Goldstone Ground

My first football game

By Paul Clarkson

 
Photo:James Gray's text says: The actual date of the erection of this miserable stand (rabbit hutch it was often called) is unknown, but it seems to have been there in 1905. Photographed in March 1958, and demolished two months later

James Gray's text says: The actual date of the erection of this miserable stand (rabbit hutch it was often called) is unknown, but it seems to have been there in 1905. Photographed in March 1958, and demolished two months later

Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Click on the image to open a large version in a new window

My first game

I was born in 1957 and the first game I went to was a friendly against Southampton at the start of the 1967-68 season, we lost 2-0. Then I was hooked as I think most people are after their first game. I supported them through the 3rd Division years under Archie McCauley and Freddie Goodwin. I think my favourite player of that era was Stewart Henderson, a very dependable right back who was very sporting and I don't believe he was ever booked.

Amex - worth the wait

Of course things got worse before they got better, namely an 8-2 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers - and on television for all to see. Then we went up to the 2nd then the 1st Divisions - but they were all good times. The Brian Clough era was special because he left Peter Taylor here, who I believe laid the foundation for our success in the late 1970s. It was a shame they couldn't develop the Goldstone, but it was always going to be difficult with the houses in Goldstone Lane being so near to the East Terrace. But the Amex was well worth the wait for today's fans.

Do you remember?

Do you have memories of the old Goldstone Ground? When did you go there? Do you like the new Amex stadium. If you can share your memories or views with us, leave a comment below.

This page was added on 01/02/2014.
Comments about this page

My uncle used to take my brother John and I to the Goldstone in the early fifties, at the bottom of the steps at Hove Station was a blackboard with the predicted result. I can remember some of the Albion players from that time, so here goes; the goalkeeper was Eric Gill who always wore a green jersey,the full backs were Des Tennant and Jimmy Langley, Des would often point one way and kick it the other way,as you do! The centre-half was Ken Whitfield, Dennis Foreman and Flash Gordon were the wingers as was Frankie Howard, Albert Munday was an inside forward, that's all I can remember. Great days, hopefully the anoraks can fill in many more players.

By Peter Maurice (03/02/2014)

My 1st game was in December 1967 and, though a 0-0 draw, I was hooked. Early heroes were the Napiers, Dave Turner, Norman Gall and Alex Dawson.

Great times at the Goldstone, especially those packed nights under lights. I loved the place and so sad to see it's engineered decline and the wilderness years but the Amex, WOW!

It's great and it's ours. It's what Brighton, Hove & Sussex deserve but lacked for so many years. it's a facility to be proud of and I know many have been to matches just to see what all the fuss is about!

For any of you out there who have never been to a match, well it's just about the most family friendly place, all ages and generations mixing together & happy.

By Ken Valder (06/02/2014)

I used to go to watch the albion every week with my friend. We used to go round the ground after the match and collect the pop bottles then go and get the threepence back. One week we made ten bob. I used to walk to school past Eric Gill house in frith road. I now play bowls and who did I meet playing bowls but Eric Gill. It was great going to a match in those days we often used to shout at the ref but no vandalism and everyone had a good time. Those were the days.

By Jenny Bainbridge (Bleach) (07/02/2014)

There are some great players mentioned above from the 60s. I loved following the Albion in those days, my first away game was at Reading in 1968 when we lost 1-0. One away game I won't forget was on Easter Sunday in 1969 or '70 when we went to Fulham. We were losing 3-0 after 15 minutes and all the Albion support was at the open end and it poured hard with rain just before the game, we got a soaking that day but managed to keep the scoreline down to 4-1 with a late Howard Wilkinson goal. When we got on the coach to come home all you could smell was wet clothes and there was steam coming off everyone! Players I remember from that era were Brian Powney; Stewart Henderson; Nobby Lawton, John Napier; Norman Gall; Wally Gould; Charlie Livesey; Howard Wilkinson; Brian Tawse; Kit Napier; Eddie Spearitt; John Templeman and the crowds favourite Alex Dawson who epitomised what it was to be a centre forward in those days, when he went up for a corner the ball would usually end up in the net, along with the goalkeeper! We had quite a good side in those days but always just missed out on promotion, if they lost a game near the end of the season on a promotion push this would normally bring the cry from the elderly pipe smoking generation of 'They don't want to go up'! I never understood it then and still don't!

By Paul Clarkson (08/02/2014)

Does anyone remember those matches played between 'Brighton Boys' and 'South London Boys' at the Goldstone in the '60s? They were usually played on a weekday night and the prices were about half to get in. As with reserve games, they only ever opened up the North and West Stand and the programme was usually a piece of paper that cost about threepence! I remember it was usually well attended and was promoted a lot around the schools. Does anyone remember seeing a star from the future playing for South London? There was also a trophy that was presented to the winner every year but I cannot remember the name of it. I had a shock one year when I went round to the north west dug-out and staring right back at me was my games teacher from Moulsecoomb Seniors, the legendary Mr Widdup! He must have been part of the coaching set up. He was fearsome and luckily we only had him for our first year in 1968-69 then he left. 

By Paul Clarkson (11/03/2014)

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