Photographic memories

These terrific photographs were submitted by Bob Herrick who was a photographer for the Brighton and Hove Herald for many years.  They give us an interesting glimpse into Brighton and Hove’s footballing past.

The first football programme is the type that was produced just after the war.

The left hand action picture shows Albion v Bristol Rovers in the late forties. During this period Brighton changed their stripes for all blue shirts with white sleeves.   The right hand action picture shows Albion scoring against Bournemouth in the mid fifties (with stripes!)

Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley!  The second programme is from the Cup Final game against Manchester United on the 21st May, 1983.

And finally – happy fans outside the Wembley ground – with the famous ‘twin towers’ in the background.  Brighton and Hove Albion drew – the score was 2-2 with a goal from Brighton in the last minutes of the game. Unfortunately on the replay Manchester United won 4-0.

Comments about this page

  • Can anyone remember who the other player was that joined with speedy winger Bobby Smith (somewhat slower by then)? I thought it was Danny Blanchflower, but I cannot find it out. How many times as a kid did I freeze on the terraces? I can hardly remember a game now, but seemed to me in the early sixties that they lost a lot of home games – but we still went…

    By Chris Edwards - Brisbane, Australia (26/10/2006)
  • The other player from Spurs that joined the Albion around the same time as Bobby Smith in 1964 was Mel Hopkins, a Welsh international defender.

    By Brian Matthews - Witney, Oxon (01/11/2006)
  • Mel was a big honest centre half with a nose any boxer would have been proud of.

    By Paul Hubbard (05/11/2006)
  • That’s the one – Danny was of course captain of Spurs at that time. Thanks.

    By Chris Edwards - Brisbane (06/11/2006)
  • Mel still lives in Shoreham and still looks the same!  He did a lot of coaching with schools in Brighton when he finished playing.  A great bloke!

    By Martin Hedgecock (15/11/2006)
  • I’ve lived in Bath now for 39 years, but remain an Albion supporter ever since reading about the team whilst delivering the Argus as a paperboy in the early sixties. My earlies memory is of the back-to-back relegations in 1962-3 and 1963-4, which rather set the template for the ensuing rollercoaster ride. In season 1964-5 (the first Bobby Smith / Mel Hopkins season) I saw every home game plus the Aldershot away game, and they were undefeated that year, scoring 102 goals in 46 games and earning 63 points – a Division Four record (and only two points for a win then). That year they replaced the traditional vertical stripes with a new shirt design like a pyjama top, blue torso with white sleeves and neckband and the shields of the two towns on the left breast – no sponsorship slogans, of course. I have a recent replica reissue of this, along with the 2000-2001 centenary shirt replica. Supporting the Albion has continued to be a rollercoaster ride in the last decade. Remember the draw at Hereford which saved Albion from relegation to the Conference? It was better than winning the Cup Final. And following the euphoria of back-to-back championships with Bobby Zamora, who can forget the fifteen (?) consecutive defeats in the first Division One season? But I guess we can’t expect any more great things till the stadium gets built. A nice billionaire might help, of course. Meanwhile I’ll continue to anticipate each Saturday’s result with trepidation, and hoot with delight at the occasional victory. Keep ’em flying, Seagulls.

    By Len Liechti (22/03/2007)
  • Mel Hopkins is my stepdad, he is a great man, very kind and caring. The game did not provide great financial rewards then, but he was never concerned about the money, he played for the love of football and is still passionate about it today and regularly goes to see Spurs play. He loves all other sports too and loves playing golf.

    By Jill Mcintyre (27/10/2007)
  • I’m glad to hear that Mel Hopkins is still around and I remember him as a player at White Hart Lane in the 1950/60s. I also remember him at the Spurs training ground at Cheshunt where he was kindness itself to us young boys. In those days the rewards for playing football were small but Mel was a giant of a man, a fleet of foot and hard tackling full back who was greatly admired.

    By Chris Hazlehurst (05/01/2008)
  • As a big Spurs fan, I can proudly say Mel Hopkins is a good customer of mine and a great bloke. I own a jewellery shop in Shoreham By Sea where he and I both live. If only more players played for the love of the game these days.

    By Darren Ross (14/04/2008)
  • Read with interest Mel Hopkins step daughter’s comment.
    I attended his wedding in 1957 with my girl friend at the time ,a friend of the bride. The wedding was attended by all the Spurs players of the time. I wonder what happened to the bride and my old girl friend?

    By d.reeves (09/09/2008)
  • I was (and still am) an avid Spurs supporter back in the 60s and knew Mel. He was one of a triumvirate of Spurs players who lived in Connaught Gardens in Palmers Green (neighbours were Bobby Smith – BTW he was centre forward, not a winger – and Cliff Jones).
    I babysat for all them in my early teens, looking after Mel and Pat’s baby son Paul.
    Mel was a quiet, good-mannered man and they lived a life far more normal, ordinary and domesticated than most footballers do these days – I can remember Pat sitting at her sewing machine making her own curtains and I know she made many of her own clothes too.
    Such was the calibre of the Spurs side of the early 60s that Mel, although a fine full back with Welsh international caps, played mainly in the reserve team.
    Having lost touch now for many years, I hope he is well and happy and that Pat and Paul are too. If anyone knows anything about them, I’d love to hear from them.

    By Carol Davis (07/11/2008)
  • Mel was a sports teacher at my school, Brighton Secondary Tec, in the 70’s. He would cycle from Shoreham every week. He would run rings around us on the football pitch. I used to see him around Shoreham but have not for a while.

    By Chris Hornsbury (18/03/2009)
  • Mel was a good friend of my mum, sister and me – when he worked at Horsham Sports Centre – I was at school and when we had to run round the park I would just go and have a coke with Mel. I would love to see him again if anyone can contact him for me. I am on facebook.

    By Harriet Edelston (11/09/2009)
  • I will print these comments off and pass them onto Mel. He will enjoy reading them and I’m sure they will bring back lots of memories of you all.

    By Jill Mcintyre (14/02/2010)
  • Mel used to teach at Dorothy Stringer too and he was very adept at catching schoolboys taking the 26 bus round the cross country course – summary justice with a size 10 plimsoll. I heard that he had passed on recently, very sad, he was a great bloke

    By Martin Scrace (25/08/2012)

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