Former Brighton and Hove Albion chairman Dick Knight made freeman of the city

The Argus: Former Albion chairman Dick Knight made freeman of the city Former Albion chairman Dick Knight made freeman of the city

The man who saved Brighton and Hove Albion said being made a freeman of the city is a “great accolade”.

As chairman of the Seagulls during its most troubled time, Dick Knight nursed the club back to health.

With the Albion now flying high in the Championship and settled in its new stadium, Brighton and Hove City Council unanimously agreed to make the former advertising executive a freeman of the city last night.

He became only the seventh person to receive the honour since the city was created.


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Speaking to The Argus, Mr Knight, who grew up in Portslade, said: “For someone who was brought up in the city this is a great accolade.”

A pupil of Hove Grammar School, Mr Knight worked in the advertising industry after completing national service.

But the lifelong fan swapped visits to Los Angeles for trips to Luton when he served as chairman of the club from 1997 to 2009.

Knight took control after leading fan pressure to oust the previous board following their sale of the club's Goldstone Ground to property developers.

During his tenure, he also founded Albion in the Community which has received national praise for its sport and education work.

Council leader Jason Kitcat praised Mr Knight's “promotional skill, media savvy, fortitude and grit” in saving the club.

Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald said Mr Knight “literally saved the day” while Labour group leader Warren Morgan said he could think of “few, if anyone, more deserving” of the award.

Speaking just before he received the honour, Mr Knight said: “Someone spoke about the possibility of me leading sheep through the |city with my new title, but I have already had that privilege.

“I have already led my flock though the city on those two historic marches along the seafront to the party conferences.

“I know the club will go on for many years making the heart of the city beat faster.”

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