A heart-stopping Final!

Brighton's gallant fightback to force an FA Cup Final replay will burn for evermore on the memories of those lucky enough to be present on Wembley on Saturday 21st May 1983 and millions more watching on TV.

They went into battle without their giant centre-half Steve Foster. It is a tribute to Brighton's gallant defence that they never appeared to miss Foster in that match.

The match was seldom dull. It produced two memorable goals: Gordon's Smith's opener for Brighton and Ray Wilkins' curler in the second-half had 'winner' written all over it.

But Brighton, the bravest Finalists to be seen at Wembley for years, had other ideas. Stevens' equaliser proved there is no more dangerous an animal than a footballer when he, and his club, have been written off.

Matches from all rounds of this historic FA Cup run matches are available on Seagulls TV.

Watch the 1982/83 season unfold.

First match

Bristol City 2
Brighton 2 (Clarke, Own goal)

Division One
(1 Jan '80)

Att: 19,259

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 (not used)

Last match

Brighton 0
Oxford 1

Division Two
(30 Dec '89)

Att: 7,738

1. Keeley
2. Chivers
3. Chapman
4. Curbishley
5. Bissett
6. Dublin
7. Nelson
8. Wood
9. Bremner
10. Codner
11. Wilkins
12. Owers (not used)
14. Barham

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...


While the football was not as attacking as previous seasons, Brighton under Mike Bailey reached their highest League position, 13th in Division One. The club rose as high as fifth in Sep 1981.

Watch the 1981/82 season.


After Alan Mullery was harshly sacked with the club eight points clear of relegation, Barry Lloyd took fifteen games to register his first win. Soundly relegated back to Division Three.

Watch the 1986/87 season.

It was when the fixtures came out for the next season that we realised we were relegated. The Cup Final fever had taken over. We got relegated and nobody noticed.

Gordon Smith, Match of the 80s

Watch the 1983/84 season.