An auspicious date for Brighton and Hove Albion
The 29th of January has been a good date for Albion since at least 1983 when they thrashed the then unfashionable Manchester City 4-0 at the Goldstone.
Goals from Jimmy Case and Neil Smillie and two from the late Micheal Robinson ensured Albion went through to the FA Cup fifth round to play Liverpool, and that John Bond was sacked as City manager.
Robbo’s second goal was shown all over terrestrial TV over the following days, in the wake of Bond’s sacking.
Of course that year Albion almost went all the way – I promised I wouldn’t mention it again, Gordon.
Albion were at it again on January’s pre-penultimate day in 1984 – as Liverpool’s superstars descended on Hove for another FA Cup fourth round tie.
Superstars such as Mark Lawrenson, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Phil Neal (alright that might be pushing it) came with the intent of avenging the previous season’s fifth round defeat and ruining Bob Paisley’s FA Cup dream.
The goals came from Gerry Ryan and Terry Connor, with that iconic leap afterwards in celebration. This put pay to Liverpool again, live on ITV in the pre-Sky era.
It was a massive event for the area – with Ian St John rendered speechless and Jimmy Greaves mentioning countless times that he could see Brighton beach from the commentary gantry. Bless you Jimmy, it was Hove.
Let’s not forgot Albion’s fourth round victory at Championship Watford on the same date in 2011 under Gus Poyet as the Seagulls led League One by a hundred points or so!
An early Ashley Barnes goal saw Albion go through, only to be drawn away to Stoke in the fifth round. Crawley won their fourth round tie that year and drew Manchester United away.
So in the FA Cup at least, the 29th of January has been a good date for Albion, and it’s not just the cup. They also beat Blackpool in the league on the same date in 1994.
Incidentally, it’s the birthday of Tim Healy, Sasha Distel, WC Fields, Tom Selleck, Tony Blackburn and Oprah Winfrey among others.
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