Defender / Midfield. Born Lowestoft, Suffolk. Age 23 (until 31 Jan ’71). A versatile, cultured wing-back who could score goals and had a great eye for a pass. Had six months with Arsenal before becoming an Ipswich apprentice in February 1965. Mainly as a winger, he scored thirteen goals in 72 League appearances for the Suffolk club before he joined Albion in January 1969. At the Goldstone, Freddie Goodwin used Spearritt on the left-side of midfield before Pat Saward switched him to left-back in February 1971. Scored twice in two games in September. Made 38 League appearances during the campaign as well as a BBC TV appearance on Grandstand in a long-throw competition.
Defender / Midfield. Born Irlam, Lancashire. Age 19 (until 14 Nov ’70). A no-nonsense player, known as ‘Reg’, who The Sun once described as the ‘Manchester Mauler.’ He played four League games at Coventry before losing his place to Wilf Smith. Saward, his former coach, signed Goodwin on loan in September 1970 to overcome an injury crisis. According to John Vinicombe, the 6ft tall player breezed into Saward’s office, declaring: ‘Have no fear, Goodwin is here. You can relax. From now on, it’s going to be wins all the way.’ Even with his wholehearted approach in midfield, only one League win was recorded despite Goodwin’s two month loan turning into four. After returning to the Sky Blues, he was released to Brighton for no fee in March 1971. Deployed in defence towards the end of the season, making better use of his size and power.
Utility Player. Born Shoreditch, London. Age 28 (until 22 Sep ’70). Versatile, highly confident player who often played on the right wing and often used an exaggerated dip of the shoulder to take him past a full-back. He was dubbed ‘The People’s Player’ as he was signed by Brighton using money raised by supporters through Pat Saward’s ‘Buy-a-Player Fund.’ Indeed, many fans were proud to wear ‘I Bought Bert’ badges. An exciting player in Tommy Docherty’s classy Chelsea side. He was known to enjoy the nightlife, and disciplined for breaking club rules, leading him to join Birmingham in August 1966. Originally joined the Albion on loan in February 1971. Signed in a £10,000 deal in March and bagged two goals in the 3-1 win against Gillingham that month. Murray’s form significantly helped the climb up to safety.
Midfield. Born Manchester, Lancashire. Age 30 (until 25 Mar ’71). Stylish and cultured ex-Manchester United wing-half who was captain soon after moving from Preston in September 1967 for £10,000. He skippered the Deepdale side in the 1964 FA Cup Final, impressing with his composure and calm leadership. However, a series of knee injuries forced his sale. By the time he joined Brighton, he had little pace, but could still ghost past players. Using his vast experience, Lawton was available to receive a passes, even in the most crowded of midfields. Remembered for scoring an incredible volley against Shrewsbury from the half-line in February 1969 when future Albion keeper John Phillips’ kick-out was returned with interest. After losing his place in 1970/71, he requested a transfer. Joined Lincoln in February 1971.
Midfield. Born Retford, Nottinghamshire. Age 26 (until 7 Sep ’70). Popular, tough-tackling player who provided ample power and energy in the middle of the pitch. His abilities also made him a reliable performer in defence as well. Although not the tallest, he was useful in the air and had good passing skills. He made two appearances for Newcastle before Archie Macauley bought his services for Brighton in a £4,500 deal in December 1963. Appointed captain in the middle of the 1966/67 season at the age of 23. A fixture in the side for many years, knee problems meant he made just nineteen League appearances in 1970/71, missing five months of the campaign from November. Scored the clinching goal in a vital 2-0 win against Reading in April as Albion lifted themselves out of the relegation dog-flight.
Midfield. Born Prestbury, Cheshire. Age 26 (until 14 Mar ’71). A limited yet reliable half-back with a good tackle and not too much ambition to get far forward. Solid and unspectacular, he played regularly for Manchester United reserves before joining his former Old Trafford colleague Freddie Goodwin who was now Scunthorpe manager. After establishing himself in the team, he moved to Grimsby before signing for the Albion in June 1968 on a free transfer, eventually reuniting with Goodwin when Archie Macauley resigned in October 1968. Unlike his illustrious namesake, he was never a crowd favourite but could be depended to do a job for his side. In 1970/71, Smith made 21 League appearances for the club. Asked for a move early on in the campaign and eventually left for Chester on a free transfer in June 1971.
Midfield. Born Brighton, Sussex. Age 19 (until 2 Jan ’71). Local boy who represented Brighton and Sussex Boys, gaining an FA County Youth Cup medal with Sussex in May 1969. Having shown great form for Lewes in the Athenian League, he got his chance when he signed as a full professional with the Albion in November 1969, Having started out as a winger, Stanley mainly played in midfield for the Albion. His debut was at home to Orient in December 1969. As a squad player, he made twelve appearances for the club in 1970/71.
Forward. Born Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Age 30 (until 21 Feb ’71). Fearless and powerful centre-forward who delighted Albion fans with his knack for goals and swashbuckling style. Once known as the ‘Black Prince of Football’, he scored a hat-trick for Manchester United in an FA Cup Semi-Final in 1958. After 54 goals in 93 games for the Old Traford side, he joined Preston where he again received an FA Cup runners-up medal, scoring in the 1964 Final against West Ham. After a year and half with Bury, he joined Brighton for £9,000 in December 1968. A master in the air and in the art of intimidating opposition keepers, Dawson scoring seventeen times in 23 League games to lift Albion into the top half in 1968/69. Having gained weight and losing some mobility, he found himself out of favour under Saward in 1970/71. Dawson made just two League starts and one as substitute for the Albion, joining Brentford on loan from September 1970. Left for Corby Town in summer of 1971.
Forward. Born West Stanley, Co. Durham. Age 20 (until 20 Dec ’70). Stocky striker with a robust style who joined Brighton in January 1970 from Newcastle for £10,000. Described by a BBC radio commentator as a ‘square little man – an oddity’, yet had a sensational debut, appearing to be the Third Division answer to George Best by beating two Bradford players and smashing a ferocious shot in off the crossbar. Something of a cult hero to the North Stand. However, weight issues and injury woes, starting with a thigh problem on the opening day, marred his 1970/71 campaign. He made just fourteen League appearances. Infuriated the Albion boss, players and crowd in the goalless draw with Preston in February 1971 when he blasted a penalty against the bar that Kit Napier was preparing to take! Grabbed both second-half goals as Albion overturned a 1-2 deficit against Bradford in April, his only goals of the season.