In a puff of smoke, it’s gone

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Farewell old chum, my arse misses you already

Brighton and Hove Albion 2 – 3 Huddersfield Town. That result will be forgotten quite quickly here on the south coast, but the date 30th April 2011 won’t, not because it was such a memorable day’s events, but it signalled a momentous day in the turbulent history of the Albion.

A mate in the pub afterwards summed it up perfectly “I feel like I didn’t really give the occasion the attention it deserved, I couldn’t really get into it. We won the league weeks ago, so the party atmosphere has been dragged out a bit.” I agree (although I missed the fucker), we won it too early. But just as Oh Gary Hart missed a tap-in in his last ever home game yesterday to cement his cult status forever with Albionites – the fairy tale season had a bit of a damp squib ending, you can’t have it all. Football isn’t like the movies, unless you’re a Manc (a red one, not an Arabian blue). So, we had our last day at the Theatre of Trees, and instead of reflecting on and celebrating the most successful stadium in the long history of BHAFC, yesterday the sell-out crowd was there to deliver a collective sigh of relief that we’re finally moving out of the place.

I’ll not cover the match, two players impressed – Craig Noone for his industry, and Marcos Painter for the most commanding defensive display I’ve seen in ages on any pitch. I’m sure even the onlooking Player of the Year Adam El Abd appreciated it, Gus Poyet definitely did and his “we’re not worthy” bowing, after Painter embarassed a Town forward with a Bobby Moore tackle, was the best comedy moment. Painter was my man of the match. But the day belonged to Harty, and every free kick, attacking move, and even defensive pass was greeted with “Give it to Harty!” from the stands. In true “ledge” style though, Gary came close, but ultimately failed. Never has such a squad player received such warm reception from his fans. That’s down to his loyalty and ordinariness, he’s an anachronism in these days of mercenary slag footballers with their off the field antics, and demands for squillions of pounds each week. And I will miss this ditty, my favourite Albion terrace chant of all time:

Oh Posh Spice is a slapper

She is a fucking tart

And when she’s shagging Beckham

She thinks of Gary Hart

OH GARY HART, OH GARY, GARY, GARY HART

For those readers who are unfortunate enough not to be Albion fans, that’s sung to the tune of “My Old Man’s a Dustman”.

So, it’s gone now, the old bleachers will be ripped up and Withdean will go back to hosting athletics in front of two old boys and a dog. It’s legacy will be as one of the worst football stadiums in the football league, but it’s also been one of the most formidable places to visit. I firmly believe that time will produce a fondness for it in the minds of all those who sat and got soaked in the open stands, miles from the pitch action. It will never compete with the Goldstone for the affections of the faithful, but Falmer has a hard act to follow in terms of footballing success, and yes some great games. Rest In Peace.

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2 Responses to “In a puff of smoke, it’s gone”

  1. glasfryn Says:

    although I did not go to many games at the Withers it is a place that has seen promotions and some great games and you are right the Amex will have a lot to live up to my thoughts are that if we can keep Gus and his crew we can go places and really pin Brighton on the map of football.
    the game ……well does it really matter I’m sure if we had to and had a full team we could have beaten Hudds and Southampton comfortably.
    and so the building of another squad begins its going to be interesting.
    G

    • The Hovian Says:

      It was an ok day, but everyone is already looking forward to the new season with Poyet.

      New squad’s first signing: Kazenga LuaLua will do thankyou very much. Tune in next week for the Notts County trip report

      Have a good one mate

      Cheers

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