As Albion take on Manchester City at the Amex in what is possibly the most eagerly anticipated football match in the world today, we look back at the history between the Seagulls and City.
1) In the very late 1970s and early 1980s Albion thrashed City twice scoring four goals in two fixtures in 1979 and 1983. The 4-0 win on 29 January 1983, in part, helped to ensure the Seagulls trip to the 1983 FA Cup Final.
2) Later on in 1989 the relegation-threatened Seagulls beat City 2-1 at the Goldstone. However, the match is remembered for the infamous ball boy Keith Cuss – probably the oldest ball boy ever in the UK. As City attacked Seagulls in the final minutes, defender Keith Dublin whacked the ball out of play. Instead of catching the ball and handing it to a City player, Cuss headed the ball out into Newtown Road. City were incensed, Albion embarrassed and a disgraced Cuss was never again to sit on an upturned crate on the touchline and order 11-year-old boys around at an Albion home match.
3) Albion first played City in 1924. The Manchester side thrashed Albion 5-1 at the Goldstone. The clubs didn’t meet again for 55 years when City won again in Albion’s debut top flight season in 1979.
4) The Seagulls famously beat City on penalties in the League Cup second round in 2008. The only player involved on that night likely to play in today’s fixture is City captain Vincent Kompany.
5) The 1999 Division Two Play Off Final between Gillingham and City featured one ex and one future Albion player who made a significant contribution to its outcome. Paul Dickov, who played for the Seagulls on loan from Arsenal in 1994, scored City’s vital injury time equaliser. Guy Butters, who graced Withdean from 2002 to 2008 and is still a lounge host at the Amex, missed the vital fifth penalty for Gillingham in the following shoot out. This ensured it was City who were promoted from the third tier.
6) This afternoon could the first time ever the Premier League trophy or any equivalent is presented in Brighton and Hove – an amazing moment for two clubs who just 20 years ago were plying their respective trades in the third and fourth tiers of English football.