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  1. #21
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    Amazing day. I was already emotional as it had been the anniversary of my dad's death just two days before and my niece had been born the previous day. I'd just come from seeing her for the first time and bumped into a bunch of Charlton fans at the station.

    It was incredible seeing all the colours. The North Stand was like being back in the 70s in promotion seasons.

    Easily my best Goldstone day since the FA Cup run of '83.
    Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio

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    • #22
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      That fog seemed to get thicker as the game went on. I remember thinking “please God don’t get this game called off” but it actually helped to create one of the best atmospheres I can remember at the Goldstone.
      I saw the flags and banners being waved out on Old Shoreham Road and the queues forming outside the turnstiles. Seeing all the different coloured shirts and scarves and I thinking “bloody hell, it’s actually happening!”
      It was the first game in months that myself and my Dad could go onto the West terrace. Bellotti had banned non-season ticket holders from the terrace after the Darlington home game if I remember rightly, so it was like returning home that day. There were a couple of Everton fans in front of us and a Sheffield United fan behind us. The only time I’d seen fans of another club on the west terrace was when we’d played Fulham earlier that season and that had nearly ended in a riot.
      The only goal I can remember was an absolute thunderbolt of a header from Gary Hobson (I think) but I can remember Craig Maskell throwing his hat-trick match ball into the North Stand at the final whistle. For me that was the day the escape started. Following that game the crowds started turning up in big numbers for home games and we didn’t lose at home for the rest of the season. I reckon that day got a lot of people of their arses and back to the Albion, maybe some people who lived locally but supported another team decided to turn up again?
      A final note, there is no way in Gods Green Earth that the crowd was only 8,500. The place was packed!
      I did a lot of things at college. I dressed up as Frank-n-furter, I drank pints of snakebite and black, I slept with a fat girl. That doesn't mean I want to do any of those things for the rest of my life.
    • #23
      Seriously? Robot Chicken's Avatar
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      I was in the West Stand next to a couple of Real Madrid fans with a banner.
      Walking through Hove park before the game was great fun, it was a case of guess the shirt and feeling immensely proud that all these fans from all over the country had come down to the Goldstone to help out my team.
      The first rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about Fight Club.
      The second rule of Fight Club is don't let Audley Harrison in, unless it's ladies night.
    • #24
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      Re: It was seven years ago this month...


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      What are your memories of 8 February 1997? [/B]
      I remember being surrounded at the game by all sorts of region accents, all having a great time exchanging friendly banter.

      I think the scousers banter was one of the funniest things I have ever heard,

      it was difficult to focus on the game as the crowd was far more entertaining that day...

      Bloody great day



      Yeh, well he's thrown a kettle over a pub roof !!! , What have you ever done
    • #25

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      I remember driving down from London and panicking by the time I got to the Mill Road roundabout that I wouldn't be able to get in! Listening to the build up on the radio, the ground was nearly full!
      I also remember an Everton fan shouting at Stuart Storer "How come you never played like this when you was at Everton" (or that could have been the Wigan game?) Also Craig Maskell's hatrick - throwing the match ball to the fans in the North Stand.

      (never thought Craig got the fans on his side - he was on a lot of dosh, but his goals saved us for disaster that season, and it was him who hit the post at Hereford allowing Robbie to score from the rebound)
      NSC Bookie Champion 2011 - 2012
    • #26
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      RAGE ONLINE
      United Colours of Football

      We went to a football match the other day. That isn't an unusual occurrence. Less usual was that fans of almost every league club were there. The match was Brighton against Hartlepool. The occasion was Fans United.
      The idea of "Fans United" came not from a Brighton fan, but from a teenage Plymouth fan. It quickly sprang into reality. Fans from all over the country used the Internet to confirm that they would be there on the day. The day itself was an occasion containing some of the most exhilirating, poignant and downright satisfying scenes yet seen in football.

      We arrived early enough to meet up with fans in the Hedgehog and Hogshead pub. The day started as it was set to continue - we seemed to meet fans of all the clubs that had beaten Oxford this season. This started with a conversation with a Southampton fan in the pub. It took a while to get used to the strangeness of the atmosphere - fans of so many different clubs gathered together with nothing more than friendly banter to show for it. Soon our goal became to spot fans of as many clubs as we could. We also bumped into four other Oxford fans.

