Tag Archives: robert codner

Small, Codner, Wilkins

Here’s Mike Small


Here’s Robert Codner


And here’s Dean Wilkins


All excellent players on their day. All plucked from non-league football or as English players brought back from abroad, hallmarks of a Barry Lloyd signing for the club at the time.

On Saturday 15th September 1990, all three players scored for Brighton in a 3-2 victory over Charlton Athletic at the Goldstone Ground. Small, Codner, Wilkins. Nothing unusual about that.

The following Wednesday, 19th, Brighton played their next match, against south coast rivals Portsmouth, again winning 3-2. And you’ve guessed it, the scorers were… Small, Codner and Wilkins. In that order. I wish I could say the attendance was exactly the same for both games, but that wouldn’t be true!

Then, the next Saturday, Brighton were away to Bristol City, 2-0 down at half-time. Could the miraculous happen again with a stirring 3-2 comeback courtesy of our famous goalscoring trio? Sadly, it was not to be. Although Mike Small scored, Codner and Wilkins didn’t and Brighton ended up losing 3-1.

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Robert Codner: Talent in his boots and balance sheets in his briefcase


An interesting article in Shoot! Magazine about moonlighting midfielder Robert Codner. This piece is from the early part of the 1988/89 season:

Brighton’s Second Division stock may have been devalued by their loss-making start to the season but for manager Barry Lloyd there is one glimmer of future prosperity amid the gloom. That’s the form of Robert Codner, the city whizz-kid with talent in his boots and balance sheets in his briefcase. Lloyd paid GM Vauxhall Conference club Barnet £115,000 for Codner in September, fighting off the First Division money men of Tottenham, Millwall and Wimbledon, and Second Division Leicester City, just days after he paid the same sum for Barnet defender Nicky Bissett.

But his signing is no ordinary rags-to-riches tale of the non-League nobody who found the football pitches of the Football League paved with gold. For the 23-year-old midfielder, while keen to make a living from full-time soccer, has kept his job as a financial consultant in London’s West End. “My work is going to be part-time now, rather than my football,” says Codner, adding with a touch of understatement: “I suppose it isn’t all that common in the League.”

“My work doesn’t affect my football. It probably helps as I am able to take my mind off the game if things go badly. If you are out of the side you can get depressed but I have another avenue into which I can channel my energy. Now I am a footballer people want to be associated with me and it is easier to get clients,” he says. Indeed he’s already taking advantage of his new-found fame, interesting SHOOT’s reporter in his services!

Unsurprisingly, having hung up his boots, Robert Codner is now a football agent. I wonder if he fulfilled his stated ambition when he was at the Goldstone Ground: his goal to be become a millionaire.