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Club News


24 November 2017

Frank Stapleton, Andy Ritchie and Tomasz Kuszczak.

Ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion’s game against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, here’s a look at three players that pulled on a shirt for both the Seagulls and Red Devils in years gone by.

Frank Stapleton

Despite only spending a short period of time with the Seagulls at the very end of his career, Stapleton’s connection with both Manchester United and the Albion can be traced back to the 1983 FA Cup Final, where the Irishman scored the first equalising goal after Gordon Smith had put Jimmy Melia’s team in front. Stapleton arrived late at the back post to make it 1-1 and also claimed an assist for Brian Robson’s second goal in the 4-0 replay defeat for Albion at Wembley. The forward played over 200 matches for United towards the beginning of his career and featured just twice for the Seagulls during the 1994/95 season, before deciding to retire at the Goldstone Ground.

Andy Ritchie

After starting his career with Manchester United - scoring hat-tricks against both Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at the age of 18 and 19 respectively - Ritchie moved to the Goldstone Ground to become the club’s record signing in 1980 for a transfer fee of £500,000. It would be 31 years until the Seagulls paid more up-front for a player, when Will Buckley was signed for £1 million from Watford. Ritchie made over 100 appearances for the Seagulls, and scored the first goal of Albion’s FA Cup Final run in 1982/83 - hitting the back of the net against Newcastle United at the Goldstone. But the striker would only feature as far as the sixth round, as he left the south coast for Leeds United after Albion’s 1-0 victory over Norwich City. Ritchie also scored three times against his former employers after making the switch, as Albion met United four times during the 1980/81 campaign.

Tomasz Kuszczak

The Polish shot-stopper moved to Manchester United from West Bromwich Albion in 2007, after impressing during a brief loan spell at Old Trafford. Kuszczak made over 60 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils, winning numerous trophies while at the club - including the Champions League, Premier League (4), League Cup (2), Community Shield (2) and FIFA Club World Cup. After his release from Old Trafford, the Seagulls swooped to sign the goalkeeper on a two-year deal. Kuszczak made just short of 90 appearances in all competitions while on the south coast, and was part of the Albion squads that reached the Championship play-offs in back-to-back seasons.

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