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‘An outstanding colleague and a great friend’

Tributes from colleagues and key figures in Albion’s recent history to Martin Perry.

By Luke Nicoli • 30 September 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Martin Perry enjoys the promotion celebrations in 2017.

With Martin’s specialist experience, my resolve, and our natural inclination to approach every challenge with unrelenting determination, we made a formidable team. Well done Martin, for the service and commitment you’ve given the Albion over the years. The roots you put down are now part of our club’s DNA and I’m glad I shared much of that journey with you.

Dick Knight

 

I was honoured to host a reception with Martin for Albion in the Community at the House of Commons back in 2012 and there was a real sense of shared excitement of what the club's community work could achieve. That excitement was clearly justified, as evidenced by the fantastic work being done over the years across our city. Thank you for showing how football can be a tremendous force for good.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion

 

I can’t quite believe that Martin is hanging up his boots and handing back his No.9 shirt to the Albion management. Along with Dick Knight he has been one of the Brighton’s ‘best ever signings’ and it has been a privilege for me, as a politician, to have worked with him close up and get to know him personally through all the club’s ups and downs.

Steve Bassam 

 

By Paul Hazlewood
"Without Dick, no club; without Tony, no future; without Martin, no stadium?", says Paul Samrah.

Martin forged vitally important relationships with the City Council, MPs and local politicians. Credibility was restored – this after the Albion’s name had been so badly tarnished by the previous regime. Through the trickiest of times Martin was always patient and his demeanour rubbed off on others around him. Without Dick, no club; without Tony, no future; without Martin, no stadium? Thankfully we had all three to deliver us to the Promised Land.

Paul Samrah

 

Every Albion player who has stepped out at the Amex Stadium or at the training ground at Lancing has Martin Perry to thank for his tireless work in ensuring we have such a fantastic, state-of-the-art environment to work in. Martin leaves us with a lasting legacy that generations of Albion players will benefit from, and he can be rightfully proud of everything he has achieved with the club.

Lewis Dunk

 

After Tony, Martin was one of the first people I met and spoke to about joining the club. In the eight years since, he has been a constant source of good humour, wisdom and support, both personal and professional. There have been many ups, a few downs, and, very sadly, some tragedies too, but throughout this time Martin has been an outstanding colleague and a great friend. I will miss having him around the office but he totally deserves a long and happy retirement.

Paul Barber

 

The one constant at the club throughout my time, as we have moved from office to office, and stadium to stadium, has been Martin. He has a never-say-die spirit, and that is something which should never be underestimated – it often was by our opponents to the various projects Martin has overseen. Albion fans rightly hold Martin in the same high esteem as both Tony Bloom and Dick Knight. The three of them are rightly given ‘legend’ status for the roles they have played in the recent history of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Paul Camillin

 

The first time I met Martin is documented in the poem ‘Knighthood’ which stands in Dick’s Bar. It was in early 1996 at the Concorde Two where BISA (Brighton Independent Supporters’ Association) were holding regular meetings, desperately calling for help to save the club. In the words of the poem, Dick ‘sailed into the meeting, with your trusty sidekick Mart’ and, once the fans knew we had allies, the real battle to save the Albion began in earnest. But Martin was always far more than a ‘trusty sidekick’. His negotiating skills were vital, his planning expertise even more so.

John Baine/Attila the Stockbroker

 

The Amex was a huge achievement for Martin and the team. We use the term ‘legend’ far too often but this needs to be said: Martin Perry is a legend for our club and without his brilliant abilities and professionalism we would not be where we are today. Martin, thank you for all you have done and I wish you a happy and enjoyable retirement.

Ivor Caplin

By Paul Hazlewood
John Prescott has wished Martin Perry the best of luck for the future.

They say good things come to those that wait. But Martin Perry didn’t just wait. He, Dick Knight and you the fans tirelessly made your case with passion, humour and conviction. You thoroughly deserve this stadium and to enjoy your fourth season in the Premier League. So, I wish Martin all the very best and good luck to the club. And you may tell them all that we stand or fall, for Sussex by the Sea!

John Prescott

 

During his time as chair of trustees, Albion in the Community has established itself as one of the leading football charities in the country – supporting upwards of 40,000 people every year and runs more than 60 different projects. Martin has also played an important role in helping guide the charity through the current pandemic  – ensuring Albion in the Community and the football club continue to be there for vulnerable people here in Sussex at a time when that support is needed more than ever.

Matt Dorn, CEO, Albion in the Community

 

Martin’s work ethic reached another level when he was overseeing the building of the Amex Stadium and our new training Ground. During this period I doubt whether he ever went to bed much but when he did, he probably took his laptop with him. The one thing that was always apparent with Martin was his love of the Albion and he worked tirelessly to portray and promote the club in the best possible light. When he took over as chair of Albion in the Community he again put in as much time and effort as he could in order to help make it one of the best community schemes in professional football. Martin can be so very proud of what he has achieved with both the club and AITC over the last 23 years.

Derek Allan

 

Martin’s contribution, after coming in when the club was at rock-bottom, has assured it survived and is now thriving, thereby enhancing the feeling of pride and well-being that is associated with a successful community football club. Saints have to perform two miracles to be canonised. I suggest that Withdean was one miracle, the Amex a second! Frankly, I dare not think where we would be without Martin Perry.

Tim Carder

By Paul Hazlewood
Martin Perry with Tony Bloom and Paul Barber.

Martin Perry’s commitment to the Albion and his passionate and unrelenting pursuit of our goal to build a brilliant new stadium, as part of a brand-new era for the club, can never be underestimated. So, when I took over as chairman from Dick Knight, I was delighted to have such a trusted and conscientious colleague by my side. A wonderful legacy is clearly in place but while Martin’s professional contribution to our football club is there for all to see, I would also like to extol his human qualities. Life is full of challenges but his humour, compassion and resilience have always shone through – in the good times and the bad. Martin, enjoy your retirement. Put your feet up for a well-earned rest and we look forward to seeing you back at the Amex Stadium very soon.

Tony Bloom

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