When Albion were on Top of the Pops

'The Boys in The Old Brighton Blue' was Albion's very own FA Cup final song.

By Dan Tester • 12 June 2023

By The Argus
Some of Albion's younger fans show their support ahead of kick-off at Wembley in 1983.

And If You Know Your History aims to explain and highlight some of the incidents, matches, people, players, and situations – occasionally weird, occasionally wonderful – that combine to make Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club what it is.

It’s 40 years since the Albion appeared in their only FA Cup final – so far – against Manchester United in 1983. 

In what is sadly no longer a cup tradition, back in the 1980s both finalists would record a song and, if they were lucky, appear on the legendary Top of the Pops on a Thursday night before the Wembley showpiece.

Albion released a 7” single, The Boys in The Old Brighton Blue. We asked the track’s producer – and lifelong Albion fan – Howard Kruger to tell us more. 

“I knew a lot of the players, and particularly Steve Foster,” recalls Howard. “I met the other lads and the squad became like a family – we used to spend a lot of time together. I was, and still am, in the music business and suggested we record a song on my label, Energy Records.”

The Boys in The Old Brighton Blue (A side) is credited to Rob Roker and Phil Wigger and was performed by a local band, the Mystery Boys, whose line-up included Dave Barnard and Eric Wright. The duo once opened for Supertramp when the supergroup played Worthing in the 1970s.

“None of the players had done anything like it before and they all thought they could sing. But, they sounded like a load of wailing cats!” 

Eventually, and with a bit of help from autotune, they recorded the track. On the B side was Goldstone Rap.

“Dave and Eric wrote the Goldstone Rap, which was so far ahead of its time as rap music wasn’t really on the radar in 1983. They were talented musicians/writers and local too.”


Resplendent in matching tank tops, Albion players – Chris Ramsey, Jimmy Case, Gordon Smith and Perry Digweed – did ‘appear’ on Top of the Pops, but just to talk about the final while holding the 12” record, which was playing in the background. They then had a little dance while the Jo Boxers mimed in front of them. Also on the bill that night were household names Yazoo, Fun Boy Three and number one, Spandau Ballet. When the show aired Albion’s masterpiece was at 127 in the national charts. 

Its performance steadily improved and reached a top position of 65, which is no mean feat for a provincial football club whose support is pretty much entirely based in one county. Number ones regularly sold over a million units in those days.

It’s a perfect cup final song; sing-along-able, catchy and irreverent. If you’ve not heard it before, give it a listen.