To what extent might the summer of 2019 mirror the summer of 1981?

 

BECAUSE this blog is all about Albion parallels, it has set me wondering how closely the summer of 2019 might mirror the events of the summer of 1981?

Brighton’s 2019 survival at the end of their second season amongst the elite came about somewhat less convincingly than in 1981 when four wins in the last four games had kept the Albion in the top flight.

As in 2019, relegation had loomed large 38 years ago but the status was retained with that late upturn in performances. Nevertheless, behind the scenes, big changes were about to happen with the departure of a former Spurs stalwart who’d done an excellent job as manager.

That boss (Alan Mullery), who’d led the side so successfully for the previous five years, left under a cloud, albeit of his own volition after a disagreement with the chairman (Mike Bamber) over the sale of star player Mark Lawrenson and a request to cut costs by dispensing with some of his backroom staff.

In a mirror moment to Bruno’s farewell versus Manchester City, Mullery’s captain, Brian Horton, played his last game for the club in the final match at home to Leeds – the difference being Horton had no inkling it would be his last game for the Seagulls.

That fixture also saw the last appearances of Lawrenson, long-serving Peter O’Sullivan and, in John Gregory, a player who would subsequently go on to play for England.

As we await developments regarding the appointment of Chris Hughton’s successor as manager, may we once again see potentially seismic changes on the playing side?

Bruno’s retirement certainly means there is a need to sign a replacement right-back, even though Martin Montoya might consider he can fill the gap.

It’s largely considered Albion’s star players are international defenders Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy: will one or other of them be sold for big money to enable investment elsewhere in the team?

Lawrenson’s departure in 1981 was mourned by many but it paved the way for the arrival of European Cup winner Jimmy Case, and generated funds new boss Mike Bailey was able to invest in bringing in new players.

While Bailey had a similar top-level background to Mullery as a player, captaining Wolverhampton Wanderers to some of their best achievements, his managerial CV was less impressive, although he had just got Charlton Athletic promoted from the old Third Division.

However, with Case bringing a new top level dimension to the re-shaped side, and Horton’s younger replacement, Eire international Tony Grealish adding bite to the midfield, Bailey, and his relatively unknown coach John Collins, guided the Albion to the club’s highest ever finish of 13th place in his first season in charge.

O’Sullivan had been a fixture under several managers for a decade (apart from a brief stint in the USA) and one wonders whether the not-quite-so-long-serving Dale Stephens might have played his last game for the Albion.

In 1981, Bailey had a busy summer in the transfer market (courtesy of the cash from the sale of Lawrenson to Liverpool) and, in Steve Gatting from Arsenal, signed a quality player who went on to serve the club for a decade. The experienced Northern Ireland international left-back, Sammy Nelson, also arrived from the Gunners.

Might we see again the signing of a squad player (or two) from a top six side who will add much-needed quality to the Albion?

Don’t bet against it!

 

 

 

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Cattlin wasn’t backed to buy ex-City defender Jeff Clarke for £6,500

HARD-UP Albion wanted to sign dominant centre-back Jeff Clarke in 1984 but, unable to meet Newcastle United’s modest asking price, they were forced to walk away from a deal.

Clarke, who began his career at Manchester City, had plenty of experience to bring to a young Brighton side having played more than 300 games for north-east giants Sunderland and the Magpies.

At the start of the 1984-85 season, Clarke found himself on the outside looking in at St James’ Park following the arrival of the legendary Jack Charlton as manager.

Although Arthur Cox had led them to promotion to the old First Division, he quit during the close season because he didn’t feel the club’s owners were investing enough in the playing side (some things never change!).

Former England World Cup winner Charlton, whose uncle ‘Wor’ Jackie Milburn was a Newcastle legend, took the hot seat and his preferred centre back pairing at the start of the season was John Anderson and Glenn Roeder.

Down on the south coast, Brighton boss Chris Cattlin was keen to bring some experience to the spine of the team he was rebuilding, and he took Clarke on loan to play alongside the emerging Eric Young, as well as introducing his old Huddersfield teammate Frank Worthington up front.

Clarke and Worthington made their debuts in an opening day 3-0 win at Carlisle United on 25 August (Danny Wilson, Terry Connor and Steve Penney the goalscorers).

The on-loan defender couldn’t have had a more eventful home debut three days later, in an ill-tempered evening game at home to Larry Lloyd’s Notts County, who had Justin Fashanu playing up front.

A clash between Fashanu and Clarke saw the defender come off worse, a back injury forcing him to be substituted with only 36 minutes gone (replaced by sub Neil Smillie).

In a game which saw seven players booked, fellow central defender Young joined him in hospital having been concussed by a stray Fashanu elbow. In the days before multiple substitutes, the Seagulls were forced to play the second half with only ten men, but nevertheless ran out 2-1 winners. Steve Jacobs opened the scoring on 22 minutes, Fashanu equalised on 55 but Worthington marked his home debut with the winner in the 67th minute. (The following June, Fashanu joined the Albion for a fee of £115,000).

