We catch up with Brighton’s 1987-88 Di­vi­sion Three run­ners-up

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Neil Fissler

KEVIN BREMNER had al­ready won two pro­mo­tions in three sea­sons from Di­vi­sion Three with Mill­wall and Read­ing when he ar­rived at the Gold­stone Ground in July 1987.

The Scot, who had started his pro­fes­sional ca­reer with a rel­e­ga­tion at Colch­ester United, was about to bring his lucky touch to the South Coast.

Brighton had been rel­e­gated for the sec­ond time in five sea­sons im­me­di­ately prior to Bremner’s ar­rival.

Bremner had the chance of re­turn­ing to Mill­wall, who had claimed a place in the First Di­vi­sion for the only time in their his­tory, but Brighton trumped their of­fer.

“I got more money to go to Brighton than I was of­fered by Mill­wall,” said Bremner. “Brighton had come out of the First Di­vi­sion a few years ear­lier and some of the lads were still on First Di­vi­sion wages.

“When I got what I asked for at Brighton, I couldn’t be­lieve it. I dou­bled my wages. They were a huge club – in­deed they still are.”

Sun­der­land ran away with the ti­tle, fin­ish­ing nine points ahead of Brighton, who were two ahead of third-placed Wal­sall.

The Sad­dlers went on to win the play-offs.

Pro­mo­tion was se­cured in the last game when Bris­tol Rovers were beaten 2-1 at the Gold­stone, thanks to goals from Bremner and Garry Nel­son, who net­ted 22 for the cam­paign. But, de­spite the cham­pagne corks pop­ping in the dress­ing room, Bremner said he and fel­low Scot Doug Rougvie de­cided against hit­ting the town.

“Nigel Martyn was in goal for Bris­tol Rovers at the time and they were a good team, but they weren’t good enough to stop us!” he said.

“I scored the first af­ter a cross from the left. It was ei­ther Dean Wilkins or Garry Nel­son who crossed. I can­not re­mem­ber.

“Then Garry scored the sec­ond.


“But the thing I re­ally re­mem­ber about that sea­son is that Doug and I didn’t go out on the town to cel­e­brate pro­mo­tion.

“Doug was stay­ing in Ang­mer­ing and I was in West Wor­thing, but we didn’t go out. We just stayed with our fam­i­lies and ended up play­ing foot­ball with our kids in the street.”

1. Mark Leather: Af­ter spend­ing 20 years in the game in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties, he now runs his own prac­tice and is a se­nior lec­turer at Univer­sity of Cen­tral Lan­cashire.

2. Richard Tilt­man: A for­ward who went into fi­nan­cial ser­vices and has run his own busi­ness, CTW Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices, in Wor­thing for the last 17 years.

