Brighton Rock; Slade at The Goldstone Ground

Brighton RockGlam rock band Slade, with their iconic leader Noddy Holder, dominated the airwaves for the first half of the 1970s. They wrote their name into British culture forever in ’73 with the smash-hit festive anthem, “Merry Xmas Everybody”. The band’s releases spent more than 300 weeks in the UK charts and sold more records than any other group in Britain that decade. Yet, despite these achievements, almost nobody remembers their one and only attempt at a football song back in 1978; “Give Us A Goal”. It’s a great shame as the song enjoys a special connection with Brighton and Hove Albion. Strangely enough, the Goldstone Ground provided the rockers with the location for their music video. On a freezing winter day in February, the band were present for the Albion’s match with Burnley where Slade made Brighton rock.

This post pieces together the story of the single through articles, cuttings and children’s television performances.


SLADE: “GIVE US A GOAL” (Barn Records, Released 1978)

slade-daddioSlade, as we know them now, began life under various different guises in the mid-1960s – The Vendors, The ‘N Betweens, Ambrose Slade – before agent John Gunnel and his business partner Chas Chandler paid a visit. As the 1970s approached, Chandler liked what he heard and agreed to manage the band. They adopted a skinhead look, wrote their own songs and shortened the name down to just ‘Slade’. They broke into the charts in August 1971 under Chandler’s direction and positioned themselves within the ‘glam rock’ movement, with the long hair and big costumes that went with it. Success followed as they began to take over the UK charts for the next few years, peaking with their best-selling juggernaut ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’; the 1973 Christmas number one.

But every rise comes with a fall, and the band’s popularity declined after that. A move to America came in the mid-70s, to little critical acclaim. By 1977, Slade aimed for a comeback in the UK so Chas Chandler switched them to his own label; Barn Records. The move didn’t bring much initial joy, with only a tribute song to the death of Elvis Presley breaking the top forty. They followed this up with an idea for a song to kick off 1978 based on football chants, aiming to capitalise on their old skinhead following, a look which was closely linked with supporters of the sport.

With their new football single written and ready to go, Slade needed to record a music video to flog to television programmes to use and promote the song for its release date (some publicatiosn report this as 3rd March 1978 though many others suggest it was actually 24th February). According to website Dave Kemp and Slade, Chas Chandler lived in the Sussex area at the time and had contacts with the Brighton and Hove Albion directors so arranged to use their Goldstone Ground home for the video shoot. Ahead of the visit of Burnley in the middle of February, Brighton’s North Stand were treated to some top-notch rock ‘n’ roll pre-match entertainment.

SLADE Cartoon promo

A cartoon promo advert in the music newspaper Record Mirror for the new Slade single as the band score past Jim Lea


FILMING THE VIDEO

Brighton 2-1 Burnley; Saturday 11th February 1978

SLADE Crowd SLADE Albion

Brighton competed in the Second Division of English football having gone up from the Third tier the previous year. Managed by Alan Mullery, the club were going well in the promotion shake up again with two thirds of the season gone. They’d won twelve of the twenty-seven League fixtures thus far, losing just the once at fortress Goldstone. Twenty-two-year-old striker Peter Ward was fast becoming a club legend, dominating the goalscoring charts to add to his tally of a whopping thirty-six the previous season. Albion’s number eight had a new strike partner in Malcolm Poskett, who scored on his debut the previous week at Hull.

Protecting goalkeeper Eric Steele, the Seagulls defence included ex-Huddersfield and Coventry man Chris Cattlin, who would later return as manager. Preston’s young, impressive Player of the Year 1977, Mark Lawrenson, moved to Sussex that summer for £100,000 to play alongside former North End teammate Gary Williams and established centre half Andy Rollings.

Brian Horton was pivotal in the middle of the park. Local lad Tony Towner featured on the right wing, with Welsh international Peter O’Sullivan serving the other flank. Long-serving O’Sullivan joined as a teenager in 1970. Completing the home line up was the midfielder nicknamed the ‘tank’; Paul Clark made his debut back in November ’77 to grab the number ten shirt.

Perhaps inspired by Slade’s pre-match singalong, both teams did what the rockers asked. Brighton gave us goals from Horton and Poskett to defeat Burnley two-one, defender Derek Scott netted for the visitors. Mullery’s men sat fourth in the Division Two table, the same place where they’d finish at the end of the season. Albion agonisingly missed out on promotion to the top flight on goal difference alone; nine worse than third placed Tottenham. In fact, they were only two points off the title! The foundations, though, were in place for a successful promotion push the following season as Brighton hit the big time at last.

SLADE Clap SLADE Guitar and backing vocals

But before the match, it was Slade’s turn to ignite the ground. Their line up at the time comprised four members: Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Jim Lea and Don Powell. The quartet performed in front of the North Stand at the Goldstone, on a little stage by the side of the pitch. Noddy was the enigmatic frontman, responsible for lead vocals and played rhythm guitar. In this video, draped in the blue and white Albion scarf (above left), he led the clapping and chanting, rousing fans to join in at every opportunity.

Above right, we see guitarists Jim Lea (yellow and black scarf) and Dave Hill (red and white scarf). Jim co-wrote the song with Noddy, as was the case for most of Slade’s back catalogue. The track heavily relied on the guitar to drive the familiar riff of the football chant, topped off with the rasping voice Holder was renowned for. The chorus lyrics were catchy; “We’ll beat ya, defeat ya, we’re ready to roll! Get the ball into the net and give us a goal!” The reviews weren’t glowing, but one from the music paper ‘Record Mirror’ at the time did state it “recaptures the football fervour that they used to build up” at gigs.

SLADE Drums SLADE Pitch

The band earned a reputation for their energetic and engaging Live performances, making good use of the gathered crowd for a fantastic atmosphere. Despite Slade’s decision to move into the football song market, the band members weren’t particularly fussed by the game. Hailing from Wolverhampton, some of the members would look out for their results but weren’t particularly sporty themselves. Drummer Don Powell is shown, above left, in the white scarf. Don recovered from a very bad car accident five years earlier, which left him with lifelong injuries and killed his partner.

SLADE Noddy SLADE Football

There was an existing link between football and popular music, with many clubs and teams releasing their own songs. For the 1970 World Cup, England’s trophy holders sang the famous ‘Back Home’, which reached top spot and kicked off a tradition of the tournament anthem to celebrate their participation. Clubs reaching the FA Cup Final would often follow suit, with the likes of Arsenal, Leeds and Chelsea all lending their voices to vinyl early on in the decade. The players tended to also appear in the video. So this recording needed some footballing actions shots too.

SLADE Dave SLADE More football

Interspersed between clips of Noddy and the gang giving the North Stand a performance to remember with their musical instruments, the band also took part in a football match with some of the Brighton players. The musicians donned the famous blue and white stripes of the Albion for a kickabout on a frosty winter’s day, with their ‘opponents’ decked in red. It was so cold that Dave Hill needed a thick bobble hat to protect his skinhead top, with the guitarist complaining of the temperatures throughout. This was recorded separately to the Burnley match day, during a squad training session. Several of the Albion first team were involved, including Eric Steele who was standing firm in goal. See how many you can spot.

SLADE Supporters SLADE North Stand

A crowd of 22,694 was recorded in attendance at the Goldstone for the Burnley match. The North Stand terrace behind the goal was full of Albion fans ready to make their music video cameo in the build up to the big game. With the club flying at the top end of the table, it was an exciting time to be a Brighton supporter. It’s not every day you get to be a film extra. Could you imagine Withdean Stadium being used as a rock backdrop?!

Spectators were shown making their way down to the stadium and through the turnstiles. In the stands, the sea of blue and white scarves brightened (and Brighton-ed) up the screen, bouncing around to the music being played out just yards in front of them. A small stage was erected in the penalty area adjacent to the goal to elevate Slade, their recording equipment and instruments whilst several cameramen recorded the scenes.

SLADE Goal SLADE Net

The filmmakers wanted a big finish to the video, with one of the band scoring a goal as the climax. However, none of them had really played the game since leaving school and so it appeared much trickier than first thought. None of them could put it in the back of the net! Which might explain the slightly odd footage of the ball entering a virtually open goal (above right) but with no indication of how it got there. Drummer Don Powell is credited by Dave Kemp with the strike to bring the curtain down on the video. As the lyrics suggested, they stopped their fancy footwork and just gave us a goal. The whistle blew. It was now all ready to go and send round the broadcasters for airplay.

SLADE Programme

Excerpt from the Brighton programme against Sunderland, 25/2/78, housed online by Seagulls Programmes

Disappointingly, the song failed to chart and so there would be no appearance on the number one music show, Top of the Pops. However, that didn’t mean it sunk without a trace. Children’s television programmes gave many artists a platform to connect with the public, some even making their screen debuts there. First to televise the band’s new football song was ITV’s anarchic Saturday morning powerhouse TISWAS.


TELEVISION COVERAGE

‘TISWAS’ video broadcast; ATV, 9.30am-12pm; Sat 4th March 1978 

TISWAS Titles TISWAS Tarrant

TISWAS TV Times Listing

TV Times Listing, 4/3/78

As confirmed by the band’s excellent fan site Dave Kemp and Slade, TISWAS aired the ‘Give us a Goal’ music video on the morning of Saturday 4th March; not long after release. An acronym for ‘Today is Saturday, Watch and Smile’, TISWAS began in January 1974 as a strand for children which linked together programmes in ITV’s midlands region of ATV. As the popularity of the presenter links overtook much of the programming they were introducing, it began to be picked up by other regions as the years progressed. By the time of this fourth series during 1977/78, the HTV, Anglia, Granada, Border and Scottish Television regions were all airing the show.

At the time it was fronted by ATV’s news and current affairs host Chris Tarrant (above right), as he did from the outset, and former Midlands sports reporter Trevor East alongside newcomer this series, Sally James. TISWAS started to enter its ‘golden age’ with slapstick characters such as ‘The Phantom Flan Flinger’ causing chaos in the studio, and early appearances from comedians and showbiz stars who would later go on to become household names; such as Lenny Henry, Frank Carson, Bob Carolgees and Jasper Carrott.

