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Half Time at Hereford


Well-known member
Jul 4, 2003
cyril ( -
Friday, April 06, 2001 - 10:00 pm

I still remember that feeling and will never forget it...I sat on the floor with a fag and I just couldn't get up, couldn't see how I could get on with the rest of my life..WE came so close it still gives me goose bumps when I think about it. Which makes these good times all the more special. Seasons 97-98 If you took our 3 teams points and added them all up we would not have made the play-offs. Look at us now.....does it feel good or what. Moaners...remember that half time Hereford feeling and think how you feel how. UP THE ALBION.

Downloaded Penguin ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 12:49 am

I spent half time trying to think of the names of teams in the Conference but my mind was blank. I was in the stand and no one was talking. No one was saying anything. Tense? If you weren't there you have no idea. The explosion of joy when Robbie Reinelt scored was indescribable. I will never forget.

Dave the Seagull ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 01:06 am

Tell you what guys, you are spot-on.
I just remember half time there with my mates, and no-one said a WORD. Usually we'd be talking about how good/crap we'd been in the first half, but we were that poor, and the Conference looked so inevitable, that I don't think anyone had the heart for conversation about anything.

That match was a unique experience. As Albion fans, I don't think we'll ever be involved in a match of that importance again. If we'd have gone down that season, we'd have been lucky to stay in business, let alone try to get back into the League again, which is bloody tough with only the Champions coming up. That afternoon was a watershed. It was an ordeal to go through, and an absolute torture until the final whistle.

I didn't enjoy that match. In fact, I think it took about 10 years off me. But the relief afterwards was absolute bliss, and I can't see any future event with the Albion, be it promotions or escaping future relegations, quite living up to that feeling at 5.00 in Hereford. In the end, I'm glad to say "I was there". But Jesus, what a ride it was.

Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 06:55 am

were u a bit nervus at the end? i was litening to it on the radio and i was craping my pants!

Lord Bracknell ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 10:30 am

Three post-match memories -

The realisation that the players cared as much about the outcome as we did;

The walk back to the station with some Hereford supporters, who were disappointed in a very tame way - which proved to me that the passion of Brighton fans is not something you find everywhere;

The expressions of genuine goodwill towards the Albion from complete strangers at various stop-off places on the way home - particularly a bunch of Reading fans in Burger King at Reading. So genuine, I gave one of them my ticket stub.

Boot Boy ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 11:09 am

Apparently, according to my mates, I went absolutely ballistic when we scored - but did anybody else find the last 28 minutes or so the worst ? Up to that point I was just numb, thinking we were going out the league after such a tremendous fight-back, having been 11 points adrift at Christmas. As the game wore on I just couldn't help thinking we could still lose this - (and somehow that would then have been worse than had we never equalised) - and nearly did with that late breakaway - but Gormo just picked the ball out the air - no problem. Yet Maskell could have wrapped it up before then, only to screw it up as usual (though his hat-trick on Fans United Day, in effect kept us in the league). Got some severe abuse from Hereford fans in leaving the car park and advised by Old Bill to avoid town centre as cars were having windsreens smashed. Greatest journey home - ever ! Every pub en route seemed to have Albion fans outside, with the biggest possible grins on their faces. I'll never forget that day. You're right in saying "you had to be there" !.

Lord Bracknell ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 11:25 am

And a pre-match memory:-

Just finished lunch in Tesco's at Hereford and the four young people in the Bracknell party are outside painting blue and white stripes on each others' faces when Dick Knight and Ivor Caplin turn up, walk across to the kids and say "Thanks for coming - hope you enjoy the game".

Young people completely amazed that DK is a human being like them who eats his lunch in Tesco's and speaks to supporters.

Kingston Seagull ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 12:46 pm

What an incredible experience that game was. It was about far more than football. I just remember looking around at half-time, thinking we were doomed, and remember so many of us in tears (myself included). Unbelievable scenes at the end, that I will never forget. Such passion from the team & fans alike. I wonder if anyone or any team will ever know what that feeling is like again?

I have the video to the game, which I watch occasionally, but to be honest, I remember only a few instances from the game. Kerry's o.g., (did you know his wife is called Kerry too?), Maskells wasted chance, Robbie's finish. The rest was about the fans!

Sensibly I'd parked right behind the Hereford end, and had to walk through loads of them to get to my car. Lots of abuse, which was understandable I guess, but the immense feeling of relief was unbelievable.

Let's hope we (or any other loyals supporters)never ever have to go through anything like that again.

Kingston Seagull ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 12:48 pm

Oh, and my wife Yvonne wants everyone to know that she was there too...

cyril ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 02:36 pm

Talking of meeting people before the game. The ref, Barry I think his name is, now a prem ref, stayed in the same hotel as us. We tried to bribe him but he was having none of it. After the game we stopped in some town for dinner in a lay-buy and who should stop to shake our hands but the ref, what a top bloke. His wife said she was pleased we stayed up I don't know why but she was. It was a good ending to the worst..the best..the most unforgettable day in my life.. There is the story of a dodgy cheque....trashing hotel rooms...thinking of doing a bunk...getting caught stealing the contents of hotel rooms, but that is another story...What a day!

Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 09:39 pm

Having travelled tens of thousands of miles over the last forty years to watch the Albion, I could not bear to watch the last five minutes. I sat on the ground at the back of the stand and watched my sons' and mates' faces. That stomach-churning day will never be forgotten by all those there. My watch spun round from 3.20 to 4.20 then stood still. I spent the summer traumatised and not wanting the next season to start.
We also met the ref, Neil Barry, in the Green Man before the game. He had been specially chosen because it was such a crucial game.

Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 09:45 pm

At Newport train station on our way back to Southampton from the game, all the Albion faithful piled off of the train absolutely ecstatic and whilst waiting for our next connection, the stations p.a. system sounded as if to read out the next trains destinations but instead of the usual trivialities they read out, suddenly the whole station heard "SEAGULLS, SEAGULLS" in stereo sound - AMAZING!!!!

El Presidente ( -
Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 10:07 pm

I was in the seats, having driven down from Manchester with a few other Albion fans. The first half was just awful, both teams were equally inept, and it was somehow approporiate that Hereford scored with an Own Goal from Kerry.

At half time the seated area was just eerie, no one knew what to say, the Conference was the least of our problems, we knew that the Albions existence was on the line.

I can still remember the equaliser in slow motion, although I have never seen it on TV, its too disturbing and upsetting to buy the Goodbye Goldstone official tape.

A dodgy back pass to their keeper, who hacks it to Maskell, Maskell shoots, the keeper saves but fumbles, then the longest 3 seconds of my life, four or five players hurl themsleves at the ball and its in the net, and the Albion faithful go totally nuts.

A woman standing next to me just threw her arms round my neck and we just hugged, she was in tears, her husband was looking sheepish as we cavoerted about, I apologised to him, embarrased at being with his bird at such a moment.

The final half hour was just horrid. Hereford through everything at us, and we played on the counter. I seem to remember us breaking through with only a couple of minutes left, but Maskell shooting wide. I could never understand the stick he took, he was our leading scorer by a long way that season.

Then in injury time it was one on one between their striker and Rusty, and he shot straight into Rusty's stomach. I think it was the concentrated wishes and prayers of all the Albion fans at that moment that caused him to screw it up.

Working in Manchester I get a lot of United and City fans talking about the final few minutes of big games ( United in the European Cup final v Bayern & City in the play off final v Gillingham, but I honestly think that those games pale into comparison when thinking about Hereford.

Leaving the ground a middle aged Hereford fan was sat down on the stairs, sobbing his heart out, I gave him by scarf and wished him a speedy return out of the Conference. He just looked at me and said it was the worst day of his life, even though his wife had died two years earlier.

I dont think I could have coped if the situation had been reversed. Being at Edgar Street that day was a privelege, and any moaners and whingers ought to remember how far we have come since then.

Booy Boy ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:14 am

El Pres, You'll find that it was Ormo in goal not Rusty.

cpfc ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:34 am

i listened to the radio,i was so upset when you scored your goal.i wanted you to go out of the league and out of business.
god i hate you all

alison in lancashire ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:42 am

Why do you hate God ? I don`t recall him being on our team sheet that day.

Slartibartfast ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 02:10 am

I wasn't actually at the match, but drivin to my in-laws in Newport - no car radio for reasons that are too involved to go into - all the way down the M4 worrying, fantasising about us winning then that sickening lurch of the stomach as I thought about the alternative. I'll never forget that journey and the not knowing! Got to my in-laws in Newport - out of the car, and they could only tell me that we had been 1-0 down at halftime, but as they were watching the Rugby League Final at Wembley I'd have to wait until full time to check Ceefax for the score!!
Well - Bradford Bulls versus ••••••• ST Helens or something took another ten minutes to finish - finally wrenched the controls free, and switched to Ceefax and there it was - the most glorious ceefax score ever! Hereford 1 - 1 Brighton (Hereford relegated to Conference). I leapt around the room like a madman and had to rush out to the pub to celebrate hugely - on my own!

So, the question is - is it better to be there watching nervously , or trying not to watch cos youre so anxious, or not to know at all which is an absolute killer believe me!

Sigh - a great great day, but we're only 3 wins away from Div 2 now, so its all a bad dream. Like losing at home to Sudbury.

Next seasons fixtures? Is the Football League going to print them in pencil I wonder ?

SimonP CCFC ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 02:26 am

I came onto this messageboard as a Cardiff fan to see what Brighton thought of todays results but I could'nt help looking at this thread because my other love in life is Hereford United. Reading this thread has been amazing and bought all the nightmares back of a dark day in Hereford's history. It's been great to see all your memories of that never to be repeated day.

Life in the conference is tough with only one team going up. But Hereford came close this year before the top 2 pulled away and they have every chance of finally regaining there league status again next season.

What I remember about that day was the immense media coverage of the game. It seemed to be the most important game of the day. When we went down it was a numb feeling like I did'nt have the energy to do anything at all.

I hope you will join with me in wishing Hereford luck in acheiving there league status next season.

Did'nt think I would be writing about this subject when I came on!!!

Kev ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 02:33 am

Startibartfast, am I right in assuming you were celebrating in a pub in Newport?! In which case, you could have joined me and two other NSC old timers...! :)

NMH ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 03:31 am

That we had to be instrumental in sending a proud historic team out of the league was a discomforting aside to the fact that we had survived. I suppose it was almost divine that we had to even play them on the last day, and that goal difference was the only dividing factor. Roy of the Rovers couldn't have been better scripted in fantasy than our real predicaments.
Sure enough, there are many BHA with a soft spot for Hereford now, and it would be wonderful to see them back in the league again.
In a similar vein, I would love to see Hull City go up, and make it a fairytale recovery from near-extinction. Come on you Tigers!

Orlando seagull ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 04:12 am

I remember the day well. I ran up a $500 phone bill because the only way I could get a running commentary was to ring my mate up in Brighton who left the phone by his radio tuned in to Southern Sound for the entire match. It was worth every penny.

El Presidente ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 11:28 am

Oops, you are right Boooy boy. Should not have forgotten Ormerod, as he kicked a ball into the stand and I caught it before the game, and he signalled me to keep it!

Swindon seagull ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:40 pm

I agree with all the above emotions but as a little extra I had my car door kicked in by a real Hereford fan.. I a had my 10 yaer old daughter with me as well, I guess he was upset but what a hard man.

