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Club News


19 January 2015

A five-a-side team comprised of legendary Brighton & Hove Albion and Ipswich Town players over the years.
Ron Fearon (Goalkeeper)
The 27-year-old Romford-born shot-stopper made seven appearances for the Seagulls to solve a goalkeeping crisis in September 1988. With both John Keeley and Perry Digweed both injured, Fearon joined Albion from Ipswich on loan and quickly impressed Seagulls fans. “I really enjoyed my time down on the south coast,” he said in the Ipswich v Albion programme of November 1988. “The move to Brighton came just at the right time and with the players they have at the club and the team spirit generated by Barry Lloyd, they will retain their status after promotion from the Third.” Before returning to Portman Road, Fearon was involved in wins at the Goldstone against Oldham and Leeds: “I enjoyed those games and the supporters, who were always good to me, gave me a rousing reception at the end.”
Russell Osman (Defender)
With Terry Butcher, Osman formed a tremendous central defensive partnership in the outstanding Ipswich side of the early 1980s. However, his talents were not just in football. In August 1980, the Ipswich v Brighton match programme highlighted how Town players had prominent parts in the £5 million Hollywood movie ‘Escape To Victory.’ Playing an Allied Prisoner of War, Doug Clure, Osman even ended up with a speaking role, urging his team mates not to escape at half-time but to play the second half.  His First Division career was equally impressive at Leicester and Southampton. As his career entered its twilight, he had spells with Bristol City and Plymouth Argyle, before joining Brighton in 1995, making 17 appearances.

Eddie Spearritt (Midfield)
Played mainly as a winger, Eddie hit seven goals in 20 matches in Ipswich's championship side of 1967/68 under Bill McGarry. After 72 appearances for the Suffolk club, he became a smart acquisition by Brighton boss Freddie Goodwin in January 1969 for a £20,000 fee. Deployed in many roles, he was a favourite at the Goldstone and eventually made 232 appearances for Albion up to 1974. When he was moved to left-back, his dependability helped Pat Saward’s team clinch promotion to Division Two in 1972. He and other long-throw specialists competed to see who could throw the furthest on BBC’s Grandstand programme in the early 1970s. Decades later, his niece Hannah Spearritt became a singer with pop group S Club 7.


Jimmy Leadbetter (Winger)
This tall Scottish inside forward arrived at the Goldstone from Chelsea as part of the deal that took Johnny McNicol to Stamford Bridge in 1952. Scoring on his debut, a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace, Leadbetter managed 32 more in a total of 115 appearances for Albion up to 1955. He impressed Brighton supporters with his ball control and intelligent passing. When the winger moved to Ipswich Town, he played a huge part in the Suffolk club’s meteoric rise, winning the Division Three (South) title in 1957, the Division Two title in 1961 and then, most astonishingly, the Football League championship in 1962. At Ipswich, Leadbetter was deployed as a withdrawn outside left who drew out the opposition right back, creating huge gaps in defence, which the Blues capitalised on with Jim’s pinpoint crosses to strikers Ray Crawford and Ted Phillips.
Raphael Meade (Striker)
In the Arsenal Annual of 1982, the then young striker was described as full of potential, “He’s got a hell of a lot of pace and is fantastically brave in the box. He’s got all the makings of a top player. However, he’s another one who has got to work on his control like Brian McDermott with tighter controls and lay-offs. But with his type of pace he will always be a threat.” And so it proved when Meade scored against Brighton at Highbury in February 1983. He hit a reasonable 14 goals in 41 First Division games for the Gunners before leaving in 1985. In March 1990, after spells with Sporting Lisbon, Dundee United and Luton, the nomadic goalscorer had trials with Ipswich Town, playing one match, and Brighton, where he turned out for the reserves. In 1991, the striker returned to the Goldstone, scoring twelve times in the relegation season. He signed off with Albion's goal in their final match, at Portman Road, before being released in the summer.
Ray Crawford (coach)
This prolific striker joined Ipswich Town from Portsmouth in 1957. Partnered by Ted Phillips upfront, Crawford helped the Suffolk club to back-to-back titles, winning the Second Division championship in 1961 and then the First in 1962. In 1961/62, Crawford was joint top-scorer in Division One with 33 goals and became the first-ever Ipswich player to represent England. He joined Wolves in 1963, West Brom in January 1965, before returning to Portman Road two months later. Remarkably, he hit two goals in Colchester’s famous 3-2 victory over mighty Leeds United in the FA Cup in 1971. After hanging up his boots, he became youth team coach at the Goldstone in 1972 under Pat Saward. However, he left when Brian Clough arrived at Brighton the following year.








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