But the ITV region serving the Brighton and Hove area, Southern Television, didn’t begin to take the show until, at least, the end of 1979. So local Albion fans would not have seen their Goldstone Ground home appearing in Slade’s music video when TISWAS gave it this television outing.


3

‘Get It Together’ performance; Granada, 4.20-4.45pm; Tue 14th March 1978

GET Titles GET Roy North

GET TV Listing

TV Times Listing, 14/3/78

Slade performed the song in the Granada studios in mid-March, as they appeared on children’s afternoon programme Get It Together on ITV. This was a weekly pop music show as groups and artists showcased their latest single in front of a studio of excitable children. Slade’s performance was on the penultimate episode of series 2.

Get It Together was broadcast on Tuesday afternoons at 4.20pm, the ideal post-school slot. It was shown across most of the ITV network, with the exception of Wales. The performances provided many bands with their first TV appearance at a time when there were few opportunities for up and coming acts.

Another key element of the show was performances from the hosts, who at the time were Roy North and New Faces winner Linda Fletcher. They were the show’s original presenters, joining for the April 1977 launch. As well as singing, North was better known as having been the straight man to Basil Brush for three years, playing Mr Roy.

As the series went on, it adapted its format to include a house band with backing singers and, of course, its own dance troupe – known as The Teri Scoble Dancers. It would run for over four years with almost one hundred episodes.

Slade’s song was part of a football themed episode, sharing the bill with ‘Hampden’s Heroes’ singing Scotland’s track for that summer’s World Cup. The audience cheered and clapped along, adorned with football shirts and scarves, to really get into the spirit of it.

GET Slade GET Audience


4

‘Cheggers Plays Pop’ performance; BBC1, 4.40-5.05pm; Mon 17th April 1978

CHEGGERS Titles CHEGGERS Chegwin

CHEGGERS Genome Listing

Radio Times Listing from BBC Genome

Young Scouse actor-turned-television presenter Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin became a household name in the mid-70s through his work on children’s programming. He was part of the BBC’s Saturday morning alternative to TISWASMulti-Coloured Swap Shop with Noel Edmonds and John Craven from 1976.

That led to success in his own right as host of Cheggers Plays Pop two years later. This was classic kids TV, with a screaming young audience taking part in silly games and challenges in the studio, punctuated by performances from the latest hitmakers. The second ever episode had Slade belting out a performance of “Give us a Goal”. Again, the crowd were decked in football scarves to look the part.

CHEGGERS Slade CHEGGERS Slade on stage


5

FIFA ’09 commercial; EA Sports television advert soundtrack, 2008 

FIFA Rooney FIFA Gameplay

FIFA TaglineAfter not achieving much success, the song garnered a mini revival some thirty years later. Computer game makers EA Sports used “Give us a Goal” as the soundtrack for the official television advert for the latest in their football series FIFA ’09. The full four-minute commercial featured Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney taking on Real Madrid’s Higuain as they went head to head playing the game, whilst hundreds gathered in the street to cheer and watch on the big screen.

Whilst this wasn’t enough to push the track into the charts for the first time, it did bring it to a whole new audience who wouldn’t have been aware of it or even around at the first time of asking.


Those Albion supporters who were heading to the Goldstone Ground on that bitterly cold day on 11th February 1978 would likely have been blissfully unaware that later that afternoon they’d be the unwitting stars of a rock music video. The players must have been listening closely to Slade’s instructions to “Give us a Goal”, as the following season Brighton were promoted into the top flight for the first time in club history. Cum on feel the noize!

SLADE Scarves

SOURCES and EXTRA READING

Small Screen Seagulls; FA Cup in the Nineties part 2

Brighton on TVBrighton’s exploits in the FA Cup during the nineties provide a decent insight into the rollercoaster experience of being a Seagulls supporter during the most troubling of decades for the club. As Brighton dropped down the three Divisions of the Football League, the FA Cup represented the club’s best chance of gaining television exposure for the match action. Off the field matters attracted the most coverage unfortunately. Appearances in the high court were more frequent than appearances in the latter stages of the Cup. Whilst Cup ties in the 1990s saw the Albion excite in matches against top flight giants Liverpool and Manchester United as well as thrash local side Crawley, some of the lowest lows on the pitch also happened. Non-League Sudbury Town and Kingstonian provided huge shocks whilst Canvey Island forced a replay. If ever you needed illustrating just how desperate things had gotten, this whirlwind look back should provide some insight. This is the second part, the first is available HERE.


 

1994/95 Round One goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (12th November 1994); Kingstonian 2-1 Brighton 

94R1 Kin intro 94R1 Kin opener

In November 1994 Brighton were sat in the bottom half of the Division Two table, a continuation of the fourteenth place finish the previous campaign. That season saw them crash out of the FA Cup at Bournemouth, losing in the 1st Round for the first time since 1976. Keen to avoid a repeat, this season’s draw took the club to non-League Kingstonian; a team full of part-timers with proper day jobs. One of the many FA Cup cliches is to mention the minnow player’s craft, especially if they score or cause an upset. So Brighton’s poor performance at Kingsmeadow gave BBC Match of the Day reporter Gerald Sinstadt plenty of opportunity to compare and contrast. “Glazier, carpet fitter, financial consultant and so on, currently in the lower half of the Diadora Premier Division”, his report began. That’s the Isthmian League if you don’t recall the sponsorship, one below the Conference South. The Albion got off to the worst possible start when, after just ninety-three seconds, Kingstonian took the lead. Jamie Ndah opened the scoring with a terrific overhead kick eight yards out (above right) after the away side failed to clear their lines. He was the brother of Crystal Palace striker George Ndah whilst other brother Micky was also on the field today in defence. And half an hour later it was Micky Ndah who was involved in the next goal, the Seagulls equaliser. Ndah’s attempt to clear danger scooped the ball high in the air. Junior McDougald outjumped his marker to nod across the box to Robert Codner (below left), who stooped to conquer from six yards out. The ‘keeper got a touch on the header but the power beat him, as his fingertips only pushed it into the corner. One-one. That’s how it stayed until the final ten minutes. An almighty goalmouth scramble ensued from a corner, in one of the most mid-nineties football clips you will see. The kick was flicked on at the near post, then flicked up in the air by the attacker, Nicky Rust in the Albion goal came to punch away but just punched up. It was eventually headed down to the ground and waiting to pounce was that man again; Jamie Ndah. He was first to the loose ball to poke home just a couple of yards out to send Kingstonian through to the 2nd Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their ninety-nine-year history. The reward was a tie with Aylesbury, where they went on to lose four-one. For Brighton and manager Liam Brady, simply an embarrassing day to forget.

94R1 Kin equaliser 94R1 Kin scoreline


1995/96 Round One report

FA Cup Special, Sky Sports (12th November 1995); Canvey Island 2-2 Brighton 

Fulham FACup Gavin 95R1 Can Keeley 95R1 Can Cramped dressing room Fulham FACup Ryan

The FA Cup had a title sponsor for the first time ever from this season, as Littlewoods joined forces. After Sky Sports Live 1st Round broadcast of the game between York and Notts County this Sunday afternoon, they showed a seven-minute report on the day’s other Cup match; Canvey Island against Brighton. Reporter George Gavin was dispatched to deepest Essex to take in the atmosphere. His report began on the coast ahead of “the biggest match in Canvey Island’s history”. Gavin told of how, in 1953, the Thames river burst its banks and flooded the area engulfing Canvey’s football club records. Like with Kingstonian last season, Brighton had a tricky trip to a non-League outfit to kick off their Cup exploits. This was the first time Island had reached this stage of the competition and had never played a Football League side ever. We saw shots of the various preparations for the match, with the kit men in the dressing room, the local fire brigade and police making their inspections and the teams arriving in by coach. Park Lane was used to attendances of around 400, this match saw them squeezing in around 4,000 fans. One link between Canvey and Brighton was goalkeeper John Keeley, who George Gavin spoke to ahead of the kick off. Keeley was at the Albion for four years in the late 1980s, making over 140 appearances but was now on the books of Canvey Island. He was still on good terms with his former club; “I’ve still got lots of friends down there, like half my house is full out with them! I did alright down there, I enjoyed my time.” When the Seagulls arrived, the surroundings were not quite what they were used to. The dressing room was packed to the rafters (above, bottom-left) which forced manager Liam Brady into limiting access to only those key men; “the lads who are not playing can you get out! Make a bit of room.” Assistant Gerry Ryan chatted on the pitch, undaunted by the prospect; “Cup runs start at places like this, you know. Played at plenty of places like this in my career starting out.” He stressed the importance of having the right attitude or risk getting turned over. From the Canvey perspective, manager Jeff King and their supporters were in hopeful mood. One woman personified the Essex girl stereotype by saying; “I must watch my white stilettos don’t get stuck in the mud though when I get on the pitch and do me streak!”

95R1 Can McDougald goal 95R1 Can McDougald 2nd 95R1 Can Equaliser 95R1 Can Brady

Onto the match action and if Brighton were worried about another shock upset, they didn’t show it early on by taking the lead after sixteen minutes. Dean Wilkins floated in a free kick from the left, met by the head of ex-Tottenham youth Junior McDougald (above, top-left) to go one-up, flying past the goalkeeper’s full-stretch dive. The lead didn’t last though with an equaliser coming in the thirty-third minute in similar circumstances. The cross from the right was finished by a terrific guided header by Steve Porter, with our reporter pointing out he’s a teacher during the week. They celebrated as if school was out for the summer. Their joy was also short-lived when Brighton regained the lead five minutes on. A long punt upfield from Nicky Rust sailed over the head of everybody and suddenly McDougald was in behind the defence. As a defender rushed back to block, the Albion man was able to get his strike off just in time (above, top-right) to finish into the bottom corner of the goal, losing a boot in the process. Two-one the score at half time. A chance for Brighton’s and McDougald’s third was presented by Peter Smith in the second half but the ball seemed to get stuck under his feet, preventing a clean strike as it dragged wide. And the miss would be rued as another equaliser came with nine minutes left. A long throw in was flicked on to Alan Brett waiting in the centre. His header six yards out (above, bottom-left) beat Rust to cue wild celebrations from the bumper crowd. They went close to a winner even later on, with the defence having to dig deep and scramble away. But the Cup upset was avoided, just, and the sides would meet at the Goldstone for the replay a week on Tuesday. Liam Brady said afterwards “This kind of pitch and the environment you come to is a leveller, it evens things out, but the players battled. I felt we were in control for long periods of the game and probably missed a chance to kill the game off early in the second half.”