Clarke returned from injury on 22 September, in a 1-0 defeat away to Oldham Athletic, and was then on the winning side in the following two games: a 3-1 first leg Milk Cup win over Aldershot and a 2-0 home win over Fulham.

Unfortunately, that proved to be his last game for the Seagulls. Cattlin wanted to sign him permanently and Newcastle wanted just £6,500 for Clarke but the Albion board wouldn’t sanction the fee, as Cattlin explained at the Albion Roar live show last December (skip to 28 minutes in), which he believes signalled the beginning of the end of his time at the club.

Born 18 January 1954 in the West Yorkshire mining town of Hemsworth, near Wakefield, Clarke was a Sheffield Wednesday fan as a boy and admired Owls central defender Vic Mobley.

However, it was on the other side of the Pennines that he made his breakthrough as a professional, with Manchester City.

Manager Tony Book handed Clarke his debut in a 4-0 home win over West Ham United on 17 August 1974 but he only played 15 games for the Maine Road outfit, his last game coming in a 2-1 home defeat to Carlisle United on 19 March 1975.

Clarke moved to Sunderland as a makeweight in the deal which saw the Sunderland and England international centre back Dave Watson move to City in the summer of 1975.

The move to Roker Park finally saw his career take off and in seven years he made 213 appearances for the Wearsiders, including helping them to promotion to the top flight in 1976.

The excellent MatchDayMemories.com unearthed a Shoot/Goal profile of Clarke which revealed he had earned schoolboy under 18 international honours, his favourite food was peanut butter sandwiches and Brian Kidd, then of Arsenal, had been his most difficult opponent.

In 1982, at the age of 28, he switched to north east rivals Newcastle United on a free transfer, and stayed with the Magpies for five years.

When his two-month loan on the south coast wasn’t made permanent, he had other loan spells in Turkey and at Darlington but then returned to Newcastle and was restored to the first team, and featured in a New Year’s Day win over Sunderland in which future Albion winger Clive Walker was an opponent.

When Charlton quit as boss on the eve of the 1985-86 season, it signalled better fortunes for Clarke and under Willie McFaul he became a regular alongside Roeder, racking up 45 appearances and chipping in with three goals. The following season he played only seven games and hung up his boots in 1987.

Clarke stayed at St James’ Park in a coaching capacity after his playing days were over but simultaneously he took a degree in physiotherapy at the University of Salford, graduating in 1996.

He later became physio at former club Sunderland before moving to Leeds United in 2001. Made redundant at Elland Road in 2003, he moved to Dundee United in November the same year and has been the first team physio ever since.

Former Gunner Raphael Meade a damp squib for the Seagulls

ISLINGTON-born Raphael Meade joined Arsenal as a schoolboy and made it through the ranks to play more than 50 times for the Gunners.

A rather eclectic career saw him play in Portugal, Spain, Scotland, Denmark, Hong Kong and back in England.

Brighton boss Barry Lloyd had something of a penchant for picking up players from these shores who’d rather lost their way playing abroad and, while forwards Mike Small and John Byrne would count as great successes of that genre, Meade was largely a disappointment.

He played 40 times and scored 12 goals in the 1991-92 season, but the Albion were relegated to the third tier, so it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Born on 22 November 1962, Meade was on the Gunners’ books from June 1977 to the summer of 1985.

The superb thegoldstonewrap.com unearthed the Arsenal annual for 1981 in its research; it said of the young Meade: “He’s got a hell of a lot of pace and is fantastically brave in the box. He’s got all the makings of a top player. However, he’s another one who has got to work on his control like Brian McDermott with tighter controls and lay-offs. But with his type of pace he will always be a threat.”

The reality was that with the likes of initially Alan Sunderland and John Hawley ahead of him in the pecking order, then Tony Woodcock and Lee Chapman, followed by the arrival of Charlie Nicholas and former Ipswich striker Paul Mariner, his first team chances at Highbury were restricted.

While he was prolific in the Reserves (24 goals in 27 league games in 1983-84), his first team appearances over four years were somewhat sporadic.

Manager Terry Neill handed him his debut in a 3-0 UEFA Cup away win against Panathinaikos on 16 September 1981 and he scored a spectacular goal with his very first kick! His league debut came a month later – and he scored again, netting the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Manchester City. The 1981-82 season saw the majority of his first team involvement: he played a total of 22 games, scoring five times.

A cartilage injury sidelined him for a large part of the 1982-83 season but when he did return in February 1983 he scored twice against Brighton in a 3-1 win.

CN + RM braces v SpursThe following season, Meade scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Watford, which began Don Howe’s tenure as Arsenal manager, and he also earned a special place in Gunners’ fans hearts when scoring twice (pictured celebrating above with Charlie Nicholas, who also got two) in Arsenal’s 4-2 victory over arch-rivals Spurs on Boxing Day 1983.

