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12 YEARS APART

21 October 2015




On Tuesday night, Bobby Zamora scored his second goal in as many games for Brighton & Hove Albion, after he found the net for the club for the first time in 12 years against Leeds United on Saturday.

Now, it wasn’t because the striker was out of favour on the south coast, it was because in 2003 the forward headed to the Premier League while Albion returned to League One after relegation.

Zamora’s last Albion start and goal came away at Grimsby on the final day of the 2002/03 season, so we take a look back at what has happened at Brighton and in Zamora’s career in that 12-year gap.


ALBION ON THE UP AS ZAMORA SUFFERS AT SPURS

2003 – Bobby Zamora signs for Tottenham Hotspur while Albion contemplate life back in the third tier of English football. The Seagulls lose manager Steve Coppell to Reading after a bright start to the season, with Mark McGhee coming in to replace the former Palace boss. Meanwhile, Zamora struggles at his new home at White Hart Lane.


ZAMORA BACK IN THE GOALS AS ALBION BOUNCE BACK

2004 – Zamora leaves Tottenham in January, staying in London to join Championship West Ham. The striker regains his form and hits five goals as he helps the claret-and-blue side to the Championship Play-Off Final, but the Hammers are defeated 1-0 by Crystal Palace at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Albion continue their success under McGhee and like Zamora and West Ham, also reach Wales for the League One Play-Off Final after securing a dramatic semi-final win over Swindon Town at the Withdean Stadium.

However, Albion fare better than Zamora in Cardiff, beating Bristol City 1-0. Fast forward to November 2004 and Zamora lines up against Albion for West Ham as the two sides meet in the Championship, where the Seagulls pull off an incredible 1-0 win at Upton Park.


ALBION ACHIEVE MCGHEE MIRACLE WHILE BOBBY SHOWS HIS CLASS

2005 – McGhee achieves the improbable as he steers Albion to Championship safety while Zamora heads back to the Premier League, as his goal in the 2005 Championship Play-Off Final sends West Ham up.

Zamora then hits his first Premier League goal at Manchester City and scores with a stunning strike at Birmingham City in December.


THE SEAGULLS GO DOWN BUT BOBBY CONTINUES TO SHINE

2006 – Not so successful for Albion, as the club’s two-year stay in the second tier of English football comes to an end with relegation, and McGhee leaves the club in September 2006 with Dean Wilkins taking over the reins.

Zamora continues to impress for West Ham, scoring an incredible goal in a 3-2 win over Arsenal at Highbury. He then helps the side to the 2006 FA Cup Final, where the Hammers and Liverpool playout a classic encounter.

West Ham were minutes away from lifting the trophy until Steven Gerrard hit an injury-time equaliser, and the Reds were victorious in the penalty shootout with Zamora one of three Hammers’ players to miss from the spot.

The striker starts the next season in stupendous form, hitting five goals in his first four Premier League matches.


ZAMORA STEERS HAMMERS SAFE AS ALBION STAY PUT

2007 – Wilkins and Albion finish in 18th place but more importantly off the field, the club ends years of legal wrangling and finally gets the go ahead to build a new stadium at Falmer.

After seeing his goal-scoring form dip towards the end of 2006, Zamora rediscovers it after the New Year and once again finds the net against Arsenal, hitting the winner to help West Ham become the first side to win at the Emirates Stadium. He hits 11 goals in 37 games as the Hammers avoid relegation on the final day with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.


ZAMORA HEADS TO THE COTTAGE AS MICKY RETURNS TO ALBION

2008 – Zamora had an injury hit 2007-08 campaign in what proved to be his last season at Upton Park, as he joined Fulham in the summer of 2008. Wilkins guided Albion to a seventh-place finish in League One but was replaced by former Seagulls boss and the man who brought Zamora to Albion, Micky Adams, ahead of the 2008/09 season.

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SLADE SAVES THE DAY AS ZAMORA TAKES ON EUROPE

2009 – The return of Micky Adams proved to be a disappointing one, as results on the field did not replicate those of his first stint. Adams left by mutual consent in February with Albion in the relegation zone.

Russell Slade came in, but the Seagulls still seemed doomed until Slade oversaw just one defeat in the final seven games to keep the club in League One.

Slade couldn’t carry the momentum into the next season though and new Albion chairman Tony Bloom decided to bring in Gus Poyet, in a move that would transform the Seagulls.

