5 lesser-known stories about Brighton and Hove Albion 

Brighton & Hove Albion v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Brighton & Hove Albion are nicknamed 'The Seagulls'

Brighton & Hove Albion have sent the Manchester United football fans into meltdown with their second consecutive victory over the Red Devils in the last 4 months. Chris Hughton's side played as if their lives depended on the result. As Paul Pogba admitted afterwards, the hunger shown by the Brighton players was simply more than United's.

United's defeat to Brighton has unleashed a maelstrom of negative opinion about the ineptitude of Manchester United's defense, the 'antiquated' tactics of their manager, the lack of cohesiveness in the team, and the general direction of the club.

Manchester United do tend to attract a lot of headlines and eyeballs especially if they end up doing something noteworthy on the positive and negative ends of the spectrum. But, very little has been spoken about Brighton.

Brighton & Hove Albion football club may have been part of the Premier League for a little over a season, but the club has a long history stretching back to more than a hundred years. In this article, we explore some of the less known stories associated with Brighton & Hove Albion football club.

#1 Seagulls - The origin of Brighton’s nickname

The ‘Seagulls’, as Brighton are commonly known, count Crystal Palace as their biggest rivals, even though the London club stands more than 40 miles away from Brighton’s football ground.

The M23 derby involving Crystal Palace and Brighton may seem to be an unlikely one, but the origin of Brighton’s nickname borders on the whimsical. Apparently, ‘Seagulls’ as the nickname for Brighton was born in the 1975-76 season as a response to Crystal Palace’s chant of ‘eagles’.

It was later adopted as the official nickname by the club. Seagulls versus Eagles. Scientifically, seagulls maybe no match for eagles, but in the football world, the games between the two clubs have been very closely fought with 38 wins apiece in their history.

#2 May the force be with you - The city that loves Star Wars

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
The force seemed to be with Brighton against United on Sunday

In 2001, the national census carried out revealed 2.6% of the residents in Brighton identified themselves with the ‘Jedi’ religion. The highest number of ‘Jedis’ were found to be in the city. For the uninitiated, ‘Jediism’ is a religion based on the value systems of the characters in the legendary Star wars movies.

The statistics in 2015 revealed that 2636 people in Brighton identified themselves as ‘Jedi Knights.’ Maybe when Brighton & Hove Albion are playing against rivals in the Premier League, the ‘force is always with them.’

#3 'And Smith must score'


One of Brighton’s biggest moments in their history came in 1983 when they played against the mighty Manchester United in the 1983 FA Cup final. The original game was an exciting 2-2 draw, but it also gave birth to one of the most famous (or infamous) pieces of commentary in the history of football.

The drama was epic as Gordon Smith got a golden opportunity in the dying embers of extra time and commentator, Peter Jones, uttered his immortal words - “And Smith must score.” The piece of commentary is so famous that it has spawned a popular fanzine for Brighton and Hove Albion and a book.

What is forgotten is that Gordon Smith did score one of Brighton’s goals in the 2-2 draw, which he amusingly reminded the public by publishing his autobiography in 2005. The title was “And Smith did score.

#4 The Lizard” - The (international) poker playing chairman with the cool nickname

Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League
Tony Bloom is nicknamed 'The Lizard' on the poker circuit

The chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion is a certain Tony Bloom. A property investor by trade, Bloom also happens to be a professional poker player. He has appeared in tournaments such as the final table of the World Poker Tour.

His glittering poker CV includes winning the Australasian Poker Championship individually and the Poker Nations Cup with Britain. To top it all off, he is nicknamed “The Lizard.” Not sure how many clubs are around whose chairmen carry such a cool nickname.

#5 Goldstone Ground - The tragic story behind their old stadium

The Goldstone
The Goldstone Ground

The Amex Stadium is where Brighton currently ply their trade in the Premier League. However, most of the memories of lifelong Brighton fans are from the Goldstone Ground, which used to be the home of Brighton & Hove Albion football club from 1992 to 1997.

The story of the end of Goldstone Ground is one of tragedy. In order to reduce the increasing debts, the board of the football club ended up selling the ground without even consulting the fans.

A treasure trove of memories was lost as the site of Goldstone Ground became a retail park. People who follow the business of football may argue that clubs like Arsenal and Bayern Munich have made similar moves to brand new stadiums, however, the key difference was the lack of involvement of key stakeholders.

The idea that a football club represented a community went out of the window.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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