days.

Talking of aspects of that match with Sheffield Wednesday that seem to be rarely seen, I wonder how many supporters remember the old-style film recording of the game:

Makes a change from the Big Match Revisited footage that is frequently shown on the ITV 4!

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Seagulls soar over Anfield

The Daily Mirror’s headline, ‘The Seagulls have landed’, captured the moment that Brighton truly arrived as movers and shakers in the FA Cup by beating Liverpool at Anfield on 20th February 1983:


Liverpool 1, Brighton 2

Jimmy Case, a Scouser by birth, habit and conviction; went back to Merseyside yesterday and destroyed a dream. This morning the talk about Liverpool winning four trophies is silenced because Case and Brighton believed the impossible.

Liverpool manager Bob Paisley muttered “Never again on a Sunday” after Case’s 71st-minute winner had silenced the Kop and sent Jimmy Melia’s men forward to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

But Paisley was one of the first into the Seagulls’ dressing room afterwards to shake the hand of Case, the midfield player he sold to the south coast club for £300,000 18 months ago.

“Good luck to Brighton. I hope they go on to win the Cup,” said Paisley. “This is what happens when you get people saying a team can win four trophies. It just wasn’t on.”

Case, who still goes to watch Liverpool with a red-and-white scarf wrapped around his neck when they play in the European Cup, recalled with a smile: “I said it would be a dream if I got the winner. The dream has come true.”

There has been no bigger sensation in the competition this season than Brighton, bottom of the First Division, going to Anfield and knocking out the runaway leaders.

It was Llverpoors first defeat at home in a Cup tie since Mlddlesbrough best them 64 cup games ago back in 1974.

Just as significant in front of a 44,868 full house, it was Liverpool’s first defeat at Anfield since Brighton won 1-0 there last March.

Brighton hustled, denied Liverpool space, defended superbly, took their chances and deserved to win.

Acting manager Melia, as much a Scouser as Case, said: “We matched Liverpool for work-rate and that pleased me more than anything. I said we would play attacking football and we did.”

Mella particularly praised striker Michael Robinson – for whom any move to Newcastle must now walt – and centre half Steve Foster.

Brighton’s first goal came after 32 minutes from Gerry Ryan. Case sent the magnificent Robinson racing forward for a cross that Ryan side-footed past Brace Grobbelaar.

Alan Kennedy hit a post with a thundering drive and Robinson thumped a header against the bar at tne other end before Liverpool equalised in the 70th minute.

It was unfortunate that young Gary Stevens, who with Foster •and Steve Gatting, performed wonders at the back, should assist Johnston’s shot past his own ‘keeper Perry Digweed follov~ng a Kenny Dalglish free-kick.

The winner came little more than a minute later. Case got it with a 25-yard drive that was helped by a deflection from a Liverpoot defender.

Liverpool’s agony wasn’t over. Phil Neal, on his 32rd birthday, shot wide from the penalty spot after Tony Grealish had pulled down Kennedy.

Grealish protested so heatedly that he was booked by referee All Grey. “I thought I’d won the ball. It was a harsh penalty,” he said.

Afterwards Brighton headed for the south coast with their FA Cup ambitions as high as the British Caledonian flight that took them there.

In case you haven’t seen the 46 minutes of highlights on YouTube, here I have spliced it with commentary from Tony Millard and Stephen Rooke of Radio Brighton:

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RIP David Coleman


As you’ve probably heard yesterday, David Coleman has died at the age of 87.

Had Brighton & Hove Albion’s one FA Cup Final appearance had been between 1973 and 1978, we may have enjoyed hearing the Cheshire-born broadcaster declare ‘One-Nil!’ as Gordon Smith’s opener sneaked past Gary Bailey in the Manchester United goal.

Instead, come May 1983, we were able to enjoy his splendid, bubbly presenting of BBC’s Cup Final Grandstand. Here’s the first nine minutes of the show that ran from the morning into the 3pm kick-off:

As you can see and hear, in the hot seat, he was in his element. Unsurprising, given his vast experience of managing various links and features with supreme aplomb. After all, he began presenting Grandstand in 1958 and continued to be its regular presenter for ten years. In 1983, Cup Final Grandstand featured a special edition of A Question of Sport, a show he regularly hosted for 18 years, plus reports from each finalist’s hotel. Coleman also interviewed Ron Atkinson and Jimmy Melia:

In an excruciating moment, he uses his knowledge to do a decent job at filling silence. This was during the crazy dash to find the Bob Beamon footage in this very inefficient prototype to YouTube:

Coleman also introduced footage of the Brighton’s team’s famous journey to Wembley via helicopter:

Quite remarkable, I’m sure you’ll agree, even if the Cup Final song wasn’t!