I even put out a 'Belloti out' Banner on the Bridge near Junction 15 of the M4

Van der Gully ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 01:40 pm

As for much of the last 10 years I was living in exile on the day of the Hereford game and like Orlando phoned home to listen to the game on the radio, though only for the last 20 minutes.

I had heard the score at half time and at the point of ringing my brother did not know that Robbie had hit the equaliser. I know that my experience cannot compare with those who were "fortunate" enough to have been at the game, but it doesn't make it any the less traumatic.

To come within a few minutes of losing, and that is what relegation would have meant, the team that you had supported for 25 years as man and boy does not bare thinking about.

As the final minutes ticked away the tension became unbearable, at the final whistle I could hear my brother and one of his mates bouncing off the furniture in his house, I just contained myself to a roar that would have blown off the northstand roof on its own.

That night I went out and painted the local town blue and white, resplendant in my great escape shirt, people who I didn't know came up and shook my hand, they were genuinely pleased we had avoided the drop.

I hope we never have to go through anything like that again in my lifetime, I do not envy the supporters of Exeter, Torquay and the like who will experience exactly the same feelings in May, it is an awful thing to happen.

Up the Albion, another nine points and its party time!!!

We've come a long long way together.....

BenDover ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 08:59 pm

That day at Edgar Street brings back many many memories, who can forget in the last few minutes the Hereford player one on one with Ormerod, he shot straight at Orms who took it comfortably,
to add to that i once had a conversation with Richard Barker and told him of this flashback from Hereford, he smiled and told me a tale from the dressing room, he told me Gary Hobsons version of events, Hobbo was the last defender as the Hereford player ran forward, off balance and outpaced, he went to take the Hereford player down, but he missed.
If you watch the footage of that moment you can clearly see Hobbos intentions, very alarming, but what a day, i will never forget that day, BTW it was a great shot from Maskell that hit the foot of the post before Robbie tucked it away.
And a mention for Kerry Mayo, who has battled all the way from Edgar St to division two, he justs gets better and better with each game, he has done excellently this season, I bet he will have good cause to smile the day we get promoted.

Snowy ( -
Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 09:32 pm

This is the best thread ever on NSC! Such memories!

I believe that I got the last ticket available for the match as I phoned the Hereford ticket office for one each for me and a mate but they only had one left. Rather selfishly I claimed it for myself and travelled down in a state of nervous tension. I felt each and every emotion described above but then had to go home to my then home of Cheltenham and describe how I felt to a bunch of non understanding locals. They, and so many fans of other clubs, will neve know what that day felt like.

Y2dave ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 10:07 am

Reading this thread has brought back so many memories . At Halftime everyone had given up hope as we were playing so poorly. How it was only 1-0 I dont know. I remember Hereford just came straight at us With 3 up front and Tony Agana was running the show. I can only honestly remember us getting the ball out our half twice (with the exception of orms goalkicks. I was on the verge of a complete breakdown when inspiration hit me and I thought we CAN still do it nad just sang my heart out. Waiting to see who would get to the rebound after Maskells volley hit the post was the longest few seconds in my life. Then the missed chances by BOTH sides. On the way back to Reading was a classic journey especially at Newport with the champagne flowing and beers being passed around. Classic.

SFH ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 11:14 am

I was unfortunate enough to have to work that day, on my own in a small shop. I had the match commentary on the radio and was in the process of serving a little old granny when RR scored the equaliser sending me racing around the shop punching the air, kicking the filing cabinet and swearing expletives in a maniacal fashion. This scared the bejesus out of granny and she made a swift exit leaving me to complete fanatical football apoplexy!! I spent the rest of the match being rude and surly to potential customers to persuade them to bugger off and ended up just shutting up shop without telling the boss.

Jumpers for Goalposts ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 11:17 am

I was in the Hereford seats (only tickets I could get). It turned out to be half filled with Brighton fans - great celebration when we scored. Spent a lot of the game, and half time, talking to the Hereford fans... we were all in the same boat - everyone sick with nerves.
It was, without question, the worst day of my Albion supporting life (first game 1975) - I just couldn't believe we'd sunk so low.

N4Gull ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 12:13 pm

I was in a car park in Scotland listening to the last 5 minutes on Radio 5 with a very poor reception, there was a group of about 15 sweaties who wanted to get into cars and head off and I was there in the middle passionately refusing to go anywhere in case I lost the reception. Needless to say they didn't really understand. Still I was steadfast in the middle of a Blairgowrie car park in the rain.

the one thing that sticks is that when radio 5 switched to the game the commentator summed up the atmosphere something like this "there are bodies to my left bodies to my right, its like a battlefield, the ball is being hoofed from one end to the other. Complete and utter panic from both teams"

Seeing that I'd been out the country for a year and a half with no access to the plight of the albion bar Mondays Sydney Morning Herald results it was one hell of a way to get back into things.

jack ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 01:03 pm

who was it that got the ball with which Reinelt scored???????

Storer68 ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 01:19 pm

I couldn't face it. The tension was too much especially come the Friday. First and last time I actually bottled a game. FORTUNATELY, FOR MY SELF RESPECT i WENT down with chicken pox on the Thursday preceeding the game so I couldn't have gone even if i had got a ticket. So there I was, covered in spots forced to stay at home and listen to the radio. SCR had that strange shrieky guy who didn't know who the players were (pre-Hawes) and could n't connect his eyes to his mouth to describe the action doing the commentary (where was John Lees that day I wonder) so I listened to Millard and Gerry Ryan on Southern FM as it was then.

