5 things we’ve thought about since Brighton & Hove Albion last played a Premier League match in front of a crowd at the Amex

Posted On 06 Dec 2020 at 9:16 pm

Two thousand fans are due to attend the Amex stadium tomorrow evening (Monday 7 December) to watch Brighton and and Hove Albion take on Southampton.

It will be the first time that fans have been admitted for a competitive fixture since leap year day nine months ago.

Here are a few things we’ve considered since that fateful match against Crystal Palace.

1) The announcement on the evening of 12 March 2020 that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had tested positive for covid-19 was shocking and almost unbelievable but paled into insignificance with what Boris Johnson announced 10 days later. Since then Prince Charles, Prince William, the Prime Minister himself and even Mo Salah have tested positive for coronavirus.

2) The decision to play behind closed doors has reminded us in a way of Albion’s days playing at Gillingham, especially in 1998. When players such as Richie Barker, Paul Emblem and Ian Culverhouse never played for the Seagulls in front of a crowd in Brighton and Hove. It’s encouraging that from tomorrow at least, some fans can finally see Tariq Lamptey and Danny Welbeck kick a ball for the Seagulls at the Amex.

3) We missed the football but also the smells of the Amex. The warm pastry aroma  of Piglets Pies, the waft of Harvey’s around the lounges and concourses. Not forgetting of course the various extravagant after-shaves you get a whiff of in the 1901 areas.

4) It’s hard not to consider the exile many fans will have felt, from missing a twice monthly day out. That’s what it is nowadays. Football stadiums are like mini hamlets or villages with many arriving early to sample the pre-match entertainment and moving around the stadium post-match. Meeting  with family friends in other parts of the Amex, to where they sit, and drinking and chatting until the early evening.

5) But what we all missed most was two home matches against Liverpool and Manchester United and a full capacity crowd cheering Albion on at the Amex. Of course we may not get the chance to see the north west giants in Brighton until 2022, depending on the next fixture list. Although let’s hope its not another 34 years.

Monday can’t come soon enough. Up the Albion!

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