Charlie Webb is a name every Albion fan should know!

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.

By Dan Tester • 17 July 2023

By Tim Carder
Over seven seasons, Charlie scored 79 goals in 275 appearances.

In our latest edition of And If You Know Your History, we look at why you should definitely know who Charlie Webb is.

The Irishman was connected to the club for over 40 years, as a player and manager.

Born in a military camp near Dublin in 1886, he played for Bohemians while serving in the army and was posted to Worthing, where he represented the Mackerel Men of Woodside Road. After a successful period at the West Sussex club, Charlie had a trial at Rangers in Scotland but decided to try his luck as an amateur at the Goldstone Ground in 1909.

Playing his trade at outside left, he settled in quickly and became Albion’s first player to gain international honours when he made his Ireland debut against Scotland.

The next season Albion stormed to the Southern League title, lifted Southern Charity Cup and, famously, won the Charity Shield with Webb notching the winner against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge. Lifting the Charity Shield resulted in the winners being crowned ‘Champions of England’. Albion’s only major trophy – so far.

By Tim Carder
Charlie Webb was connected with Albion for over 40 years.

Over seven seasons, Charlie scored 79 goals in 275 appearances. A serious leg injury sustained at Millwall effectively ended his playing career before the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. Returning to the army, he was captured by the Germans and held in Mainz for nine months. It was here that Albion chairman persuaded the 32-year-old Webb to take over the manager’s role at the Goldstone on the resumption of football in 1919.

Incredibly, he stayed in the hotseat for 28 years and became known as Mr Albion. With a knack for spotting talent, Webb brought in some great players during his 1,215 matches in charge, securing a top-five berth in the Third Division (South) on ten occasions. His consistent stewardship and loyalty attracted the attention of the big boys, with Tottenham Hotspur keen to lure him to London. But, Charlie loved the Albion and didn’t want leave.

He earned the respect of many people in the game and players always addressed him as ‘Mr Webb’. A consummate gentleman, Charlie died, aged 86, in 1973. His daughter planted a tree in Hove Park in his memory.

A true Albion legend.