A five-a-side team comprised of legendary Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff players over the years.
Eric Steele (Goalkeeper)
‘Groucho’ had been a very popular player at Brighton during the glory years of the late 1970s, and kept goal in the famous matches with Sheffield Wednesday in 1977 and Newcastle United in 1979 when promotion was secured. With Graham Moseley preferred by Alan Mullery in the early stages of 1979/80, Steele was on his way out to join Watford in a £100000 deal. However, he had an unexpected Albion swansong in a grim 0-0 draw with Leeds in October 1980, following Moseley’s stomach bug. After playing second fiddle at Watford to Steve Sherwood, Eric had a seven-match loan spell with Cardiff City in March 1983.
Des Tennant (Defender)
Known as the ‘Tank’ for his strength, this versatile Welshman is fondly remembered for the way opposition players tried to shoulder charge him and bounce off him, such was his might. He figured for Cardiff City just before the end of the Second World War before joining Barry. He made his Brighton debut at Bristol City in August 1948 and clocked up 424 appearances for the club, the seventh-highest total in Albion history. With Jimmy Langley at left back, captain Tennant formed one of Brighton’s best-ever full-back pairings in the 1953/54 season when the club finished runners-up in Division Three (South). With his one step run up and fearsome shot, Tennant was also a very reliable penalty taker, hitting 23 goals from the spot in his time with Brighton. He received a benefit match in May 1954. Sadly, Des died in 2009.
Bobby Smith (Midfield)
Not to be confused with the other Bobby Smith that played for Albion earlier on in the 1960s. This one was a reliable half back with a good tackle. He played regularly for Manchester United's reserves before joining his former Old Trafford colleague Freddie Goodwin in March 1965, who was now Scunthorpe manager. After establishing himself in the team, he moved to Grimsby before signing for Albion in June 1968 on a free transfer, eventually reuniting with Goodwin when Archie Macauley resigned in October 1968. Unlike his illustrious namesake, he was never a crowd favourite but could be depended on to do a job for his side. In 1970/71, Smith made 21 League appearances for the club before joining Chester on a free transfer in June 1971. He coached Cardiff between 1988 and 1990.
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Chris Rodon (Striker)
The Swansea teenager scored 99 goals in three seasons for Pontardawe Athletic in the Welsh League. After an unsuccessful trial with Liverpool, he arrived in Brighton in January 1983 and made a good enough impression to join the club from Pontardawe in a £2000 deal. As a substitute, this 19-year-old striker played in the final 15 minutes of Brighton's last-ever game in Division One, a 2-1 defeat at Norwich in May 1983. After feeling homesick, he joined Cardiff City on loan in August 1983, playing six matches.
Peter Sayer (Winger)
Before Brighton’s famous victory at the City Ground in November 1979, Nottingham Forest’s previous home league defeat had been in a Second Division match in April 1977 to Cardiff City. The goalscorer? Peter Sayer. His electric performance at the Goldstone for the Bluebirds in October that year convinced Alan Mullery to buy the bubble-permed star. The £100000 deal was completed four months later. However, when the Seagulls reached Division One, he lost his starting position despite figuring in the first 18 matches of the campaign. “Competition for places is very tight at Brighton and no one is certain of a first team spot,” he said at the time. “I lost mine when I was injured early in the New Year and I couldn’t get it back. But that sort of competition for places is very healthy and I’m sure that it will help Brighton remain a top club.” With Lawrenson deployed in midfield, Sayer did not regain his starting place and was sold to Preston in August 1980.
Russell Slade (Manager)
The current Cardiff City boss had caretaker manager spells at Notts County and Sheffield United. At Scarborough, his Conference side beat the drop with a remarkable 39 points from the final 19 matches in 2001/02. After further success with Grimsby and Yeovil, and a growing reputation, he was appointed Brighton & Hove Albion manager just under six years ago, in March 2009. After a wonderful opening victory, 5-0 against his former side Yeovil Town, the Seagulls seemed to be heading towards relegation to League Two following four matches without a goal. However, with Gary Hart and Lloyd Owusu in superb form, Slade inspired the rejuvenated Seagulls to an outstanding run of five victories in their final seven games. He was carried on the shoulders of fans at the final whistle of the euphoric 1-0 victory against Stockport County at Withdean in May 2009.