Founded 120 years ago, Brighton and Hove Albion is an English soccer team in the Premier League that has experienced a lot of ups and downs during its long history.
Below, you’ll find all the information you need on the club’s history, players, top goal scorer, managers, and their stadium.
- The club was founded on 24 June 1901 at the Seven Stars public house in Ship Street, Brighton. It was believed until 1998 that the Albion were formed in 1900 but this was actually when Brighton and Hove Rangers were founded.
- The nickname of Brighton and Hove Albion FC is the ‘seagulls.’
- Until Crawley Town were promoted to the football league, the Seagulls were the only professional team in Sussex from 1920 to 2011.
From 2011 to the present day, Brighton and Hove Albion have played at Falmer Stadium.
They played at Withdean Stadium from 1999 to 2011, Priestfield Stadium from 1997 to 1999, Goldstone Ground from 1902 to 1997, and when the club was founded they played briefly at County Cricket Ground from 1901 to 1902.
Brighton and Hove Albion were FA Cup runners-up in 1983, FA Charity Shield winners in 1910, Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Winners 14 times from 1942 to 2013, and Sussex Royal Ulster Rifles Charity Cup winners in both 1959 and 1960.
Brighton and Hove were once twin towns that have now merged into one city and are located on the south coast of England in the county Sussex.
Professional soccer in the area was pioneered by Edgar Everest. He was a Sussex Football Association official who founded Brighton United in 1897. The club played their games at the Sussex County Cricket Ground, but the club collapsed in 1900. Brighton and Hove Rangers was formed to fill the gap, but folded after just one year.
But the desire for a successful soccer club in the town was strong, and the former manager of Brighton United, John Jackson, was the main behind a third club, Brighton & Hove United. This team was formed as a semi-professional outfit on 24 June 1901, changing its name to Brighton & Hove Albion due to objections from Hove FC.
The ‘Albion’ part of the club’s name is a mystery.
Albion played their first season (1901/02) at the County Cricket Ground in Hove, in the Second Division of the Southern League. The league itself rivalled the Football League as the top league in England.
In 1903, Albion won the Second Division of the Southern League alongside Fulham, and were promoted to the First Division with a play-off win over Watford.
Seven years after making their debut in the First Division, Albion won the Southern League title in 1910. Led by manager John Robson, the team secured first place with a home win over their rivals, Swindon Town, on 23 April. The victory was marked with a pitch invasion from supporters – a tradition that continues today!
When WWI ended, the Goldstone Ground was restored and normal soccer resumed in 1919. However, 1919/20 was the last season of the Southern League, and the First Division clubs were taken on by the Football League to form a Third Division (South) in 1920.
Brighton and Hove Albion saw great success between the world wars, defeating First Division sides Oldham Athletic, Sheffield United, Everton and Chelsea in front of large crowds at the Goldstone Ground.
The team continued to play throughout WWII, but it was a struggle. The directors of a nearby greyhound track took control of the club in 1940 to stave off financial ruin.
Three games at the Goldstone Ground were also abandoned because of air-raid warnings. The North Stand was bombed in August 1942 but thankfully no one was hurt.
When normal football resumed after the war, attendance escalated to unprecedented numbers.
Throughout the 1950s, the club played attacking football that attracted big crowds and made several bids for promotion under manager Billy Lame. In 1955/56 they won 29 league games, scoring 112 goals, but still finished second to Leyton Orient.
In 1962 the club finished bottom and fell from the Third Division (now League 1) to the Fourth (now League 2).
But the club found inspiration in the form of Bobby Smith, the Tottenham Hotspur and former England centre-forward who signed in 1964. He drew in big crowds, with the matches averaging almost 18,000 supporters. They secured a Fourth Division title in 1965 with a 3-1 victory over Darlington.
The seagulls were in the Third Division for seven years before being promoted to Division Two for the second time in 1972. They finished as runners up to Aston Villa, but unfortunately, they were relegated after one season.
The club also saw a spell of success in the 1980s, even reaching the FA Cup final in 1983.
Twenty years later in 1992, the club had been relegated and spending beyond its means over the years was starting to take its toll. Albion had to fend off winding-up petitions in the High Court six times.
A boardroom takeover in 1993 was a relief, and fans were pleased with the appointment of manager Liam Brody. A long-term solution to the financial woes was seen in the provision of a new multi-purpose stadium to generate greater income than the dated Goldstone Ground could.
However, there wasn’t an agreed site for the project, and supporters were asked to help secure planning permission for retail warehouses on the Goldstone site to give the club more borrowing power. They were assured there would be no sale of the ground until an acceptable alternative was found.
However, the board of directors sold the Goldstone Ground in 1995, despite only being able to offer a groundshare at Portsmouth nearly 50 miles away.
But the team’s fortunes really started to take a turn for the better in 2014, when Chris Houghton was appointed as manager at the end of 2014. After a lacklustre half a season with Sami Hyypia, the club began to find its feet again.
In 2015/16, Hughton’s side challenged at the right end of the Championship table once more, and had a 22-match winning streak in the process.
