Tag Archives: sammy nelson

The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue

Here are the the 12″ and 7″ versions of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup Final song, with ‘The Goldstone Rap’ as the B-Side, released on Energy Records:


With superb attention to detail, the front and back covers had lavish designs that helped to soften the blow to club sponsors British Caledonian Airways, whose name would not feature on the players’ shirts on Cup Final day, due to TV regulations at the time:



Back row: Michael Robinson, Steve Gatting, Gordon Smith, Graham Moseley, Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Jimmy Case;

Middle row: Sammy Nelson, Giles Stille, Neil Smillie, Tony Grealish, Graham Pearce, Gary Howlett, Gerry Ryan;

Front row: Terry Connor, Chris Ramsey.

I originally bought the 12″ from one of the second hand record shops on Trafalgar Road, Brighton. Not sure how much it cost me, but it was considerably less than the £50 forked out by one of The Seagulls Love Review fanzine lads, Stefan, at a BHACHS auction at Withdean about five years ago!

You can see a dance performance to this song here:

The song can be heard in its entirety below:

In case you want to have a sing-a-long, the rather corny lyrics are:

come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
come on you seagulls, we’ll see you through
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

verse 1
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
we are the team who’ll be out there for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 2
here we are on the road to wembley way
fighting hard for our place on that day
for the pride of our town down by the sea
we’ll do our best to bring them victory

verse 3
cause we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

reprise chorus

verse 4
as we go on our way to meet the best
once again we’ll be put to the test
but we’ll play like we always try to do
we won’t give up until the game is through

verse 5
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 6
follow the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue (twice)

reprise chorus with last line sang twice

I have been told that the lyrics of Albion’s FA Cup final song were reproduced on an A4 sheet which was distributed over the counter at the Seagulls Shop.

In the end, the song reached number 65 in the UK singles chart. Not a bad achievement considering the song wasn’t all that good!

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Stick your Muhren and Thijssen. We’ve got two Israeli internationals!


In the early 1980s, when foreign imports were rare, Tottenham had the duo Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa, and Ipswich Town had Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen. Despite Brighton making a play for Peruvian World Cup stars Percy Rojas and Juan Carlos Oblitas in February 1979, nothing happened despite both featuring in a match behind closed doors at Hove Greyhound Stadium.

Eventually, though, we had Moshe Gariani and Jacob Cohen. You can see these two gods of Israeli football together in this image above, with Cohen on the right sporting the larger perm. I hope you’re grateful as, to track it down, it required much buying of Israel international football programmes from the 1980s, on the off-chance of a photo of the pair!

It took until May 1980 for Brighton & Hove Albion to join the growing trend of bringing ‘continentals’ into the First Division. The Seagulls had played a friendly match against the Israeli national team, managed by ex-Albion player Jack Mansell, in February 1980, triumphing 2-1 at the Ashkelon Stadium via goals from Mark Lawrenson and Peter Ward. Suitably impressed by the performance of opposition player Moshe Gariani, Mullery bought the 22 year old’s services for £40,000 three months later.

BBC reporter Alan Green (yes, that one) described Gariani as “one of Israel’s big successes. Looks very like Kevin Keegan and runs like him as well! Plays mostly on the left-hand side but always tries to keep in the thick of the action.”

Thanks to Paul from Cult Zeros, I’ve found this impressive footage of Gariani scoring for Maccabi Nathanya in the side’s 1979/80 championship-winning season:

As part of the transfer, Brighton played Maccabi Nethanya for the world-renowned Jewish Chronicle Cup in July 1980.

In 1980/81, Shoot! Magazine reported:

The club’s line-up is unlikely to bear the name of Mullery’s fourth signing in the early stages of this season. The club’s coaches reckon Moshe Gariani will take at least four months to adapt before he is tried in the First Division, but more than one of the experts is confident Gariani, an aggressive midfield player who runs hard at defenders, will be pushing McNab hard if the former Bolton player fails to produce the goods.


Much earlier than expected, Gariani was an unused sub in the 2-2 draw at Tottenham in August 1980 before playing seventeen minutes of First Division football at Southampton the following month, after coming on for Gerry Ryan in a 3-1 defeat. Three matches later, the Israeli was again an unused substitute in the 2-1 League Cup home defeat against chocolate shirted Coventry. And that was that. Gariani had no other opportunities to impress in the first team. Although he featured in some pre-season squad photo shoots for the following campaign, he was sold to Tel Aviv in August 1981.

In between Gariani’s one appearance and his departure, Brighton fans were treated to the similarly brief English football career of his Israeli compatriot Jacob Cohen.

Jacob Cohen (or ‘Yaacov Cohen’ as he was often listed in international match programmes) had already been an Israeli international for four years by the time he arrived at Brighton in August 1980 for a trial. Once more, Jack Mansell played a part, recommending Cohen who was watched by Albion chief scout Jimmy Melia. Eventually, £40,000 was enough to buy him in October 1980. jacobcohen

Having made his debut as substitute in a 0-0 stalemate at Stoke City that month, Cohen (filling in for the injured Gary Williams) followed up with three successive starting appearances in the left-back position, against Manchester City, Arsenal and Middlesbrough. Unfortunately, all three matches were lost but still, that’s quite a lot of minutes more than Gariani managed at the Goldstone.

Having been substituted against Middlebrough, Cohen then lost the number three shirt to Gary Stevens and had to be content with two more substitute appearances, at Leeds in November and then a home win against Sunderland in early December, before his Albion career also petered out. He joined Israeli side Bethsheba FC after the 1980/81 season ended. In the Northern Ireland v Israel programme from November 1981, BBC reporter Alan Green says after his short stay at Brighton, Cohen “went back to Israel a very disappointed man.” He describes Cohen as “very much an attacking back in the Sammy Nelson mould but consequently leaves plenty of space for right-wingers.”

The following season, Brighton made do by signing the real Sammy Nelson, joining in a £30,000 deal from Arsenal.

As for the homeward bound Israel internationals, not much is widely known about what happened to their careers after. Never mind, though. Because Cult Zeros, a company that specialises in custom-made football T-shirts of celebrated and not-so-celebrated players, have launched a range of Moshe Gariani and Jacob Cohen t-shirts. And they look fantastic! I went with this design:


You can buy the Jacob Cohen T-shirt here

And the Moshe Gariani tee here

I had some thoughts about some slogan ideas. How about these?


And if you’re worried about space, you can make room in your wardrobe possibly by throwing your ‘Hola Gus’ T-shirt out.

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