Trev Smith has kindly allowed me to publish his images from the Brighton v Tottenham match of April 1978:
The images have been added to the match report here
Yesterday, Brighton won 3-1 against Port Vale in the FA Cup 4th Round. In April 1977, though, they battled in the Third Division in front of 23,446 supporters at the Goldstone, with Gerry Fell getting the only goal.
The jubilation surrounding the goal was captured by photographer Ken Tyhurst of the Brighton Gazette, and used in a magnificent poster for the Post Office:
As you can see, Peter Ward and Sammy Morgan led the celebration (with a mixture of Bukta and Umbro branding on their kit), plus Ken Tiler in the background.
According to a piece by Tim Carder:
Bill Swallow of the Swallow Company, designers of the current Albion programme, tells me that he was the Post Office’s Press Officer for the South East in 1977 and the poster was his idea. Apparently the ‘bean counters’ wouldn’t allow him to get it printed until promotion was certain, but he wanted to get it on the side of mail vans as soon as possible after the date so it was prepared it in advance.
In the article, Bill said:
“The image was actually a bit of a cheat. Although the Goldstone crowd was over 23,000, the terraces didn’t go back far enough to take the image to the top of the poster. So, in those pre-Photoshop days, we fiddled it by adding a tier or two of faces from elsewhere.”
Tim Carder added:
The poster was a great success. It went on nearly all local vans during May 1977 and, to Bill’s delight, numbers of them were stolen off the sides, probably an unprecedented occurence! Bill later did a Reading FC poster – very similar but obviously not as nice!
I won my copy of the poster at an auction at Withdean many seasons ago. It is also on display in the BHAFC fan bedroom at the new museum at the Amex stadium, which will hopefully be opening very soon.
Of course, the image from the 1-0 victory over Port Vale was also used on the front cover of ‘Albion – An illustrated history of Brighton & Hove Albion FC’ by John Vinicombe. This rather error-ridden book was published in 1978, covering the story up to the end of the 1977/78 season in Division Two. At the time, the matchday programme described how ‘the sales of the book from our Promotions shop was both brisk and plentiful.’ It was almost certainly helped by having such a striking image on the cover.
What a stylish pose!
While hardly remembered as a star player during Albion’s glory years, right-back Ken Tiler certainly played his part as Albion escaped the mediocrity of fighting to survive in Division Three in the mid-1970s.
At a time when the Goldstone was short of class, he was signed from Chesterfield by Peter Taylor in November 1974 and valued at £45,000 in a deal that took Billy McEwan and Ronnie Welch in the opposite direction.
Tiler settled quickly, showing the kind of form and know-how that steered Brighton away from the drop zone in the New Year. With the side being rapidly rebuilt by Taylor, things were on the up. Together with Harry Wilson on the other flank, the two full-backs are best remembered for their roles in the promotion near-miss of 1975/76 and then, a year later, when Brighton finished as runners-up. With Joe Kinnear out of favour under Alan Mullery, Tiler played 38 League matches in that glorious 1976/77 season.
In the Second Division, Tiler started the first 16 League matches before suddenly being dropped in favour of Chris Cattlin. In January 1978, he asked for a transfer but was restored for the final seven matches of the season. Here he is in action against Bob Hatton of Blackpool on the last day:
Despite beginning as first choice in the 1978/79 campaign, Tiler was not able to shake off the competition from Chris Cattlin forever. Brighton had a mediocre start, falling as low as 12th at the end of November. When the ‘Cat’ was restored to the right-back slot at the start of December 1978, it solidified the defence immeasurably and this spelt the end for Tiler’s time at Brighton. He didn’t play another match for the Seagulls and left for Rotherham in a £15,000 deal in July 1979.
In his 151 appearances, he never got on the scoresheet for the Albion, but attacking intent did exist in his family. Here he is with his family, including eight-year-old son Carl Tiler, who later made it as a centre-back with Barnsley, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United:
At the time, Carl played as an orthodox left-winger. Ken said of his son:
“He already has the skill to beat me all ends up”
Perhaps it was this frank admission that confirmed Alan Mullery was right to go with Cattlin for the rest of the season!