Jesus, I'm ging all twitchy as the memories come back of trying to vsualise what was happening. I'm told that I looked like a moron as sitting head in hands staring zombie-like at the radio from 3-20 to about 4-20 not saying a word until I heard the words (somethin like)
"Morris heads it forward towards Maskell........ Maskell turns and shoots.....hits the post....comes out...............ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOBBIIIEEEEEE REIIIIIIIINEEEEEEEEEEEEELTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!! SCORES FOR BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION

I think I nearly died during the gap between the words "out" and "Robbie". The world stood still. Then the sun came out, the black skies lifted, Belloti and Archers were expunged from the memory and a glorious sunlit future was revealed.

Mind you I got a very nasty shock when I bought the video(oooooh yes I do watch it, just to remind myself) when I saw what a hash George Ogana made of the last minute chance. On the radio Millard was, by this time, so wrapped up in the game that he didn't really describe the action, just the emotion so we didn't really have a clue as to how close we came........

old fat and bald ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 01:55 pm

I couldn't get a ticket so I decided to follow it on Teletext. When Hereford scored I got up and left the house. I walked around aimlessly for a while with no thoughts in my head, just a numb, sick feeling in my stomach. Eventually I found myself at Preston Park, Andy Rollings runs a cafe there but I couldn't bring myself to go near it. I just kept walking round and round the Park thinking of players like Andy Rollings, Brian Horton, Peter Ward and further back to the likes of Alan Duffy, Charlie Livsey, John Templeman etc. I thought of the players I'd never seen like Charles Webb and Tommy Cook, I thought of all the people who'd dedicated their lives to the lives to the Albion, people like Mike Bamber, Major 'Carlo' Campbell and John Jackson - the man responsible for bringing professional football to Brighton.

I thought of the efforts that all these and many others had put in over the years and there was a huge lump in my throat as I thought why had they bothered? Why had we bothered? Why was it possible for almost 100 years of history, endeavour and romance to be flushed away? It couldn't end like this, we all knew this would be no ordinary relegation, the Goldstone had died the previous week and defeat would mean oblivion.

I had no idea of the time, it might have been 4:00 or 7:00 for all I knew but then the most wonderful thing happened - a car drove along the A23 with a beeping horn and people leaning out of the windows waving blue and white scarves. This snapped me out of my reviere and I sprinted home up Preston Drove and breathlessly put Teletext on - ROBBIE REINELT!!!! One-all, bloody one-all!!! - I checked the top of the page, I can't tell you the time but it said 'Results/Scorers'

We'd done it!!!!!! I don't remember what happened next, My wife says I ran around the house like a ten year old at Christmas, too excited even to drink.

Don't ever do that to me again Albion!

(Lest we forget.)

Barnet Seagull ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 02:26 pm

I wasn't there either and in a way I'm pleased that I wasn't. I know how I felt sitting watching teletext for 90 mins not moving once from the sofa. I'd moved the kettle into the lounge, had a pint of milk at hand and must have made about 8 or 9 cups of tea such were the nerves. I didn't answer the phone, I just sat and stared. I've never sweated so much in my life.

Afterwards, I jumped around like a complete loon, the phone went mental as people called me up. I can honestly say that was the biggest release of adrenaline I've experienced in my life.

I then went out and got absolutely battered.

Now if I was that bad, what were Kerry and Orms like?

matt ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 02:44 pm

I was working in a shop in portsmouth !!!. I had a walkman in my pocket and was slying listening to the game in between serving customers. Then it all went crackily and I couldnt get a proper reception, we were one nil down at the time. I left work at 20 to five instead of five o clock complaining to the boss of a stomach ache. I watched the result come in on a television at a dixons store in commercial road, portsmouth. The emotion than ran through me when I saw the score 1-1 flash up was incredibly. I had to double check about three times and it didnt sink in until the vidiprinter said in brackets (hereford relegated to the conference). What a day. one we will never forget.

Simster ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 02:47 pm

These were the days when my wife didn't realise the importance to me of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Although unbelievable to think of now, I had actually gone *shopping* in Kingston although I was quite pleased because I thought it would actually calm my nerves. Anyway at around 3.45pm I went looking for a TV shop to check the scores, but couldn't find one.

At 4.30pm, I told her that I had to find a radio rentals to find the scores. When I got there, a bloke wearing a Chelsea shirt was idly gawping at the goalflashes as they came in. I asked how Brighton were doing and he replied as if it didn't matter: "Dunno. They were losing last time I heard" I darted into the shop past the perplexed sales staff and grabbed the remote, and moving to page 308 - then screamed "YEEEEESSSS!!!!" at the top of my voice in the middle of the shop. I then went outside and 5 minutes later the result was confirmed on grandstand..."Hereford Utd 1-1 BHA Hereford relegated to the Vauxhall Conference"

By the time my wife came back, I was in floods of tears in the middle of the shopping centre.

Never ever again Albion. Never.

Billy Seagull ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 06:38 pm

Hereford was a strange day and at half time I remember sitting on the terrace think oh sh*t this is us gone. The longer the match went on the more sure I was we were going down until THAT moment when Robbie hit the back of the net. Celebrations were mental and I remember jumping on the wall that was halfway down the terrace in excitement. Once that goal had sunk in the clock seemed to go backwards and I can see Maskell one on one with the keeper and "all" he had to do was slot it by him for safety - what a choker. Then their striker was through and shot tamely into Orms arms and only on seeing the replay did I realise how he should have scored and relegated us - I'm sure I'd have been physically sick if he'd have scored.

The final few minutes is a blur and the final whistle meant hugging everyone and going completely bananas and staying in the ground for what seemed like ages singing our heads off in celebration and relief.

There will never be a game like it in the future where so much rests on 90 minutes. You can keep your premier leagues this is what football is all about. I do hope we never get so low again and to think we are now on the verge of promotion is amazing....and people still whinge !!

