It was Christmas 1958 and the Albion were in the second tier of the Football League for the very first time and entertaining the then illustrious Fulham, with the star of the time, Johnny Haynes, in their team.
It was still the biggest recorded crowd at the Goldstone of 36,747 crammed in the big open ground. Are there still supporters around who went to the game? I know there are as I have met them in the concourse at the Amex.
What are their memories of what must have been a really big event?
I was too young at the time. I knew there was something big going on at the other end of Poet’s Corner as grand-dad was a reserve on the turnstiles and he was only working for the really big games.
I had to wait for my 11th Christmas present for my first visit to the Goldstone at the end of December, 1962. It was a false dawn. We beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 and got relegated.
Worse was to follow, after the snow of 1963 we ended up in Division Four, the very bottom of professional football. The ebb was very low and it is hard to understand the despondency in Harty’s column after a poor start to this season.
He is right to be concerned as we are now in a worse position in the division now than we were 56 years ago, with lots of trials and tribulations in between. Precious little success, except for the late ’70s rise to Division One and the FA Cup Final.
As long ago as 1971-72, we all knew that the Goldstone was unsuitable with supporters packed in like sardines against Rochdale. Forty years elapsed and now we have a splendid stadium right on the other side of Brighton.
Fans are different now. They expect much more entertainment as they have seen the overpaid stars on television. Fulham are no longer the force they were, but to me they seem quite attractive opponents for the next home match at the Amex.
To be at the Amex is a revelation. No straining to see over the top of the taller supporter. Players now attempt the pass to each other instead of humping it forward and battling for loose balls in the lower divisions.
Did I read that Harty suggested that we get rid of Sami Hyypia before we fall through the divisions as before (Herald sport, November 6)? I don’t think this is a well thought out decision at all.
We are still the second best passing team in the championship. We just can’t put the ball in the back of the net.
When I hear the supporters moaning, I always think of Jean Paul Sartre , who said: “In football, everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”
I play chess, and mistakes are not forgiven unless the opponent is equally as bad. It is just as frustrating trying to break through a diligent defence.
Sometimes I play badly and win and other times I play well and lose.
I don’t think Albion are playing badly but they are not getting any better. We did well to draw at Norwich and now face Fulham at home in our next game.
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