Tuktuk Day 132

“Ever since I was a young boy
I’ve played the silver ball
From Soho down to Brighton
I must have played ’em all
But I ain’t seen nothing like him
In any amusement hall
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball.”

Tommy, The Musical. Elton John

So, today it is Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club (to give it its full name) Apart from playing pinball I have more than a few points of contact with the club and I am delighted to be “accompanied” today by none other than Mr Alan Willard, he of “The Brighton Room” fame. We chatted last night and I remembered that one of my first ever away grounds was the Goldstone Ground. I was 14 at the time and 11v11 tells me that we lost 3-1. Actually I remembered that, strange I can’t recollect the score of the last game. Obviously Gillingham have played them many times over the years, going back to 1921 ……. and at three levels of the pyramid PLUS the old Division Three (South.) It seems strange for us to be languishing in League 2 as they take on AS Roma in the Europa League. Another Brentford success story. Yes, there is hope for us yet! Obviously, we were kind enough to host Brighton at the Priestfield for two seasons when they were homeless. SOME Brighton fans seem to hold that against us. I can only remind them that without that hand of friendship, they would probably be playing in the Isthmian League or similar.

… but back to Alan. He has the most sensational collection of Brighton shirts, programmes and memorabilia dating back to 1978. Obviously he has been through the traumas of The Goldstone Ground, Priestfield Stadium, Withdean and now enjoys his football at one of Europe’s premier stadiums. He has been through the “Fans United” events and everything that ensued. You can talk to Wimbledon, Scunthorpe, Bury and Brighton fans …and, sadly to fans of many other clubs who have been failed (to be polite!) by their own directors. There is a common theme. Tragically few have come through the darkness of homelessness, administrations, bankruptcies etc and out onto the “sunny side” and certainly none so like Brighton. As Alan says, “As an Albion Fan for 45 Years, the best 18 Months of my Life! As an Albion Memorabilia Collector, I never ever thought I would have to find an area in The Brighton Room for European bits. All been a bit of a Dream. For that Roberto, I have made you a Corner in the Room (see above.) Hope you like it and thank you. Cheers.”

Here is a video of the shrine and, if that is not enough, the collection even takes over the garden! Any memories of Brighton? I am sure he would love to share them on his Facebook.

As for me, please remember that the purpose of this 90 day challenge is to raise funds for Prostate Cancer and an equal amount for my local club, FC Deportivo Galicia. As always, I hope that you are all enjoying this digital tour of the UK and that you will consider a donation to support FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK 

If everybody chipped in with just £1, I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier at the club whilst the charity could continue its great work. A HEARTFELT thanks, if you can donate. If you can’t any shares of this site or even this post would be gratefully received. Thanks again.

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