      After a wander into Hove for some lunch, we walked back past the ground to Hove Rugby Club. On the route through the park were posted messages of support from fans of clubs around the UK and Europe. This included a large number from local rivals Crystal Palace - this issue transcending the otherwise important sense of local rivalry. It was wonderful to see the number of messages from people outside the UK - the Internet had transformed Brighton's fight into an international issue.

      A sharp reminder that Brighton are not the only club with troubles was to be found at the rugby club. In addition to the collection bucket for Brighton was one for Bournemouth as well - a club in perhaps even greater danger of going out of business. Indeed if Bournemouth were to fold it might even save Brighton from the drop, but this was not a day for such selfishness. People gave generously to both concerns.

      Back at the ground we met a Brighton supporter of pensionable age, who spoke with real hatred of Archer, Stanley and Bellotti. He reminded us for how long he had put time, effort and money into Brighton compared with the current regime. But above all he expressed wonder and gratitude at the multitude of different fans that arrived to help HIS club.

      The game itself was a unique and uplifting experience. The ground was flooded with shirts and banners of all colours. The noise had to be heard to be believed; the free whistles provided were certainly well used. Large banners were passed above the heads of the people in the crowd. An Eintracht Frankfurt banner was marched up and down in front of the main stand. We stood and chatted to fans from Cambridge and, poignantly, one from the now defunct Maidstone United. A Chelsea fan stood on someone's shoulders and led the crowd in various anti-Archer chanting. We all cheered Brighton on. It was easy to see Hartlepool as the fall-guys in this match, with everyone (bar Hartlepool fans presumably) rooting for Brighton, but I'm sure most of their fans saw the point. Hartlepool fans recently asked their club's season ticket holders to pay at the tunrstiles, so serious is their own crisis. Fans of many of the lower division clubs had "it could be us" at the back of their minds, I'm sure.

      This was an occasion about as far removed from the ideals of the Premiership, Champions League and other assorted money-fests as one could get. Unsurprisingly one of the organisers told us the worst response had been from Manchester United. There is little to link them and the likes of Brighton these days.

      But what a success! Fans United was an occasion for football supporters from all corners of the land to show solidarity with Brighton. Solidarity against a board callous enough to sell the Goldstone Ground without any sound plan for a replacement. Solidarity against the kind of bad ownership that leaves a once successful club close to dropping out of league football altogether. Most of all, solidarity in the sentiment "Archer Out!" And I think we proved our point...

      (Oh, by the way, the match ended Brighton 5 Hartlepool 0)
    • #27
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      I'd only been out of hospital 6 weeks after spending 5 weeks unconcious in intensive care.

      So even though I was still very weak I had a blinding time in the North Stand.

      ****ing amazing day with all the different colours, atmosphere, result.

      My best ever day at the Goldstone (along with Doncaster).
      :falmerspi Hello, my name is John Barnes & I have big hair :falmerspi
    • #28
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      Best Albion day ever bar none. Travelled down from Norwich for the game and was genuienly emotional chatting to other fans from other clubs at the back of the North Stand. I specifically remember a Fulham fan asking me if the atmosphere was always like this and the great surges when we scored and the same Fulham fan seeming genuinely ecstatic at the goal. The atmopshere was unbelievable and knowing at the end of the season that those 5 goals had made all the difference made it all the more poignant.

      Quality times.
    • #29
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      Prior to the game, I had wondered if it would be some kind anti-climax. Walking down Old Shoreham road from the Hove park tavern proved me SO wrong! Through the fog, the sight of the march around the ground being led by the Eintract Frankfurt fans sent a shiver down the spine. That was the day that the three CS running the club MUST have realised the game was up for them. That day is right up there in my all time Albion greatest moments. Craig Maskell scored a hat trick that day. He took a fair amount of stick that season for his so called lack of effort. The 14 or so goals he scored that season probably kept us in the league though?
      Rindfleischetikettierungsüberw achungsaufgabenübertragungsges etz

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    • #30
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      I remember seeing the fog in the morning and thinking, shit - hope it isn't called off...

      I remember also that Eintracht Frankfurt bloke with the hat and flag, was his name Wolf? Top man! Plus all those colours - loads of Charlton - and the amazing atmosphere in the North Stand. Remember Vialli leading the singing? And poor old Hartlepool in their fog-coloured shirts, getting tonked and handing us a lifeline not just for League status, but for the existence of the club.The whole, incredible day is etched forever into my heart, and I expect the same's true for most of us.

      Richard Vaughan - friend of the Albion, and of football everywhere.
      Mmmm, Harveys... and Cisk...

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