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FIVE-A-SIDE: ALBION AND SHEFF WED

20 January 2017

A five-a-side team comprised of legendary Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield Wednesday players over the years.


Peter Grummitt (Goalkeeper)

A former Nottingham Forest keeper who enjoyed ten years at the City Ground before signing for Sheffield Wednesday in January 1970. Peter played 121 league matches for the Owls before arriving on loan in December 1973 in the wake of the Albion’s infamous 8-2 home defeat to Bristol Rovers. Grummitt endured an inauspicious debut, in a 4-1 defeat at Tranmere, but went on to secure a reputation as one of the best ever Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeepers, playing a significant role in the 1976/77 promotion season. His career came to an end after sustaining a knee injury against Tranmere in March 1977. Nevertheless, he played in his own benefit match in May 1978. It was a match where Brighton beat Alan Mullery’s All-Star 11 side 8-7 with Malcolm Poskett (3), Peter Sayer (2), John Ruggiero (2) and Graham Moseley (pen) getting the goals. Certainly not a good game for keepers, even one as good as Peter!

Gavin Oliver (Defender)

A dependable and versatile defender who made just 20 league appearances at Sheffield Wednesday despite spending six years at the club. He holds the distinction of being on the winning side in the league matches between Brighton and Bradford City in 1985/86, while playing a game for each side. He arrived as a loan signing by Chris Cattlin in August 1985, playing at right-back in the Seagulls’ 2-1 victory over the newly promoted Bantams. While his loan was extended to three months, Albion could not pay the asking price to make Gavin’s move into a permanent one. He returned to Hillsborough before joining Bradford in a £25,000 deal that November. In the fixture at the Odsal in December, Oliver’s floated ball for Bradford led to the penalty from which Greg Abbott got the winner.

Danny Wilson (Midfielder)

Joining initially on loan from Nottingham Forest, Brighton fans remember Wilson fondly as a dynamic midfield player in the 1980s with great tackling and wonderful passing, as well as an eye for goal. Indeed, he opened the scoring in a 2-0 win at arch rivals Crystal Palace on Boxing Day 1983 and also hit the net at Selhurst Park the following season to rescue a point for the Albion in a 1-1 draw. All together, the inspirational midfielder played 135 league games for Albion, following his arrival on a £45,000 deal in January 1984. He went on to prove himself as an industrious midfielder for Luton Town, scoring in the 1988 League Cup Final against Arsenal. Danny went on to sign for Sheffield Wednesday in August 1990, going on to win promotion to the top flight and clinch the League Cup after beating Manchester United in his first season at Hillsborough. He managed Sheffield Wednesday from 1998 to 2000.

Ian Mellor (Striker)

This lanky striker was one half of the famous Ward-Mellor partnership that terrified Third Division defences in 1976/77. ‘Spider’ scored 12 league goals that campaign, but his almost telepathic understanding with Ward made a significant contribution to the star striker’s league haul of 32 goals. After losing his place to Teddy Maybank, Ian moved to Chester before a transfer to Sheffield Wednesday in June 1979. Famously, Ian hit a memorable goal from outside the box to open the scoring on the so-called Boxing Day Massacre of 1979, when Wednesday beat local rivals and Division Three league leaders Sheffield United 4-0.

Eric Potts (Winger)

Potts had impressed for Sheffield Wednesday when Brighton beat the Owls 3-2 in May 1977 to clinch promotion from Division Three. However, after giving the Albion defence the runaround, he faded in the match after a heavy challenge from Steve Piper and some stern words from skipper Brian Horton. Fast-forward to the summer, and both Piper and Horton were understandably nervous when manager Alan Mullery made Potts one of his pre-season signings. However, the three became close friends in the new campaign. Capper, as he became known to his Seagulls team-mates, wrote his name in Albion folklore when he came off the bench to score two late goals, as Brighton overturned a 1-0 deficit against Sunderland in February 1978.

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