Thanks to Nick Spiller for lending me these marvellous items.
A pair of badges from the late 1970s:
…some discs from 1979/80:
…and yet more discs, this time from 1980/81:
Here’s some action from Brighton’s match with Charlton on Good Friday, 13th April 1979:
Andy Rollings closes down the Valiants’ Derek Hales while Paul Clark provides some reinforcement.
In this memorable fixture, Clark opened the scoring with a scorching 25 yard left foot volley in the 11th minute, having brought down a Peter Shaw clearance with his right.
Things got worse for Shaw in the 76th minute, when he turned in Peter O’Sullivan’s cross past Jeff Wood to seal a 2-0 victory as the Brighton promotion push marched on.
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:
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:
A trip to the home of Nick from Fishergate led me to scanning these rather lovely 65mm x 65mm badges from the late 1970s:
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!
I originally bought this second hand at the Sunday market outside Brighton train station in the early 1990s. I thanked my lucky stars that all the Albion stickers were there. This was years before eBay, so finding someone with a spare Peter Sayer sticker lying around would have been tricky, whereas now it would only take a few seconds…
Looking at the Arsenal pages now, it’s striking that out of the 14 Gunners on display, five would eventually join Brighton (Steve Gatting, Willie Young, Sammy Nelson, Liam Brady and Frank Stapleton). Neil McNab lined up as a Bolton player sticker for the last time, while future Seagull favourite Michael Robinson smiled for his Manchester City photo shoot with a joviality that was not reflected in his unhappy year at Maine Road.
However, it’s the Albion double-spread that really catches the eye!
In these head and shoulder shots, we get to see the bubble perms of Sayer and Ward, but even these are outnumbered by the popularity of moustaches within the Brighton first team, through Lawrenson, Horton, Clark, O’Sullivan, Poskett and Ryan. Curiously, our players here are wearing flared collars with a triangular panel at the bottom, whereas during the season (I’m addressing fellow shirt anoraks, here!) it was open flared collars that were on display, at least for the home kit.
As the season unfolded, keeper Eric Steele gave way to Graham Moseley. Gary Stevens and Steve Foster also played much stronger roles in defence than either Chris Cattlin or Andy Rollings. Sayer, Maybank and Clark would be further casualties as Mullery moved his Panini stickers around his imaginary album to try to find a winning formula. Then, from nowhere (OK, Blackpool in the Third Division) Peter Suddaby took Lawrenson’s spot in defence while the Republic of Ireland international was pushed further forward. He would have taken one of the midfielder stickers, while Neil McNab and Ray Clarke would have been the new arrivals bringing high quality passing and forward play to the Goldstone. Good swopping, Mullers!
Short of Peter O’Sullivan, Teddy Maybank and Gary Williams turning up at your door tipsily singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, what finer retro Albion way to see in the New Year than an invitation for you to feast your eyes on a Brighton football calendar from 1980?
In 1979/80, a company called Print For Sport Ltd launched some lavish A2-sized Soccer Action Calendars for each First Division club, some ‘top’ Second Division clubs (West Ham, Leicester, Sunderland, Newcastle and Burnley, Luton and QPR) and the England team. For just £2.49 each, you received one for your favourite team with twelve colour action shots of first-team players.
The item, advertised heavily in the likes of Shoot! Magazine and Match Weekly, also included red ‘You-Fix’ stickers allowing fans to mark match dates and opponents on the calendar itself. I suppose they could have pre-printed the fixtures directly onto the relevant dates themselves but this was what counted as ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’ in those days!
Here is the Brighton & Hove Albion calendar, lovingly scanned by yours truly:
In a clever, eye-catching design, Malcolm Poskett, Chris Cattlin and Peter Ward are the cover stars.
Then into January is… ermm, Brian Horton with a full head of hair in the perm? Well, it’s definitely Nobby’s signature on the bottom right but, as Alan Wares (Albion Roar) from North Stand Chat has identified, it’s Andy Rollings blocking the shot from Orient’s Alan Whittle in a memorable 3-3 draw. Peter O’Sullivan and Mark Lawrenson are in the background, along with Clark’s hair!
Next up is Malcolm Poskett, also in action against Orient, out to prove Alan Mullery was right to prefer him to Wardy in the number eight shirt for this match.
When Peter Ward does show up in March, it’s on a bad hair day.
Steve Foster had signed for the Seagulls in pre-season in the summer of 1979. Without a genuine match appearance for Brighton to his name yet, he strikes a pose for the camera instead.
In the same Blackburn game where he scored a goal in the midst of a smoke bomb going off, here’s Teddy Maybank challenging for the ball.
Eric Steele shows a safe pair of hands for the camera.
‘Viking’ Paul Clark on the ball, possibly against Luton in April 1979.
New signing John Gregory juggles the ball.
Veteran Chris Cattlin is star of the month for September 1980 even though his Albion playing were over by then.
Gary Williams carries the ball out against Blackburn.
