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Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion

Nickname The Seagulls
Web Site www.seagulls.co.uk
E-mail seagulls@bhafc.co.uk
Stadium Withdean Stadium

Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club was formed in 1901 and entered the Southern League. They played their first games at the County Cricket Ground before moving to the Goldstone Ground a year later. The team adopted blue and white stripes in 1904 and still play in them today.

The Seagulls joined the Football League in 1920 and played in Football League Division Three (south). It took them 38 years to gain promotion to the Second Division but by 1963 were playing in the newly formed Football League Division Four. In 1965, boosted by crowds of 18,000 the team took the Division Four Title and remained in the third tier for 7 seasons.

In 1979 Brighton were promoted to the top flight where they remained for 4 years. In 1983 they reached the final of the FA Cup and played Manchester United. After a famous 2-2 draw United went on to win the replay 4-0. Brighton were relegated in the same season.

By the 1996/7 season Brighton were in the basement league and facing severe financial difficulties. Just fourteen years after they had played in the FA Cup Final it was looking like they would slip out of the league and into footballs oblivion. By mid season the situation was looking hopeless with Brighton rooted to the bottom. A new manager was appointed in the form of Steve Grit in the hope that he would perform a miracle. On the last game of the season they faced Hereford United who were now bottom of the league. Brighton had overcome a 13 point deficit to rise above them and it was 'winner takes all' for League survival. In the first half Brighton scored an own goal and things were looking bad. Thankfully, a late equaliser by Robbie Reinelt meant Hereford were relegated on account of Brightons superior goal difference.

To add to the traumas of the1996/7 season the Directors sold the Goldstone Ground. This caused widespread protests as little money actually went back to the club and no viable alternative stadium was proposed. Brighton were now homeless and still in debt. The team started playing their games at Gillinghams ground which was a 140 mile round trip for the supporters. This naturally led to falling attendances whilst still having to pay the rent. After two years they began using the Withdean Stadium which is usually used for athletics. It wasn't a perfect solution but at least it's located in Brighton and Hove. In the first game back in Brighton and Hove the team won 6-0 in front of a full stadium. Things were looking up again.

In the 2000/1 season Brightons fortunes truly reversed. Under Manager Micky Adams and with goal ace Bobby Zamora they won the league and gained promotion. Adams left the following season but the team still managed to storm the division and were crowned champions. Two promotions in two seasons meant Brighton were back in the second flight and were playing home games in front of a packed stadium again.

Brighton were relegated once more in 2003 but gained promotion to the newly formed Championship in 2005. In the first season they avoided the drop by 1 position before being relegated again the following season. The club is still homeless and in debt but have had plans approved for a new stadium in Falmer.

Matches
Brighton & Hove Albion Memorabilia
Brighton & Hove Albion Books


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