 

Round One Replay goals

Meridian Tonight, ITV (22nd November 1995); Brighton 4-1 Canvey Island

96R1R Can Steggall 96R1R Can Acknowledgement

It was all change at the Albion since the last meeting with Canvey Island just over a week earlier. On Monday 20th November, following a three-nil home defeat to Walsall at the weekend, manager Liam Brady resigned. The following night the replay at the Goldstone was due to take place. On the day, the board acted quickly to draft in reserve coach Jimmy Case as first team manager and he took charge of the Cup match almost as soon as he agreed terms. Local evening news programme in the South, Meridian Tonight, reported on the match the following evening. Sports presenter Andy Steggall introduced the report, which showed the goals courtesy of FA Cup rights holder BBC, as well as a couple of interviews. Behind the scenes there were all sorts of issues relating to the ownership, with talks of planning a new stadium on the horizon and selling the Goldstone whilst debts continued to build up. Indeed, money that was loaned to the club by president Greg Stanley was now reported to be charged at an interest, further adding to the money owed whilst lining his own pockets. A visit from the FA also came at this busy time, seeking assurances of finances. On the pitch though, for tonight at least, things were looking up as Jimmy Case made a winning start to his managerial reign. Meridian’s Geoff Clark reported.

96R1R Can Byrne goal 96R1R Can Smith goal

John Byrne gave Brighton the lead with a powerful header down from a cross on the stroke of half time. The lead was doubled two minutes after the break by Junior McDougald, adding to the two he got in the original game, with a well taken half-volley into the top corner. John Byrne added another (above left) to make the game safe with just over twenty minutes remaining, slotting home past the ‘keeper. Canvey got one back five minutes later through Glenn Pennyfather before a fourth was scored by Peter Smith (above right). Smith made the goal all by himself when his initial through ball was blocked by a defender, he picked up the loose ball to continue his charge through as the back line opened up. Just entering the penalty area, he lifted his shot up over the onrushing goalie to put the cherry on top of the cake. Four-one the final scoreline. Jimmy Case downplayed his role in the win, paying tribute to the former boss; “Sometimes you get a reaction from whatever’s gone on. But I think Liam built the team as it stands.” George Parris, signed permanently in September 1995 after a loan spell from Birmingham the season before, said perhaps they did “put in a little bit more effort” for this new boss as “you wanna try and impress them and I think it showed again tonight.” Onto Round Two where a trip to Fulham awaited. That also went to a replay at the Goldstone, which was selected for Live television coverage by Sky Sports; that report is available via this link. The good form did not last though and by the end of the season, Brighton were relegated to Division Three for their first spell in the fourth tier since 1965.

96R1R Can Case aston 96R1R Can Parris


1996/97 Round One round-up

Match of the Day, BBC One (16th November 1996); Sudbury Town 0-0 Brighton 

96R1 Sud Intro 96R1 Sud Minton crossbar

Another season, and another First Round trip to non-League opposition. This time it was to Sudbury Town of the Doc Martens League; the sixth step of the English football pyramid, one below the Conference. Even though Brighton were now just two steps above and struggling at the foot of Division Three, anything other than a resounding victory would be seen as a humiliation. Cue classic mid-90s Brighton then as the first tie ended goalless. Sharing billing with the Premiership, a new look BBC Match of the Day squeezed in thirty seconds to round up this match, voiced once again by Gerald Sinstadt. Jeff Minton went closest for the stripes, smacking the crossbar with a fizzing left foot drive on the edge of the box. The ‘keeper Steve Mokler at full stretch could get nowhere near it. This was Sudbury’s debut in the First Round proper of the competition and they nearly went one better but for a disallowed goal. A high cross took an age to come down to Earth, at which point Nicky Rust in the Brighton goal went up to claim it. He was challenged by the Sudbury forward Ian Brown leaping at the same time (below left). It appeared as Rust was landing, the ball bounced off the striker and to the floor where he stuck a foot out to nudge it towards Christian McClean who volleyed it into the roof of the net. However, the referee ruled it out for Brown’s foul on Rust and the scoreline stayed nil-nil. So another replay was enforced, and this too went the distance, finishing one-all and needing a penalty shoot-out to decide the victor. The non-Leaguers prevailed winning four-three on penalties to send Albion to its lowest point on the pitch. The season continued with misery upon misery, stranded at the bottom of the entire Football League. Boss Jimmy Case departed in the weeks after, with former Charlton player-manager taking his place in December with the club eleven points adrift. He managed to work an absolute miracle in the League to pull off the greatest of great escapes during the utter mayhem going on around the club. This was without doubt the worst season in Brighton history; typified by this Cup exit, exacerbated by the sale of the Goldstone Ground without anywhere to move into by the shambolic ownership, the prospect of playing home games all the way up in Gillingham from the following season, it was Gritt by name and grit by nature. The final day relegation shoot-out draw at Hereford sent them down and kept Albion up on just goals scored. If you can bear it, further information and snippets from the 1996/97 season can be found in a separate report via this link. Sudbury meanwhile were knocked out in Round Two by Brentford.

96R1 Sud Foul 96R1 Sud Scoreline


1997/98 Round One highlights

Match of the Day, BBC One (15th November 1997); Hereford 2-1 Brighton 

97R1 Her Titles 97R1 Her Lineker

Hereford were also able to get a very small slice of revenge on Brighton just six months after their relegation to the Conference on the final day when the sides were drawn together in the First Round of the FA Cup. Extended highlights were shown on BBC Match of the Day presented by Gary Lineker with Jimmy Hill and Mark Lawrenson. This was a week when the Premiership took a back seat for the international break, so the FA Cup was afforded its own hour long MotD programme, as second choice Lineker gave Des Lynam the week off. The lead match was Hull against Hednesford Town with commentary by Tony Gubba, and our trip to Hereford was the other feature. In his third season on the show Jon Champion commentated at Edgar Street, having transferred over from Radio Five Live during the 1995/96 campaign.

97R1 Her Hereford 97R1 Her Brighton 97R1 Her Referee 97R1 Her Gritt

Brighton boss Steve Gritt named seven of the starting eleven that saved the club’s League status in this fixture in May; Nicky Rust among those that didn’t feature last time. Rust was in for regular ‘keeper Mark Ormerod, who was out with a twisted ankle. It was Craig Maskell’s shot which was pushed onto the post for Robbie Reinelt to react quickest and net the equaliser in May. Gary Hobson skippered the side. Kerry Mayo was the unfortunate man who turned into his own net to give Hereford the lead in the previous meeting. Left back Stuart Tuck was a product of the Albion youth academy, joining as a YTS in 1991. Scottish winger Paul McDonald was signed for £25,000 last year. Number nine Stuart Storer scored the final goal at the Goldstone in the victory over Doncaster which allowed Brighton to go to Hereford and get that draw. Five of Albion’s squad were on the transfer list, simply in a bid to bring in some much-needed cash. The home side, still managed by Graham Turner despite him handing in his resignation following demotion to the Conference, had just three survivors from that fateful day here; Andy de Bont in goal and Rob Warner and Brian McGorry in the middle. Taking charge of the encounter was referee Gerald Ashby.

97R1 Her Crossbar 97R1 Her Penalty 97R1 Her Missed penalty 97R1 Her Opening goal

Brighton wore their change kit of all red for this First Round Cup tie. A chance came their way thanks to the running of John Westcott down the right flank. He was put through by an excellent reverse pass by Storer. Westcott dribbled into the box, slowed down momentarily by the challenge of Fishlock, before laying it off to Maskell. His effort was weak and just chipped up into de Bont’s grasp. The home side almost took the lead when Cook’s header looped up over Rust but crashed against the crossbar (below, top left) and back down into the grateful ‘keeper’s arms. Into the second half, Brighton were awarded a penalty when Walker’s lunge took the legs of Maskell away (above, top right). Paul McDonald stepped up with his left foot but de Bont guessed correctly to parry it away to his right with an excellent full-stretch save (above, bottom left), maintaining the deadlock. But it didn’t last for long as Hereford took the lead after fifty-six. Top scorer Neil Grayson added to his tally with a smart finish. Fishlock’s cross from the left found Pitman who cleverly backheeled the ball on. Grayson gathered and, sensing Rust sliding out to claim, sidestepped him to slot into the empty net.

