Part 08: Wartime Football
We started to go and see Brighton and Hove Albion and in those days players guested for other clubs because [during the War] it depended where they were stationed. Brighton was only a very little team at that time and we had Arsenal players playing for us in Brighton! My brother and I used to love going up to the Albion; it used to be 2 shillings ten pence to go in the Goldstone Ground along the Old Shoreham Road. We loved the football – Den, my brother, and I would go every Saturday when they were at home.
Extracts from the diary of Tony Simmonds:
23/04/1944 – Yesterday Brighton and Hove Albion beat Luton Town 8-0 what a victory.
30/09/1944 – I went to see West Ham beat B & H Albion by 1 goal to 0. they had three international on their side by we had Joe. It was one of the best games I’ve seen.
18/11/1944 – I went in the 3/6d Stand to see Brighton (bottom of the Southern League) put up a super show against Chelsea (the top). At half time the score was 2-2. We scored the first goal in the second half giving us the lead – the cheer for that goal was terrific but then Chelsea piled on three more goals – one beauty by Hardwick – making the final score 5-3.
20/01/1945 – This afternoon I saw B & H Albion BEAT Arsenal 3-0 in a super game.
03/02/1945 – Coo B & H Albion beat Brentford Way 5-3 today in our first cup match.
17/2/1945 – Saw Brighton beat Millwall 6-2 this afternoon – it looks as if we are going to get in the semi-finals. The great Tommy Lawton played for the Lions too – he’s a marvellous chap.
24/02/1945 – Brighton lost the all important cup match with Brentford 4-2 at Goldstone. B. Moore actually missed a penalty – but the Bees were definitely the better team, it’s a shame we lost though.
01/09/1945 – Brighton and Hove Albion scored their second consecutive win this season – we’ve beaten Reading away 2-1 and now at home 1-0. But it was a super match, I cheered my head off when Moore scored.
09/09/1945 – Blow – we lost today – 4-3 to Bristol Rovers and we were winning 2-1 at Half Time. It was a very good game though.
15/09/1945 – Brighton won away to Bristol City today – oh goodee, goodee.
19/09/1945 – I went to see a super match between B & H Albion and Bristol City this afternoon. Brighton was leading 4-0 ten minutes from the end but we only scraped through 4-3 in the end. B & H. A however were definitely the better team.
22/09/1945 – Smashing game at the Goldstone this afternoon. Brighton put themselves 2nd by defeating Crystal Palace 7-3. We scored the first goal within 10 seconds and three came in three minutes. B.Moore scored four and is now the top scorer in England this season. There’s a lot in the paper about him – he’s scored in every match this season.
29/09/1945 – Brighton lost 5-1 away to the Palace this afternoon and Bernie didn’t score. Tut tut!
28/10/1945 – Gee! B & H Albion have gone from 2nd to 7th – they lost at home and away to Cardiff.
17/11/1945 – This afternoon I saw Brighton beat Romford (amateur) 3-1 in our first cup match.
24/11/1945 – Hurray! Brighton has got into the second leg of the cup by beating Romford by an aggregate of 4-2.
08/12/1945 – Brighton drew away with Walthemstow today in the second round of the cup – Walthamstow is the finest amateur team in the country.
15/12/1945 – Terrific match this afternoon. Brighton after being 2-0 down halfway through the first half ended up by beating the Avenue 4-2. So we get into the third round of the cup. Our pre-war centre forward Jock Davie is good.
Tony Simmonds was interviewed for the My Brighton and Hove website by Zoe Woods.