1920, Original members of Division 3 (South) 1921-58; 1958-62 Division
2; 1962-63 Division 3: 1963-65 Division 4; 1965-72 Division 3; 1972-73
Division 2; 1973-77 Division 3; 1977-79 Division 2; 1979-83 Division 1;
1983-87 Division 2; 1987-88 Division 3; 1988-92 Division 2; 1992-96 Division
2 New; 1996-99 Division 3 New.
Brighton remained in Division 3 (South) from 1920 until the outbreak
of War, without figuring in the promotion chase (only one team was promoted)
until 1936-37 and 1938-39 when they finished third. The tedium was interrupted
by FA Cup exploits which resulted in victories over first Division teams:
Oldham Athletic (1914 and 1921), Sheffield U (1922), Everton (1924), Grimsby
T (1930), Portsmouth (1930), Leicester C (1931), and Chelsea (1933). The
largest home gate was for the visit of West Ham U to the Goldstone for
a Round 5 match in 1933 when 32,310 spectators saw the Hammers held to
a 2-2 draw. The largest pre-War League attendance was 19,183 for the visit
of Brentford in 1929. The largest ever crowd to watch Brighton was for
an FA Cup tie at Newcastle U in 1930 when 56,469 watched, and this is still
the fourth largest crowd ever to watch the Albion.
Brighton only remained in Division 2 from 1959-60 to 1961-62. In 1959-60 the average home league gate was 18,272. In the FA Cup Fourth Round second replay Brighton beat Rotherham United 6-0 before 32,864 fans at Highbury, the biggest crowd to date to watch Albion at a neutral venue, and the fifth largest at a neutral venue in their history. (Rotherham United had knocked Arsenal out of the Cup in the previous round).
In 1959-60, the average attendance for reserve matches was 3,469.
Star players: Dave Sexton (1957-59), Adrian Thorne (1954-61), Bill Curry
In 1960, Albion drew 3-3 at home to Burnley in front of 28,672 spectators, before losing at Turf Moor in the replay 0-2.
The following year they were relegated from Division 2, and this began the biggest slide in the club's history. By 1964 they were in the obscurity of Division 4 for the first time.
At the beginning of 1964, the football world was astonished when England international Bobby Smith signed for Brighton for £5,000. The club won the Fourth Division Championship with an average crowd of 17,975.
Brighton struggled to avoid being relegated from Division 3 until the last year of the decade, when under Freddie Goodwin they chased for one of the two promotion spots and finished fourth.. In 1966-67 a leading Division 1 team Chelsea visited the Goldstone for a FA Cup Fourth Round tie. The queue for the reserve match where you had to attend to buy the tickets was four deep for half a mile an hour before the kick-off. A capacity 35,000 crowd saw a thrilling 1-1 draw in the real match. Albion lost the replay 0-4 before the the second biggest crowd of 54,852 to watch Albion at the time, and the fifth biggest in the club's history.
Star players: Howard Wilkinson (1966-71), Bobby A Smith (1964-65), Kit
Napier (1966-72), Wally Gould (1964-68). Dave Turner (1963-72), Brian Powney
he Modern Era