‘There are two sides to every question, and two teams to every Football match’ – a 1930s’ guide to appreciating football from Brighton & Hove Albion

Following the UEFA Euro 2020, we thought we’d take a look at our football related collections for guidance on how to cope with the highs and lows that might present themselves as the tournament progresses.

Booklet titled 'Official Handbook', 'Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Season 1930-31.' Page 44. Brighton & Hove Albion F.C 1909 - 10.
Booklet titled ‘Official Handbook’, ‘Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Season 1930-31.’ Page 44. Brighton & Hove Albion F.C 1909 – 10.

Writing in Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s Supporters’ Club handbook for the 1930-1931 season, the unknown writer called ‘Impartial’ offers a few ‘Points still worth Remembering’ to spectators of the great game. Here are a couple of our favourites:

‘A football player is also a human being. Like the rest of us he is liable to his “off” day.’

‘Encouragement and support when things are going wrong are the finest tonics. Give it them.’

‘Linesmen are there to assist the Referee, if required. They don’t care two straws which side wins.’

How many of these points do you think remain relevant in today’s game? Whatever you think, I’m sure many people were cheering on Brighton & Hove Albion player Ben White who was called up to the England squad for the Euro 2020 tournament, as well as four other Seagulls who represented their national teams.  

One thing is for sure, their playing and travelling kits were nothing like these Albion players who were photographed by the Brighton & Hove Herald newspaper on 11 December 1937. They are at Hove railway station, the nearest station to the Goldstone Ground, the club’s home at the time. The other photos show matches at the ground in the Thirties. 

Brighton and Hove Albion football team standing on the platform at Hove Station. 11 December, 1937.
Brighton and Hove Albion football team standing on the platform at Hove Station. 11 December, 1937.

We can also be sure most spectators nowadays will not be choosing to wear a flat cap like this postcard, which shows a smartly dressed crowd supporting BHAFC against Port Vale during a cup tie the twenties. 

Postcard featuring a crowd at the Goldstone Ground, Hove. Sign indicates that the game is a cup tie between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Port Vale FC. c1920.
Postcard featuring a crowd at the Goldstone Ground, Hove. Sign indicates that the game is a cup tie between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Port Vale FC. c1920.

Dan Robertson, Curator of Local History

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