Unfortunately, they were sporadic highlights and, in the summer of 1985, he was sold to Sporting Lisbon.

“Sporting Lisbon provided me with a great experience. I really enjoyed myself because the climate was great and, as well as finishing third in the league one season, we also reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup,” Meade said in a Shoot/Goal article.

He said it was the arrival of former Spurs boss Keith Burkinshaw that precipitated the end of his time in Portugal because he wanted him to play in an unfamiliar right midfield role.

Thus he was loaned to Spanish side Real Betis towards the end of his three-year contract, and, on his return, was transferred to Dundee United where he made 16 starts, plus six substitute appearances, scoring seven goals.

However, United boss Jim McLean made public his dissatisfaction with the striker and questioned his fitness. Meade hit back saying he was fit but being played out of position on the wing.

Subsequently a shoulder injury saw him sidelined and unable to regain his place and he joined a struggling Luton Town side for a £250,000 fee.

luton moveBut after only four games for the Hatters he was on his way again, this time to Odense BK in Denmark.

During two years on their books, he had loan spells back in the UK, playing once for Ipswich Town and five times for Plymouth Argyle.

As the 1991-92 season got under way, cash-strapped Brighton were forced to sell the previous season’s successful strike duo of Small (to West Ham) and Byrne (to Sunderland).

At least Byrne didn’t leave until October, and it was while playing alongside the popular Republic of Ireland international that Meade scored his first goal for the Seagulls, in a 3-1 home win over Port Vale.

Meade in action with another former Gunner, and ex-Albion defender, Steve Gatting (in Charlton’s colours), and a man of the match award for a brace against Grimsby Town.

After Byrne’s departure to the north east, there was seldom a regular strike partner for Meade. The busy and bustling Mark Gall, signed from non-league Maidstone United for £45,000, managed 14 goals but was some way short of Byrne or Small’s quality. And another of Lloyd’s overseas ‘finds’- Mark Farrington from Feyenoord – was an almighty flop.

Meade popped up with the occasional goal and one of those rare glimmers of light in an otherwise dark season came in a game I went to see at Vicarage Road on 31 March 1992.

Although Albion were ultimately headed back to Division 3, a brief respite from that tumble came against the Hornets courtesy of a howler by David ‘Calamity’ James in their goal. James came to the edge of his area to collect a routine-looking through ball, spilled it rather than gathering it cleanly and Meade was on hand to pick up the loose ball, round the stranded ‘keeper and slot what turned out to be the only goal of the game.

Meade scored twice more before the season’s end but Albion lost four of the final six games and were relegated along with Port Vale and Plymouth. Meade elected to leave the club and head for Hong Kong.

After a season with Sea Bee, he returned to England and rejoined Brighton but only featured in three games. He moved on to Crawley Town in 1995-96, where he ended his playing days.

 

 

 

Pictures from various sources including the matchday programme, Shoot/Goal, and online.

Graham Winstanley: fledgling Magpie, Carlisle legend, able Albion deputy

 

GRAHAM Winstanley spent five years at Brighton but only made 70 appearances, plus one as a sub. Most of his time with the Seagulls was spent as a dependable reserve.

Manager Peter Taylor drafted in the central defender to replace Grimsby-bound Steve Govier in the autumn of 1974 and he kept the no.6 shirt for all but two games through to the end of the season.

Govier had only been signed from Norwich City in May that year (together with Andy Rollings and Ian Mellor) but, unlike his co-signings, who had long Albion careers, Govier lasted only 16 games.

Winstanley, a Carlisle United regular for several seasons, had been edged out of the first team picture at Brunton Park following their surprise rise to the top division.

He arrived at the Goldstone in October 1974, on loan initially, and was even made captain during that time. He signed permanently for £20,000 the following month, moved into a house in Shoreham with wife Joan, and stayed in the south for five years despite limited first-team opportunities.

Born in the small north-east village of Croxdale, three miles south of Durham, on 20 January 1948, Winstanley joined Newcastle United straight from school and, after serving an apprenticeship, turned professional.

He made his first team debut on Christmas Eve 1966, in a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds United.

With the likes of Ollie Burton, John McNamee and Bobby Moncur ahead of him, Winstanley struggled to establish himself at St James’ Park, only featuring seven times for the first team, five times as a starter and twice as a substitute.

Newcastle sold him to Carlisle for £8,000 in 1969, and it was at Brunton Park where he carved out a reputation as a powerful centre back who could also play full back.

In June 1972, against the Italian giants Roma in the Olympic Stadium, he scored a goal for United seven minutes from time that sealed a famous 3-2 win in the Anglo-Italian Cup. Four-Four-Two magazine voted it 45th of 50 top Greatest European Moments!

It may seem implausible to today’s reader to believe that Carlisle could win promotion from the equivalent of the Championship and play a season in the Premier League but that’s exactly what the Cumbrians did in 1974. They finished in third place, in the days before play-offs, a point behind Luton Town and 16 points behind champions Middlesbrough.

