The club will have a huge away support on Saturday.
With up to 7000 Brighton & Hove Albion fans due to travel to MK Dons this weekend, it will probably be the biggest away following for a league fixture since the club won promotion at Newcastle United in 1979 - and club historian Tim Carder says it could actually be the club's biggest-ever for a domestic league match.
Ahead of the game, the club is also taking the opportunity to remind the thousands of fans travelling that they are representing the Albion, and to be great ambassadors for the city and club on their way to and from the match, and at the stadium - and have warned fans not to run the risk of a ban as we enter this crucial stage of the season.
The club's head of safety and security Adrian Morris advised, "Via our terms and conditions we ask all fans to do everything within their power and control to protect and enhance the good name of the club and not to diminish or besmirch it in any way or through any means.
"The vast majority of our supporters are an absolute credit to our club and will support us with great pride and passion at Stadium MK.
"If there is a small minority who are thinking of any anti-social behaviour, then we would advise them to think again and remind them that anyone found guilty of misbehaviour will face a club ban, sanctions on purchasing away tickets and possibly arrest and criminal prosecution."
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Meanwhile, Carder has said that the exodus from Sussex this weekend will be one of the biggest in Albion’s history. “It is certainly the biggest away following since the play-off final in Cardiff in May 2004, which was 28,600,” he told seagulls.co.uk. However, he could not confirm if it will be Albion's largest-ever following for a domestic away match.
“There were huge followings to Wembley in 1983 and 1991, to Highbury for the FA Cup semi-final in 1983 and to the 2004 Play-Off final,” he added, “but details of away attendances in the league have only been routinely published in the last few years.”
Since 2011, when away attendances were routinely released, the biggest following was the 6000 who went to Liverpool for the FA Cup tie in February 2012. The biggest in the league since 2011 was 3807 at Fulham at the start of this season in August.
"Before that we would need to inspect individual clubs’ turnstile returns for other big away days, if they exist. But in any case, until the 1970s when segregation came in, the home club could not distinguish between home and away fans.
"Without those records we are often relying on press estimates. The only league game for which I have seen a bigger away following mentioned was the Newcastle game in May 1979 when we won promotion to the old Division One - now equivalent to the Premier League. It was variously estimated that between 5000 and 10,000 Albion fans were at the game. Many were in the home sections – I was one of them!
“The MK Dons following may or may not exceed that trip to Newcastle – I can't tell – but it is just possible that it will be the club's biggest league following ever.”
However, Carder added a note of caution. "There may have been other games with bigger away turnouts, but it's impossible to be certain. The game at Tottenham in 1978, for instance, when we were both challenging for promotion to Division One, attracted 48,000 to White Hart Lane. Spurs' average for the season was 33,000, and that game could well have attracted more than 7000 Albion fans."
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