97R1 Her Storer equaliser 97R1 Her Level score 97R1 Her Another penalty 97R1 Her Winning goal

Paul McDonald’s corner wasn’t claimed by de Bont, the ball falling through his fingertips, which presented an equalising opportunity for Stuart Storer. From a tight angle and with bodies on the line and in front of him, Storer angled his shot to net superbly past the lot of them (above, top left). “From despair to delight. And the lead lasted barely four minutes”, called commentator Champion. Hereford weren’t despondent though and almost regained the lead through substitute James McCue. Ian Foster charged down the left and crossed into the middle, McCue almost ran past the ball and had to hang his leg back which scooped the ball up and high over the bar from seven yards. The pressure applied from Gary Hobson was enough to put him off. He had another effort moments after with his left just outside the box, this shot also going just too high but was getting closer. Then the referee gave another penalty, this time to Hereford. Peter Smith battled with Ian Foster, with the Albion defender judged to have pulled Foster back as the tangle continued into the area (above, bottom left). Paul Grayson, scorer of the first, got his second of the match as he blasted the penalty kick emphatically down the middle (above, bottom right). Rust had no chance due to the sheer power and Hereford led by two goals to one with just over a quarter of an hour to go. And that’s how it stayed, with the non-League side knocking out the Third Division (just about!) Seagulls. In the studio, pundit Jimmy Hill (below, bottom right) said “You feel for both those sides in a way… For Brighton, with all their problems as well. They put on a fine Cup tie.” He praised Hereford’s style, playing the better, more attractive football. Their reward was a Second Round trip to Colchester, where they triumphed on a penalty shoot-out in the replay to make Round Three. That’s where their Cup run came to an end, with a three-nil defeat by Tranmere. In the League they finished sixth in the Conference, whilst Brighton once again finished 91st out of the 92 League teams. Thankfully it didn’t go down to the wire this time, finishing fifteen points better off than relegated Doncaster. But Steve Gritt paid the price for more dismal form, with former player Brian Horton coming in to replace him in February 1998 and kept them up in April.

97R1 Her Final Score 97R1 Her Studio 97R1 Her Hill


The decade ended with defeats in the early stages of the competition as first Leyton Orient knocked the Albion out four-two in 1998. Then in 1999 draws in both the First and Second rounds ensured four FA Cup matches were played in the season, more than the previous three seasons combined. After seeing off Peterborough in the First Round Replay, Plymouth knocked us out in the Second after a rematch on our own patch. As the 1990s went on, the Cup increasingly became less important to Brighton as the main objective was the League. With the Goldstone Ground sold off in 1997, home matches were played in Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium for two seasons, making home Cup ties even less appealing for the Albion faithful. By the time the club came home to Sussex, playing at Withdean Stadium from 1999, the form dramatically improved on the pitch and the Cups became a vital source of income as the fight for a permanent home took its toll on the budget. The story of further Cup exposure, drawn away from the Withdean to Premier League teams in the 2000s, is detailed in a separate post available HERE.

The first part of this two part 1990s FA Cup televisual rewind is available to view HERE.

 

 

Small Screen Seagulls; FA Cup in the Nineties part 1

Brighton on TVBrighton’s exploits in the FA Cup during the nineties provide a decent insight into the rollercoaster experience of being a Seagulls supporter during the most troubling of decades for the club. Throughout the decade, Brighton competed in all three Divisions of the Football League, plummeting from the heights of a Wembley Play Off Final appearance in 1991 all the way down to surviving the drop to the Conference only on goals scored in 1997. Appearances in the high court were more frequent than appearances in the latter stages of the Cup. Whilst Cup ties in the 1990s saw the Albion excite in matches against top flight giants Liverpool and thrash local side Crawley, some of the lowest lows on the pitch also happened. Non-League Sudbury Town and Kingstonian provided huge shocks whilst Canvey Island forced a replay. If ever you needed illustrating just how desperate things had gotten, this whirlwind look back should provide some insight. This is the first part, the second is available HERE.


1990/91 Round Four goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (26th January 1991); Liverpool 2-2 Brighton 

91R4 Liv Intro 91R4 Liv Penalty

Reporter Ray Stubbs voiced the goals to Brighton’s trip to Anfield in the Fourth Round in 1991 for BBC Match of the Day: The Road to Wembley. Between 1988 and 1992 the programme only held rights to the FA Cup, with League football signed up exclusively on ITV. Des Lynam presented in the studio with Trevor Brooking as an hour and ten minutes were devoted to covering the Fourth Round Saturday. Albion weren’t chosen as one of the three featured matches so the goals were around two minutes worth of Stubbs’ round-up. Division One Champions Liverpool, managed by Kenny Dalglish, hosted Barry Lloyd’s Second Division outfit in Cup tie which saw a dramatic late comeback. The Reds opened the scoring shortly after half time when Ian Rush latched onto John Barnes good chip upfield which split the Albion back line. Rush’s heavy touch forced him into a sliding finish under pressure twelve yards out, the power giving Mark Beeney no chance. At the other end, Bruce Grobbelaar produced a good save to keep John Crumplin’s effort out and just moments later it was two-nil. Ian Rush was the danger man again, beating the offside trap to latch onto Barry Venison’s through ball. Replays show he in fact fooled the linesman, as there’s more than a hint of offside. Anyhow, Rush dinked it over the onrushing goalie with his left foot to double the advantage after ten second half minutes. Brighton looked down and out but that changed with seventeen left on the clock. A long kick upfield was flicked on for Paul McCarthy in the penalty area with a shooting chance. Irish defender Steve Staunton upended the striker as he was about to pull the trigger and the Seagulls had a penalty. Mike Small made no mistake with the kick, blasting it into the top right-hand corner. And five minutes later the comeback was complete thanks to a bullet diving header from John Byrne. A deep cross from the right was headed across goal by Small to be met by Byrne unmarked at the back stick six yards out; two-two. There was no stopping that and meant a rematch was needed to decide who would progress to Round Five.

R194 Liv equaliser 91R4 Liv Scoreline

 

Round Four Replay extended highlights

Sportsnight, BBC One (30th January 1991); Brighton 1-1 Liverpool (2-3 AET) 

BBC Sport 1991 Sportsnight 1991 91R4R Liv Rider 91R4R Liv Studio

The Replay at the Goldstone ground four days later was covered extensively by midweek BBC round-up show Sportsnight. The long running highlights programme dated back to the end of the 1960s. It featured action from multiple sports, similar in approach to the weekend Grandstand but with the emphasis on recorded highlights, as opposed to Match of the Day which principally covered football. David Coleman anchored the programme for the first five years until 1972 before Tony Gubba took the reins. It was during his era that the show moved from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. Live and recorded European Cup football, Cup replays and internationals would regularly take place in midweek and Sportsnight would be there to cover it. With football playing a key part of the schedule the programme would usually only be on air during the regular season. The theme tune was instantly recognisable, with its fast tempo and news-style beat. For this ninety-minute Wednesday night edition of Sportsnight, Steve Rider anchored proceedings from Television Centre in London. He had been the regular host of the show since joining the BBC from ITV in 1985, taking over from boxing commentator Harry Carpenter. Prior to switching, Rider reported for ITV’s Saturday afternoon strand World of Sport and covered Olympic Games, golf and football, all of which he went on to cover for the Beeb. In the studio alongside Rider was Tottenham boss Terry Venables. He was a regular in the pundit’s seat for the Beeb since the mid-80s and covered World Cups and European Championships as well as England internationals for the corporation. It wasn’t just the Brighton versus Liverpool clash that would feature on this programme, as action from other Fourth Round Replays followed; with Arsenal at Leeds as well as games at West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday. The introduction reminded us of Brighton’s good record against the Reds in recent FA Cup seasons, knocking them out en route to the Final in 1983 and then again the following season when the clubs were a Division apart. Describing the match action was the one and only Barry Davies in his 22nd season with the BBC.

91R4R Liv Brighton 91R4R Liv Liverpool

Both team line ups were strengthened from the original tie. For Brighton, manager Barry Lloyd was able to select Robert Codner in at number ten after suspension, taking Bryan Wade’s place. Up front were Mike Small and John Byrne, the two scorers at Anfield. Dean Wilkins captained the side from midfield with former Norwich man Mark Barham and ex-Chelsea winger Clive Walker on the flanks. Long-serving goalkeeper Perry Digweed had been at the Albion for a decade now, as had defender Steve Gatting. The latter was part of the starting line up in the 1983 FA Cup Final. He was partnered for tonight’s match by nineteen-year-old Irishman Paul McCarthy. Full backs John Crumplin and Gary Chivers both moved to Sussex towards the end of the eighties. That decade was one of dominance for tonight’s visitors, but Kenny Dalglish’s Champions had enjoyed just two wins in their last eight games. His line-up was packed full of household names such as captain Ronnie Whelan, who returned after nine matches out with a hamstring injury. Also selected were talisman John Barnes, goalscoring hero Ian Rush and the three Steves – Nicol, Staunton and McMahon. If the game were to go all the way to penalties then goalie Bruce Grobbelaar would fancy his chances, after his wobbly-legged antics did for Roma in the ’84 European Cup Final shoot-out. The Reds had even more strength on the bench, with Peter Beardsley and creative playmaker Jan Molby the two allotted options to choose from. Second Division Brighton would be in for a tough task to replicate the latter stages form displayed in the first match against this back-to-back title hunting Liverpool. The referee at the Goldstone was Brian Hill. Commentator Barry Davies set the giant-killing scene by reminding us of the Seagulls excellent Cup record against Liverpool; “Looking for lightning to strike for the third time. ’83, ’84, would it be ’91 as well?”

91R4R Liv Opening goal 91R4R Liv Small one one

Brighton went close very early on when Codner headed a cross on, Ronnie Whelan’s flick almost took it into his own net but landed just shy of the post. The usual suspects were just getting into their stride for the away team, with Rush and Barnes both having efforts off target. Barnes was sporting gloves and black tights, the January South Coast chill too much for the England international. But the Redmen were warmed up when McMahon broke the deadlock after ten minutes (above, top left). It all started with a poor goal kick from Perry Digweed which immediately invited pressure back. Steve McMahon robbed the defence to set Barnes in behind. His left footed strike was pushed away by Digweed but following up at the back post sliding in was McMahon ahead of McCarthy. Undeterred by this setback, Brighton went close to scrambling an equaliser soon after. Clive Walker’s free kick was into the danger zone where John Byrne couldn’t quite connect how he would have liked, Grobbelaar to the rescue to block aided by his defence. It would be the Albion who struck next with an equaliser through Mike Small (above, top right). Walker tried his luck from twenty yards out, the connection wasn’t quite right for the shot but it did find its way to Small on the penalty spot, via a deflection, with no Liverpool defender in sight. He did well to take it down with his first touch before blasting it low into Grobbelaar’s bottom-left hand corner. Barry Davies’ initial call was “Offside, surely? No it’s not! No it’s not. Small has scored.” Replays didn’t really clear things up too much, the definitive angle wasn’t to be had, but Brighton did not care one jot! The linesman didn’t raise his flag and the goal stood. With nine minutes to go in the first half it was one-one.

