It’s been ten years now since Albion played his last match at Withdean – but do you remember the last act?
Albion, already crowned Ligue 1 champion with four games to go, entertained a Huddersfield side looking for promotion.
Guest boss Lee Clark was with his team for the pre-game handshakes so he could congratulate the Seagulls on their title.
Matt Sparrow scored Albion’s last goal at the stadium, but Danny Ward’s late attack gave the Terriers a 3-2 victory.
Then the celebrations began with the presentation of the trophy and medals to Gus Poyet and his team.
But do you remember the very last moment of football action at Withdean?
For the good old days, this should have been an Elliott Bennett wonder.
Or a goal or a tackle from Gary Hart.
Or the referee making fun of the fans on the race track.
In the end, it was none of that.
It was a tackle slipped near the halfway line by a great Slovakian goalkeeper.
A good sliding tackle was also as Peter Brezovan, who started forward for a corner, rushed back and thwarted a Huddersfield counterattack.
He stretched out a long leg and, to the cheers of the tiny covered north stand a few yards in front of him, pushed the ball out for a throw-in that was never taken.
Withdean’s final whistle sounded with the ball bouncing toward an eight-lane running track.
It was a pretty weird way to end life in a unique place.
“It wasn’t my idea. I looked at the bench and they were telling me to go up there. On the way home, I just thought ‘don’t get a red card’, ”Brezovan said later.
What a finish that would have been!
Then the stage was literally set for the title and end of life celebrations at the Temporary Home.
A house from which they won three titles and a promotion via the play-offs.
Former Albion forward John Byrne saw the fun side of his last game at Withdean.
In the days before luxury media lounges or hospitality rooms, journalists and commentators were given a box full of pies and pastries to share at halftime.
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But the Huddersfield game was busy and John had to stay on the air for a minute or two after the halftime whistle as part of his radio duties.
“I missed my last pie,” Byrne told BBC Radio Sussex listeners after finding nothing but an empty box during the media portacabin’s arrest.
“They were all gone when I arrived. This is the last time I come here, I can tell you!
And it was indeed the case.
(Photos by Simon Dack and Liz Finlayson)
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This notice was published: 2021-04-30 09:32:00