Here is 20 year old Brighton forward Michael Ring before the 1981/82 season:
No smiles for him! Perhaps his last answer in his player profile gives an indication as to why the long face:
Turning professional in 1978, the youngster announced himself with six goals as Brighton’s youngsters beat Eastbourne Town’s youth side 21-0 in the Southern Youth League on 17th September 1978. Other scorers were Peck 6, Vessey 4, Liddle 2, Cox, Gent and Stevens.
After developing in the reserves, Ring eventually made his Albion first team debut at Huddersfield in the League Cup 2nd Round 1st Leg in October 1981, under Mike Bailey. However it was an unhappy occasion for the club, as the Terriers won 1-0. Ring lost his place straight away, missing the return leg which the Seagulls won 2-0 thanks to Andy Ritchie and Tony Grealish both scoring in the last five minutes.
in April 1982, Ring joined Morton on loan and appeared in four Scottish Premier League matches. When he returned to the Goldstone, he figured in a welcome 2-0 home victory over Wolves in May, only Brighton’s second victory in twelve League matches.
If the Brighton-born attacker thought this was the start of him breaking into the first team, he would be disappointed. He made a single substitute appearance throughout 1982/83, in a 5-0 whitewash by Luton Town, before coming off the bench three more times the following season. Still, silverware was around the corner as he went on an extended loan to Ballymena in 1983/84, and came home with an Irish Cup winner’s medal.
At the end of the season, he was released, and signed for Brian Horton’s Hull City side.