91R4R Liv Disallowed 91R4R Liv Rebound 91R4R Liv Extra Time 91R4R Liv Byrne goal

The second period began with Liverpool looking threatening. They were nearly gifted the lead when Crumplin’s backpass was intercepted by Nicol. Luckily his shot across the face of goal crept just wide of the post. Brighton looked dangerous too and were denied the lead when referee Hill blew for, well, something but it was really not clear why. It appeared that Grobbelaar just lost out when coming to claim Wilkins’ corner and with two players on the goal line when Mike Small cleverly back-headed the ball into the net there was no question of offside. Hill was well placed (above, top left) so he must have seen something the viewers didn’t. Up the other end Liverpool managed to miss when a goal seemed a certainty. Steve Staunton had a shot from the far side of the area which went right across the face of goal towards the back stick. Waiting there was McMahon who looked like he’d be getting another close range finish but he couldn’t quite get a touch and it chipped up off the post (above, top right) and flew towards the other corner of the goal, landing just the right side from a Brighton perspective. “An amazing escape!” cried Davies. Chances continued to come for both sides, with Dean Wilkins looking to score from distance on many occasions. The closest came from a quickly taken free kick thirty yards out, Grobbelaar stayed alert to tip over. The sides couldn’t be separated within the ninety so Extra Time was required, with Liverpool using it to strengthen by bringing on Jan Molby. Grobbelaar was still failing to claim cleanly from corners, which looked like Brighton’s best chance of scoring another. “Some of the scrambles in the Liverpool six yard area have been quite unreal for a side of their pedigree,” Davies summarised. In the eighth minute of Extra Time, John Byrne scored to give the Seagulls the lead for the first time in over three hours of these Cup ties. Codner headed the free kick taken from inside the Albion half. John Byrne latched onto it and outpaced Gary Ablett, who stuck a leg out which just aided the striker. “A golden touch at the Goldstone Ground!” Byrne finished past Grobbelaar into the corner with a fabulous first time strike (above, bottom right). The packed Goldstone almost lifted the roof off, with one or two even straying onto the field in celebration. ‘Que Sera Sera’ began to ring round the famous old ground as memories of ’83 came flooding back for those in attendance.

91R4R Liv 2-2 Scoreline 91R4R Liv Winner 91R4R Liv Final Score

Just fifteen more minutes for Brighton to hold out as the second half of Extra Time got underway. But Liverpool struck an immediate blow. Substitute Beardsley made an immediate impact as it was his ball to Ian Rush which created the equaliser. The bobbling pass was taken on by Rush with his first touch, before firing an unstoppable shot into Digweed’s top left-hand corner from the edge of the area. It was a magnificent finish to make it two-two. Into the closing stages and Liverpool completed a comeback of their own to finally win the tie. With six minutes remaining it was the man who kick started tonight’s goals off who netted the final one; Steve McMahon. He started the move off and several neat, first time passes later he was behind the Albion back line, set free by Rush, and with Wilkins unable to quite cut it out, McMahon opened his body up and finished clinically past Digweed (above, top right), sending the 1,500 away fans into rapturous applause. The final score, after Extra Time in the replay, was Brighton two, Liverpool three. Barry Lloyd believed the introduction of Jan Molby to be the deciding factor when speaking in his post-match interview (below, left). “The change was when he came on the pitch and they shored their game up a wee bit and that was the difference.” Lloyd was in fine spirits, laughing with Barry Davies at the “marvellous” game, pushing the Champions all the way. Back in the studio, pundit Terry Venables (below, right) was full of praise for the Seagulls; “They certainly had them on the rack there for a long time and all credit to Brighton. They give it every shot they had there and there was some incredible scrambles from both sides. I thought it was a terrific Cup tie.” The first talking point of the analysis was on whether Mike Small’s goal was offside or not, with Venables believing him to be “well offside”, but replays were still not providing a definitive answer. He believed the disallowed effort should have stood and saw nothing wrong with it, the refereeing decisions therefore evening themselves out. The Reds faced Everton in Round Five where they lost one-nil, whilst the Seagulls did go on to make it to Wembley in May 1991; in the Division Two Play Off Final where Notts County took the spoils.

91R4R Liv Lloyd 91R4R Liv Venables


1991/92 Round Three goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (4th January 1992); Brighton 5-0 Crawley 

92R3 Cra Intro 92R3 Cra Opener

Des Lynam was in the chair as usual to host Match of the Day: The Road to Wembley for this Third Round programme, one of the most anticipated dates in the calendar as the big boys and the minnows have the potential to go head-to-head. Brighton, still managed by Barry Lloyd, were drawn to face fellow Sussex club Crawley for the first time in a full fixture. The semi-professional Southern Premier Division side were enjoying their best ever FA Cup run but were no match for the Albion, themselves having a poor season. After losing out on promotion in the Play Off Final at Wembley just seven months earlier, Brighton’s Cup campaign got off to a five-star start. Gerald Sinstadt voiced the best of the action in the round-up, with the home side “in their deck chair stripes.” Striker Mark Gall got the scoring underway in the twenty-fourth minute (above right) after controlling a long punt forward with his chest before sidestepping the defender and rifling it through the goalkeeper. Thirty-four-year-old Clive Walker doubled the lead with a nicely taken curler from the edge of the box that had a hint of a deflection on the way to deceive the ‘keeper. A young Ian Chapman made it three (below left) with a fantastic finish from a similar position, Sinstadt described it as “a ferocious finish” into the top corner, it bounced down off the crossbar. Into the second half and Chapman scored again, this time from the penalty spot as he sent the goalie the wrong way. The foul wasn’t shown, presumably to cram this many goals into a sub-two-minute report! The action was rounded off by Raphael Meade, who hit home a volley from seven yards out after Bryan Wade’s effort rebounded off Winterton in goal. A terrific win in front of the highest home attendance of the season, Sinstadt pointed out the positives for the away side; “Crawley’s consolation was a share of a £110,000 gate receipt.” The Seagulls reached Round Four for the third season running.

92R3 Chapman goal 92R3 Cra Scoreline


1991/92 Round Four highlights

Match of the Day, BBC One (25th January 1992); Bolton 2-1 Brighton 

92R4 Bury studio 92R4 Bury teams

Brighton’s reward for a demolition of Crawley was a trip to Third Division Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park. The ingredients were there for a potential Cup upset, with the higher Division team travelling to the lower League club. Fourth Round Saturday though was hugely depleted by adverse weather, with only five ties surviving. BBC Match of the Day salvaged three of them to get the featured highlights treatment; West Ham hosting giantkillers Wrexham, Leicester versus Bristol City and, finally, our very own trip to Bolton filled the seventy minutes that Saturday night. This was our first MotD commentary edit since March 1986! Des Lynam hosted in the studio with Trevor Brooking. Des talked us through the two line-ups before handing to our commentator. For Phil Neal’s home side, former Celtic striker Andy Walker was banging in the goals as was Tony Philliskirk, both began up front. A young Alan Stubbs became a regular this campaign whilst Tony Kelly was impressing at the back. As for the Albion, much had changed from last season’s Fourth Round appearance, as both Mike Small and John Byrne had since been sold on and the experience of Steve Gatting was lost to Charlton. Form too had dipped, not winning in any of December’s five matches. The line-up at Bolton included John Robinson in midfield and a reserve partnership at the back due to injury and suspension which resulted in Nicky Bissett and Paul McCarthy getting the nod in place of Gary Chivers and Gary O’Reilly. Goalscorers in Round Three – Raphael Meade, Ian Chapman and Clive Walker – all looked to add to their Cup tally. Having to juggle things around due to the numerous postponements presented the opportunity for Ralph Dellor to do his one and only commentary for the show. Dellor was best known for his cricket work and was a big part of the Test Match Special team for many years. With Bolton wearing their familiar strip, the Albion had to wear their away kit which Lynam described as “Bolton in white, Brighton in..well, the other colour.” The famous ‘Chewit wrapper’ red and white kit.

92R4 Bury Meade goal 92R4 Bury aston

Around ten minutes of match action was afforded. The first action of the highlights edit was a chance for Brighton. Crumplin’s free kick on the half way line bounced up on the edge of the box for Meade to challenge with the goalkeeper. Felgate punched but the loose ball fell to Bryan Wade. He dragged his shot wide under pressure from the Bolton captain. Bolton’s first effort was a long ranger from Tony Kelly, no problem for Beeney in the eye-watering green and black shirt with white and red shorts. They nearly took the lead when Darby’s shot went just wide. Wanderers continued to pepper the Albion goal, with Kelly having another hit from outside the area which needed to be pushed away well, right at the end of the half. The whistle came just at the right time for the Seagulls as the final act saw Philliskirk’s header crash against the crossbar. The second half continued in the same manner, with Patterson going close before Andy Walker finally broke the deadlock for the home side. The chance arose from Green’s quick throw on the near side which was flicked on by Philliskirk. Walker reacted quicker than McCarthy in defence to poke home from just a couple of yards for one-nil. Brighton’s equaliser came out of the blue starting with a long hit and hope forward by Ian Chapman. A touch from his strike partner on halfway immediately sent Raphael Meade clear on goal behind the defence. He took two touches to maintain the momentum before sliding and toe-poking the ball as he beared down on goal (above left). By taking it early he gave the covering defender no opportunity to make a tackle and also caught the ‘keeper flat-footed to the delight of the travelling Seagulls ten minutes into the second half. The winning goal came from a terrible error by Paul McCarthy who stumbled and handled the ball as it skipped up awkwardly off the turf. It presented Tony Philliskirk with the chance to convert from the penalty spot, which he duly did with his trusty left foot (below left) as nineteen minutes remained. The Whitemen held out for another famous FA Cup win, having knocked holders Liverpool out in Round Three. Derby ended the run in Round Five, whilst Brighton were relegated into the third tier at the end of the season, finishing just one place above the bottom.