Video: Brighton 3-0 Norwich – a flying start for Jimmy Melia’s circus

It's Jimmy Media!

It’s Jimmy Melia – but no disco shoes here

It was boss Mike Bailey out, Jimmy Melia and George Aitken in, come December 1982. Having previously served as chief scout and chief coach, Brighton’s temporary managers helped to lift the gloom over the Goldstone Ground, caused by poor results, falling crowds and growing disharmony within the side:

Brighton are fighting for First Division survival after the departure of manager Mike Bailey. What hope for the club that brought football glory to Sussex by climbing from the Third Division to the First in three years but have since fought desperately to avoid relegation. SHOOT investigates Brighton’s catalogue of problems and turns the spotlight on Mike Bamber, the chairman who wants to be manager as well.

When Brighton were promoted to the First Division three seasons ago it seemed like a Iicence for the club to print money.

They had been magnificently supported, but the crowds melted away as two gritty battles against relegation were fought by Alan Mullery.

Then, last season under Mike Bailey, Brighton appeared to have turned the corner in finishing a respectable 13th, the highest position in their history.

Now, following Bailey’s departure early last month, Brighton, amid falling gates, are fighting all over again to establish themselves.

Alarmingly, there are cracks appearing in the Goldstone structure, and some disgruntled fans have even said they’d be better off in the Third Division.

It is a fact that Brighton have never attracted 30,000 crowd since they went up, yet there is well-heeled catchment area that hasn’t been visibly hit by the recession.

The season was only a few weeks old when two key international players, Steve Foster and Michael Robinson, asked for transfers. Then Nell McNab said the chairman’s involvement extended too far. McNab alleged that he picked the team.

Foster - staying for now

Foster – staying for now

The fuss died down, and Foster and Robinson later said they were willing to stay. McNab, who is also on a lengthy contract, turned down a move sending him to Newcastle on loan, and has since joined Leeds United on a temporary transfer.

While the basis of Foster’s gripe was money he considered a rise was due after getting into England’s World Cup squad, Robinson’s quarrel, besides being financial, raised other questions.

He accused the club of lacking ambition, and this was triggered when Bamber refused to back Bailey up in giving Charlie George a month’s trial.

Robinson: Want-away striker

Robinson: Want-away striker

It was Robinson’s opinion that the chairman should also have given Bailey a contract. After putting his cards on the table, it looked as though Robinson would leave.

But he declined a berth at Sunderland, and was later wooed by Arsenal and QPR.

Foster’s dispute had been settled previously, and he did not identify with Robinson all the way. But McNab’s bluntness in challenging his chairman was a blockbuster.

Ward returns

Ward returns, replacing the Ward-replacement Andy Ritchie

Bamber brought about the return of Peter Ward, Brighton’s former record scorer, on loan from Nottingham Forest.

He saw him as not only a vital crowd-puller, but the man to link-up best with Robinson.

Brighton have only got him until the end of next month, but he did the business by scoring the winner against Manchester United on November 6 when the gate was a satisfying 18,398 – an increase of 8,000. The inclusion of Ward put Andy Ritchie’s nose temporarily out of joint, Brighton’s most expensive signing at £500,000 from Old Trafford stayed in the reserves for six weeks and only re-appeared when Bailey left.

And another big-money player, Gordon Smith, who cost £400,000 from Rangers, went back to Glasgow on a temporary transfer.

The principal reason was to help Rangers in the Scottish League Cup Final against Celtic. But all Smith got was a runners-up medal that was stolen the same night when his car was vandalised.

Smith, like most Brighton players, is also on a long engagement. But he’s in a whirl.

“When I get back to Brighton, I’ll have to introduce myself as a new signing.”

Perhaps Brighton’s biggest mistake was signing Mickey Thomas from Everton. Over £400,000 was involved, and the Wales international couldn’t put a foot right.

