A five-a-side team comprised of legendary Brighton & Hove Albion and Fulham players over the years.
Perry Digweed (Goalkeeper)
Perry swapped playing in front of 400 fans for Fulham reserves for a place in First Division Brighton’s first team when he made the switch from Craven Cottage in January 1981. After his debut, a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion, his new boss Alan Mullery commented: “OK, so the lad was at fault with the first goal he let in, but his overall debut convinced me more than ever that we’ve signed someone who’s going to become a very good ‘keeper.” The £150,000 price tag for a reserve teenage keeper surprised many. However, Digweed gave the Seagulls 13 years of good service, winning the Albion Player of the Season award in the 1990/91 campaign.
Jimmy Langley (Defender)
‘Gentleman Jim’ was signed by Billy Lane for Albion in July 1953 from Leeds United, having previously played for Lane at Guildford City. A fixture in the number three shirt, he was a wing back before the term had been coined, impressing Goldstone crowds with his tackling and raids down the touchline. One of the first exponents of the long throw, his all-round ability persuaded his boss to try him as an inside forward in Brighton’s home match against Brentford in September 1954. Langley came up with the goods, hitting two goals, but the defence suffered in his absence in a 4-3 defeat, and Langley reverted to left-back. He eventually made 178 appearances for the Albion, hitting 16 goals. Such were his talents that Fulham paid Albion £12,000 for his services in February 1957. At Craven Cottage, Langley formed a splendid full-back pairing with George Cohen, so much so that he won three England caps.
Peter O’Sullivan (Midfielder and Winger)
‘Sully’ was a great favourite at the Goldstone, dazzling supporters with his close control, passing ability and Rivelino moustache. He served under five Albion managers, Freddie Goodwin, Pat Saward, Brian Clough, Peter Taylor and Alan Mullery. Despite his talent, he remained modest about his ability: “Often when fans see me they recount the times I appeared to them to tear along the line with the ball in pursuit of a goal, I always have a quiet smile at their memory of the events. The truth is I never had any real pace at all.” He also laments the fact his scuffed shot in a 3-3 draw with Leyton Orient in 1979 is often shown on ‘The Big Match Revisited’ on ITV: “I should have scored more goals. I hit 43 in about ten years. I should have doubled that.” Still, the Welshman hit the only goal for Fulham against Brentford at Griffin Park in January 1982, which helped the Lilywhites gain promotion from Division Three at the end of that campaign.
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Brian Dear (Striker)
At West Ham United, Dear looked to be an outstanding prospect when he plundered five goals in just 20 minutes against West Bromwich Albion in 1965. However, weight problems hindered his progress at Upton Park and he found first team chances hard to come by. In March 1967, the out-of-favour goalscorer made Albion history as the club’s first-ever loan signing. He ended his spell on the south coast with an outstanding run of five goals in four games, including the winner at home to promotion-chasing Watford. This was priceless for Archie Macaulay’s team bidding to avoid relegation to Division Four. Sadly, Brighton could not afford to make the deal permanent and Dear returned to the Hammers. In February 1969, he moved to Fulham in a £20,000 deal before stints with Millwall, Woodford Town and a brief return to West Ham.
Teddy Maybank (Striker)
Talking of his role up front with Peter Ward, in 1978, Teddy described it to the media as “a partnership that has got fantastic potential, but hasn’t really fulfilled any of it as yet. That’s how I’d sum up our partnership at the end of last season. I can’t deny it’s been a bad time for me since I went to Brighton. I cost them £238,000 from Fulham and I suppose people expected miracles for that sort of cash. But it took me longer to settle than I anticipated and then I got a bad knee injury, which put me back even further.” It is often forgotten that Maybank scored ten Division Two goals in 1978/79, the same total as Peter Ward. These included three in the last four matches as the promotion season reached its climax. Teddy also notched the club’s first-ever goal in the top flight, in the 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa in August 1979.
Alan Mullery (Manager)
Mullery took charge of one of Brighton’s lesser known encounters with Fulham in February 1979. The match, taking place behind closed doors at Hove Greyhound Stadium, saw the Brighton debuts of Peruvian World Cup stars Juan Carlos Oblitas and Percy Rojas. The latter scored in a 2-2 draw with the Lilywhites. It was a major step in an ongoing transfer drama as Mullery sought to sign the internationals for the Seagulls. At one point, there was talk of a two-way deal where San Diego Sockers or Tampa Bay Rowdies shared the players’ transfer fee. Difficulties with obtaining work permits, a language barrier and establishing the true age of Oblitas eventually scuppered the deal.