Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 August 1901 - Brighton & Hove Take Flight

On 21 August 1901, Brighton and Hove Albion were founded. Nicknamed "the Seagulls," they have spent the majority of their existence in England's lower divisions, but with some flashes of success.

They first joined the Southern League, where they emerged as champions in the 1909-10 season. That qualified them for the 1910 Charity Shield against Football League champions Aston Villa, with Albion winning 1-0 thanks to goal from their inside-left, Charlie Webb (Webb played there from 1909 to 1915, then took over as manager from 1919 to 1947).

Albion joined the Football League for the 1920-21 season, starting in Division Three (South). They won promotion to the Second Division in 1958, but dropped back down in 1962, then fell into the Fourth Division one year later. After two seasons, they returned to Division Three and started a climb that led them to the top flight in 1979 under manager Alan Mullery.

Mullery left in 1981, but Albion continued to rise. They reached the 1983 FA Cup Final, where they took Manchester United to a replay before losing 4-0.

After four seasons in the top flight, Brighton and Hove dropped back down and have spent the interim working for a return. Under current manager Gus Poyet, they reached the Championship in 2011 and finished the season in a comfortable tenth place out of twenty-four teams.

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