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PARALLEL LINES: BARNSLEY

24 September 2016

The connections between Albion and the Tykes.


The kit

Barnsley are known for their red home shirts and white shorts. However, when the club formed in 1887, they went on to experiment with a variety of colours, including blue-and-white-striped shirts from 1891. Plain red shirts were adopted in 1898.

Conversely, it took Brighton and Hove Albion until 1904, three years into the club’s existence, to adopt their famous blue-and-white stripes, having worn various plain blue-gray and plain navy blue shirts paired with black shorts.


The promotion near misses

Barnsley’s history has several near misses in promotion campaigns to reach the top flight. Despite finishing third in the Second Division the previous season, promotion eluded the Yorkshire side in 1919, even though the First Division was expanded from 20 clubs to 22. Then, in 1922, they missed out by a single goal.

After a decline in Barnsley’s fortunes, dropping as low as the Fourth Division in 1965, they were back to the Second Division in 1981. On the final day of the league fixtures in 1990/91, Mel Machin’s Tykes side beat Middlesbrough 1-0. The result would have secured Barnsley a place in the play-offs. However, a famous last-gasp free-kick from Dean Wilkins for Brighton against Ipswich ensured it was the Seagulls that won the final play-off spot.

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The glory

Against the odds, Brighton retained their Football League status at the end of 1996/97 through some superb home results in the second half of the campaign.

The season was also memorable for Barnsley, who finally won promotion to the top division, finishing runners-up in order to the reach the Premier League. The manager was Danny Wilson, an industrious and skilful midfielder who was an integral part of the Brighton side in the mid-1980s.
 

The Millennium Stadium

Both Brighton and Barnsley have won the Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In 2004, Leon Knight’s penalty for the Seagulls edged out Bristol City, managed by former Tyke boss Danny Wilson.

Then two years later, there was success for Andy Ritchie, a former Brighton striker in the First Division days. He led the team from Oakwell to a win on penalties in the final in Cardiff against Swansea following a 2-2 draw.


The players

Paddy McCourt, Chris O’Grady, Leroy Lita, Jim McNulty, Diego Arismendi and Liam Dickenson are all players who have featured for both the Seagulls and the Tykes in the past ten years. In February 2016, young Albion midfielder Charlie Harris joined Barnsley on an 18-month loan deal for an undisclosed fee.

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