There are a number of connections between Albion and Colchester.
Both clubs have experimented with black shorts for their home kit. Albion adopted this colour from 1948 to 1950 with their blue home shirt with white sleeves. As for the U’s, they paired black shorts with their traditional blue-and-white stripes from 1962 to 1966.
Mick Ferguson, John Keeley, Stan Brown and Robbie Reinelt are four of only a handful of players who have played for both Colchester and Brighton. Veteran Ray Crawford also had spells at both clubs. He astonished mighty Leeds United with two goals in the Essex club’s 3-2 victory in the FA Cup in 1971. Ray joined Brighton a year later as youth team coach, but left in 1973 when Brian Clough arrived as manager at the Goldstone.
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Lomana LuaLua began his career at Colchester United. The Congolese striker and winger was voted the U’s cult hero by supporters in a BBC poll in 2004. His brother, Kazenga, of course, has undoubtedly won a cult following at Brighton with his electrifying pace and thunderbolt shots.
Colchester Community Stadium opened in August 2008 and has a capacity of 10,015. Three years’ later, Brighton and Hove Albion played their first competitive match at their own new stadium against Eastbourne Borough in the Sussex Senior Cup. Two weeks’ later, the American Express Community Stadium was officially opened, with the Seagulls taking on Tottenham in a pre-season friendly. The capacity now exceeds 30,000.
The clubs shared a thrilling 4-4 draw in December 1997 at Priestfield. Isaiah Rankin’s double and Tony Adcock single goal gave the U’s a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead after 29 minutes, but Paul Emblen’s second-half hat-trick pulled the Seagulls level by the 67th minute. Scott Stamps restored Colchester’s lead on 75 minutes before Albion’s Jeff Minton scored a penalty to make it four goals-a-piece.
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