3. Trevor Wood: Goal­keeper who won one North­ern Ire­land cap and is now liv­ing and work­ing in Pevensey, near East­bourne. 4. Gerry Arm­strong: Striker who twice won the Home Cham­pi­onship with North­ern Ire­land. He man­aged Wor­thing and had two spells as North­ern Ire­land as­sis­tant man­ager. Now a TV pun­dit. 5. Grant Horscroft: Cen­tral de­fender who made two first-team ap­pear­ances and went back to work­ing in in­sur­ance. He is now a data con­troller for a fas­tener dis­trib­u­tor, TR Fas­ten­ings 6. Mike Trus­son: Mid­fielder who helped Sh­effield United to two pro­mo­tions. He was first-team coach at Bournemouth and is now scouting for West Brom. 7. Garry Nel­son: Striker who had pro­mo­tions with Southend and Ply­mouth and is now based in Es­sex, where he has a num­ber of busi­ness in­ter­ests in­clud­ing golf hol­i­days and an in­sur­ance firm. 8. Dale Jasper: Full-back who was a play-off win­ner with Crewe Alexan­dra. Now based in South Wales and has worked in the build­ing in­dus­try. 9. John Kee­ley: Goal­keeper who played more than 100 times for Brighton for whom he also served as goal­keep­ing coach and kit man. He is now head of goal­keeper coach­ing at Portsmouth. 10. Damian Web­ber: Cen­tral de­fender who helped Craw­ley Town win their first ever Sus­sex Se­nior Cup. He worked in the rail in­dus­try and is now head of com­mer­cial at Modus Util­i­ties. 11. Ted Streeter: Had a back­ground in civil en­gi­neer­ing and then be­came Brighton’s youth de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. He later opened his own foot­ball academy in Hor­sham. 12. Barry Lloyd: Man­aged Yeovil and Wor­thing be­fore tak­ing charge of Brighton. He worked in a BMW deal­er­ship and then re­turned to Brighton as a scout. 13. Steve Gat­ting: Cen­tre-half and brother of for­mer Eng­land cricket cap­tain Mike, he played in the 1983 FA Cup fi­nal. Coached Christ’s Hospi­tal School and Ar­se­nal Un­der-23s. His son, Joe, also played for Brighton. 14. Chris Hutch­ings: De­fender who man­aged Brad­ford and Wi­gan in the Premier League. He has held a num­ber of other coach­ing jobs, his last job be­ing as as­sis­tant man­ager of Barnsley. 15. Rob Isaac: De­fender who be­came a per­sonal as­sis­tant for the Mak­toum rac­ing fam­ily and is now work­ing as a chauf­feur in West Lon­don. 16. Perry Dig­weed: Goal­keeper who is now liv­ing in Lon­don. His busi­ness in­ter­ests in­clude prop­erty and a chauf­feur ser­vice in the rac­ing in­dus­try. 17. David Gipp: For­ward who lives at Bark­ing­side, Es­sex and earns a liv­ing by buy­ing and sell­ing goods. He is also as­sis­tant man­ager of Non-League side Fren­ford Se­nior. 18. Ian Chap­man: De­fender who ap­peared for the Seag­ulls in a play-off fi­nal. He man­aged White­hawk and is now coach­ing at Lanc­ing Col­lege Prep School in Hove. He is also the man­ager of Burgess Hill Town in the Ry­man League Premier Di­vi­sion. 19. John Crum­plin: Right-back who has man­aged a num­ber of Non-League clubs in Sus­sex and Sur­rey and is now work­ing in the build­ing in­dus­try. 20. Martin Hin­shel­wood: He served Brighton in a num­ber of ca­pac­i­ties in­clud­ing as man­ager. He is now an academy coach at Lewes. His son, Danny, also played for Al­bion. 21. Ke­van Brown: Full-back who won the FA Tro­phy three times with Wok­ing. For the last ten years, he has been di­rec­tor of sport at St Fran­cis School, Pewsey, Wilt­shire. 22. Dar­ren Hughes: Full-back who won a pro­mo­tion with Port Vale, where he has a suite named af­ter him. He is now based in his na­tive Prescot and works as a pain­ter and dec­o­ra­tor. 23. Kevin Bremner: Striker who also won pro­mo­tion with Mill­wall, Read­ing and Peter­bor­ough. Coached at Mill­wall and Gilling­ham. Now a sub-con­trac­tor in the build­ing trade and starred in a Bet­fred ad­vert. 24. Doug Rougvie: Scot­tish in­ter­na­tional de­fender who won a Cup Win­ners’ Cup medal with Aberdeen. Now based in the city as an elec­tri­cal/in­stru­ment designer for en­gi­neer­ing firm Costain. 25. Gary Row­ell: Mid­fielder who won two pro­mo­tions with Sun­der­land. Af­ter be­ing a fi­nan­cial con­sul­tant in Burn­ley, he now works on ra­dio and is a colum­nist for the Sun­der­land Echo. 26. Dean Wilkins: Held var­i­ous posts for Brighton af­ter hang­ing up his boots, be­fore mov­ing on to Southamp­ton, where he has been as­sis­tant man­ager and now first­team coach. 27. Steve Pen­ney: North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional winger. Went to the 1986 Mex­ico World Cup and now lives in his na­tive Bal­ly­mena where he be­came an op­ti­cian.

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