92R4 Bury penalty 92R4 Bury Scoreline


1992/93 Round Two goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (5th December 1992); Brighton 1-1 Woking 

93R2 Wok Intro 93R2 Wok Headed goal

The Albion knocked out Hayes two-nil in the First Round to set up another clash with a non-League club in Round Two, as Woking came to Sussex. Gerald Sinstadt once again rounded-up the action from third-tier Brighton’s FA Cup tie as part of his report on Match of the Day on BBC One. The BBC had highlights rights to both League and Cup from this season’s formation of the FA Premier League and so the best of the Second Round games were slotted into a seventy-five minute programme alongside the top flight League action presented by Des Lynam. Therefore just thirty seconds were needed to showcase the two goals at the Goldstone. Sinstadt’s voiceover began, like previously, with a comment on the Albion’s kit and skilfully managed to link in the club’s off the field problems; “Brighton, wearing the converted sun blinds, emerged from the shadow of the Inland Revenue and the threat of a winding-up order to take the lead against Woking.” This was in reference to the financial struggles Brighton were facing, debts built up and the board’s rescue plan was refused – planning permission for retail units on the site of the ground was rejected. Manager Barry Lloyd was increasingly having to focus on these matters and sell his best players just to stay afloat. On the field, the Albion’s goal came from a deep cross on the near touchline by John Crumplin. Scottish forward Andy Kennedy leapt highest to head home (above right) in the first half. That lead lasted almost an hour before Shane Wye (bottom left) reacted to a misplaced header to drive home his low volley along the ground and past Mark Beeney to equalise. A replay was scheduled for eleven days time, coincidentally on the same day the Seagulls next had to answer to the taxman in the High Court.

93R2 Wok Equaliser 93R2 Wok Scoreline

 

Round Two Replay goals

FA Cup Special, Sky Sports (16th December 1992); Woking 1-2 Brighton 

93R2R Wok Scoreline 93R2R Wok Celebration

Richard Keys was in the studio this midweek as Sky Sports wrapped up the story of the Second Round of the FA Cup with voiceover reports covering the Replays. In a clip that screamed early 90s telly, the goals were soundtracked by fast guitar and drum beat that ITV’s Gladiators would have probably liked. Reporter Nick Collins leant his dulcet tones to the short report, which began by referencing the Albion’s High Court appearance earlier in the day. With around £400,000 owed, negotiations would carry on for much of the rest of the season before the sale of Mark Beeney to Leeds in April ’93 for £350,000 just about bailed us out. Brighton had to be bailed out on the pitch a lot sooner in Surrey when Woking took an eighth minute lead. Steve Biggins crossed for ex-Reading striker Trevor Senior to turn home from six yards. Robert Codner burst through the middle of the park to equalise with a fine strike on the edge of the area and celebrate with the travelling support who had spilled onto the turf (above right) ten minutes before the break. As Extra Time loomed, Brighton struck a winner with five minutes remaining. A cross into the box was headed beyond the back stick where Gary Chivers was waiting. He flicked it back into the middle where John Crumplin dived for a header. It took a huge deflection off a nearby defender to loop up and over the despairing ‘keeper’s dive (below left) and in. A huge let off for Brighton, on and off field, to the relief of Barry Lloyd (below right), not that he was in any mood to show it. The Third Round saw fellow Southern region club Portsmouth travel to the Goldstone and were swiftly dispatched one-nil. After that? Only Manchester United at Old Trafford!

93R2R Wok Winner 93R2R Wok Barry Lloyd


1992/93 Round Four goals

Match of the Day, BBC One (23rd January 1993); Manchester Utd 1-0 Brighton 

93R4 ManU BBC Lynam 93R4 ManU BBC Giggs

This was Brighton’s fourth consecutive appearance in Round Four of the FA Cup and their fifth in six years. In 1993 it was Premiership title-chasing Manchester United who hosted the Albion, in front of a packed house at Old Trafford. Match of the Day was on The Road to Wembley once more as Des Lynam hosted the best of the action from Television Centre with Trevor Brooking and Alan Hansen. Lynam explained Brighton were “desperate for some kind of result to help out with their current financial predicament.” The match received a short one-minute round-up voiced by reporter David Davies, who went on to join the FA the following year. It began with what looked like a penalty for the Seagulls as Andy Kennedy went down under pressure from goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, the referee disagreed. Next, Clive Walker stood a cross up from the left which Nicky Bissett got his head to but went agonisingly wide as Schmeichel was caught out. A let off for a sluggish Manchester United who showed their class in the second half with a fantastic bit of skill from Welsh winger Ryan Giggs (above right). He played keepy-uppy with three touches before flicking it over the head of Steve Foster to get into the penalty area. It led to nothing and the breakthrough goal was not forthcoming. United thought they had it when Lee Sharpe’s cross was headed back across goal by Keith Gillespie to Brian McClair centre just a couple of yards out (below left). He turned the ball into the net. The linesman came to the Seagulls rescue. But the Premiership Champions-elect would ultimately not be denied as Giggs curled home a terrific free-kick with less than a quarter of an hour to play. A result which came to the relief of Red Devils midfielder Paul Ince (below right).

93R4 ManU BBC Offside goal 93R4 ManU BBC Ince

Also; FA Cup Special, Sky Sports

93R4 ManU Sky intro 93R4 ManU Sky No pen

Sky Sports held Live and highlights rights to the FA Cup in a joint deal with the BBC and had done since the channel’s inception in 1991. Their round-up show, presented by Richard Keys in the studio, included a one-minute report on Brighton’s trip to Old Trafford. It was voiced by reporter Tony Lockwood, this time sans backing music. This report began with a look at the penalty which wasn’t given (above right), with the behind the goal angle perhaps suggesting minimal actual contact. The Nicky Bissett miss (below left) gets worse every time you see it, with Walker’s cross being flapped at by Peter Schmeichel and landing right on the head of Bissett with the goal gaping just four yards out. He had to angle his body in order to jump for the ball which must have hampered the accuracy, as the power was achieved and would have given the ‘keeper no chance if on target. After showing the disallowed goal, they showed the excellent Ryan Giggs free kick which separated the sides. From the angle behind the goal (below right) you follow the ball’s flight path all the way in from just outside the box to nestling in Beeney’s net. “At nineteen, Giggs is one of the hottest properties in the game,” claimed Lockwood. He certainly would be that. United went on to lose to Sheffield United in Round Five of the Cup but did claim the inaugural Premiership crown. The Seagulls consolidated back in the third tier (new Division Two) and finished in ninth spot despite the surrounding financial problems forcing the sale over the past year or so of many of their top players. Unfortunately for much of the rest of the decade, it would be all downhill from here.

93R4 ManU Sky missed chance 93R4 ManU Sky Goal


This look back over Albion’s FA Cup adventures in the 90s continues with part two which can be accessed HERE.

 

Small Screen Seagulls; 1996/97 Season

Brighton on TV

The 1996/1997 season was Brighton’s final one at their home of 96 years – the Goldstone Ground. The off-pitch battles were fierce, difficult and extremely fraught. Excellent articles and books, such as Build a Bonfire, have been written documenting the entire battle to save the ground, save the club, oust the board and keep Brighton in Brighton, which I won’t go into on here. Instead here are some brief snippets from the media coverage of the 96/97 season, where for the first real time since the 1983 FA Cup Final, Brighton were the subject of media attention (albeit for truly terrible reasons). Screenshots are provided from various clips of news and highlights coverage by ITV Sport, Meridian, Sky News and BBC South.

 


South Today, BBC South (16th October 1996);

Brighton 0-1 Hereford, 15/10/96 – Division Three

Protest presenter 1 Protest presenter

Brighton fans had already had to protest, invade the pitch and cause an abandonment, in the 1995/96 season plus one just a couple of weeks before this match, to get their story heard amidst an ongoing battle with the board – namely chairman Bill Archer and chief executive David Bellotti. They had planned to ease the club’s mounting debts by selling the Goldstone Ground, however there was no new home lined-up and it was revealed they had changed the club’s constitution in an effort to profit from such sale. In order to get this story nationwide, fans organised a series of protests for publicity. At the time of this report on local news bulletin BBC South Today, there was a blueprint for ground-sharing with Portsmouth from the following season. This of course never materialised and Gillingham were instead landlords for the two seasons after this one. Regular presenters at this time in the region were Harry Gration (above left) and Roger Finn (above right).

Protest fireworks Protest outside

Fireworks in the 75th minute provided the cue for much of the 3,500 Seagulls supporers to walk out of the ground in protest, with around a thousand congregating outside the stands and by the directors’ entrance. “We’re just sick to death of what’s going on down there, it’s ridiculous. We just want Archer out” one fan commented. As the game drew to a conclusion with more fans outside the ground than in it, the Albion lost one-nil to Hereford; a team who would crop up again in an absolutely pivotal way later on this season.

Protest reporter Protest baine

The report was compiled by Sean Killick, long-time BBC South Today ‘Sussex reporter’ who chatted with fans and protesters. “It’s gonna carry on and carry on until he goes cos there is no future for this club with Bill Archer here and everybody agrees with that. There isn’t one single person in the whole of Sussex who supports him!” said John Baine of the Brighton Independent Supporters Group. Baine is better known as punk poet Atilla the Stockbroker, one of the leaders in the fans campaigning and later one of two voices over the PA at our time at Gillingham and Withdean Stadium. Whilst the message was being heard loud and clear inside and outside the ground, as well as starting to filter around the rest of the country, the football on the pitch was still dreadful. The defeat left Jimmy Case’s Brighton bottom of the entire Football League, four points adrift with little sign of improvement.