Storer68 - you couldn't go because of Chicken Pox ? Hope you didn't catch that off me at the last game of the Goldstone. I went down with it the week before after the Cambridge away match but my doc said I can go if I want - he knew I was going to go anyway and he's a Brighton fan !! I'm sure to this day it was the stress of the troubles that caused it.

STorer68 ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:06 pm

Billy Seagull.
Nah couldn't have been you because it was some silly sod at work who got it and insisted on coming in with it

Could i also point out, (exposing my in depth knowledge of a game I never went to ) that Maskell's one on one with their keeper forced him to fingertip round the post becaue we got a corner which was the last bit of open play cos theref blew for time almost straighta fterwe'd taken it. The Ogana miss was about the 91st minute.

Anonymous ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:18 pm

I have Ormerods shirt from the game hangin in me bedroom

Cheeky Monkey ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:27 pm

I had moved to America two weeks before the game, and sat on my balcony, desperately trying to get reception on a crappy shortwave radio with Guinness in hand. My dad, who first took me to the Albion in 1979, but was never a real fan himself, phoned at 4:45 UK time with confirmation. Unbelievable.

I own a poor quality copy of that game on video, and, as pathetic as it sounds, every time I watch the last 20 minutes I get nervous - you just can't believe they didn't score - there is the one-on-one with Ormerod and what looks to be a genuine penalty for Hereford. Out of interest, does anyone know where you can pick up a good quality copy of that game? The one I have was bought from the club and the picture/sound is terrible.

Anonymous ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:29 pm

some of the messages in this this thread have made my stomach go all funny, thinking how close we came really makes me feel sick, even now.

Danny Seagull ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 09:23 pm

Between 3:20 and 4:20 on that day was the worst hour of my life - The relief I felt when Robbie's ball smacked the net is just utterly undescribable.

El Pres ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 10:21 pm

Between 4.20 and 4.50 that day was the longest half hour of everyone's life. I don't know where Robbie is playing now, his career went down the toilet as far as I am aware, but he will never be forgotten.

There should be a plaque on the wall at Falmer with his name on it. Without him there would be no promotion party this weekend, no Zammo, no Mickey and no football in Sussex worth watching.

We are going up!

El Pres ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 10:37 pm

Reading this thread I have just had to look at " More than 90 minutes " Look at the pictures on pages 188 ( Albion fans at half time ) and 191 ( Sir Steve of Gritt at the end of the game ) and it says it all.

MatthorneyBastardo ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 11:06 pm

I talk about this game all the time as the worst and best moments of my life.

Half time was absolute desolution - we were heading for the conference no doubt. Everywhere you looked people were silent and desperate.

Second half when that Maskell shot hit the post everyone just wanted to kick the ball in the net but after about an hour waiting ROBBIE THE GOD did. Does anyone remember the standing ovation he got at Orient - the least he deserved.

As for the last half hour I was getting chest pains I felt ill I couldn't stand still and when that guy hit the ball straight at Ormorod I thought I was going to die.

I have had arguements with my mate about whether the goal was the most exhilerating moment or the final whistle - probably on a par I think.

Fantastic journey back to Sussex - Brighton fans everywhere with fixed grins on their faces.

Dancing around every pub in Worthing with a blue and white scarf being waved and not ashamed. Fantastic. Oh and UK won the Eurovision Song Contest. What a day!!

As an aside I sort of thank either Stuart Storer (week before) or Robbie Reinelt for the birth of my son - nine months later. Thanks lads without you I would never have been able to perform again!!!

Anonymous ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 11:13 pm

The weirdest thing was phoning home from the M4 motorway service station on the way back and starting to explain to my wife how happy I was - and that was it. Not a pretty sight a forty something breaking down on a mobile phone....It still gets me now just talking about it..pathetic really...

Boot Boy ( -
Monday, April 09, 2001 - 11:51 pm

El Pres, The last I heard of Robbie he was playing for Braintree in the Ryman League (Div. 1) along with Rust, but that was a couple of years ago and I think they've both moved on now. Rusty, I believe, went home to Cambridge City.

Slartibartfast ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 12:09 am

Kev, I was in a pub on the outskirts of Newport - a village called Caerleon, don't know the pub's name. Nobody in there gave a toss about Brighton staying up!

What emotions this thread has dredged up - I got a bit lumpy-throaty just reading some of the messages - this was an hour in which the Albion could have died . . had we gone down we couldn't have come back without a ground, and we were that close. When slightly pissed off with the current Albion team, I just think back to that terrible panicky helplessness, that sick gnawing knot in my stomach - sheer hell.

Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 12:34 am

Arrived in Hereford the night before about midnight with my caravan, son Spud, and my wife.
Heard that a lot of Pubs would be shut so came into town about 10.00 am. Found a pub and asked to be let in after. Got to the ground in good time to enjoy the great atmosphere, when the own goal went in I went numb, at half time I admit to a few tears, when the equalizer went in I went mad. Got my pic. in the Argos with arms outstretched. Returned to the Pub to enjoy an Attila Gig and Chinese opposite the pub, they allowed you to bring your own beer as they didn't have a licence, back to the pub until closing time & wept again for Joy.Thank goodness for my wife who drove us back to the van ( I Think!)

