Manager. An ex-Irish international who served Millwall, Aston Villa and Huddersfield as a stylish wing-half and inside-forward. Spent two years at Coventry as assistant to Noel Cantwell. He was especially responsible for the youth policy, leading the Sky Blues to two FA Youth Cup finals. Having originally applied for the Albion job in 1968 when the club appointed Freddie Goodwin, he was successful second time around in June 1970 after Goodwin departed for Birmingham. Dubbed ‘the Loan Ranger’ after bringing many players on loan. In December 1970, he launched the successful ‘Buy a Player’ fund that led to Bert Murray’s permanent signing. Led the club to a somewhat disappointing fourteenth place although he won the divisional Manager of the Month award after the team’s excellent form over Easter.
Goalkeeper. Born Seaford, Sussex. Age 25 (until 7 Oct ’70). An agile shot-stopper who commanded the box effectively despite his lack of height. Joined the Albion ground staff in 1960, before signing professional forms the following season. Powney made his League debut against Derby County in April 1962, with Albion already relegated from Division Two, before established himself as first choice in the 1963/64 campaign. Played in 35 League games in 1970/71 despite competition from Sidebottom and Dovey. To mark his ten years as a professional with Albion, Powney enjoyed two testimonial matches with Norman Gall in May 1971, against Wolves and International Club.
Goalkeeper. Born Mapplewell, Yorkshire. Age 33 (until 29 Dec ’69). Courageous keeper who was a master at closing down angles. Notable for his bravery in diving at the players’ feet. Joined Wolves straight from school and was understudy to Bert Williams and Malcolm Finlayson. Joined Aston Villa where he won a League Cup winners’ medal in 1961. Played for Freddie Goodwin at Scunthorpe and New York Generals before signing for him at Brighton in January 1969. Vied with Powney for the keeper’s spot but suffered severe concussion after saving at the feet of Walsall’s Tommy Watson in December 1969. In 1970/71, he made six League appearances, but was badly hampered by clashing with a post in a reserve game in October. Retired from the game in February 1971 and enjoyed a testimonial match against Goodwin’s Birmingham in May 1972.
Goalkeeper. Born Stepney, London. Age 18 (until 18 Jul ’71). A competent teenage keeper who signed for Chelsea as an apprentice in October 1969. Facing competition from Peter Bonetti, Tommy Hughes and John Phillips (the latter two were to eventually join the Albion), he failed to make a first team appearance. After Seymour returned to Fulham, Dovey came to Brighton on loan as cover for Brian Powney in March 1971, before signing permanently for Brighton in July 1971 in a £1,000 deal. Making his debut at Bristol Rovers in May 1971, Dovey played the last two games of the season to give him experience.
Defender. Born Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Age 23 (until 5 Jun ’71). Just 5ft 6 tall, this small and classy right-back was an excellent tackler and often could be seen raiding down the right-wing. Also had a very fine cross on him. Played for Stirling Schoolboys and won three Scottish Schoolboy caps before joining Chelsea. Did not make his mark at Stamford Bridge but he impressed Albion on a trial in July 1965, eventually joining in October that year. After vying with Jimmy Magill, he established himself as first choice right-back in 1968. Voted ‘Player of the Season’ in 1969/70, he had another consistent season in 1970/71, making 40 first team appearances.
Defender. Born Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Age 22 (until 19 Jun ’71). Slim full-back who made a name for himself in four years at Scottish League side Queen’s Park, where he added youth and full amateur caps to his schoolboy international honours. After a month’s trial at the Albion, he signed as a professional in August 1970, making his debut against Torquay on the opening day of the season. While never truly establishing himself at the Goldstone, he made twelve League appearances for the Albion, switching from left-back to right-back as the season progressed. Got on the scoresheet in the 3-0 win over Doncaster in January before suffering a broken toe the following month. Sheridan scored Albion’s last goal of the season, at Wrexham in May. He was released a year later to join Maidstone in June 1972.
Defender / Midfield. Born Yapton, Sussex. Age 22 (until 21 Sep ’70). A utility player who had the ability to get the crowds buzzing with surging runs from midfield. With his flowing locks, he also got some stick from some sections of the crowd who called him ‘Shirley’ after Shirley Temple. Pacy and assertive, he made a sensational start to his Albion career in a Goldstone debut against QPR in December 1966, dealing adroitly with the threat of Rodney Marsh who had caused mayhem in the Albion defence at Loftus Road just 24 hours earlier. Became a regular until 1969/70 when he had just two League starts. Even so, he re-established himself in 1970/71, taking the left-back berth from Alex Sheridan after four matches. Having suffered a knee injury in September, he went on to make 31 League appearances during the campaign, scoring twice.
Defender. Born Wallsend, Northumberland. Age 27 (until 30 Sep ’70). Long-serving player who joined the club in March 1962, signing from Gateshead. Able to play at full-back position. However, he is best known for strong displays as a consistent, assured centre-back. Helped the club to the 1964/65 Fourth Division championship and continued to inspire his team in Third Division football. With 43 League appearances sweeping around John Napier at the heart of the Albion defence, his wholehearted work and fearless tackling helped him to win the Albion ‘Player of the Season’ award for 1970/71.
Defender. Born Lurgan, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. Age 23 (until 23 Sep ’70). A Northern Ireland international who became club skipper by the end of the season. Joined Albion from Bolton in August 1967 for what was then a record club fee of £25,000. Formed an excellent central defensive partnership with Norman Gall. Could pass and tackle but his strength was in the air. Ever present in the 1970/71 season. Journalist John Vinicombe was full of praise in describing John Napier’s performance at Reading in April in the 3-0 triumph: ‘He was absolutely commanding and this rated as his best perfomance of the campaign. Nothing beat him and this mastery inspired confidence all around.’