Brighton and Hove Albion FC

Work begins on new stadium

By Jennifer Drury

As the mechanical diggers churned and rumbled noisily, a kick-off ceremony took place at Falmer to mark the official handover of the site to contractors who will build the new stadium. Work will now begin in earnest on the £65 million 22,500-seat community stadium, just eleven years after the Seagulls last match at the Goldstone Ground.

Albion directors were joined by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn, and celebrity supporters including Des Lynam and Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim. There were also just over one hundred Albion fans, young and old, who had won their places in a club lottery.

The pitch was marked into the mud complete with corner flags, goalposts and a penalty spot. Albion Chairman Dick Knight scored the first goal at Falmer when he shot past first-team goalkeeper John Sullivan into a goal which consisted of two diggers. Mr Knight said: "It is a fantastic feeling to be here today and especially to score the first goal at Falmer - although my penalty wasn't too convincing.

Albion hope to kick off the 2011-12 season at their new home.

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