Tag Archives: terry connor

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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Andy Ritchie and Terry Connor are… men with a mission!

Shoot! magazine lifted the lid on the transfer swop between Brighton and Leeds United in March 1983:


Andy Ritchie believes he has gone up in the world, despite stepping down into the Second Division to join Leeds United from Brighton.

That’s why he had no hesitation leaving the South Coast club, despite the fact that Brighton had reached the F.A. Cup Semi-Final.

“Sure there was a chance of a Wembley appearance but nothing is certain in football,” he said after succumbing to Leeds manager Eddie Gray’s persuasive tongue.

“Missing out on Wembley is a bit of a blow. but as I see it it’s only a matter of time before I’m back in the First Division – with Leeds.” The former England Under-21 striker explains: “Let’s face it – Eddie is a player I’ve always admired. He’s proving a first-class manager and I’m certain he will lead United to promotion next season.

“Ive only played a handful of games with them but I’ve seen enough to realise that there are some highly-promising youngsters in the side – midfielders John Sheridan and recent Scottish signing John Donnelly, for instance.” Gray, who says Ritchie has the potential to become a top-class striker, commented: “I have a high regard for the boy’s ability. I have played against him several times so I know what he is capable of.

“I remember him scoring a hat-trick against us when he was only 18 when he was with Manchester United. He was brilliant that day.

“I only hope he can reproduce that sort of form for us!”

Twenty-two-year-old Ritchie, who was soon among the goals at Elland Road, cost Brighton £500,000 when they signed him from Manchester United and was their top scorer with 14 goals last season.

But this campaign hasn’t seen him at his best, perhaps because he was in and out of the side and managerial upsets did not help.

So he was delighted when Leeds moved for him just before Easter. And the man who played a key role in persuading the Manchester-born striker to move back North was Brighton team-mate Nell McNab, who spent a month on loan with Leeds in mid-season.
“Nell was very impressed and happy during his stay at Elland Road and I think he would have been happy to stay there, had the financial aspect been sorted out satisfactorily,” says Ritchie.

“After I’d flown up to see Eddie Gray I could see why. He has a marvellous knack of getting on •with people and he communicates with players. That’s half the battle of being a successful manager.'” So Ritchie has committed himself to Leeds United’s promotion cause!


But the man involved in the no cash exchange deal, coloured striker Terry Connor, was immediately plunged into a desperate relegation battle with Brighton.

After making his debut at 17, when his early burst of goals helped to keep Leeds in the First Division, Connor went on to make 107 first team appearances, scoring 22 goals.

Always a favourite with the fans, who love a local lad, Connor’s ambition was to.help the club back into the First Division.

“‘I’d never imagined myself playing for anyone else but Leeds,” he said. “I was born and bred in the city. My parents and friends live there, and really Elland Road was a second home to me.

“So it was a bit of a shock when I was told to fly to Brighton to discuss terms with their manager, Jimmy Melia.

“But once the fact had sunk in that Leeds were willing to sell me I decided to throw in my lot with the Seasiders.

“1 knew I wouldn’t be able to play in the F.A. Cup because I am Cup-tied, but I was encouraged by their faith in me and their belief that I could act as a foil for big Mick Robinson.

“Together we ought to be able to get quite a few goals.”

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The walking wounded

Gerry Ryan, Chris Hutchings, Justin Fashanu and Terry Connor posed before Brighton’s match with Blackburn at the Goldstone in September 1985:


Making up a ‘plaster cast’, the photo illustrated how Chris Cattlin was down almost to a bare minimum of players from which to choose his team. Ryan’s injury was caused by the terrible challenge by Crystal Palace’s Henry Hughton in the previous season. He never played for the Seagulls again and eventually had to retire, receiving a benefit match in August 1986.

By contrast, Hutchings recovered by October, eventually making 29 League appearances, mainly as right-back. Even so, he was surprisingly dropped for the FA Cup Quarter-Final against Southampton in March, a decision that Cattlin readily admitted was a mistake, before being restored for the rest of the campaign.

Fashanu also enjoyed an extended run after the controversial striker made his return in the 4-0 defeat by Liverpool in the Milk Cup at the end of October 1985. While never quite hitting the heights of form, he was ever-present in the number 9 shirt in December and January. His last game for the Seagulls was in the memorable FA Cup tie at Peterborough in February 1985 before he fell foul of recurrent knee injury problems.

It was Connor, though, who made the biggest impact upon his return. He had limped off against his former side Leeds in the 1-0 home defeat at the start of September. It took two months to recover and yet the centre-forward plundered a very creditable 14 goals in the rest of the season, one short of top scorer Dean Saunders.

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Terry Connor’s own goal

Terry Connor was undoubtedly a firm favourite with Brighton supporters:


Signed from Leeds United in March 1983, as a direct swop with Andy Ritchie, the powerful centre-forward struggled to find his range at first. Nevertheless, he got the winner against Coventry on 23rd April 1983, Brighton’s last ever victory in the top flight.

