When Brighton & Hove Albion played Sheffield Wednesday in an FA Cup Semi-Final in April 1983, Jimmy Case’s blockbuster opened the goal-scoring.
In the second half, in the style of Pele at the 1970 World Cup, young Gary Howlett even tried his luck from distance as well. A creditable effort indeed.
Curiously, although ITV had broadcasting rights to this famous encounter, some grainy BBC footage of the game also exists.
The 2-1 victory in the Highbury sunshine was a personal triumph for Seagulls boss Jimmy Melia. However, by October 1983, with Albion languishing in the bottom half of the Second Division, he resigned. Still, the Liverpudlian made a surprise return to the Goldstone to watch Chris Cattlin’s first match in charge, in a 3-1 defeat by Wednesday. In an interview with Viva Brighton magazine on page 53, you can read Jimmy’s account of this bizarre incident.
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Managing the Owls that day was Howard Wilkinson, who had five years as an outside-right at the Goldstone between 1966 and 1971. As a promising boss, he had taken over the Hillsborough hot-seat from Jack Charlton in June 1983 and eventually guided the club to promotion to the First Division at the first attempt. The Sheffield side also gained three points in the return fixture with the Seagulls in February 1984. However, Albion’s consolation goal by twinkle-toed Kieran O’Regan was undoubtedly the best.
Many players have played for both Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton in yesteryear. Among them, Peter Grummitt, Gavin Oliver, Eric Potts, Colin Dobson and Ian ‘Spider’ Mellor. ‘Spider’ played in Albion’s 3-2 nervy win over the Owls in a famous night in May 1977, a game that saw Brighton clinch promotion to Division Two. Here’s Des Lynam’s account of the lanky striker’s time at the Goldstone.
Talking of promotion, 1990/91 saw another Wednesday promotion to Division One, with Danny Wilson helping to pull the strings in the Owls midfield. At the Goldstone in October 1990, the Seagulls were given a footballing lesson in a 4-0 defeat. Still, at least the Brighton matchday programme made enjoyable reading, with a Perry Digweed poster and news of Harry Enfield recording a sketch at the Goldstone. Meanwhile, Barry Lloyd was also delighted with Bryan Wade’s hat-trick for the reserves.