Cheshunt Seagull ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 09:18 am

In Hertfordshire without a Teletext TV and SCR I was faced with the prospect of Radio 5 score flashes and the prospect of hearing 'and there is news of a goal at Hereford' and then waiting the few seconds before you found out who scored was more than I could face. So I decided to wait until 4.50 and try to keep my mind of it (some bloody chance). At half-time I couldn't hold back from checking the scores. In a state of shock I turned the radio. After an endless 45 minutes I turned the radio on to hear the radio 5 commentator say 'and the score is still Hereford 1.....time stood still, nausea swept over me, my God it was actually going to happen, we were going out of the league, 27 years since my first game, Ward, Irvine, Nelson, Case's free kick at Highbury and now we faced Hayes away, or worse.....Brighton 1. I cannot describe the switch in my emotions, despair to joy in 2 seconds. As I take my seat in the South Stand tonight I shall think back to that afternoon and how close we came.

y2DAVE ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 09:35 am

during the last few minutes I remember us desperately trying to keep possesion and run down the clock but the ball was just getting hoofed around the middle of the pitch which was totally congested. I was in the terracing under the seats on the side of the pitch and loads of us were shouting at a shagged out Storer to come wide to supply a passing option in some space. With a totally drained glance he saw the space and with what seemed like his last bit of strength sprinted out to the flank and gave us all a thumbs and a massive grin before receiving the pass. That for me was typical of Storers determination and total commitment which makes him one of my all time fave Albion players. All of them were heros that day.

Hans Kray ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:02 am

I am going to the Lincoln match tonight - first for some time (kids, marriage, moving aways - no excuse really). Came on the site for a look to see what ther real gossip is, and was dragged into this thread. I am nearly in tears. I remember it so well. It realy is hard to believe that we are so close to going up! I'm bringing my son (I resisted Withdean, I still havent got over the Goldstone going) cos I wanted him to really get the thrill of an Albion crowd, but tonight he will see. I cannot tell you how excited I am at the prospect of seeing the Blues again! 1977 to 1996 with barely a break, and now I'm back. Seagulls! Remember!

saucy gull ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:28 am

that day i thought "sh1t" a thousand times and each one had a seperate meaning.

Staffs Gull ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 12:16 pm

Having read all of this, I was lucky enough to get a ticket (foresight with about 6 games to go) - I even had a spare (passed on at FACE VALUE) - and it was possibly the worst and best game of my life, but as many before have said, it was difficult to watch the game, I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been able to see it, almost worse...

Gave a hitch hiker a lift on the way back, and when he said he didn't like football, I dropped him off at the next layby, making a lame excuse (petty really, but I needed to be imersed in the sport).

Getting to that match, made up for the fact that I couldn't get tickets to the Doncaster game (I was SO gutted, 19 years of the Goldstone, thick and thin (very thin mainly) all the crap games that season, and the tickets were brought up, probably by a large majority who hadn't been for years and since....

Still, like the Murphys, I'm not bitter...

Tooting Gull ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 12:38 pm

Great thread, and one incredible and unforgettable day. Drove up there feeling sick all the way, and had a mate of a mate in the car who was a Brighton and Hereford fan. No, really.

Since that day I've been to what 'other' fans would probably consider big games, like England Germany in Charleroi, and the feeling has been not in the same league either in the build up or during the game.

Stopped at that pub on a roundabout about 5 miles out on the way back, with a great pub garden full of Albion fans, all waving flags at the cars going back out to the motorway. I wish I could remember what it was called (anyone?).

berkshire seagull ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 01:09 pm

i was shitting my self watching the vidi printer on sky sports and with 20 minuites left i turned the t.v off until i had the courage to turn it on which was about 6 o'clock.ibumped into a few albion in reading town center while i was out celebrating the greatest escape ever?????????????

the acceptable face ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 02:30 pm

Because it hasn't been said already......what a great thread! Even more relevent now because we are doing well now, and there but for the grace of god......etc

Completely understand all the comments on the support, relief, sickness etc, although 2 distinct memories will always abide with me.

Firstly the fact that my dad wasn't there (not that I had gone with him since I stopped using a stool) as he has been watching the Albion since he was a kiddie before the war. When he first took me (late 70's)I used to stand with him and his mates on the East Terrace, (does anyone remember the smell of the pipes in those days?) and they would prattle on about mid-week games to Rochdale that they had gone to in the sixties, cars breaking down on the way back etc.

He had said to me that he didn't want to go, even though I knew he really did and that the reason didn't was because he genuinely believed BHA would not do it, and therefore could not face the prospect of being there. Somehow I felt slightly guilty when we did it.......strange eh!

Secondly I can remember after 88 or so mins I just could not watch any more and I stood behind the stand with about a dozen or so other fellas all talking about the most inane things (e.g the one-way system in Yeovil) that had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever to do with the game.

At one point I know we decided to count the bricks in the wall supporting the stand roof!!

Got to stop need to lie down.

Cheeky Monkey ( -
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 02:45 pm

Emotional stuff. You must have had some reunion with the old man when you finally got home.

rob ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 02:05 pm

I can remember some poor woman being carried out by ambulancemen before the start of the game. I believe she was asthmatic and was a victim of the tension we all felt. As the game went on and after we had gone 1 down I felt my chest tightening and can recall thinking to myself that I'm not going to last until the final whistle. I could feel my blood pressure increasing and until we scored I felt like my head would explode. Unbelievable.

Does anyone remember the guy on the public address system asking Brighton fans to be quiet and to stop taunting the Hereford fans in their grief? Don't think he realised that we weren't tormenting their fans-merely letting go of a whole season of heartache in 30 glorious minutes of relief and elation. Didn't enjoy leaving the ground though-some bright spark in the local police force decided that it would be a good idea to make us walk all the way around the outside of the ground to get back to our cars. This took us past crowds of Hereford fans sitting around with heads in their hands and tears streaming down their faces. Thankfully, the idiots had already gone into town.

Driving through the town to head back home was a bit of a nightmare-thugs were attacking any car that had any hint of Blue and White on show. We bumped into one of their victims at the first motorway services and his brand new BMW looked as though it had been driven through Beirut-there wasn't a body panel that hadn't taken a kicking, mirrors ripped off and a couple of very terrified occupants. The atmosphere in the services was amazing-Albion fans singing their lungs out until armed police arrived and told us to be quiet or we'd be arrested.