He gave domestic reasons for several acts of truancy that held Brighton up to ridicule. Fines and suspensions didn’t bring him into line. But once transferred to Stoke, Thomas showed his real worth.

Then he relaxed, and said: “Joining Brighton was the worst period of my life. Last season was just a horror story for me. I felt trapped there. They were in such a hurry to sign me, and soon everything got me down. And the system they played was so defensive that I got bored. I admit I was out of order in taking time off, but I should never have gone there in the first place.”

Brighton cannot afford another mistake like that, and it is very doubtful they will be able to recoup anything comparable to the fee paid for Smith.

Bamber disclaims responsibility, saying the down-turn in the market has put many clubs in trouble, and Brighton are no exception.

He is hoping that Jimmy Melia, in temporary charge, can lift the side…

The Melia era got off to a glorious start with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Norwich City on 11th December 1982, a win that suggested the side, now more attacking, had turned over a new leaf in the League. Here you can enjoy highlights from this match, Albion’s biggest victory in Division One that season:

Enjoy Jimmy Case’s rocket with his left foot, the close control and creative play of Peter Ward, and Andy Ritchie’s curling free-kick.

Unfortunately, it proved a false dawn. Albion failed to win their next ten League matches, a poor run that plunged the club from 18th to bottom of the division by the start of March. By then the media circus over the FA Cup run gripped the club and First Division survival became of secondary importance.

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Jimmy Melia has gone!


Thirty years ago today, on 19 October 1983, Jimmy Melia resigned as Brighton manager. With Cattlin succeeding Melia, in its opinion piece ‘Shoot View!’ in its 12th November issue, the magazine characterised the decision as a ‘Dark deed at Brighton’:

Yet another League club has had its grubby internal affairs aired in public.

And once more, the great game of football is the loser as the fans are given another full-frontal peek at soccer’s sordid side.

This time Brighton have become embroiled in a distasteful episode that would not look out of place in television’s “Dallas” and “dynasty” programmes.

The plot is familiar: Boss, Jimmy Melia, is instructed by the board that his chief coach, Chris Cattlin, is charged with the duty of picking the Brighton team every Saturday.

That arrangement is a little like Margaret Thatcher having to take orders from one of her underlings. Not unnaturally, Jimmy Melia found it hard to take just five months after guiding a modest Brighton team to their first F.A. Cup Final.

And so it was inevitable that 47-year-old Melia, a proud Liverpool-born man with a deep-seated love of the game, would quit only ten Second Division games after dancing for joy across the Wembley grass.

Few episodes of “Dallas” have been more cruel than this real life football drama.

Cup Final manager one moment; having his team picked by a member of his staff the next.

Melia packed his bags and said simply: “The appointment of Cattlin as coach produced a personality clash and I simply found I could not work in the conditions. He has even been picking the team.”

Jimmy Melia might not have been the world’s greatest manager, but he was as good as some and better than others.

We offer our best wishes to Mr Cattlin. He became an unsuspecting pawn in a rather grubby Goldstone game. Let’s hope he’s treated a lot better than his predecessor.

Despite the ‘Melia in, Bamber out!’ chants at the time, thirty years on, you’d struggle to find an Albion fan who still regrets Melia making way for Cattlin. Despite Shoot! magazine arguing that ‘Jimmy Melia might not have been the world’s greatest manager, but he was as good as some and better than others’, it is clear that Melia have a rotten League record as Brighton manager. The FA Cup run should not have camouflaged that to a magazine that still had pretensions of serious analysis. Despite the struggles that Mike Bailey faced in 1982/83, it is worth remembering that his side stood in 18th position, outside the Division One relegation zone, when Bailey and his coaches John Collins and Brian Eastick left on 6th December 1982. By the end of the season, under Melia and George Aitken, the Seagulls had slumped four more places to bottom of the the First Division.

In the summer, with the euphoria of the FA Cup Final still fresh in the memory, it would have taken a very brave Albion board to sack Melia. Perhaps this is why they chose to appoint Cattlin, to provide some much needed discipline and rigour, while stitching up Melia to some extent by putting the new coach in charge of team selection.

