A look back at a memorable Albion strike against Derby.
(17 March 1984, Division Two, Baseball Ground)
Derby County 0-3 Brighton
Blessed with silky skills, Gordon Smith was signed by Alan Mullery in the summer of 1980 from Rangers in a then club-record deal of £350,000. He quickly established himself as an attacker with an eye for goal, scoring a hat-trick against Coventry in October that year. The Scot went on to open the scoring in the 1983 FA Cup Final and had a golden opportunity to win the match at the end.
With Brighton already two up, Seagulls midfielder Danny Wilson caught former England centre-back Dave Watson at sixes and sevens before supplying Smith, who rifled the ball into the roof of the net, for a spectacular finish.
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Why this goal mattered
The goal sealed a win that gave Seagulls supporters hope for the future, much needed following the recent sale of Steve Foster and Tony Grealish. It also underlined the extent to which Chris Cattlin had stabilised the Albion team, compared to Peter Taylor’s Derby side, on their way to relegation to Division Three.
This proved to be Smith’s last game and last goal for the Albion. He joined Manchester City and was their top scorer in 1984/85. After a short spell with Oldham, he played for Admira Wacker in Austria and FC Basel in Switzerland, before returning to Scotland with Stirling Albion. He went on to become a players’ agent and then chief executive of the Scottish FA. He had a short spell as director of football at Rangers from 2011 to 2012.
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