Proving his acting skills are no better than his punditry skills, Mark Lawrenson fakes celebrating a goal!
And finally, Gerry Ryan goes for a dribble.
As you can see, 1st January 1980 fell on a Tuesday, whereas 1st January 2014 is a Wednesday, so you’ll be disappointed if you were hoping to print this out and use it, unamended, as your calendar for the New Year. Significantly, 1980 was also a leap year so you’ll have to wait all the way until 2036 before this calendar fits the bill again. Never mind! I hope that you are patient. In the meantime, Happy New Year!
This illuminating profile was included in the Brighton v Bristol Rovers programme of 1977/78:
The youngest player currently in Albion’s first team squad is the thickset young man with the blonde locks who signed just a short while ago from Southend with Gerry Fell moving to the Essex club as part of the deal.
Paul was born on September 14, 1958 at South Benfleet and until now has lived all his life in Essex, his parents’ home being at Basildon. He attended Beauchamp Comprehensive School and before joining Southend United played Sunday Soccer locally for Beech United and Wickford Town. At school he represented England Schoolboys and went on to gain International honours too at Youth level.
Since moving to Albion, Paul has taken his own flat in Lancing and this means that his driving is very limited. The owner of a Capri, Paul says that driving is a hobby but his pet ‘hate’ is crashing his car. With his surname spelt without an ‘e” one of the younger Albion players has already given him the nickname “Petula’ but his musical tastes are very different from that lady.
If you’re expecting Phil Collins to be mentioned next, you’re in for a surprise…
The likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are among his choices from the heavy rock scene while Clint Eastwood and David Hemmings are his favourite film stars. For one who comes from Southend it is perhaps hardly surprising that fish and chips together with Chinese dishes are his choices in the way of food.
Paul lists Australia as his favourite country having been there with the England Youth team and he has also been to Belgium, Holland and Monaco on tours.
His ambition is to one day make the full England side and hopefully to do so while playing for Brighton in the First Division.
Paul Clark announced his arrival with a powerful display at White Hart Lane in in November 1977, and was a regular up to promotion to Division One in 1979. Dubbed ‘Tiger’ for his ferocious tackling, he conceded a penalty within three minutes of his experience of First Division football, away to Manchester City in August 1979. When he limped off at West Brom the following month, it seemed his all-action style was taking its toll on his body. In the end, Clark only made nine League appearances for the side in that campaign, and became something of a forgotten figure by the end of the season.
Match magazine published a double-spread photo-feature to commemorate the Seagulls’ first ever win in the First Division:
After defeats to Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City, the taste of victory was most welcome. And it was surprisingly easy to obtain. From the Evening Argus, entitled ‘Real hot win for Seagulls’:
At their fourth attempt, Albion gained their first Division One win this afternoon, beating Bolton 3-1 before a 20,171 Goldstone crowd.
Albion were easily the better side and well deserved to beat unbeaten Bolton, who had previously drawn with Aston Villa and Liverpool and beaten Southampton.
Albion got off to a cracking start with a Peter Ward goal after 12 minutes. Paul Clark increased the lead ten minutes later.
After dominating the first half, Albion conceded a soft goal at 56 minutes when Mike Walsh sneaked in to head home following a corner.
Any doubts that Albion would be involved in a cliff-hanger finished were dispelled when skipper Brian Horton scored their third goal with 20 minutes remaining.
The disappointing crowd had full value for money as Albion triumphed with an all round team effort. They left the pitch to warm applause.
After defeat to Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City, this was a satisfactory breaking of the ice – and on a day when the temperatures soared!
Albion fielded an unchanged side with Ryan as sub while Bolton dropped Nicholson and introduced Burke for only his second League game. It was Foster’s First Division debut.
Horton shot over after four minutes following a strong run by Sayer, but already Bolton looked a well organised side.
When Bolton attacked down the left and then hit long balls through the middle, Foster got up each time to head vigorously away.
After only 12 minutes Worthington, who has returned to Bolton on Tuesday after playing in the United States, was spoken to be the referee for a foul. And from the free kick Albion took the lead through Ward following a neat one-two with Clark. The return pass found Ward moving into space and his finish was quite deadly to give Albion their first Division One goal at the Goldstone.
Back came Bolton and Horton did well to block a long range drive from McNab.
Next it was Lawrenson’s turn to snatch the ball off Gowling’s foot and Albion’s answer was to slow down the tempo with O’Sullivan dictating the tactics from midfield.
Maybank got his head to a long through ball by Lawrenson and it touched Walsh’s head and went for another corner. This time Foster went up for Gregory’s cross only for Bolton to clear.
The non-stop pressure paid off when Clark drove Albion further ahead at 22 minutes. Maybank pressed the ball down to him and Clark, belting in from the edge of the box, gave it everything and his shot kept low and sped very fast past McDonagh’s right hand.
It was the first time this season that Bolton had had two goals scored against them in a League match. They could not have complaint at being behind at this stage as Albion had struck a purple patch and were tearing them apart.