Although Winstanley had been part of Alan Ashman’s promotion side, he was not a first choice in the top division, and, after 165 appearances for United, headed south to Brighton.

His influence initially alongside Rollings, and then Steve Piper, brought much needed stability to the defence but the side struggled for goals that season and eventually could only achieve 19th place.

In January 2014, the excellent blog The Goldstone Wrap reflected on Winstanley’s influence at that time, and reproduced an Argus article angled on how the player – nicknamed Tot – wore contact lenses while playing.

 

Having taken over the Albion team captaincy from Ernie Machin, Winstanley was appointed club captain in August 1975 but, with the arrival of the cultured former Millwall and West Ham defender, Dennis Burnett, was dislodged from a starting berth and only played three more times that season.

Even when Taylor’s successor, Alan Mullery, dispensed with Burnett’s services, the 1976-77 season saw Graham Cross partner Rollings, restricting Winstanley to just five appearances.

The following season Mark Lawrenson arrived, so it wasn’t as though the competition for a place was getting any easier! However, in that season, Rollings missed several matches through injury and Winstanley proved an able deputy on 19 occasions.

One of his stints in the side included the final seven matches when Albion came so close to earning promotion and Winstanley even got on the scoresheet in the 3-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur on 15 April 1978, when a crowd of 32,647 packed into the Goldstone, and the game was interrupted by trouble-making Spurs supporters.

He kept the shirt for the opening two fixtures of the 1978-79 season but only played three more times in that promotion-winning campaign, the last of which came in a 1-1 draw away to Luton Town on 21 April, when neither Lawrenson nor Rollings were available.

When his contract was up in July 1979, he was granted a free transfer and he returned to Carlisle where he made a further 69 appearances.

According to Where Are They Now, after his playing career came to an end, he had a variety of jobs in and around Carlisle including being employed by a wholesale electrical company, a milkman, selling insurance, a partner in a building supplies company, working for the Post Office and a local newspaper.

 

 

Big Chiv’s Brighton cameo at the end of an illustrious career

FORMER England international Martin Chivers rose majestically to head home a goal in a 3-3 draw between Leyton Orient and Brighton & Hove Albion.

It was textbook Chivers – a replica of so many similar goals he’d scored for Spurs and England during his glory days – and it put Albion 2-1 up. It turned out to be his one and only goal for the Albion.

It came in one of just five games he played for the Seagulls as his illustrious playing career drew to a close. In Teddy Maybank’s absence through suspension just as Brighton inched closer to promotion to the elite for the first time ever, Chivers – once one of this country’s top centre forwards – was an ideal stand-in.

The game at Brisbane Road on 7 April 1979 saw former Spurs League Cup winning teammates Chivers and Ralph Coates on opposing sides and, a 3-3 thriller was a cracking match for ITV’s The Big Match to have chosen for showing the following Sunday afternoon.

A month later Albion would travel to St James’s Park, Newcastle and clinch that dream promotion.

John Vinicombe, faithful chronicler of Albion’s fortunes for the Evening Argus, declared: “Make no mistake, Albion are First Division bound after that tremendous match at Orient.”

Mike Calvin in the Sunday Mirror, said: “Chivers’ bullet like header became an instant candidate for ITV’s goal of the season.”

While Ian Jarrett in The Sun said: “Martin Chivers’ 32nd minute goal came straight out of the former England striker’s scrapbook. ‘It was a dream goal. I’d like to have it on tape so that I could watch it being played back again and again,’ Chivers told him.

In the days when strikers invariably hunted in pairs, Chivers had previously starred for Tottenham Hotspur alongside the late Scot, Alan Gilzean, as Spurs put silverware in the White Hart Lane trophy cabinet in three successive seasons.

The team captain during that successful period was Alan Mullery and after the midfielder had hung up his boots and taken charge of the Seagulls, he turned to his old teammate in his hour of need.

With regular striker Maybank facing a two-match suspension, Mullery bought the 34-year-old Chivers for £15,000 from Norwich City just before transfer deadline day in March 1979 and he made his debut in a home 0-0 draw against Notts County on 31 March.

Even a crocked Chivers (by his own admission, a troublesome Achilles tendon restricted his fitness) could do a job for the Albion in an emergency, the young manager believed. Chivers explained exactly how it came about in his autobiography, Big Chiv – My Goals in Life, which he discussed in an interview with the Argus in 2009.

Maybank returned to the side for the successful promotion run-in and, during the summer, Chivers had an operation on his Achilles. The new season, amongst the elite for the first time, was 13 games old before Chivers saw action for the Seagulls.

He appeared as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat away to Coventry City on 20 October, and the national media singled him out for mention.

“When Chivers came on for Ward 11 minutes after the break, the game at last came to life. From then on, Brighton were more decisive in attack and played with more confidence,” said the Daily Telegraph.

Sunday Express reporter William Pierce added: “Martin Chivers went on as a substitute for the out-of-touch Peter Ward and the ex-England striker twice might have scored.”