Meanwhile, Zamora was beginning to showcase his talents on an international stage after Fulham and Zamora gained entry to the inaugural Europa League by finishing seventh in the Premier League in 2007/08.

The striker scored in two of the qualifying rounds and ended 2009 hitting the net five times in four games, including two goals against FC Basel in a 3-2 win and one goal in a 3-0 Premier League win over Manchester United three days' later.


POYET PAVES THE WAY AS ACHLLES HINDERS ON-FORM BOBBY

2010 – Poyet’s Albion were still taking shape as the 2009/10 season came to an end, but the following season things began to click, as the Seagulls’ new-found passing style of football took the side to the top of League One.

Off the field, Albion’s new ground was taking shape. Zamora’s form for Fulham helped the club to an incredible 4-1 Europa League win over Juventus at Craven Cottage to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit, and the striker then hit two goals in the quarter-final tie against Wolfsburg. Zamora was carrying an Achilles injury when the final came around and the striker could only manage 55 minutes, as Fulham lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid after extra time.

His achilles injury then kept the forward out of England’s 2010 World Cup squad after he was hotly tipped to be named by Three Lions boss Fabio Capello. He did make his England debut against Hungary at the start of the 2010/11 season, but a broken leg then sidelined the attacker until 2011.

CHAMPION SEAGULLS FLY HOME BUT ZAMORA SUFFERS BREAK

2011 – Albion ended a 12-year stay at the Withdean Stadium as Poyet led the Seagulls to the League One title. Life at the Amex started after a 14-year wait for a new home and Will Buckley provided the most dramatic of starts, scoring two late goals to give Albion a 2-1 win over Doncaster in extraordinary scenes. Zamora returned to action in February after recovering from his broken leg, marking his league return with a late winning penalty against Blackburn Rovers.

BOBBY JOINS QPR WHILE ALBION EYE PREMIER LEAGUE

2012 – The Seagulls enjoyed a positive first season back in the Championship, but fall just short of the play-offs. After a respectable 10th-place finish in 2011/12,  Poyet’s side started the 2012/13 season eyeing a top six finish.

Zamora ends his spell at Fulham as he joins QPR in January, finding the net on his debut against Wolves. He helps the club avoid relegation out of the Premier League, but a hip injury in November keeps him out of action into the new year.

HEARTACHE ALLROUND

2013 – Albion reach the Championship play-offs after securing a fourth-place finish, but are agonisingly defeated by rivals Crystal Palace 2-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals and Gus Poyet leaves the club shortly after the loss.

Former Barcelona player Oscar Garcia is appointed the head coach ahead of the new season. Zamora also suffers a low, as QPR are relegated into the Championship.

PLAY-OFFS CALL FOR EVERYONE BUT IT’S BOBBY’S DAY

2014 –Both Albion and Zamora reach the Championship play-offs. Albion secure their place with a dramatic last-minute winner at Nottingham Forest courtesy of Leo Ulloa’s header. The Seagulls don’t reach Wembley though, as they fall at the semi-final stage for a second season running, this time at the hands of Derby County. Oscar resigns following the defeat to Derby and Sami Hyypia is later appointed as the club’s new manager.

QPR and Zamora not only reach the Championship play-off final, they win it thanks to Zamora’s late winner which sends Rangers back to the top tier of English football. QPR find life back in the Premier League tough as they languish towards the bottom of the league, while Hyypia and Albion are also at the wrong end of the table in the Championship, with Hyypia resigning just before Christmas and Chris Hughton taking over on New Year’s Eve.

TIME TO REUNITE

2015 – Harry Redkanpp leaves QPR after the January transfer window closes and Zamora and co taste relegation again under Chris Ramsey’s management. Zamora hits his last goal for Rangers away at West Brom in April before re-signing for the Seagulls in the summer after leaving QPR.

Hughton steadies the Albion ship and the Seagulls avoid falling into League One and they start the 2015/16 campaign in style, topping the table after nine games with Bobby Zamora back in his legendary number 25 shirt.

Zamora then hits the winner at Leeds United to score his first Albion goal for 4549 days and follows it up with another winning strike against Bristol City on Tuesday. 

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V PRESTON NORTH END  

SATURDAY 24TH OCTOBER, KICK-OFF 3PM


ALBION V MILTON KEYNES DONS   

SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER, KICK-OFF 3PM



ALBION V BIRMINGHAM CITY  

SATURDAY 28TH NOVEMBER, KICK-OFF 3PM


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