When Maybank was tripped he angrily demanded a foul, but the referee waved play-on. When Maybank persisted he was booked.
Horton headed just over the top at the half-hour from Williams’ cross. The move was surely worth another goal but Horton got up a fraction too high with his final effort.
The ease with which Albion were getting their crosses in was giving them a great deal of power and Gregory, in particular, was behind most of the pressure down the right. Also, Horton was winning his midfield battle with McNab.
When Ward put Sayer through, Bolton’s defence was in a terrible tangle and between them Burke and McDonagh were happy to scramble the ball away for a corner.
Only weight of numbers kept Ward out as another scramble took place by the near post as McDonagh was caught in two minds.
Albion’s work rate in the half had been tremendous considering the heat which made conditions all against good football.
Ward, receiving from O’Sullivan, had a shot charged down as the half-time whistle blew. Albion left the field to a standing ovation.
After 53 minutes Jones was booked for a foul on Ward. Before the free kick could be taken Nowak replaced Worthington. Foster moved smartly to get his head to a long through ball but could not avoid conceding a corner. The flag kick was taken by Greaves. When it swung out Walsh rushed from the edge of the area, got his head to it sharply and headed low past Moseley and a crowd of players from a good ten yards.
Now Bolton had something to fight for. Nowak had gone to the right wing and they looked to his pace to split Albion.
Bolton were coming much more into the game with 30 minutes remaining, and McNab was allowed to run 25 yards without a challenge. Luckily for Albion his final effort went past the final post.
Walsh was booked for a foul on Gregory at 65 minutes. Then came a tremendous mix up in Bolton’s goalmouth when McDonagh succeeded in grabbing the ball from Maybank on the line.
And at 70 minutes Horton eased Albion’s anxiety with a spectacular 25-yard goal. A free-kick by O’Sullivan found Horton unmarked and when he saw McDonagh off his line, he placed his shot perfectly over his head and into the back of the net.
A minute later Clark was replaced by Ryan.
In the last five minutes Williams had a tremendous run down the left, but when the pass came through Ward ballooned over the top.
Although the next Division One match was lost narrowly, away to Spurs, Brighton and Hove Albion’s fine September continued as they beat a very experienced Ipswich Town side in the next League fixture at the Goldstone. By the time the side stormed back from 2-0 down to snatch a point against West Bromwich Albion towards the end of the month, the side stood 16th in the table. Could it be that this top flight survival business was looking like a doddle?
In the days before the internet took hold, finding out the up-to-date news about your club was a lot harder. The Seagull Line, Brighton 8049 was set up by the Post Office on 13 April 1979 and was one of the first of its kind in the country.
In the Brighton v Bristol Rovers programme from that month, it said:
The service started this week and 24 hours a day information may be heard on Brighton & Hove Albion, simply by dialling 8049… remember it rhymes… 8049, the Seagull line. Last Monday at the Adur hotel when our weekly lottery draw was held there was a chance to know just what Buzby is all about and to hear about the Seagull line. Our picture shows Paul Clark and Peter Ward happily accompanied by a young lady who is clearly hoping to ‘Make someone happy.’
With his catchphrase ‘And it’s bad news for the Albion’, often heard when reporting on an away fixture, commentator and programme editor Tony Millard is remembered as the mouthpiece of the premium rate service. He’d begin “You’ve called the Seagull Line on Brighton 8049, that’s the number for Albion information every day… 24 hours a day…” After informing fans of the telephone number that they know about because they’ve just dialled it, he would then precede to waffle on about various matters of little interest, such as how the reserves got on, the groundsman’s opinion on the state of the pitch before next Saturday’s game before… FINALLY!… giving supporters the news they wanted at the end. Devious tactics, Tony!
From the memory of Storer 68 from North Stand Chat:
“You’ve called the Seagull Line on Brighton 8049. The line for Albion information everyday, 24 hours a day. Later we’ll have news from Wembley where the Albion were playing Manchester United in the F.A. Cup final, but first, the results of Seagull Lottery number 762 drawn by assistant physio Mike Yaxley at the Swan pub in Falmer…”
With the high calls costs incurred, there are several stories of young Brighton followers getting into trouble with their parents for running up huge phone bills. Some fans even reminisce about their parents suspecting that they were calling premium rate sex lines! The mums and dads were only persuaded otherwise by calling the number themselves, ‘although Millard did breathe quite heavily if I recall,’ adds Easy 10, another Albion supporter.
Even though it was a premium rate service, this rather significant detail did not feature in the adverts in the matchday programme. Neverthless, some wonderful artwork appeared advertising the service. Seagull Line was replaced by a more general, premium rate service called Sussex Sportsline in 1987/88 before making a comeback two seasons later on 0898 and 0891 numbers. Anyway, enjoy this stroll down Seagull Line Memory Lane…
1981/82 – 1982/83
1983/84 – 1984/85
1985/86 – 1986/87