That contribution earned Chivers a starting place at Maybank’s expense in the next game, a 4-2 home defeat to his old club Norwich, and he stayed up top, this time partnering Maybank, in a 0-0 home draw with Arsenal in the fourth round of the League Cup.

But that was the last time he appeared in the first team. Mullery turned instead to another former Spur, Ray Clarke, and he and Ward were the preferred front pairing for the rest of the season.

Chivers remained with the club, appearing regularly in the Reserves through to the end of the season, but his top-flight career was finally over.

But let’s take a look back at what had gone before. It was an impressive rise to fame.

Born in Southampton on 27 April 1945, Chivers was a pupil at the city’s Taunton’s Grammar School and wrote to his local club asking for a trial. His prowess as a goalscorer grew rapidly.

chiv SaintAfter playing regularly for Southampton’s youth side, his breakthrough came in September 1962 when just 17. He made his first-team debut against Charlton Athletic and signed as a full-time professional in the same week. He became a first-team regular the following season.

In February 1964, Chivers and future teammate Mullery were called up (along with future Albion goalkeeper Peter Grummitt) by Alf Ramsey as Reserves for the England under 23 side for a 3-2 win over Scotland, played in front of 34,932 fans at St James’s Park, Newcastle.

Two months later, at Stade Robert Diochon in Rouen, shortly before his 19th birthday, Chivers made a goalscoring debut for the Under 23s when coming on as a substitute for Geoff Hurst as England drew 2-2 with France.

It was the start of a record-breaking Under 23 career; in four years he appeared 17 times.

Southampton skipper Terry Paine, who was part of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad, played alongside Chivers as he developed. “The potential was always there, especially when he made the Southampton first team. But the one thing he may have lacked was determination,” he told Goal magazine.

On Saints’ promotion to the top division in 1966, Bates supplemented his attacking options with the addition of established international Ron Davies from Norwich.

Davies and Chivers proved a twin threat to opponents but Chivers was somewhat overshadowed by the Welshman, and Paine said: “They just weren’t compatible. It didn’t work having two big blokes up there together. Chivers was playing second fiddle. He was no match for Ron in the air, there was never any doubt about that.”

It eventually led to Chivers putting in a transfer request in December 1967 and, a month later, having scored 106 goals in 190 appearances for Southampton, he was transferred to Tottenham for £80,000 with winger Frank Saul, an FA Cup winner with Spurs in 1967, a £45,000 makeweight going in the opposite direction.

Saints fans had a new hero in the emerging Mike Channon and inevitably comparisons were drawn between the two. “Martin had more finesse on the ball when he was Mike’s age, without punching his weight,” said Southampton boss Ted Bates. “Mike, however, has more drive and desire, a ruthless approach which Martin never had.”

Indeed, even in the early days at Spurs, fans failed to see why Spurs had shelled out what at the time was the biggest ever transfer fee in the country for the striker, with the legendary Jimmy Greaves and Scot Alan Gilzean the preferred front pairing.

It didn’t help matters when he was sidelined for months by a serious knee injury, although Bates felt the spell out actually proved to be a turning point in his career.

“During that long spell out of action I think he must have taken a good, long look at the game and examined himself thoroughly,” said Bates. “The result is that he now uses the full range of his talents.”

Bates believed he lacked belief in his own power and seemed reluctant to use his size to his advantage. “We were always trying to get Martin to use his physique properly,” said Bates. “He knew he had to be more aggressive, but in those days a big, strong centre-half could swallow him.”

It looked as though Chivers was going to be an expensive flop and, in an interview with Ray Bradley for Goal magazine, he admitted he’d been through a crisis at Spurs and his career had been at a crossroads.

“It was a hell of a frustrating time for me,” he said. “No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t strike form. I suppose I was really battling to regain confidence again after injury.

“The fans, disgruntled with the form we had been showing, were gunning for me and finally they got their way when I was dropped.

“Things looked black for me but I was determined to fight my way back into the side. The turning point for me, I think, came in a reserve game against Northampton at the end of the season.”

Reserve team manager, Eddie Baily, took him aside and had a private chat, telling him the only way he’d get back his confidence was to fight for it on the pitch.

“He instilled in me that I must be more aggressive, that I must put myself about more if I was to win back my first team place,” said Chivers. “That little pep talk seemed to do the trick. It was a wet pitch and I really gave it all I had and ended up by scoring five goals.

“His words of encouragement after the match made me realise that it was up to myself if I wanted to succeed.”

With Greaves having departed the club for West Ham, once Chivers was back in the first team he did well up against Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter of Leeds, and he began to recapture his form. A good start to the 1970-71 season saw everything start to slot into place.

“I’ve always liked scoring goals,” he said. “Ever since I was a boy I liked to see the ball hit the back of the net.”

After scoring twice to help Spurs beat Aston Villa in the 1971 League Cup Final, Chivers said: “I feel fabulous. That’s the only way to describe how I feel after scoring two goals in my first-ever appearance at Wembley.