With ten Division Two games gone in 1983/84, after a 5-0 pasting at Grimsby Town, the club stood in 14th position and in real danger of a second successive relegation battle. The unhappy arrangement was not to last. Despite Melia making a surprise appearance, being held shoulder-high in the North Terrace by supporters in the next match, a 3-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, from then on it was most definitely the Chris Cattlin show.

As a young manager who eschewed the razzmatazz of his predecessor, Cattlin put the Brighton team’s affairs back in order with some shrewd signings, such as Steve Penney, Chris Hutchings and Danny Wilson. He was able to turn the Seagulls into serious promotion candidates in the Second Division over the following few seasons before he also came a cropper, sacked in the summer of 1986.

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Brighton 7-0 Charlton

In the match programme for Brighton v Charlton Athletic in October 1983, Jimmy Melia wrote:

We aim to provide more entertainment and hopefully this will produce the goals we want. We need a bit of adventure, we need to allow players to show their skills and inventiveness, and that is the only way we will bring people back through the turnstiles to watch our matches.

A crowd of 11,517 was rewarded (well, the Albion fans anyway!) with a goal frenzy that lived up to Melia’s emphasis on attacking play and enjoyment. In Match Magazine (22 October 1983), a short article called ‘Case cracker’ waxed lyrical about the Albion, and Case’s, performance:


Brighton hot-shot Jimmy Case set the Goldstone Ground buzzing with his hat-trick goal in the demolition of Charlton.

His third goal was a spectacular effort straight out of the Case text book and one which has become his trademark over the years. A thundering shot from the edge of the box and the ball was in the back of the net before the ‘keeper had time to move.

Says Jimmy: “They are the sort of goals the fans love to see and players love to score – it certainly gave me a lot of pleasure. I’ve always been aware that long-range efforts like that excite the crowd and that’s probably why I’m prepared to have a go from any distance. Sometimes they don’t come off, but I have always said that if you don’t shoot then you don’t score. And I think more players are adopting that attitude this season, which has got to be a good thing.”

Jimmy’s moment of magic wasn’t the only thing that Brighton fans had to cheer against Charlton as the Seagulls romped away to an emphatic 7-0 win.

He says: “The supporters deserved to see a good performance because we hadn’t played too well at home until that game. All the players were keyed up before the match and determined to turn in a good display… and once we got the first two goals there was no stopping us. Everyone was full of confidence and every time we went forward we looked like scoring, it wasn’t much fun for Charlton, but our fans went home happy.”

Brighton’s seven-goal display was in stark contrast to their performances at the start of the season when they lost their first three games.

Says Jimmy: “We were forced to use three different goalkeepers in as many games, which didn’t help, and we gave away some silly goals. But, since Joe Corrigan arrived, we have had more stability at the back and confidence has spread throughout the team. The turning point was probably the 1-0 win against Derby, which set us back on the right road. We still weren’t 100 per cent happy when we went into the Charlton game, however, and we decided to change our style a little bit. We played with a more attacking formation and it paid off.

“We always try to play entertaining football, especially at home, and that is obviously going to help bring the fans back through the turnstiles. In fact I think that more and more clubs are realising their responsibility to provide the public with open, attacking football and, of course, plenty of goals.”

The performance was all the more impressive as Charlton arrived at the Goldstone far from being lambs to the slaughter. The Addicks were previously undefeated and had only conceded three goals in seven matches. However, the Seagulls made mincemeat of the Athletic defence, with diagonal balls proving especially troublesome. Terry Connor’s speed down the wing caused havoc, with Gerry Ryan taking advantage with the first two goals, before Gordon Smith tucked in another Connor cross to make it 3-0.

Then, Case smashed the fourth in from the edge of the area after efforts by Connor and Kieran O’Regan had been well saved by the busy Charlton keeper Nicky Johns before Connor notched up a well-earned goal through a header before half-time.

In the second half, it was the Jimmy Case show. As Pat Needham in the Sunday Mirror wrote:

Case flicked home Smith’s cross before completing his first League hat-trick with the goal of the match. O’Regan and Ryan broke from deep inside their half and Case nearly burst the net from 20 yards.

After the match, Case was presented with the match ball:


It was the first Albion hat-trick since Gordon Smith’s at Coventry almost exactly three years before.

And if you wish to celebrate the Charlton match with a Jimmy Case T-shirt, please head here to the ‘Cult Zeros’ site. There is even a design for the unfortunate Charlton keeper on the day, Nicky Johns.

