A look back at Albion's remarkable 20-year journey.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Brighton & Hove Albion’s final game at the Goldstone Ground, and exactly two decades on, the Seagulls are now looking forward to a season in the Premier League.
A 1-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers, courtesy of Stuart Storer’s second-half strike, sent Albion into the final game of the season, away at Hereford United, knowing either a draw or win would prevent them from dropping out of the Football League.
The Seagulls drew 1-1 at Edgar Street to secure safety, but amongst the jubilation of Robbie Reinelt’s survival-clinching goal was an underlying sadness after leaving the club’s original home of over 90 years.
Following the full-time whistle on the penultimate day of the season, Albion rose off the bottom of the league table for the first time in 203 days, and the club’s supporters flooded onto the pitch with mixed emotions in search of souvenirs.
Two seasons of ground sharing at Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium followed, before returning back to Brighton, with the Seagulls playing their football at the Withdean Stadium, a venue visibly known for hosting athletics.
Albion remained at the Withdean Stadium for 11 seasons, achieving four promotions during that time, as well as two relegations, as they climbed the footballing ladder during a hard-fought, memorable spell in the club’s history.
After more than a decade of hard work to get planning permission for a new stadium, the Seagulls moved into the American Express Community Stadium for the start of the 2011/12 season, following the club’s promotion to the Championship under manager Gus Poyet.
Three unsuccessful play-off campaigns went past as the Seagulls came agonisingly close to completing a remarkable 20-year turnaround, as they missed out on reaching the Premier League on goal difference last season.
But after a breathtaking reaction, Chris Hughton’s team secured promotion to the Premier League this season, to round off a memorable 20 years in the club’s history, as the Seagulls went from escaping relegation to the fifth tier to sealing their place in the top flight of English football.