“Spurs are back on the glory trail and those two goals have really sealed my comeback this season.”

In a series of Goal articles about Chivers in November 1971, writer Warwick Jordan declared: “There have been few more exciting centre forwards to grace the game and there is little reason to dispute the claim that the Tottenham striker could become one of the best ever,”

A whole raft of top division players and managers were happy to put on record their admiration for the centre-forward. Everton boss Harry Catterick described him as “the new John Charles” and claimed: “Chivers has emerged this year as the most talented centre-forward in Britain.”

Leeds manager Don Revie was a big admirer, saying: “Chivers is a better player than Geoff Hurst. The comparison is appropriate as both men possess a high degree of skill not normally found in strikers of their heavy build.

“It’s hard to choose between them, but I consider Chivers has the slight edge as he does not rely so much on the men around him. He has the ability to take the ball through on his own and create chances out of nothing.”

Manchester City team boss Malcolm Allison said: “This boy is the best all-round centre-forward in Britain. He’s big, strong, skilful and exciting. A tremendous player who will always get goals.”

Stoke midfielder Mike Bernard told the magazine: “Chivers has got guts, skill, aggression, ball control and tremendous determination. You can’t fault the guy.”

Teak-tough centre back John McGrath, who once had a brief spell on loan to the Albion from Southampton, added: “That bad injury has helped to make him a much more determined player. When your career is in the balance it gives you a greater determination to succeed. Chivers has come back to the game a different player.

“He’s a much more physical player now. A more confident player than he was before. He’s developed more character.

“People don’t realise how fast he is. He’s got a sort of loping run, a bit ungainly. But it’s deceptive because he is gathering speed all the time.”

Despite gaining that record number of England under 23 caps, it wasn’t until early 1971 that he got his chance on the full international stage. His reinvigorated Spurs form led to him making his full England debut away to Malta on 3 February 1971, when England gained a 1-0 win under the captaincy of his Spurs teammate Mullery.

He scored his first goal for England two months later in a 3-0 win against Greece at Wembley.

It was said Chivers really arrived as an international star after a powerful two-goal performance in a 3-1 win over Scotland at Wembley on 22 May 1971.

“This has been the greatest day of my life,” said Chivers, after that win. “I didn’t know I was playing until lunchtime on the same day. I was determined to show I was worth my place.

“I know a lot depended on my display in that game. I know I could have jeopardised my international future if I had not grabbed the opportunity.”

Afterwards, though, he declared: “Now I feel I have established myself as an England player.”

Fellow England striker Francis Lee told Goal’s Jordan: “He’s a football manager’s dream. At his present rate of progress, he could become the greatest centre-forward this country has seen.

“His tremendous potential blossomed during that game in Switzerland (scored in a 3-2 win in Basle, 13 October 1971) where his performance made the difference between victory and possible defeat.

“But his finest game for England so far was the one against Scotland. Today he is the hottest soccer property in the game. He’s going to be a big winner for England.”

In total, he scored 13 times in 22 starts plus two appearances from the subs bench, but, in less than three years, Chivers’ England career was over.

He never played for his country again after being subbed off in the crucial game that meant England wouldn’t qualify for the 1974 World Cup – a 1-1 draw with Poland at Wembley in 1973.

In eight years at Spurs, Chivers scored 174 goals in 367 games, his greatest success coming between 1970 and 1973, when he scored more than 20 goals in successive seasons, and was a key part of the side that won the 1971 and 1973 League Cups, finished third in the league in 1971, and picked up the 1972 UEFA Cup.

He had two seasons in Switzerland, playing for Servette, before returning to the English game with Norwich in 1979-80, before the move to Brighton.

On leaving Brighton, he went initially to Dorchester Town, then a Norwegian side and finished playing with 10 games for Barnet in 1982-83.

It was a phenomenal scoring record to notch 255 goals in 546 appearances.

After he’d finished playing, Chivers became a hotelier in Hertfordshire (during which time I got to speak to him in a professional capacity, helping to promote my client’s involvement in his business) and for several years he has been a matchday host at White Hart Lane.

 

 

Pictures from a variety of sources, especially Goal and Shoot magazines and matchday programmes.

 

 

 

Ice man Ivar slotted in well to Steve Coppell’s relegation battlers

VERSATILE ICELAND international Ivar Ingimarsson was one of the first players Steve Coppell turned to when manager at three different clubs.

The combative defender or midfield player originally played for Coppell at Brentford and, after the former Palace boss took charge of the Seagulls, Ingimarsson was brought in on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Later, when he managed Reading, Ingimarsson joined Coppell’s new regime at the Madejeski Stadium, and went on to become a legendary part of their rise to the elite.

Ingimarsson arrived at the Withdean Stadium in February 2003 making his Albion debut in a 1-0 away win at Bradford City on 15 February. He took over from Robbie Pethick and kept the no.20 shirt through to the end of the season.

