In this series, we profile one Premier League team each week, looking at some of the History, Records and Trivia associated with each club. This week we profile Brighton and Hove Albion FC. Join us on a journey from 1901 to 2017 as we go, Behind the Club.
On the south coast of East Sussex, Brighton and Hove Albion were formed in 1901. They competed as members of the Southern League until 1920, upon their election into the Football League.
The club spent most of the next 50 years in the third tier, with brief spells in the second and fourth, but enjoyed their Golden era after being taken over by Mike Bamber in 1972. Bamber was instrumental in bringing Brian Clough to the south coast and then replacing him with Alan Mullery.
Mullery led Brighton to the First Division for the first time in their history in 1979. They struggled initially, losing 4-0 at home to Arsenal, but bounced back to survived with relative comfort. They avoided relegation for another two seasons, enjoying their only FA Cup final to date in that period. Bamber stood down as Chairman following their relegation in 1983.
Relegation to the Third Division followed four seasons later, but they bounced straight back. They came close to another shot at the First Division in 1990-91, but ultimately fell short in the play-off semi-finals.
Brighton’s most turbulent spell followed this, the club returned to the Fourth Tier for the first time since 1965 and look doomed to be relegated from the Football League after a horrendous start to the 1996-97 season.
The club appointed Steve Gritt midway through the season and managed to survive on the final day, condemning Hereford to the Conference in their place.
Financial pressures led Brighton to sell the Goldstone Stadium – their home of 96 years – and they were forced to play home fixtures at Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium, 70 miles away.
Form and finances slowly improved and they were able to move back to Brighton in 1999, playing at the Withdean Stadium, a former athletics track owned by the local council. By this point, Micky Adams was manager and he oversaw promotion back to the third tier in 2001.
The club began 2001-02 strongly and despite Adams departure to Leicester City in October, Brighton won Division Two to claim a second successive promotion.
A yo-yo period then followed, with Brighton suffering two relegations and a promotion before 2006. They remained in the recently renamed League One for a further five years after which they returned to the Championship, at which point they moved to the newly built Falmer Stadium; commercially known as the AMEX.
Gus Poyet assembled a quality Championship squad for Brighton, who came close to promotion to the Premier League in 2012-13, losing to Arch-rivals Crystal Palace in the Semi-finals. Poyet then left following that tie, strange rumours concerning a dressing room issue souring his departure.
After struggling for the next two seasons, Brighton again fell in the play-off semi-finals in 2015-16, but finally clinched promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 2016-17, led by Chris Hughton.
Their Premier League bow has been difficult thus far, with only ******** points accrued and ****** goals scored, and manager Hughton is facing pressure already to turn the ship around.
Brighton’s history has been almost as up and down as Bournemouth, but like the Cherries, Brighton now sit in the top tier of English football, less than 20 years after staring into the abyss of non-league.
Records and Trivia
- Brighton and Hove Albion’s nickname used to be “The Dolphins” until a game against fiercest rivals Crystal Palace when fans responded to Palace fans chants of “Eagles, Eagles” with “Seagulls, Seagulls”. The name stuck from then on and a Seagull is now the symbol of the club, appearing on the club Crest.
- Brighton hold the unwanted record of having scored the most own goals in a single FA Cup match, Liam Bridcutt scoring two and Lewis Dunk one in a 6-1 away loss to Liverpool in February 2012.
- Brighton’s Record Signing is Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo, signed for £13.5 million this summer. Four of Brighton’s top five all time transfers have been made this summer, with Izquierdo joined by Davy Proepper, Mat Ryan and Markus Suttner, with last season’s arrival Shane Duffy completing the top five.
- The player with the most appearances for Brighton is Ernie Wilson, who played 566 times between 1922 and 1936.
- Brighton currently sit bottom of the all-time Premier League table, having only played a few games up to now, but only need to accrue 31 points this season to usurp Swindon Town and Cardiff City.
- Football League: 13th (Old Division One), 1981/82
- FA Cup: Runners Up, 1982/83
- Football League Cup: Quarter Final, 1978/79
- Champions League/European Competition: N/A