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Black day at the Goldstone Ground: Brighton v Chelsea 1983


According to Tim Carder and Roger Harris’ ‘Seagulls!’ book, discussing the 1983/84 season:

An anonymous supporter took out a four-page advert in the Evening Argus on 2 September, appealing for more support and, in particular, for more vocal support; he wanted the game the following day to be a fun afternoon for everyone. He should not have wasted his money – it was the Chelsea match!’

Thirty years to the day, it certainly seemed like a match to savour, the first ever Football League encounter between recent FA Cup Finalists Brighton against a resurgent Chelsea, with rising stars such as Kerry Dixon, David Speedie, Pat Nevin, Colin Pates and Nigel Spackman firing all cylinders alongside very experienced players such as John Hollins and Colin Lee (below):


The Blues had trounced Derby County 5-0 on the opening day of the season. However, the spectre of football hooliganism was to mar the Albion v Chelsea game. As authors Carder and Harris went on to say:

Friday night saw running battles between Chelsea followers, police and local youths; and the game was played in a brooding atmosphere before 20,874 people, 8,000 of them from London.

Played out in the sunshine, the highlight of the match for Brighton supporters was Alan Young’s spectacular banana shot after 76 minutes. Reporting in the Sunday Mirror, Pat Garrow wrote:

Chelsea were quickly in their stride and when the hapless Steve Foster handled in the box, Dixon gave the visitors the lead.

…a shaken Brighton stormed back. It started when Jimmy Case took a free kick that Niedzwiecki failed to hold and Young did the rest with a spectacular overhead kick.

Brighton’s joy was short-lived. A minute later Chelsea scored the winner. This time it was the consistent Clive Walker who squared the ball almost from the byeline across goal.

‘Keeper Digweed could only get his left hand to it and he pulled it down for Dixon to volley into the net.


The game was far from rough but referee Ken Baker kept bringing out his notebook.

Indeed, he showed the red card to one of the Chelsea players, which surprisingly drew fierce criticism from Brighton boss Jimmy Melia who said: “The referee was diabolical. The decision to send Canoville off for retaliation was terrible.”

But the drama did not end there. As Carder and Harris explained:

Chelsea supporters infiltrated all parts of the ground, and at the final whistle the hooligans invaded the pitch from all unfenced areas to launch a vicious attack on the hopelessly outnumbered police. By the time a police horse had managed to clear the pitch, seven constables were injured and the north goal was broken. It was the worst outbreak of violence ever seen at the Goldstone.


Chelsea’s left-back Chris Hutchings even got in on the act, and was charged with threatening and abusive behaviour for swearing at police trying to clear the pitch. According to an article by Spencer Vignes in the Brighton v Sheffield Wednesday programme in 2012/13, it started when he applauded the visiting support after the match, an act interpreted by a policeman as inciting further crowd trouble. As Hutchings said:

“All I did was clap them and this copper comes over and says ‘Get off the pitch at me.’ I said ‘No’ so he said ‘get off the pitch’ again and tried to help me on my way, and I told him to ‘Fuck off’ and ran down the tunnel. Next thing I know he’s nicking me!’

By the time the case was heard at Hove Magistrates Court, Chris Hutchings the Chelsea player had become an Albion player, signing for the Seagulls in a £50,000 deal in November 1983. I’m sure his signing on fee covered the £250 fine he received!


With Hutchings a fixture at left-back, Brighton were eager to avenge the defeat in the corresponding fixture at Stamford Bridge on the last day of 1983. It was not to be as the sharpshooting David Speedie grabbed the winner to complete the League double over the Albion.


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Jimmy Case goes in hard against the Hatters

From Roy of the Rovers magazine:


Sadly, Brighton are tonked 5-0 by newly promoted Luton Town, powered by Brian Horton. By the end of September 1982, Albion’s away record read:

Played 3 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 3 Goals For 0 Goals Against 14 Points 0.

And people still think Mike Bailey left ‘by mutual consent’ in December 1982 because Albion were boring! No, it was because Albion were boring and losing. 20 defeats in Bailey’s last 31 League games suggested that it was time for a change, although it is worth pointing out that Albion weren’t in the relegation zone when Bailey left. Jimmy Melia’s meagre record of two League victories in four months soon changed that.

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