In an interview with Brian Owen of The Argus in 2016, he said it was one of his best times in English football, and described how Coppell set up teams in a way players could understand.

“That is what Steve Coppell did there – and with Reading,” he said. “Brighton was up there as one of the best times. I loved the city and the atmosphere and the buildings and culture.

“I think if we had played like that for the whole season, we would have been well up the table. That had a lot to do with Steve Coppell.”

Born in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik on 20 August 1977, Ingimarsson was raised in the tiny village of Stöðvarfjörður in the east of the country and after taking up football locally he went on to play for Valur between 1995 and 1997, then moved on to IBV, a side which won the double of Icelandic Premier League and Icelandic Cup in 1998.

He played for Iceland’s under 17 international side 16 times in the 1993-94 season, represented the under 19s 11 times in 1995-96, move up to the under 21s and played 14 times between 1996 and 1999 and then over nine years played for the full international side 30 times.

Eyeing a move to England in 1999, Ingimarsson initially went on loan to Torquay United in October that year but after only four appearances his parent club did a permanent deal with Brentford which saw him sign for £150,000.

Ingimarsson spent nearly three years with the Bees, making 113 appearances, and was player of the year in the 2001-02 season which culminated in the side losing the Second Division play-off final to Stoke City.

It seems financial pressure forced Brentford to release the player on a free transfer and Wolves boss Dave Jones snapped him up and took him to Molineux.

S Rodger v Ivor Ingimarsson“I’m really looking forward to playing for Wolves,” Ingimarsson (pictured above being tackled by Albion’s Simon Rodger) told the club’s official website. “I was impressed with what Dave Jones had to say to me and although I knew other clubs were interested in me I knew this was the place to be.

“It’s a big club with big ambitions and I want to be a part of it. People say that Wolves should be in the Premier League and everyone seems determined to put that right this year.”

However, his opportunities at Wolves were limited and he made just 13 appearances for them, one of which included a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton which was Coppell’s fourth game in charge. Three months later, Coppell took the opportunity to take Ingimarsson to Brighton to try to bolster the club’s efforts to stay in the second tier after a disastrous start under Martin Hinshelwood.

Ingimarsson initially joined for a month but ended up staying to the end of the season, making 15 appearances as Coppell’s side fought a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful fight to stay in the division.

ivar ingimarssonOn signing him, Coppell told bbc.co.uk: “He’s a terrific athlete. He will fit in with the players we have and that’s an important ingredient in anyone coming to this club.

“It’s an extra body. We’ve got seven games coming in March and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if we lost matches because of lack of numbers and personnel.”

Once Coppell had been poached by Reading to succeed Alan Pardew as manager of Reading, Ingimarsson was one of the first signings he made, for a £175,000 fee. There he linked up once again with Steve Sidwell, who Coppell had also managed at Brentford and Brighton.

It was at the Madejeski that Ingimarsson enjoyed the most successful period of his career, forming a defensive partnership with Ibrahima Sonko, which he talked about in an interview with Stuart Fagg.

Over eight years at the club, the popular Icelander amassed a total of 282 appearances for the Royals. He was part of the side that won promotion to the Premier League in 2006, he was voted player of the year in 2006-07 and, in 2009, took over as club captain.

After his time at Reading came to an end in 2011, he was offered a one-year deal by Paul Jewell at Ipswich Town but, with his appearances restricted to six starts and two off the bench, he mutually agreed to leave Portman Road in January 2012.

On retirement from the game aged 34, he returned to his home in the east of Iceland where he runs two guest houses and a farm, which he spoke about in that extended interview with Brian Owen of The Argus.

 

 

 

Sweet passer ‘Chippy’ became Brighton crowd favourite after Cardiff move

RICHARD ‘Chippy’ Carpenter was probably my favourite Albion player of the Noughties after Bobby Zamora.

Billed as Brighton’s ‘star player’ in Port Vale’s 20 April 2002 programme for the last game of Albion’s promotion-winning season, Carpenter was described as “a highly effective midfielder, being strong in the tackle, a precise and sweet passer of the ball, while possessing a strong right-foot shot” – an excellent summary.

The goal he scored from a free kick against Spurs in the FA Cup at White Hart Lane on 8 January 2005 is right up there as one of my all-time Albion favourites.

Brighton, battling at the bottom of the Championship, hadn’t played Spurs since falling out of the top division in 1983 so it was a great chance for a giant-killing.

Albion ultimately succumbed 2-1, but not before Carpenter rifled home a free-kick past England ‘keeper Paul Robinson three minutes into the second half to level the score.

Carpenter told the Albion matchday programme in January 2018: “We were going to have a good time, win, lose or draw, but we also didn’t change the way we played – we made ourselves hard to beat, like we always did.

“Before my goal, I had already hit the crossbar with a half-volley from outside the box when Gary Hart teed me up. It went like slow motion and I thought it was going in.