Over the following four seasons in Division Two, Connor blossomed at the Albion, hitting 50 goals in 146 League appearances. The strikes mark him out in history as Albion’s most prolific striker in the second tier. However, I doubt this bustling forward scored many headers as spectacular as this one past Perry Digweed in Brighton’s match against Norwich at Carrow Road in April 1986:

The clip is featured in the first edition of Danny Baker’s ‘Own Goals and Gaffs’ VHS tapes.


Love the Tiger feat

Here’s Chris Cattlin’s formidable Albion squad ahead of the 1984/85 season. Having beaten Liverpool the season before, the Seagulls had cup pedigree and feared no-one in a knockout competition.


When Brighton drew Hull City in the FA Cup in both 1984/85 and 1985/86, they achieved satisfying victories in both encounters. However, it could not paper over the fact that the Tigers, led by player-boss Brian Horton, were set to surpass the Albion in the League.

As Chris Cattlin wrote in his programme notes before the third round clash of 1984/85:

“I would like to welcome Brian Horton and his team. He and I have many happy memories of our days together with the Albion both on and off the field. I know he will be particularly keen to do well against his old club, but he will certainly remember his happy days at the Goldstone.

I am sure he shares my memories and will want his team to win but I hope I don’t see anything of that bristling beard until around 5 o’clock… then I am sure we’ll have a drink together and the years will go rolling back.”

In the match, played in front of 11,681 in the January frost, ex-Albion striker Michael Ring was also re-united with the Goldstone, playing up front for Hull City:


However, it was the Seagulls’ Chris Hutchings who scored the only goal in a second half counter-attack:

By the end of the season, while Albion narrowly missed out on returning to the top flight, Hull City had succeeded in clinching promotion from the Third Division.

When the sides met in the Second Division in 1985/86, goals from Connor, Wilson and Fashanu firmly put the new boys in their place, as Hull crashed 3-1 at the Goldstone in November 1985.

In the FA Cup, in January, in the Fourth Round at Boothferry Park, Albion prevailed again. A Cup Indian sign, perhaps? Or maybe a home jinx, seeing as Hull have not beaten Albion away to this day since 1965. On 25th January 1986, Dean Saunders and Terry Connor (2) scored the goals to take Albion through in a 3-2 victory. The rapidly improving Hull City did get revenge in the League, however, beating Albion on the last day of the season, and pushing up to sixth position, five places above the fading Seagulls, now managed on a temporary basis by assistant George Petchey (below), after Cattlin had been given the sack days before.


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To Elland back with Michael Robinson

A season before, in 1980/81, Brighton bested mid-table Leeds to secure their Division One status. The following season, the positions were reversed as the sides faced each other in the penultimate fixture.


Injury had hampered Michael Robinson in the campaign. However, he was fit enough to give Brighton the lead at relegation-threatened Leeds in the fixture on 15th May 1982. It was his 30th goal for the Seagulls in the top flight:

Bravely, the Albion striker even had the cheek to give Leeds supporters the thumbs up. However, bolstered by Terry Connor up front, the home side did hit back in the final few minutes to come away with victory:

As El Presidente said on North Stand Chat:

The Leeds match in 81/2 was one of the most terrifying experiences of all time. When Robbo scored and gave the thumbs down sign to Leeds, if the score had remained the same they would have been relegated, as it was their last home game of the season.

Their fans went mental, and the nutters in the opposite end to their kop spent the next 20 minutes giving the 80 or so of us Albion fans in the away end cut throat signs. The police were genuinely worried about protecting us at the end of the match.

Fortunately Leeds scored twice in injury time, their relegation fight was still on, and all was forgotten in terms of kicking shit out of us.

Four days later they went to West Brom, lost, were relegated, and burned down part of one of the stands at The Hawthorns in a fit of wild and indiscriminate hooliganism.

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Last hurrah for yellow away kit

Worn by the likes of Steve Foster below, this all-yellow Adidas number was Brighton’s away kit in the First Division from 1980/81 to 1982/83:


Its most famous appearance came in the 1983 FA Cup Semi-Final when Brighton beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1.

What is forgotten is that it was worn several times for the following season, 1983/84.

By then, though, with Albion in the Second Division, pinstripes and V-necks were all the rage. Here’s young winger Steve Penney showing his trickery while donning Albion’s sublime new white away kit with blue and red pinstripes:


You can also see this adidas shirt in more detail at Phil Shelley’s Old Football Shirts website.

However, there was a sartorially tricky League fixture in the 1983/84 campaign at Blackburn Rovers, and a cup tie at Bristol Rovers (Milk Cup) that meant both the blue home shirt and the white away top could not be used as change kit.

Instead, Albion were forced to reuse the previous season’s yellow shirts, minus reference to the lapsed sponsorship deal with British Caledonian Airways, of course. Despite the flakey picture quality, you can just about make out those flappy blue collars here in the Bristol Rovers second leg in October 1983, where Albion prevailed 5-4 on aggregate:

For a closer look, here’s, ahem, ‘Jerry Connors’ smashing in the vital away goal:


In the next round of the Milk Cup, in November 1983, Brighton travelled to Upton Park, Again they revived their old yellow kit, this time going down 1-0. Here’s Alan Young on the ball:


By the following season, 1984/85, adidas launched a new yellow change shirt for the Seagulls. It was worn in this 2-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers:

Fast forward three more seasons, to 1987/88, Spall took over the supply of Albion’s playing and replica kit, introducing a snazzy yellow shirt with shadow stripes. It was the first yellow away shirt worn in a promotion season since the Bukta design under Alan Mullery all those years ago.

