Obscured by referee Bill Bombroff (Bristol), here is Teddy Maybank getting his marching orders during Brighton’s match with Sheffield United in March 1979:
As expected, Andy Rollings and Brian Horton do not look very happy about the decision.
Despite being reduced to ten men, Mullery’s side ran out 2-0 winners against the relegation strugglers. Unsurprisingly, in Bill Chalmers’ match report, he focussed on this significant moment, and the Albion boss’ angry response – which was directed at his player rather than the official:
No-nonsense boss Alan Mullery last night lashed out furiously at Teddy Maybank – and fined the player a week’s wages.
Maybank was sent-off in the 10th minute after a bad-tempered skirmish as Brighton rocked to the top of the Second Division. Maybank’s moment of madness ended with Sheffield centre-half John McPhail on the floor and referee Bill Bombroff waving the red card.
“It was ridiculous,” roared Mullery. “Maybank was tackled by McPhail and then he stupidly retaliated. His action was totally irresponsible and he will be fined a week’s wages by the club.”
The opening minutes were stormy and ill-tempered and McPhail Andy Rollings and the Brighton defender was left with a broken nose. With only ten men Brighton looked First Division material with some fine-flowing football but the bad-tempered tactics persisted. Fifteen minutes after the Maybank incident, Brighton’s Gary Williams and Mike Guy clashed and the Sheffield man promptly followed Maybank into the dressing room.
The second half was all action with Brighton dominating the exchanges. Shots by Brighton players rained in from all angles and Sheffield keeper Steven Conroy performed miracles until the 62nd minute.
A corner from Williams dropped to the feet of Mark Lawrenson, 12 yards out on the far post, and he drilled home a precision shot through a crowd of players.
Three minutes from time, winger Gerry Ryan made the points safe for Brighton when he slammed home a shot from ten yards.
Obviously, as manager, Alan Mullery was well within his rights to clamp down on a lack of discipline by one of his players. However, it’s not as if the Seagulls boss was a shining example of keeping his cool. Not just as manager, but also in his playing days. After all, he was the first England international to be sent off, when he understandably but unwisely retaliated against Yugoslavia in the European Championships in 1968.
With Maybank threatened with three match ban, Mullery went shopping for Martin Chivers from Norwich for £15,000. He explained:
‘I am buying Chivers to reduce the risks. Everyone at Brighton has worked damned hard for promotion and i don’t see why our ambition should be ruined because a player is suspended.’
Chivers was signed by Norwich from Swiss club Servette before his move to the Goldstone. The 33 year old striker said this:
‘Alan and I had a great association at Spurs He knows just what I’m capable of doing. But I did tell him I am no longer the player he knew.’