“Obviously, I did score with a free-kick in the second half. I looked at the wall and my mind was made up to hit it. I knew it was going in by the flight of the ball and it was obviously a great feeling to score at White Hart Lane.”

Born in the village of Teynham, near Sittingbourne in Kent, on 30 September 1972, most of Carpenter’s career was centred on London and the south east, apart from one brief foray to south Wales, and Cardiff City.

Chippy began his professional career with Gillingham in May 1991 and he had clocked up 142 senior appearances for the Gills in five years before Gillingham old boy Micky Adams paid a £15,000 fee to take him to Craven Cottage, Fulham.

In two seasons at the Cottage he played a further 66 times, scoring nine goals along the way.

It was in July 1998 that he left the English capital to sample life in the Welsh capital. Cardiff paid £35,000 for his services and he helped them to promotion from the fourth tier in 1999.

Unfortunately, Carpenter’s time in Wales was also marred by a tackle he made in a Boxing Day game against Reading in 1999. His challenge on Chris Casper resulted in a double leg break for the defender which ultimately ended his career. Five years later, Casper was awarded undisclosed damages in an out-of-court settlement for past and future loss of earnings.

Nevertheless, when interviewed about his time in south Wales, Carpenter told Graham Otway, of the Daily Mail: “I had two and a half fantastic years at Cardiff. I helped them win promotion and I lived in a lovely part of the Forest of Dean, near Chepstow.

“I never wanted to leave the club but my girlfriend was expecting a baby and we wanted to move back home to Kent.”

So, after 89 league and cup appearances for the Bluebirds, he joined the Adams-managed Brighton on a free transfer in July 2000.

Away from football, it also presented him with the perfect opportunity to browse Brighton’s famous Laines searching out various antiques for his collection.

“I do like collecting nice pieces,” he told Otway. “I am mainly into collectables – watches, jewellery and old walking canes. But when it comes to furniture I am into modern stuff as well. I just have lots of interests outside of football.”

On the pitch, Carpenter was an Albion fixture under various managers and was part of promotion and relegation sides.

In the first leg of the play-off semi-finals in 2004, on a boiling hot day at the County Ground, Swindon, it was Carpenter’s deflected goal that gave Albion the advantage going into the second leg, which was played in exactly opposite conditions of torrential rain, as Albion edged it via a penalty shoot-out.

Carpenter said the 2004 play-off final at Cardiff was the pinnacle of his career, as Albion secured a 1-0 win over Bristol City to return to the second tier.

“I have played all my career in the Second and Third Divisions – apart from one in the First – and I haven’t had the opportunity to play in luxury stadiums in front of massive crowds,” he said. “The final is going to be something special for me to remember for the rest of my life.”

After Mark McGhee was replaced as manager by Dean Wilkins in September 2006, Carpenter’s Albion days were numbered.

In fact, he was red-carded in Wilkins’ first game in charge, away to Millwall, although the Seagulls won 1-0. Former Albion youth coach Wilkins was keen to introduce to the first team some of the younger players he’d helped to develop. So, at the age of 34, and after more than 278 appearances and 24 goals, Carpenter’s Seagulls playing career finally came to a close, in February 2007, when he left by mutual consent.

Albion chairman Dick Knight devoted space in the matchday programme to honour his achievements with the Seagulls.

“He has been a fantastic player and model professional for this football club ever since he arrived from Cardiff in 2000,” said Knight. “I remember Micky Adams telling fans that Richard would be a player that fans would enjoy, and he was right.”

As well as highlighting his key moments on the pitch, Knight added: “He has also been a real credit to his profession off the pitch, a tremendous role model for the youngsters coming through in terms of his dedication, honesty as a player and character.”

Manager Wilkins added: “He is the ultimate professional – on and off the pitch. His attitude and application from Monday through to Saturday was superb. I don’t think I’ve seen anybody with better work ethic, discipline and determination.”

For his part, Carpenter said: “I have got no hard feelings, although I’m disappointed with the way it’s ended this season. I haven’t played as many games as I would have liked, due to suspension and injury.

“It’s hard at my age not to be involved; this last year or so has been a struggle and it is time to move on.”

He joined non-league Welling United, where he was appointed captain and briefly caretaker manager. In 2011, he emerged from retirement for a short spell to play for Whitehawk.

After his playing days came to an end, Chippy spent four years coaching for the Albion In the Community programme. He then “worked on the railways” for five years and at the turn of 2018 said he was planning to indulge his passion for antiques.

In February 2018, prior to Albion’s FA Cup tie with Coventry, he appeared on the BBC Radio Sussex show, Albion Unlimited, and talked about how he missed the game, especially the close bond he enjoyed with teammates at all the clubs he played for.

Presenter Adrian Harms asked him about the characters he played with and he said: “We trained the way we played; we was all up for it. Individually we were strong; collectively we were even stronger.”

B Dean Chippy + Cullip

 

Pictures from various matchday programmes, by Bennett Dean, and the Argus.