Must get that video-think my stomach can finally handle watching it.

Gingerpubes ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 04:39 pm

Kerry Mayo is gonna get the biggest hug from me...on the pitch at wherever we get promoted!

Brixton Seagull 1 ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 06:01 pm

A massive thanks for all these wonderful accounts of the biggest Albion moment ever. I had no choice (long story) but to find out in a pub (Windmill, Clapham Common) at full-time and have only ever really known my own relief. Though it's the same story I, like anyone else that loves the Stripes, have enjoyed every different version on this thread and with each one my tummy has felt weird (as others have said) and I have been close to tears. Unbeleivable.

Thanks very much, GOING UP AT PLYMOUTH.

pranah ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 10:03 pm

my day started at lewes train station,8 o clock,met a coach about 35 lads clubbed in for,crap trip up,it seemed every oyher car,van and coach was we got to leadbury,we jumped of and hit the pubs,the whole town was heaving with brighton,the pubs bursting bodies onto the pavement,one big party,all getting bevied up and hoping to f*** we'd stay up,all over the the brighton were singing,great pre match session.onto hereford,no chance of a beer,so the coch driver took us to the ground,dropped us at the home end so we had to fight our way to the away end.once in the ground i can't discribe any of the emotions i exsperienced durin the game they were so powerfull,and have never been surpassed on the lowest or highest points of my personal life.
after the game our little mob was hearded around by the ob and ended up in the cattle market,then made of for the coach.once on our way we arrived back at leadbury,and got of for a knees up,the pubs wanted locals only,and locked us out,then the ob forced us back on our bus and f***** us of ,further down the roan we stopped at cheltenham,hit the pubs,and had a good night out,back on the bus and and home by 3 am,sobering uprelieved,and ready to tell all the w****** at work on monday"i told you so!"

Timber-BHA ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 10:09 pm

Excellent thread and thank you to everyone of you for helping me to re-live a horrific, yet fantastic day.

Hereford at home was memorable for different reasons - the fireworks in Goldstone Lane, the mass walkout, the demonstration at the back of the West Stand, and we lost 1 - 0.

The "real" Hereford match was very different. My son and I arrived at 11.30am (wanted to make sure we didn't miss a second). We parked, played football in the car park and ate our lunch - that killed about ten minutes!!

I remember shouting at Belotti and wife as they arrived - his last defiant gesture. Told him nobody wanted him there. He just smiled in a Rosemary West type way!

I greeted every player when the coach arrived - Stevie Gritt - what a gent - signed autographs, posed for photos - for some reason I remember his shiny brown shoes.

The match has been well documented, it lasted an age but passed in a flash.

At the end it was elation - I felt every player was waving to me, just me, acknowledging my loyal support - I deserved it. Ater months of having to sit there (South Stand - got the blue seats at home)listening to Cardiff, Exeter, Barnet, Swansea, everyone, singing "Going Down...". I couldn't hold myself back..."Going down, Going down, Going down" I shouted at the Hereford fans -1'000's of Albion fans joined in. This wasn't a dig at Hereford, just my release - I hadn't slept properly for weeks.

I tried to console dejected Hereford fans afterwards, but it was an empty gesture. After months of suffering we deserved our day.

herr goebbels ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 10:17 pm

Hereford away - left it until the last minute to get a ticket and found they had all sold out - decided that this was one game that I had to be at as this could have been the last match that we would ever play (in the league). Managed to get one of the kiddies who worked in our Midland office to order me and my mate a ticket for the Hereford end. Travelled down on the day and saw loads of BHA in the pubs in the country outside Hereford. Went into Hereford about two hours before the game - all pubs with bouncers letting no Brighton in. Eventually went in the ground where there were a few Hereford fans (old men and women with their scrapbooks etc) and thought, this should be OK (nice and safe - no hoolies) got to about two minutes before kick off - all this commotion - in the ground comes about fifty of their main boys (Hereford United tattooed on their necks!) who proceeded to stand right around us. I can honestly say that me and my mate spent the entire first half of the game crapping ourselves - all you could hear was them saying 'you wait until we get outside, we're gonna kill those Brighton B******s' . I know it will sound weird but all I could remember thinking was ' we're behind you' like in a pantomime. (I laugh about this now - at the time it was terrifying) We even had to pretend to be happy when they scored. Eventually at half time - using sign language to communicate - I suggested we get a cup of tea and moved further up the stand away from the nutters. - saw a few other Brighton I knew - was so releived when we scored - head in hands pretending to look sad but wanting to scream, jump and shout! end of the match couldn't come fast enough. Then we had to get away from the ground without being recognised which was fun. Got in the car and started driving up the main street - it was mayhem - they were attacking every person they even suspected as being BHA. Was well glad to get away from there. Stopped off in a country pub to sit and celebrate with a quick pint or two - it was funny, didn't feel really ecstatic - just a deep feeling of relief that we had survived. To be quite honest, I didn't feel that sorry for their fans as they really had it in for us on the day (I know we probably would have been the same had we lost). PS does anyone know who the hippy was who jumped out of the Hereford end (behind the goal) when we scored - this is my abiding memory of Hereford - the Hereford fans were going mental trying to get on the pitch to get him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 11:24 pm

Here's a thing. In the car on the way to Hereford we were reliving some of Albion's finer moments and playing the cassette of the Radio Brighton coverage of Liverpool v Albion (FA Cup 5th round 1983) - "Seagulls Soar over Anfield" (does anyone else still have this?). Tony Millard was commentating (or at least his version of commentary). As we hit a traffic jam at a roundabout the commentary reached the moment when Gerry Ryan put Albion into the lead. We all cheered and, at that precise moment I looked out of the car window and there, in the car next to us in the offside lane, sat Gerry Ryan, and next to him, the driver - Tony Millard. This I swear is true. We wound the down the window and tried to explain to Gerry what had just occurred but I think he thought we were mad. It was an X-Files moment that none of us in the car will ever forget. It was clearly a good omen. And it made an extraordinary day even more remarkable.

centurion seagull ( -
Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 11:52 pm

The hippy who jumped onto the pitch as we scored did so to avoid being attacked any further. You should not celebrate scoring a goal when in the wrong end. He was also followed by chants of you shoulden't be in here.

