My name is Dave Messenger, I am 72 years old and have supported the Albion for as long as I can remember. I was born in Brighton, but my parents moved to Woking in Surrey when I was five months old.
My Dad and his three brothers had always supported Albion and I followed. I now live in retirement in Somerset but most of my working life was spent in High Wycombe. Nevertheless, my two now middle-aged sons and I have always got to as many games as possible. My eldest son Scott has two sons, Tom aged 16 and George who is 14. George is a passionate supporter, but I am afraid Tom was lost to Spurs who his mum’s brother supports. You can’t win them all! My wife Pamela has been to many matches as well.
What was your first Albion game and what do you remember about it?
I am not sure if it was the 1954/55 or the 1955/56 season but the game was at home to Reading. We won 8-3 and I was obviously hooked. I have since checked with a Reading supporting friend who told me it was 0-0 at half time!
Who has been your favourite player?
I think Mark Lawrenson was probably our best defender but for somebody of my generation it has to be Peter Ward. Wouldn’t it have been great to have the wall to wall coverage we have now back then to see all his goals?
What has been your favourite match?
So many. I was at the Goldstone in 1958 with my Dad to see Adrian Thorne score five as we beat Watford 6-0 to gain promotion to the old second division, but it has to be that never to be forgotten match at Hereford when we kept our status in the Football League. I was there with my youngest son Greig and we always said that without that draw we probably wouldn’t have a team to support, let alone one in the Premier League.
What has been your favourite season following Albion?
1978/79 when we first got promoted to Division One as it was then.
Favourite home and away kit?
Home: Anything with blue and white stripes circa. 1960s or 1970s. Away: Can’t think of a favourite but definitely not the pink one with Nobo on it!
Your all-time favourite Albion XI?
Steele; Bruno, Foster, Lawrenson, Dunk; Bissouma, Horton, Stephens, Grealish, Ward, Murray.