Meridian Tonight, ITV Meridian (4th December 1996);

Brighton 2-3 Darlington, 03/12/96 – Division Three

Case sacked presenters Case sacked protest

Meridian Tonight reported on the surprise sacking of manager Jimmy Case the morning after a midweek defeat to Darlington at home. Main presenter Fred Dinenage was in conversation with sports presenter Andy Steggall on the local news bulletin. Steggall began by not messing his words one bit; “I think it’s extraordinary. I don’t know what the directors are playing at. They haven’t got a friend in the world, the fans hate them,” before confirming that the FA and Football League are investigating them too. This match was seen as a must-win for Brighton, as most were, as Darlington were just one place above the Seagulls ahead of the match, with Brighton still at the foot of the table.

Case sacked board Case sacked quote

The protesting began just three minutes into the match, as Chief Executive David Bellotti was chased out of the directors box followed by a small group of fans running onto the pitch and crossing stands. Steggall went on to point out how strange the timing of the decision to get rid of Case was, having stated in the programme notes only the night before how everyone should “get behind Jimmy and the players… Jimmy and the team deserve better than this.” They really did. Then came the statement thanking Case for his efforts and urging supporters to get behind the new incumbant. Case left the Albion after almost a year exactly, having took charge of 59 games with just nine wins. He acknowledged before this decision that things were “going steadily down hill… I’ve learned to put up with a lot… But I still want to see it through.” The club would face an even bigger uphill battle now without a manager, losing to their nearest rivals and sitting glumly at the bottom of the entire Football League without a home to play in next season. It would take a minor miracle to turn this around in 1997.


Sportsline report, Sky News (27th April 1997);

Brighton 1-0 Doncaster, 26/04/97 – Division Three

Goldstone sky news host Goldstone sky news reporter

Before the Sky Sports News 24 hour rolling channel existed, sports news on Sky came via the Sky Sports Centre, a pre-cursor to SSN with excellent daily bulletins, or from Sky News regular updates in Sportsline. The latter is where we saw a report on Brighton’s last ever match at the Goldstone Ground. Chris Skudder hosted from the Sky News centre, with Pete Barraclough reporting from Brighton, both long-standing members of the Sky reporting team.

Goldstone sky news pub Goldstone sky news invasion

Barrclough’s report began by mentioning the National Lottery funding granted to Brighton’s West Pier to prevent it crumbling further into the sea, before moving down to the Hove Park Tavern, a couple of minutes walk from the Goldstone. The pub exterior still looks the same twenty years on as it did in 1997, the difference being how much more populated it was back then. After a quick chat with a couple of fans in buoyant mood, including one who had travelled back from Washington DC for this, it was onto match action. This was slightly spoiled by the caption for Brighton manager Steve Gritt flashing up instead as “Stuart Storer Brighton Goalscorer”, whose interview was yet to come. After showing the goal, we saw the scenes of elation at the final whistle as the players ran off and the fans ran on, eager to claim their little souvenir from the soon-to-be demolished stadium.

Goldstone sky news goal Goldstone sky news storer

Stuart Storer’s name would never be forgotten by Albion fans for his decisive goal to secure the win against Doncaster and keep Brighton in with a fighting chance of avoiding relegation against all odds. The ball was headed onto the crossbar and fell to Storer’s feet five yards from goal to blast home on the half-volley above the multiple bodies on the goalline. Brighton had done it, the fairtytale ending to 96 years at the grand old stadium, in doing so meaning survival was then in their own hands ahead of the final day showdown at Hereford the following Saturday. “We didn’t play very well,” Storer began after the match, “but at the end of the day the result matters and a lot of people have gone home very happy but probably with a tear in their eye as well.” This time the correct caption was put up! The final shots of the report showed the fans knocking out the old wooden seats to take home with them, as the demolition work effectively began.


Nationwide Football League Extra, ITV (5th May 1997); 

Hereford 1-1 Brighton, 03/05/97 – Division Three Final Day

Football League Extra Titles FLE Gabriel Clarke

Gabriel Clarke hosted the weekly Football League highlights programme from Hereford on the final day of the season, broadcast late Monday night networked across the ITV regions. Football League Extra was a popular review programme featuring all the goals from all three Divisions, a nostalgia section looking back at a classic match, and a club feature or interview. The show came about during ITV’s exclusive coverage of the Football League and continued after they lost Live rights to Sky in 1996; FLE ran from 1994 to 2004, replaced by Sunday morning show The Championship on ITV. This particular match was absolutely huge, effectively a play-off to decide who gets relegated to the Conference. Brighton went into it knowing that if they avoid defeat they’ll stay up, Hereford had to win or they would go down. “There has never been a last day scenario quite like the one played out at Edgar Street this weekend. Hereford and Brighton met for a match guaranteed to span sports emotional extremes. At the end of Saturday, one of them would be dropping out of the Nationwide League,” Clarke opened the show.

FLE Steve Gritt FLE Fans

“There’s an awful lot at stake, really it’s not worth contemplating relegation really because it will mean so much to everyone connected to the club to stay in the league,” were the pre-match thoughts of Brighton boss. Steve Gritt joined the club in December 1996 when the Albion were bottom of the table and needed results fast. It was already some achievement, given what was going on around him off the pitch, to have put Brighton with their fate in their own hands on the last day in 23rd position, level on points with the home side both on 46 points. The sharp plummet of Hereford to the foot of the table had been overshadowed somewhat as a result. They were in the play-offs the previous season.

FLE Kick off FLE one nil

Gabriel Clarke voiced an extended report at the top of the programme incorporating the highlights, devoting the first seven minutes of the 40 minute programme. The rain fell before kick off to make the playing conditions even trickier. The home side were able to adapt better quicker and dominated possession early on. It took just 21 minutes for the breakthrough to come. Tony Agana found a bit of space in a crowded box and hit a cross-shot towards the centre of the six yard box and turned into his own goal by 19-year-old local defender Kerry Mayo. It would’ve been more before half time if it weren’t for Brighton’s resolute defending throwing bodies on the line. Some things never change.

FLE one one FLE chance

This continued into the early stages of the second half, where Hereford were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty. The decision mattered even more in the 62nd minute. Craig Maskell shot on the volley and was millimetres away from writing his name into Brighton history, instead the honour going to Robbie Reinelt. Maskell’s shot hit the post, with the goalkeeper scrambling around to get back on his feet the rebound fell to the inrushing Reinelt to calmly slot the ball home from seven yards out. Brighton were level with one of the most important goals in the club’s history. Instantly there was a role reversal, it was Hereford who were now on the back foot and looking nervy and tired. Chances still fell, with Agana’s header inches wide as Brighton ‘keeper Mark Ormerod failed to punch clear. Disaster almost, and definitely should have, struck in the final minute as the Albion defence were caught wide open. Hereford striker Adrian Foster was in on goal with just Ormerod to beat but the shot fell straight into his arms and that was almost it.

FLE Dick Knight FLE Reinelt

Robbie Reinelt said in his interview after the game it was “probably the best moment of my career. I’ve been at Gillingham when they nearly went out of business, I was with Aldershot when they out of business, Colchester nearly out of business. So today I break my duck!” What were Brighton thinking signing such a jinx! Having led the fan charge to take over the club from David Bellotti and Bill Archer, local businessman Dick Knight was chairman for the final two games of the season, seen by many as one of the saviours of the club. Knight was quoted on the show as saying it was “tense, nailbiting… and that was just the kick off!” After 46 games and 47 points for both Brighton and Hereford, the Albion survived by virtue of a better goal difference of just two goals. The tightest of margins.

FLE Final whistle FLE Hereford

What a contrast of emotions at the final whistle. Steve Gritt and his staff were of course jubilant. Nobody wanted the Brighton job before he was appointed in December with the club twelve points adrift at the foot of the entire Football League, he did a remarkable job to lift the players, lift the fans and grind out those all-important results. It is widely believed that the club wouldn’t have survived in the Conference, probably having to go part-time playing their games miles from home without their own stadium. Debt, a player exodus, a disengaged fanbase; it doesn’t bare thinking about. For Hereford that was their reality – relegation out of the League after 25 years. They were to remain a full-time club but their problems would begin as soon as the final whistle blew. Manager Graham Turner, shown with his head in his hands above, immediately offered his resignation. Over the summer his resignation was rejected and he ended up staying with Hereford for a further 12 years, eventually guiding them back up into the League and then a further promotion to the third tier whilst also being a major shareholder in the club. Whilst he was the man that took the club down he was instrumental in saving and rebuilding them and deserves a lot of credit.

#5: Brighton 0-0 Fulham 14/12/1995

#5 BRIGHTON 0-0 FULHAM (AET, FUL win 4-1 on pens) FA Cup Round Two Replay
Thursday 14th December 1995 Sky 1995

FACup1996 titles

PRESENTER Richard Keys
COMMENTATORS Martin Tyler & Andy Gray REPORTER Nick Collins
7.45pm Kick Off; Goldstone Ground     Ford Cup Special on Sky Sports

Fulham FACup Sky programme1

Context of the Match: Brighton scraped past non-league Canvey Island in the First Round but only after a replay at the Goldstone following a 2-2 draw first time out. The original Round Two match at Craven Cottage ended goalless twelve days earlier and was enough somehow to garner the interest of the Sky Sports cameras for the first time featuring the Albion. As detailed above, the game was a tight squeeze in order for it not to clash with any other televised matches. England playing on Tuesday pushed this game to a Thursday night, just like another famous FA Cup Replay featuring the club 12 years earlier. Fulham were a division below, in the fourth tier, and on paper an away victory would be an upset, however with Brighton’s poor season so far and low morale it was a difficult match to call. Coupled with the fact Fulham had already knocked us out of the Cup this season, the League Cup back in August. The winner tonight would host Shrewsbury in Round Three.

