10 things you might not know about Brighton and Hove Albion

Posted On 07 Mar 2015 at 3:42 pm

1) The Seagulls were the only professional team in Sussex from 1920 to 2011 until Crawley Town were promoted to the Football League.

2) The club was founded on 24 June 1901 at the Seven Stars public house in Ship Street, Brighton. Until 1998 it was believed that the Albion were formed in 1900 but this was in fact when Brighton and Hove Rangers were founded.

3) Johnny Dixon, who Albion signed for £55,000 in January 2008, is now an acclaimed film director and producer. Dixon turned his ankle in his first Albion training session, delaying his debut by two months. He made just five Seagulls appearances and had his contract cancelled by mutual consent in January 2009. He dated Holly Vallance.

4) Four first team players missed the 1983 FA Cup Final for varying reasons.

Neil McNab was loaned out to Leeds United in December 1982 and played for the Lillywhites in the third round so he was cup tied. Leeds’ season then finished on 14 May and McNab agonisingly had to come back to Hove and train with his team mates in the week leading up to the final, knowing that he couldn’t play.

Terry Conner also played for Leeds in that season’s competition, joining Albion from the Yorkshiremen in March. He too was ineligible.

Goalkeeper Perry Digweed was sent off in a reserve match in early May 1983 and was banned for the final and the replay although he was unlikely to have been selected.

Captain Steve Foster was also banned from the final, having received a caution in a match at Notts County in April of that year. The logistics of the disciplinary system meant that Foster would be banned for the last league match against Norwich and also the FA Cup Final. Albion took the FA to the High Court to try to have the ban rescinded.

The matter was national news and the outcome featured prominently on the evening news on the Tuesday before the final. Fozzie’s ban was upheld although he played in the replay.

5) Albion survived an EGM to have them expelled from the Football League in July 1997 just two months after saving themselves from being relegated and losing league status.

Former chairman Bill Archer failed to provide a £500, 000 performance bond required as a deposit to ensure that Albion would fulfil their fixtures while homeless. When this was not lodged on time the Football League looked to impose the strongest sanction possible. 47 clubs voted to keep Albion in the league with 17 against. The remaining 7 abstained. Oldham Athletic were the most vocal of those against.

6) Albion played a friendly against the New Zealand national team at the Goldstone in 1992.

7) Goalkeeper John Keeley once had to be fetched from the Stadium Pub in Hove – almost a mile from the Goldstone – to play a league match. Keeley was just recovering from injury at the time but replacement keeper Perry Digweed had not reported for duty by 2.15pm. It later transpired that Digweed was stuck in traffic on the A23 and Keeley played in a draw after allegedly having downed a couple of pints.

8) Digweed was never far from drama. In September 1988 during a match at home against Birmingham City the goalkeeper collided with an opposition player and suffered a ruptured urethra. Minutes after receiving treatment Digweed noticed blood pouring from his groin and raced from the pitch with the ball still in play. His condition on arrival on at the Royal Sussex County Hospital was described as critical. He went on to make a full recovery and was out until August 1989. He wore tracksuit bottoms in every match afterwards and was voted player of season in 1991.

9) Albion have not played Everton since 1983 or Oxford United since 1995.

10) Phil Stant and Russell Osman played for the Albion after being dismissed as managers of Lincoln City and Plymouth Argyle respectively.

Brighton and Hove Albion’s next match is away to Reading on Tuesday 10 March. Kick-off is at 8pm.

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