I was on the end of the stand that went along the side of the pitch to the left hand side of the ground. Just in front of the police control box which is why they could see me taking pictures.

Horsell Seagull ( -
Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 01:54 am

Nice one Cyril. This could be the best thread I have ever seen on NSC. I don't know how to set up new thread so if anybody wants to start up "memories of the Doncaster match"...

I went with a mate. We got an early start and drove up from Woking. We had scarves out of the windows which was fine until he got hot and opened one of them. We were on the Severn bridge at the time so the chances of getting the scarf back were slim (he got me a new one). All was right with the world. Stopped off at a nice pub in Ross-On-Wye, nice pie etc. We were still laughing and joking until we got to the sign welcoming us to Hereford. Then the importance of the day slugged us in the gut like a sledgehammer and the conversation dried up.

Does anybody else remember reading the Hereford programme? It had a really dopey intro from the captain insisting that they would beat us. I just remember thinking what an incredibly stupid thing to write in the uncertain world of footie.

Was it just me or was it easier to watch the game when we were losing? Before that there was a sense of dread of the goal going in. At least when we went behind we knew that we had to go out and get that goal. Like everybody else on this thread I couldn't say a word at half time. My mate just sat on the terrace holding his head. I've never EVER felt so powerless at a game. Normally, you feel like you're helping just be shouting until your eyes pop out of your head. At the Hereford game I desperately wanted to sing, to encourage the team, to shout for all I was worth. I seem to remember Atilla geeing everybody up right before the second half. At Hereford it was all I could do to breathe. It was as if somebody was squeezing all the air from me.

I would love to wax lyrical about the goal going in but, the truth be told I hardly remember it. I never saw the ball go in. The only way we knew was that the 1,000 or so nearer to the action than us went crazy. Even then, I do remember stopping for about a second and trying to see the linesman over the jumping mass of lunatics, just to see if there was any offside. Then I remember nothing. Jumping and hugging and screaming probably.

The next 28 minutes should be the subject of a physics experiment. Surely Einstein could explain how 28 minutes can actually last a week. From our viewpoint I never realised how close we came to the abyss when they were through on goal in the last minute. It was only watching it on the box on the Monday that I saw how close we came to losing that match.

We had no plans for the night but wisely decided that it should be spent in Brighton. It took about four and a half hours to get there and it seemed strangely quiet as there were few fans that had got back to town. I drank faster than I have ever done in my life at the Windsor Tavern (Harveys - aaah!), phoned my dad (drunk) and my brother (also drunk). Met a bloke we'd met for the first time the week before for the Donny game. Apparently he'd got in the Hereford end. Brave man. Left the car in an overnight and spent £30+ on the cab back to my mate's folks near Newhaven.

Next morning we cleared out the cobwebs with a stroll to the newsagents to buy every paper they had. It will never be better than it was that morning.

cyril ( -
Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 11:17 am

To true all...It will never be better..Cup finals...Promotion...Champions league....Div 3 Champions...What-ever. They would not get near the feeling at the end and during that game. We have all been through a time in our lives that can not be described, in a strange way I pity fans who haven't been through what we went through because they don't know what it is like to truly support your team. To save them, not just help them win a game like the way we did with those last games at the Goldstone when shear will power kept the ball out of our net. But to really save them. We should all feel like we hit that goal in front of the Albion masses that May day in 97' because in our own way we did. From Dick Knight to Steve Grit, Robbie's left boot to us the fans. Without us that game would have been meaningless long before that day. We stood buy our team when all was lost...right up to the end and we came out the other side and look at us now. Hereford I think changed us. As a support we want to win so much because we know what it feels like to very nearly lose it all...That's where the passion comes from...That is Brighton.

Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 02:22 pm

I was teaching footy to some kids in Arundel the year after that game, and RR turned up to give a hand. Very nice bloke, although it seemed that the Mizuno boot deal that he got for that game had gone to his head, he was pony!!!! Tackled him twice and he was pony

Midlands Seagull ( -
Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 11:08 pm

What spine-shivering, tear-jerking memories. Keep them coming everyone
This thread should be encapsulated and made compulsory reading for future generations of Albion fans and, equally important, players and management.
It can also be used to educate lemming followers of glamour Premiership sides the difference between their idolatry of their business profit centre, sorry I mean team, and us living our lives through our club.
".....I never knew how much I loved you, until you took my Brighton away" It was that close.
We all feared that the bits of the Goldstone at home could be all that we would have left of the club. Deep down inside, we felt that half-time at Hereford was not "the last half-time in the Third Division", but could be our last half-time, period.
After all, if you had read a story about a team bottom for half a year, 11 points adrift at Christmas, no ground and who saved themselves with half an hour to go of the whole season - would you have believed it ?

Billy Seagull ( -
Friday, April 13, 2001 - 12:37 am

I feel it would be a great idea to have the highlights (or all of it) of this thread printed in the programme for the Cheaterfield game or even in one of the fanzines to show those who don't have access to the internet the feelings that surround our great club.

How about it guys ?

This must be one of the best threads ever on NSC.

FAV666 ( -
Friday, April 13, 2001 - 01:09 am

I love you all. I have nothing to add.

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