Fulham FACup Ryan

The Teams: Liam Brady had left since the last televised game, with Albion ’83 Cup hero Jimmy Case taking up the reigns a few weeks before today’s match alongside Brady’s assistant Gerry Ryan. Midfielder Jeff Minton went into the tie in form, having scored in a win against Bournemouth the previous Saturday. Despite a busy run of games coming up for the Albion, including 2 games in 3 days, the majority of the starting XI forming the regular team. That meant ever-present Nicky Rust continued in goal, with defenders Peter Smith and Stuart Myall in front of him, captain McCarthy in the middle and Junior McDougald up front. Fulham’s squad included striker Gary Brazil, whose daughter Ellie would go on to represent the Albion Women’s team more than twenty years later. Speaking of the Women’s team, George Parris started for Brighton. He would later take charge of BHAWFC. Refereeing the match was a young Graham Poll.

Fulham FACup Sky programme2

Presentation Team: Sky’s A-Team of Richard Keys, Martin Tyler, Andy Gray and Nick Collins were all present for this pre-Christmas Cup clash. Tyler and Gray had formed a formidable partnership on the gantry since Sky gained exclusive live rights to the new FA Carling Premiership four years ago, with Gray’s forensic analysis breaking new ground and generally considered to be the best in the business by far. Tyler covered the last Live FA Cup match for Brighton when he was pitchside reporter for ITV in the 1984 Fourth Round victory over Liverpool. Richard Keys hosted almost every English domestic Live match on Sky during this period and was almost certainly based at Sky HQ in Isleworth as opposed to the window box Jim Rosenthal presented from in the Goldstone corner last time out. Nick Collins, Sky’s Premiership and England reporter, was on touchline duties this time around.

Fulham FACup Sky programme3

The Coverage: I have not been able to obtain many details about this broadcast unfortunately. It is almost certain that with it being a replay rather than a full round of fixtures, and rather hastily arranged at that, Sky would have given the coverage a short 15 minutes intro and post match hosted from their studio in Isleworth. Therefore the build up would have consisted of a short chat with the studio guest, a couple of interviews conducted by Nick Collins and then it would be time to hand over to Andy Gray and Martin Tyler. Had this been the original match Live, it would almost certainly have had a longer pre-match and included goals and reports from other 2nd Round ties. Due to the match ending goalless again, extra time and penalties would have extended the broadcast from around 10pm up until about 10.45pm or so, leaving a few minutes to round up the match and get some reaction from the players and managers involved, before concluding for the night and preparing for their next big Live flagship Super Sunday broadcast at the weekend. Sky’s FA Cup theme tune was a version of Jerusalem, which they used throughout the entire time they covered the competition. Graphics were the usual yellow and black that were used across all sports for these couple of years circa 1994-97.

 

Story of the Match: It was some achievement from both sides not to score a solitary goal in a total of 210 minutes of football but that’s exactly what happened here. Nil-nil in the first game, nil-nil in the Replay, nil-nil in Extra Time. Penalties were needed to decide the winner and Brighton certainly did not step up to the mark, scoring just one with Fulham converting all four of theirs to go through. The off-the-field fights were more important to the Albion at this crucial time, having started in the last televised game against Bournemouth they would continue for years to come. The on-field problems continued and the club would be relegated at the end of this season to join Fulham in Division Three.

BRIGHTON 0 FULHAM 0
After Extra Time. Fulham win 4-1 on penalties

 

PREVIOUS; #4 BOURNEMOUTH 3-1 BRIGHTON 24/09/1995

NEXT; #6 LEYTON ORIENT 2-0 BRIGHTON 22/12/1996

EXTRA; Whilst footage of this actual broadcast is proving extremely elusive, I have found a clip from Sky’s FA Cup First Round coverage which included a report on the Albion’s tie away at Canvey Island from reporter (and future Football League Live host) George Gavin and presented by Richard Keys.

Fulham FACup Keys Fulham FACup Gavin

 

#3: Brighton 2-0 Liverpool 29/01/1984

#3 BRIGHTON 2-0 LIVERPOOL FA Cup Round Four Replay
Sunday 29th January 1984 ITV 1983

1984 BHA LIV titles

PRESENTER Jim Rosenthal GUESTS Ian St John & Jimmy Greaves
COMMENTATORS Brian Moore & Ron Atkinson REPORTER Martin Tyler
2.35pm Kick Off; Goldstone Ground     2.30-4.30pm The Big Match Live on ITV

1984 Rosenthal 1984 Saint 1984 Greaves 1984 Studio

Context of the Match: Having got to the FA Cup Final last season and eventually beaten in the Replay by Manchester United, Brighton now found themselves 10th in Division Two ahead of this match. Liverpool were amongst the favourites to win this year’s Cup and were favourites going into this match. Brighton were buoyed by the fact several of that Cup Final team were still present and had beaten Liverpool en route. This was an historic day for the club and for televised football. It was the first time the Goldstone Ground had hosted a Sunday Cup match, and a live television debut for the stadium. It was also the first time a second tier club had been shown live outside of an FA Cup Final.

1984 programme cover

The Teams: Brighton knocked Liverpool out at Anfield on their way to the Final of this competition the previous season. Five of the Albion line up from that match featured again today this time under manager Chris Cattlin; Gatting, Grealish, Foster, Ryan and Smillie. For the away side today, only Steve Nicol didn’t play in that match last season. Liverpool had goalscoring phenomenon Ian Rush in the starting XI to much fanfare and excitement from ITV. And future star pundits Mark Lawrenson, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness all were showing off their ability for the superstars from Anfield.

1984 kick off 1984 Half Time

Presentation Team: This match was networked on ITV and their top domestic team were all present. Coverage was hosted by Jim Rosenthal, who had been at ITV since 1980. Jim worked on football and boxing throughout the 80s, including World Cup ’82, The Big Fight Live and regular co-host of The Big Match weekly highlights programme. On The Ball contributors Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves were the studio guests, sat in the corner of the Goldstone Ground. Lead commentator Brian Moore was joined by regular ITV contributor and current Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson in the commentary box. Atkinson’s United had beaten Brighton in the FA Cup Final Replay the previous season; a match in which Rosenthal, Moore, Saint and Greavsie all worked on for ITV. Number 2 commentator and Granada region main man Martin Tyler was the touchline reporter on today’s match. Tyler was behind Moore in the pecking order however got his big chance at the international tournaments. With Moore anchoring proceedings in London, Tyler took up lead commentary duties at both the 1982 World Cup and later the 1984 European Championships. Tyler of course would go on to be the number 1 for Sky Sports for their Premiership coverage in the 1990s.

1984 credits 1984 credits2 1984 programme notes

The Coverage: Match coverage began five minutes before the 2.35pm Sunday afternoon kick off. The familiar sounds of Jeff Wayne’s ‘Jubilation‘ roared out as The Big Match Live theme tune, having been used for the show since 1980, and my personal favourite of all the music they had over the years. The studio team located in the corner of the Goldstone, with the pitch visible behind Rosenthal and Greaves whilst the houses nearby could be viewed behind St John, had enough time to talk up the prospect of Ian Rush leading the line for Liverpool. Rush was compared to “the greatest British goalscorer of them all” Jimmy Greaves during Rosenthal’s intro, cue laughs as we got a shot of Jimmy handing over cash for such a warm welcome. And that was pretty much all there was time for in the build up before the teams came out.

This being 1984 the graphics were minimal and used only when necessary; starting line up, name for interview and not much else! The permanent scoreboard and clock wasn’t really introduced until almost a decade later so if you weren’t paying attention you’d be relying on score and time updates from Brian Moore throughout. We didn’t have our first action replay until around 16 minutes in, when the first decent shot occurred. Going in and out of breaks we got the half and full time scores come up, as well as once or twice in play, but no more. And were we worse off without endless replays and graphics? Not particularly. Before the start of the second half reporter Martin Tyler grabbed a quick word with Brighton’s Scouser Jimmy Case, who was unable to play today due to suspension, before handing back to our commentary team. When the coverage returned after the full time whistle commercial break we were able to have a little bit of chat from Saint and Greavsie preceded by a short Martin Tyler interview with captain Steve Foster before Jim said good evening to us, by which time the curtains(!) in the studio had been drawn, the window was no longer visible and it was time to roll the credits.

1984 tyler interview 1984 foster interview

Story of the Match: Brighton were a division apart and clear underdogs as the pundits pointed out, yet certainly made the better start of the two sides. The first decent chance fell to Liverpool through Nicol’s fierce shot well held by Corrigan. The away team were forced to defend sensibly throughout the first half, as the Albion’s front four used their pace to good effect. Liverpool captain Graeme Souness was forced off early with a hamstring injury, which only aided Brighton’s confidence. Ian Rush had a golden chance right on 45 minutes when he was thwarted first by Corrigan and then the rebound was blocked on the line superbly by Foster. The breakthrough was yet to come as the half time whistle blew but Liverpool were looking more and more dangerous. The game livened up in the second half as the sun shone down over a full Goldstone Ground. Brighton started strongly again in the second half and it took just 12 minutes before Gerry Ryan was put clear by Grealish behind the Liverpool defence and chipped it over Grobbelaar to break the deadlock. And just over a minute later Terry Connor was sent through beating the offside trap and shot past the keeper from outside the penalty area to shock Liverpool and make it two-nil. Both really cool finishes and the game was never really recovered from there. There were few chances of note after this point and Brighton were through to the 5th Round of the FA Cup once more. ITV got themselves a Cup upset.

BRIGHTON 2 LIVERPOOL 0
Ryan, Connor

1984 Full time

PREVIOUS; #2 BRIGHTON 0-4 MANCHESTER UNITED 26/05/1983

NEXT; #4 BOURNEMOUTH 3-1 BRIGHTON 24/09/1995

EXTRA: I purchased the matchday programme on eBay in 2018 and noticed there were some very interesting articles for this tie about sports broadcasting from a few names who would become synonymous with televised coverage of the game.

1984 Parry 1984 moore 1984 Clive

And it would appear our manager Chris Cattlin wasn’t too keen on the ITV cameras being there to show the match Live; 1984 manager