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ALBION AND WATFORD FIVE-A-SIDE TEAM

23 April 2015


A five-a-side team comprised of legendary Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford players over the years. 

Eric Steele (Goalkeeper)
‘Groucho’ played a significant part in the Albion’s rise from the Third Division to under Alan Mullery. He told watfordlegends.com, “When we got promoted to the First Division I was offered a new contract which I took but then they gave Graham Moseley a chance for three or four games. I went to speak to the manager and I said that I was disappointed I wasn’t involved and then within three months or so Watford got in contact. Graham Taylor at that point was in the re-building stage at Vicarage Road after they had just been promoted to the second division. I had a few chats with Graham Taylor and I decided then that as I wasn’t going to be involved at Brighton I should make the move to Watford and that is exactly what I did back in ’79.” He described his five years at Vicarage Road as mixed, especially as he was unable to dislodge Steve Sherwood, an ex-Albion loanee in the 1970s, from the number one shirt. 

Keith Dublin (Defender)
After signing from Chelsea in 1987, Dublin established himself as an ever-present left-back in the Seagulls’ 1987/88 promotion side. As he told the matchday magazine a year later, “There’s never been anything like it for me obviously, and it’s going to be a long time before anything can top that day we clinched second place. It might never happen. Probably the best thing was getting a few goals along the way as well because that had never happened to me before.” In the end, Keith scored five in the campaign, including the one that clinched a 3-1 victory in the penultimate Goldstone match against Mansfield at the end of April. His progress continued in the Second Division and he was sold to Watford in July 1990, after having won the Albion player of the season award for 1989/90.

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Charlie Chase (Midfielder)
Born in Patcham, Chase was a right-half and inside-right who appeared for the Albion in the club’s record 18-0 defeat to Norwich City on Christmas Day in 1940. He was drafted in to the Albion side for a wartime game against Watford in June that year, and ended up signing for the Hertfordshire club after the war. Before his departure, Charlie played four times for Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1945/46 FA Cup competition, where ties were played over two legs. He figured in 55 League games for Crystal Palace from July 1948 before leaving the professional game. After hanging up his boots, he ran a tobacconist’s shop in Islingword Road, Brighton.

Malcolm Poskett (Striker) 
With his gold chain, classic moustache and impressive goalscoring ability, this lanky marksman became a favourite at the Goldstone in the late 1970s, following a £60,000 transfer from lowly Hartlepool in February 1978. All this despite competition from Peter Ward and Teddy Maybank. With Maybank facing a cartilage operation, Poskett scored on each of his first two matches for the Seagulls, against Hull and Burnley before a cherished hat-trick at Bristol Rovers in April 1978. In 1978/79, Poskett scored ten League goals, but found the chance of first team action hard to come by. This continued in 1979/80 due to the blossoming Peter Ward-Ray Clarke partnership. Poskett was sold to Watford for £120,000 in January 1980. According to John Vinicombe in the ‘Super Seagulls’ book, ‘Poskett went like a shot to Vicarage Road.’ There, he played his part in the Hornets’ eventual promotion to the top flight in 1982, hitting seventeen goals in 63 overall League games for the Hornets.

Neil Smillie (Winger)
Despite being signed by Mike Bailey in the summer of 1982, it took a change of manager at the Goldstone to breathe new life in Neil’s career. As he told Shoot! Magazine, “The deal was an exchange between me and Gary Williams, one which went through after talks. That was last July and I was glad because I’d begun to feel in a rut at Palace. I played in the first two games of this season, but we lost the second, 5-0 to West Bromwich Albion, and Mike Bailey dropped me. Then it was the bench followed by the reserves until October 26, the Milk Cup replay against Spurs. We lost 1-0 and out I went again until November 20 at Watford where we took a 4-1 drubbing.” When Melia took over, Smillie became an increasingly influential member of the side, particularly in the FA Cup run where his ability to take players on added an extra dimension to the side’s play. He was sold to Watford in a £100,000 deal in June 1985. 

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