Brighton on the top deck

Brighton have made it. They gained promotion to Division One for the first time in their history after an emotional season manager Alan Mullery sounded out a warning to the big-guns Albion will be facing next season.

"We are not going into Division One just to survive," he said. "We want to make an impact and I know we have the players to do it."

In just three years, Mullery has taken Brighton from Division Three to a place amongst the country's soccer elite - and now he is looking forward to meeting clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal next season. "Some of our players have never played in Division One before - but I know that men like Brian Horton and Mark Lawrenson will do well. Our Division One is the best in the world and that's where players like these belong."

Five matches from this historic promotion season are available on Seagulls TV.

Watch the 1978/79 season unfold.

First match

Brighton 1 (Gilliver)
Doncaster Rovers 0

Division Three
(3 Jan '70)

Att: 10,833

1. Powney
2. Henderson
3. Bell
4. Spearritt
5. J. Napier
6. Gall
7. Lawton
8. K. Napier
9. Dawson
10. Turner
11. Wilkinson
12. Gilliver

Last match

Brighton 4 (Clarke 2, Ward, Ryan)
Manchester City 1

Division One
(29 Dec '79)

Att: 28,093

1. Moseley
2. Gregory
3. Williams
4. Horton
5. Foster
6. Stevens
7. Ryan
8. Ward
9. Clarke
10. Lawrenson
11. O'Sullivan
12. Stille

Matchday programmes for home matches from these seasons can be found at Seagulls Programmes, a wonderful archive lovingly scanned by Ian Hine.

Best of times…
worst of times...


The season Brighton won promotion to Division Two under Pat Saward, playing all-out attacking football, is still regarded by many fans as their favourite campaign.

Watch the 1971/72 season.


This was closely followed by this washout of a season in which thirteen consecutive matches were lost! No surprise that relegation back to Division Three followed.

Watch the 1972/73 season.

I love it down on the South Coast, and so does my wife Sue. The crowd during that bad spell were great, but I did get the odd abusive letter. One of them said I was playing badly because I was having too much sex. I showed that letter to my wife and we had a laugh. There was not much to smile about at the time.

Peter Ward, Daily Mirror

Watch the 1979/80 season.