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King Connor the Younger


In November 1986, Terry Connor was selected as an over-age player for England Under-21s, and scored an excellent goal in the 1-1 draw with Yugoslavia in Peterborough. That month, the powerful centre-forward was interviewed in Shoot! magazine:

Brighton’s new England Under-21 cap Terry Connor – an over age player – is horrified at the thought of being called a “veteran”.

“Don’t call me that,” he pleads. “I’m one of the young ones.”

A veteran he isn’t, but it’s a common mistake to assume that he might be older than 24 – his birthday coming just two days before the European championship game with Yugoslavia.

At least one club visiting the Goldstone Ground this season thought he was probably a few years older.

Explained manager Alan Mullery: “You tend to forget that Terry was only 17 when he made his debut for Leeds United:’ “I got such an early break at Leeds because the club were rebuilding their side after those days when they were riding high,” says Connor.

“Eddie Gray was still in the team when I came in. He was the model professional. It was terrific to have someone with his experience alongside you.

“It was Eddie who sold me in part exchange for Andy Ritchie. It turned out to be a good move for both of us. Andy is still scoring at Leeds and I’m happy at Brighton.

“I would like to get 2O goals this season – that’s my target. And if we get it together we could challenge for promotion,” adds Connor.

“We played ever so well against Nottingham Forest in the Littlewoods Cup at Brighton, drawing 0-0, but then went to O1dham and were terrible.

“It’s a problem for us finding consistency. In some matches we’ve learned we just cannot rely on our football. We’ve got to battle. That’s a point Alan Mullery has driven home.”

Watching Connor it’s tempting to believe he must receive special sprint training.

But Connor doesn’t even use spikes, revealing: “A lot of players wear them to help their speed but not me.

“I train in boots. And when do you ever sprint 100 yards in a match? It’s short distance speed that’s important. Quickness off the mark is one of the most vital assets in a striker’s armoury.

“I’m delighted with my international recognition but it’s success at Brighton that’s important for all of us.”

Despite that encouraging showing against Nottingham Forest at the Goldstone, success proved elusive for the Seagulls as the season became increasingly traumatic. In an infamous stitch-up, Alan Mullery was replaced by Barry Lloyd in January 1987 and it was all downhill from there. Bearing the full force of a cost-cutting drive, the depleted Albion side plummeted down the Division Two table and were relegated.

Connor performed admirably, though, amassing a very creditable nine goals in 38 League matches for a struggling side. Unsurprisingly, he was voted ‘Player of the Season’ before joining Portsmouth, newly promoted to the First Division, in July 1987. The fee was £200,000. Not bad for an old man!


Brighton players training at Hove Park, 1983


Minus a proper training ground, Brighton players used to practise their skills at the nearby park in Hove. Still, they seem in pretty good spirits here. Neil McNab, Gerry Ryan, Jimmy Case, Gary Stevens, Gary Howlett, Chris Ramsey and Terry Connor all smile for the camera in their classic adidas apparel.

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South coast switch for Terry Connor


It was a sad day for Albion fans when goalscorer Terry Connor left relegated Brighton for Portsmouth. From summer 1987 (I’m not sure if it’s from Shoot! or Match):

A short move down the South Coast has put Terry Connor on course for a return to the First Division. Twenty-four-year-old Terry was linked with a number of clubs during the season, but his £200,000 move to Portsmouth came out of the blue with the player insisting: “It’s been claimed that I said I would never play for Brighton in the Third Division, but that’s just not true. I never said anything of the sort. I admit that last season was a disaster for the club but I hadn’t asked for a transfer and just wanted some time to think about my future. Then I got a call from Brighton manager Barry Lloyd and he told me Portsmouth had come in for me and the club were prepared to let me go. No player likes to drop down a division and, of course, everybody wants to play in the top flight. I’m no different and, if the club were prepared to sell me for the right price and I wanted to get into the First Division, then it’s quite simply good business for all concerned.”

Connor had previously experienced top flight football with Leeds and Brighton:

His flirtation with the First Division ended when he was swapped with Andy Ritchie and arrived at the Goldstone ground just in time to see the club drop in the Second. “Leeds were my home-town club and it took me about a season to settle in Brighton,” says Terry. “Then, earlier this season, I won my first England Under-21 cap, managed to get a goal and, at that stage, Brighton were just below half-way in the Second and there wasn’t too much to worry about. But there were problems in the boardroom, with the manager and with the players and all of a sudden we were in the Third.

The move did not go well for Connor. Having been relegated from Division One with Leeds in 1982 and Brighton in 1983, he made it an unwelcome hat-trick as Portsmouth under Alan Ball crashed out of the top flight after just one season, in 1988. As a manager, of course, the ex-Goldstone favourite was also in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers as caretaker boss as the side slid out of the Premier League in 2012.