On this day: Steve Foster, return of the king

Club legend re-signed for Albion on this day 30 years ago.

By Charlie Hanson • 14 July 2022

By The Argus
Steve Foster made over 300 appearances for Albion over the course of his two spells.

Iconic hair. Synonymous with football in the 1980s and 90s.

For most this might bring flashbacks of the Divine Ponytail, Roberto Baggio. But for Albion, it’s the headband and curly locks of Steve Foster.

While Fozzie’s return to Brighton might not have had quite the glamour of Baggio’s recall to the Italy squad in 1997 after a year out of the national team picture, it was still very much a homecoming for a legend.

Steve had joined Albion in 1979 as an up-and-coming player who was yet to get their taste of top-flight football. The former Pompey defender would prove his weight in gold after helping us maintain our First Division status, as well as reaching our first and only FA Cup final in 1983.

By The Argus
Rising high to win a header.

His second spell was very much at the twilight of his career, as aged 35, he needed somewhere to train after leaving Oxford United.

He gave Barry Lloyd a call and one thing led to another, and within a year Steve won Albion’s Player of the Season award, having also won it 13 years prior.

“I had a great time when I came back,” Foster told journalist and author Spencer Vignes. “The thing was, a lot of the supporters who had been kids when I first played were now adults. They were always good to me. I appreciated that.”

By The Argus
An interesting look for Fozzie.

That appreciation was reciprocated, despite Albion’s tumble down the tiers during Fozzie’s final years as a player.

He hung up his boots in 1996, having made 332 appearances for us over the course of his two spells.

A year later, Cesare Maldini would recall Baggio to Gli Azzuri and who knows, maybe Barry Lloyd and Steve Foster were the inspiration.

With thanks to Tim Carder and Spencer Vignes.