Promotion to the Premier League was sealed on Monday, 17 April, much to the joy of supporters, players, directions and staff. The average number of tickets sold per match was 27,995 – a record figure!
Brighton and Hove Albion have since returned to the top of their game after 34 years. Those three decades were marked by hardship for the club, but the determination of the club’s supporters kept the club’s optimistic spirit alive.
Club Net Worth
Currently, Brighton’s owner Tony Bloom is worth $1.3 billion, while the total market value of the club itself is €279.10m.
Following their promotion and time spent in the Premier League, Brighton and Hove Albion’s value has continued to increase. This is thanks to the investments made not only by Tony Bloom, but investment from long-time Brighton and Hove Albion fans.
Brighton and Hove Albion play at Falmer Stadium, which is known for sponsorship purposes as the American Express Community Stadium. Colloquially the stadium is known as the Amex. It is situated in the village of Falmer, in the city of Brighton and Hove.
The club moved into the American Express Community Stadium in 2011. Following a 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers that lives in the mind of all Brighton fans (including the 20,219 supporters who watched it in the stadium), the stadium can now hold over 30,000 fans and now hosts Premier League soccer after the club’s rise to the top tier in 2017.
Founded in 1901, Brighton and Hove Albion competed in the Southern League for nineteen years, until they were elected to the Football League’s Third Division in 1920.
The club were in the hands of chairman Mike Bamber for a turbulent period in their history, and faced the threat of liquidation and losing their football status before a boardroom takeover in 1997 that saved the club.
In 2009, current owner and chairman Tony Bloom took over the club by securing 75% of shareholding of the club. The club had a home stadium of their own in 2011 after 14 years and were promoted to the Premier League after the 2016/17 Championship season for the first time in 34 years. The club has stayed there ever since!
Brighton and Hove Albion is currently number 14 in the Premier League.
Their top player is defender Lewis Dunk. Their best forward is Neal Maupay and their best midfielder is Tariq Lamptey.
All Time Top Scorer
Brighton and Hove Albion’s top goal scorer is Glenn Murray who played for the club from 2008 to 2016 and scored 118 goals.
The captain of Brighton and Hove Albion is Lewis Dunk. He has spent the entirety of his career at Brighton, besides from a brief spell of playing for Bristol City on loan in 2013.
Dunk turned professional in 2010, and in the 2016-17 season, he achieved promotion to the Premier League with Brighton and was named in the Championship team of the year.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s goalkeepers have been:
- Robert Sánchez
- Mathew Ryan
- David Button
- David Stockdale
- Christian Walton
- Tomasz Kuszczak
- Peter Brezovan
- Casper Ankergren
- Tomasz Kuszczak
- Steve Harper
- David González
- Michel Kuipers
- Mitch Walker
- John Sullivan
- Mikkel Andersen
- Michel Kuipers
- Wayne Henderson
- Scott Flinders
- Alan Blayney
- Florent Chaigneau
- Rami Shaaban
- David Yelldell
- Chris May
- Ben Roberts
- Stuart Jones
- Ross Flitney
- Michel Kuipers
- Dave Beasant Dave Beasant
- Andy Petterson
- Ben Roberts
- 82/83 First Division (bis 91/92)
- Graham Moseley
- Perry Digweed.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s defenders have been:
- Tarig Lamptey.
- Joel Veltman
- Lewis Dunk
- Shane Duffy
- Dan Burn
- Adam Webster
- Michal Karbownik
- Leo Skiri Østigård.
- Lars Dendoncker
- Tudor Băluță
- Haydon Roberts
Brighton and Hove Albion’s strikers have been:
- Florin Andone
- Percy Tau
- Jürgen Locadia
- Solly March
- Neal Maupay
- Aaron Connolly
- Steven Alzate
- Leonardo Trossard
- Danny Wellbeck
- Andi Zeqiri
- Glenn Murray
- José Izquierdo
- Alireza Jahanbakhsh
- Anthony Knockeart
- Tomer Hemed
- Viktor Gyökeres
- Sam Baldock
- Kazenga LuaLua
- Richie Towell
- Ashley Barnes
- Leonardo Ulloa
- Jiří Skalák
- Craig Mackail-Smith
- Soufyan Ahannach
- Jamie Murphy
- Jan Mlakar
- Bobby Zamora
- Elliott Bennett
- Izzy Brown
- Elvis Manu
- George Barker
- Torbjørn Agdestein
- Chris O’Grady
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær
- Jesse Lingard
- Andrea Orlandi
- Will Hoskins
- Chuba Akpom
- James Tilley
- Stephen Ward
- Roland Bergkamp
- Gai Assulin
- Chris Wood
- Leon Best
- Shamir Fenelon
- Stephen Dobbie
- Adrián Colunga
- Ryan Longman
- Craig Davies
- Colin-Kazim Richards
- Jake Robinson
Brighton and Hove Albion’s managers have been:
- Graham Potter
- Chris Hughton
- Gus Poyet
- Sami Hyypiä
- Chris Cattlin
- Alan Mullery
- Jimmy Melia
- Steve Coppell
- Micky Adams
- Russell Slade
- Barry Lloyd
- Brian Clough
- Mike Bailey
- Don Welsh
- Steve Gritt
- Mark McGhee
- Dean Wilkins
- Liam Brady
- Peter Taylor
- Brian Horton
- Oscar Garcia
- Frank Scott-Walford
- Freddie Goodwin
- Pat Saward
- Nathan Jones
- Martin Hinshelwood
- Jack Robson
- Peter Taylor
- Tommy Cook
- John Jackson
- Archie Macaulay
- George Curtis
- Charlie Webb
- Billy Reid
- David Weir
- Joe Wilson
- Chris Wilder
- Mark Lawrenson
- Colin Calderwood
- Lee Johnson
- Glen Wilson
- Nicky Forster
- Brian Eastick
- Craig Brewster
- Bill McGarry
- Mervyn Day
- Pablo Asensio
- Chris Hutchings
- Darren Freeman
- Paul Trollope
Brighton and Hove Albion’s current coach is Graham Stephen Potter. He is a former soccer player who played as a left back.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s assistant coach is William ‘Billy’ Reid. He is a Scottish former soccer player.
