Poles Apart Yet Fans United: Plymouth Argyle And Brighton & Hove Albion Recall Old Bonds


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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10 Responses

  1. Albert Ross says:

    There’s one group who don’t look back on that day fondly, and that’s the Hartlepool United fans – of which I am one. I suppose it had to be against somebody, but the fact that it was against us – a team with a long history of financial struggles and even a risk at one point of being the first Franchise with talk of the club being moved to Scarborough in the early 80s, to general indifference from the football world of the time, often means that some at Pools have little sympathy for the likes of Brighton. “Where were they when we were in trouble” is the usual cry…. we had not long since got rid of the hated Garry Gibson who had run us into the ground, and so the fact that just a couple of years later there was this huge campaign on behalf of Brighton left a sour taste. Sadly, the Internet was still in its infancy during our travails, and there was nowhere like 200% to shine a spotlight on things…..

  2. Stereowarren says:

    Albert – no doubt what you say (about ‘Pools fans’ feelings in 1997) is true. But I hope you’ll agree that, once the principle had been established in ’97, Brighton fans have paid back the solidarity of Fans United in spades ever since. Just ask fans of Bury, Wrexham, Doncaster, AFC Wimbledon …

  3. ian says:

    Brighton fans were fantastic for us while we were in trouble last time. The Fans United day at the Racecourse was pretty special.

    Saw this recently on a Brighton messageboard about it.


    Brighton fans deserve the success they’re now enjoying for the solidarity they showed with fans of other clubs over the last few years.

    Sadly the Brighton FC ‘Save the Racecourse’ banner is currently getting a bit of a re-airing.

  4. Northstand returns says:

    Great article. I hope BHA will invite Richard to be there at the first game at Falmer, that would be a great tribute.
    Good luck Plymouth.

  5. Albert Ross says:

    In many ways we have been… fortunate? in that our ownership has been stable and benevolent over the last 15 years (a local man made good and undoubted fan in Harold Hornsey, and then a company based in the Oil trade who have had us for more than a decade and seem happy to fund our losses through conversion to shares), and maybe if we hadn’t been we would have seen the support of other clubs. In some ways it’s one of the things that the Internet makes a lot easier – suddenly there were places to organise from, and the message became easier to share with fans of other clubs as well. Maybe Brighton just struck it at the right time and became the first to use the Net to organise effectively. The problem is that to a number of HUFC fans it felt that this was a team that in part because of their media contacts (don’t forget Des Lynham was one of the biggest names on TV at the time) and location got the sort of coverage that has been denied to other sides in the past. Fair? Probably not, and I don’t mean either to diminish the scale of misdemeanour by Belotti and Archer. Just don’t expect Pools fans to look back on the day with any great delight – it’s like the child’s answer to the question of “Who was least happy when the Prodigal Son came home” – “The fatted calf”. That day, we were the sacrificial lambs.

    I don’t doubt that Brighton fans have supported others in their similar campaigns since – the Clubs in Crisis website shows that (albeit now having reached the end of its life). Hopefully my team will never have to find out whether other clubs would support us in similar straits!

  6. Martin says:

    The tragedy is that Brighton have only been saved by yet another billionaire and his cash has made the already inflated transfer and players’ wages market worse.

    At least he’s a fan I suppose.

  7. Simon says:

    Brighton were not saved by a billionaire. Bloom took over the club quite recently. It was Dick Knight who saved the club and we got by by selling players such as Zamora and Virgo for big fees.

  1. April 13, 2011

    […] show a beating heart at the centre of a club that was, at the time, being torn limb from limb. The Fans United day, a day of demonstration and solidarity held on behalf of the supporters of all clubs early in 1997, […]

  2. July 26, 2012

    […] against Rochdale,” said Celia Ellacott of Argyle Fans’ Trust. “It’s a variant on the Fans United day which was done to help Brighton 15 years ago – initiated, as it happens, by a 14-year-old […]

  3. July 26, 2012

    […] against Rochdale,” said Celia Ellacott of Argyle Fans’ Trust. “It’s a variant on the Fans United day which was done to help Brighton 15 years ago – initiated, as it happens, by a 14-year-old […]

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