Rescued from Shoot! magazine in 1979/80:
“This is a dream come true,” said Tommy Boyd, as he stood proudly on the Goldstone pitch, wearing the blue and white shirt of his favourite club, Brighton & Hove Albion. “The number of times I’ve stood on those terraces, wondering what it would be like to be out here. Well, now I know. It’s a great feeling!”
Thanks to the hospitality of Alan Mullery and his team, SHOOT was able to give the Magpie TV star a super day with the South Coast Seagulls.
His first call was at Alan Mullery’s office, where he also met assistant-manager, Ken Craggs.
After ‘signing on’ for The Seagulls, Tommy met the rest of the first team squad. Star defenders, John Gregory and Steve Foster, decided to check on Tommy’s fitness with a workout in the gym and afterwards he was happy to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea with skipper, Brian Horton.
“The thing I liked most was the happy atmosphere I found at the club,” Tommy said, later. “I think a lot of that stems from Alan Mullery. He’s a man with an open, friendly personality. He loves to laugh, but more than anything, he loves the game.
“I really enjoyed meeting him. He’s always been a hero of mine. He was a great player. Do you remember the way he marked Pele out of the game in Mexico, in 1970? I defy anyone to name a player who could have done a better job on the day. Mullery was so versatile. He could do the lot.
“Now, it’s great to see he’s carried his two best qualities, that’s skill at the job and a natural enthusiasm, into the world of management. I’m sure he loves every minute of what he’s doing.” Another Goldstone personality Tommy rates very highly is Brian Horton.
“Brian’s always had his critics and he has proved them wrong. I saw him make his debut for the club, when he was bought for peanuts from Port Vale. He impressed me right away. He’s got all the qualities you Io0k for in a captain.
“When Brighton won promotion from the Third, some critics wondared hew Brian would get on in the Second Division. Well, he was a driving force there and it was the same story last season. He’s a fine player.”
Tommy started supporting Brighton when he was just atoddler. During his student days, at Sussex Umversity, he loved to spend his Saturday afternoons relaxing with The Seagulls.
“The funniest aftemoon I’ve ever spent at the Goldstone was during our college Rag Week,” he chuckled. “We did some collecting on the terraces for charity, before a match. My friend was singing and playing the guitar and I was going round with the tin. Most of the fans were happy to give us money … as long as we promised to go away and annoy someone else!”
Like most of us, Tommy dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, when he was at school. “The closest I’ve come was a charity match last summer, when I was marking the great Bobby Charlton. I thought I was fit, but even when he was dribbling the ball, Bobby could leave me standing.
“So, I’ll never make a top player, But SHOOT made one dream come true for me. I’ll really feel at home the next time I go to the Goldstone. When I’m cheering the players from the terraces, I’ll be able to use their first names!”