For the majority of their history, the club has played in blue and white shirts. Their kit is usually striped, with different combinations of white and blue shorts and socks. In the 1970s their kit briefly changed to all white, and to plain blue during the 1980s.
Since 2014, the club’s kit has been produced by Nike, with the famous Nike tick present on their kit.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s away kit is mint green with the club’s logo, American Express sponsorship and Nike tick in black.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s logo is a white seagull with a yellow beak.
A round seagull crest was used on shirts until 1998 when the current design was introduced. Chairman Dick Knight wanted to overhaul the previous regime that was unpopular with fans and had dragged the club down. An updated crest signified to supporters that this was a new beginning with more positive times ahead.
The club’s academy is the Brighton and Hove Albion Reserves and Academy. They are the youth teams of the club. The reserve team is made up of under-23 players who play in the Premier League 2 Division 1, which is the highest tier of reserve team football in England.
The academy teams culminate with the under-18’s squad, who also compete in the U18 Premier League Division South.
- Football League Second Division/EFL Championship (Tier 2) runners up: 1978–79, 2016–17
- Football League Third Division South/Football League Second Division/Football League One (Tier 3) champions: 1957–58, 2001–02, 2010–11
- Football League Fourth Division/Football League Third Division (Tier 4) champions: 1964–65, 2000–01
Brighton and Hove Albion were also Southern Football League Champions in 1909-1910.
- Johnny Dixon, who the club signed for £55,000 in January 2008, is now an acclaimed film director and producer. He twisted his ankle in his first training session with Brighton and Hove Albion which delayed his debut by two months. He only made 5 appearances for the seagulls and his contract was mutually cancelled in January 2009. He’s also dated actress Holly Valance!
- Four first team players missed the 1983 FA Cup Final for various reasons.
- Neil McNab was loaned to Leeds United in December 1982 and played for the Lillywhites in the third round. Leeds’ season then finished on 14 May and McNab had to come back to Hove and train with his teammates despite not being able to play.
- Terry Conner also played for Leeds in that season’s competition, and he too was ineligible and unable to play.
- Goalkeeper Perry Digweed was sent off in a reserve match in early May 1983 and was banned from the final and the replay.
- Captain Steve Foster was also banned from the final, following a caution in a match at Notts County in April. The laws of the disciplinary system dictated that Forster would be banned for the last league match against Norwich as well as the FA Cup Final. The club even took the FA to the High Court to have the ban overturned! The controversy made national news and the outcome was reported on the evening news on the Tuesday before the final. Forster’s ban was upheld although he did play in the replay.
- Albion played a friendly against the New Zealand national soccer team at the Goldstone in 1992.
- The team survived an EGM to have them expelled from the Football League in July 1997 just two months after saving themselves from being relegated. Former chairman Bill Archer failed to provide a £500,000 performance bond required as a deposit to ensure that the team would fulfill their fixtures without a permanent stadium. This was not lodged on time however, and the Football League wanted to impose the strongest sanction possible. 47 clubs voted to keep Brighton in the league, while 17 voted against. The remaining 7 clubs abstained. Out of the teams against keeping Brighton in the league, Oldham Athletic were the most vocal.
- Goalkeeper John Keely once had to be picked up from the Stadium Pub in Hove (nearly a mile from the Goldstone) to play a league match. He was recovering from injury at the time, but replacement Perry Digweed had not arrived by 2:15pm to play. It was later discovered that Digweed was stuck in traffic on the A23 and Keeley played in a draw after a couple of drinks!
- That wasn’t Digweed’s only instance of bad luck at the game. In September 1988 during a match at home against Birmingham City the goalkeeper collided with a Birmingham player and suffered a ruptured urethra. Shortly after receiving treatment Digweed noticed that blood was pouring from his groin and he ran off the pitch while the ball was still in play. When he arrived at Royal Sussex County Hospital he was in critical condition. He made a full recovery and did not play until August 1989. He would later wear sweatpants to every match and was named player of the season in 1991.